Monday, October 19, 2015

Never Get High On Your Own Supply

Chris Hayes famously made that Biggie Smalls quote in reference to Republicans believing their own talking points in 2012, and Greg Sargent believes they are right back in their own epistemic closure bubble in 2015 when it comes to Hillary Clinton.

What is the Republican theory of the 2016 election? Is it that the Democrats have developed a durable demographic advantage in national elections and that the GOP must nominate someone who can broaden the party’s reach beyond core constituencies, as Republicans concluded after the 2012 debacle?

Or is it increasingly that such demographic concerns can be tossed to the winds — that Hillary Clinton is such a flawed candidate that Republicans don’t have to worry too much about picking a standard bearer with broad general election appeal?

The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein has a good piece today in which he posits the latter theory. Klein’s overall point is that the two parties are each making wildly different assumptions about next year’s contest — and that this has driven each party further into its own ideological corner, portending an unusually charged and intense general election battle.

Indeed, the GOP theory is that, just like Obama in 2012, there's no way that the electorate would possibly elect Hillary Clinton because everyone hates her, the polls show she's doomed, and that silly Democrats will nominate her anyway, leading to landslide losses in swing states. At this point, Republicans argue, the future of America is solely up to GOP primary voters to select the next President of the United States.  It doesn't matter how "electable" they are either...Clinton will be the Dem nominee and she can't win, so the GOP can pick anyone and they'll win easily.

It's a nice fantasy, frankly, but one that the GOP is now wholly invested in.

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