In my last post about politics, I mentioned three core values in the current Republican running:
I'm going to highlight the last one again, even though the first could arguably (and only in a literal interpretation) be relevant here:
- Looking backward
The last core value is to try to remain ignorant. For example, Santorum has been repurposed. And, for some reason, it seems that Republicans and those covering him simply use terminology that makes those aware of this practically vomit.Now, even though this article is written by a liberal, it still seems the media is ignoring this alternative definition, and I read the following (click to see the original):(Rooting for Santorum)
Um, thanks! AND GOOD MORNING TO YOU TOO!
Some may not get that 'rooting' equates to 'fuck'. Well, that's my own personal knowledge of Australian English. It may be a stretch (ew?) for the majority of the population to get it, but still, in my own world, this was a highly offencive title for a blog post in the New York Times.
Root (verb and noun) : synonym for f*ck in nearly all its senses: "I feel rooted"; "this washing machine is rooted"; "(s)he's a good root". A very useful word in fairly polite company.-Source
OK, all that said, the article analysis probably needs to be done, instead of all this personal whining about word choice and obscure Australian terminology.
So, in this article, Nocera is hoping that
Santorum Rick wins the contest (I guess you just can win when Santorum has been repurposed, can you? Let's just hope that Rick won't be repurposed! It's up to Rick.). He's under the false belief that because the extreme wing of the Republican party has wrested it away from the moderate angle, having Santorum as their leader will snap them out of it! Will make them wake up and see that this position is untenable [huh huh], and that the loon-jobs running the show make it so that they cannot win.
...the Republican Party has largely been captured by its most extreme flank. Santorum is their standard-bearer.The difference, though, between the history of the Democrats and the future of the Republicans is that Democrats aren't backward facing and Republicans are. Republicans will not learn from this in the same way that Democrats did. The mentality is different. What they will do if they lose is that they will get more extreme. As they lose more and more, they will double down harder and harder until they are burning witches on stakes in the Salem, MA town square. Nocera, this is wishful thinking that losing will ameliorate the extreme Republican party. It will not. It will just make them angrier. It will just mean more guns at rallies and more extreme behaviour, until there are frothing unwashed masses beating at your entrance demanding fire and brimstone [ew!].
But that is also where I see a glimmer of hope. During the McGovern-Mondale era, the Democrats were exactly where the Republicans are now: the party had been taken over by its most extreme liberal faction, and it had lost touch with the core concerns of the middle class, just as the Republicans have now. When I spoke to Whitman this week about what the Republican Party needed to do to become a more inclusive, less rigidly dogmatic party, she said, “It’s going to take some kind of shock therapy.” Those terrible losses in 1972 and, especially, in 1984 were the Democrats’ shock therapy. Just eight years after Mondale’s loss, Bill Clinton was elected president. -Nocera
For any moderate Republicans reading this, I must apologise to you. But the likes of you and I and most reasonable people generally know when to give up when something has gone awry. The problem with our political system, as we're seeing, is that only the extremists stay in the game. The rest of us bow out. I don't have any issues with Roosevelt/Eisenhower-style conservatism. I will respectfully disagree in a lot of ways about the tenets of governance, but generally you and I can have that dispassionate debate.
On the other hand, the extreme wings of the two dominant parties (I am registered Green for the record, so am technically an independent) will continue to do battle, and with every loss in the Republican sphere, they will double down, rally more troops, have more children, train and brainwash more people, and relentlessly bash, scream, and claw their way back into power until we have a theocracy whereby women are relegated to only spend time in kitchens and bedrooms, men will reestablish dominance and power in society, the rich will prosper on the backs of the poor, the middle class will disappear, public services will be cut entirely (including public transportation), and it will be practically impossible to earn a living in this country. Immigrants will be systematically demonised, deported, or killed, and race wars will likely flare up again. It will be like the good old days of the 1920s in New York, where people had 15 children in a 300 square foot apartment, women couldn't vote, and the man worked 15 hours a day, 6 days a week for the wage that could buy you no more than a couple of loaves of bread. And if you don't like it, there is a long line of other desperate people who will happily take your job. That is the dystopian vision of extreme Republican/Santorum politics in my view. Is it inaccurate? I certainly hope so.
If Mitt Romney takes the nomination and then loses to Obama, the extremists who’ve taken over the party will surely say the problem was Romney’s lack of ideological purity. If, however, Santorum is the nominee — and then loses in a landslide — the party will no longer be able to delude itself about where its ideological rigidity has taken it.
An alcoholic doesn’t stop drinking until he hits bottom. The Republican Party won’t change until it hits bottom. Only Santorum offers that possibility.
I like where you're going with this, Nocera. I just don't think anyone should really count on it. When extremists with only ideology hit bottom, the look for more ideology. When extremists with scientific method, education, and rational thought hit bottom, they reevaluate their strategy. An extreme liberal is very different from an extreme conservative in background, thought, knowledge, and orientation. I highly doubt that if Republicans hit bottom, they're going to soften on extremism. What may happen is that a libertarian party strengthens in this nation, but that is a long, slow climb and would mean a brutal few years for conservatives splitting the vote a la Perot. Politics in this country doesn't have the stomach for that. And the runaway debt cutting, America-apologising-and-restoring-relations-with-other-nations, elimination of enemies of state, pulling out [huh huh] of military quagmires, rebuilding of our internal infrastructure, and focus on uniting the population behind the banner of equality will not fly for the Republicans we currently know under a Democratic rule of the next 12-20 years that it would take for that libertarian wing to muster enough strength to be a contender.