Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Coming Clown Car Catastrophe

As the Washington Post notes, the combination of Tea Party primary voters, the 24/7 news cycle, a weak "frontrunner" in Jeb Bush, and the gut of Clown Car Crazy candidates is a recipe for a massive disaster heading into 2016, and the odds of an explosion are ridiculously high.

Party officials are growing worried about a wide-open nominating contest likely to feature a historically large and diverse field. At best, they say, the Republican primaries will be a lively showcase of political talent — especially compared with the relative coronation taking shape on the Democratic side. But officials also acknowledge just how risky their circumstance is for a party that hasn’t put on a good show in a long time.

With no clear front-runner and Bush so far unable to consolidate his path to the nomination — his fumbles over the Iraq war and his brother’s legacy further exposed his vulnerabilities — the GOP’s internecine battle could stretch well into the spring of 2016.

This could cost presidential aspirants tens of millions of dollars; pull them far to the right ideologically, from hot-button social issues to foreign policy; and jeopardize their general-election chances. And in such a muddled lineup — officials are planning to squeeze 10 or more contenders onto the debate stage — candidates will be rewarded for finding creative ways to gain notice.

“We’re in a danger zone,” said Doug Gross, a top Republican establishment figure in Iowa. “When the party poobahs put this process together, they thought they could telescope this to get us a nominee who could appeal to a broad cross-section of people. What we’ve got instead is a confederation of a lot of candidates who aren’t standing out — and in order to stand out, you need to scream the loudest.

Looming above the GOP show is Hillary Rodham Clinton, the dominant Democratic candidate whom Republican officials brashly dismiss as a scandal-plagued, out-of-touch relic of the past but whose early strength and political durability is nevertheless giving them a serious scare.

Republican officials are dismayed that months of relentless, negative press coverage of her use of private e-mail servers, foreign donations to her family’s charitable foundation and her six-figure paid speeches have done minimal damage to her favorability ratings.

At last week’s Republican National Committee meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., party leaders plotted their path back to power and confronted the demographic changes that have made the Electoral College more challenging for Republicans, with their heavily male, overwhelmingly white base.

To win in a presidential election year, the Democrats have to be good,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said. “As Republicans, we need to be about perfect in order to win.”

And nobody among the GOP faithful can handle that kind of pressure.  There's just going to be too many Todd Akin moments over a protracted primary mess with too many debates and too many opportunities to let the mask slip and to remind the American people that Republicans are pretty much insane.

But it'll be fun to watch.


Horace Boothroyd III said...

Every election is The Most Important Election in our Times. That is a simple truism of coalition politics, but especially true in this coming cycle as the fate of three (or maybe four) Supreme Court seats will be the prize: determination of a progressive friendly or a progressive killing majority that will control the bench for the next generation.

So it's great that the Republicans are such a clown show, as we need every advantage we can get. It's never a sure thing, it's never in the bag, there is always the possibility of an economic downturn throwing a wrench into the proceedings - which is both stupid and horribly unfair, but that's how politics is played - and who knows when a zombie Naderite gebbeth might shamble onto the scene and suck away the purity trolls into yet another kamikaze spoiler campaign.

The zombie gebbeths never sleep, no matter how complacent we might become. Just today, over in Kossackistan, user rjsigmund is urging "a coalition of progressive Democrats and tea-party Republicans" to sabotage the Democratic Party and accomplish his preferred policy goals. Surely he is dedicated to his little causes, just as I am dedicated to my causes, but here he is attempting to wreck the Democratic coalition that keeps the Republican monsters at bay and hoping to make common cause with his favorite monsters because he thinks he can ride them to victory and discard them the moment he finds them inconvenient.

Let us hope that he never succeeds in his little scheme, for if he does he will find himself in the role of the Sorcerer's Apprentice - but with no kindly old Sorcerer to step and put down the evil army he has called into existence.

GreenEagle said...

“As Republicans, we need to be about perfect in order to win.”

None of them believe that. What they do believe is that in order to win they have to cheat as much as they can (which is plenty) and conduct the ugliest smear campaign they can generate. Does anyone alive think we are going to get anything else from them?

Scopedog said...

Oh man...well, what else can one expect from some over at Kos? Somehow, despite the fact that the GOP have all but stated that they intend to completely obliterate the social safety nets that the US has taken for granted (and including Obamacare and many needed regulations), some on the far Left still insist that the Democratic Party is much worse and it must be sabotaged, run aground.

At some point, it becomes useless to try to figure out any deeper meaning behind their actions. The only plain, simple truth is that they are nihilists and simply do not give a damn if the country goes over the cliff. I have no idea what they expect when that happens, but they can say goodbye to the idea of their socialist/progressive utopia rising from the ashes of the maelstrom that will occur.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

socialist/progressive utopia rising from the ashes

As bizarre as it seems to any rational being, this appears to be the exact plan from top to bottom. Burn it all down, inflict as much suffering and spill as much blood on our own side as is necessary to purify The Nation and make it a worthy vessel for their governance.

I thought I was sick of these clown already, but every day it gets worse. The really weird part is that their champion, Bernie Sanders, is a Democratic Socialist (subtly different from my own Social Democracy) who specifically, deliberately, and openly disavows all of this apocalyptic nihilism. Perhaps too many years of gnawing at the leg chained to the hated Democratic Party has driven some mad with frustration, as too many years reading and rereading Bukharin has lured many an Anarchist into the gibbering frenzy.

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