This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Friday, March 18, 2011

GOP Is Blowing It by Pandering to Tea Party

GOP Is Blowing It by Pandering to Tea Party by Bruce Bartlett

Bruce is the rare exception among those who left the GOP because of the budget profligacy of George W. Bush. While fiscal conservativism may have been a factor in the loss of the Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008, I suspect that the mishandling of Iraq had more to do with 2006, while proto-Tea Party anger was what alienated many GOP voters in 2008.

My own Republican mother voted for Obama, largely because McCain nominated Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin. I know that I was schocked at the tone she stoked in her rallies, which gained ample coverage in the fall of that year.

It took John McCain to try to tone down the almost Klan Rally atmosphere - and he was not entirely successful, especially given his angry old man performance in the second debate.

In the short term, whether the Republican Party exists as an ongoing concern will be determined by whether Tea Party members of Congress resist back bencher status when Boehner, Reid and Biden negotiate a budget deal without them. If they openly revolt, the GOP is likely dead - the only question is who leaves first.

If Boehner is removed as Speaker by an internal revolt and lack of loyalty and courage by the more seasoned members of his caucus, I suspect that mainstream Republicans will join a centrist party, like the Independence Party of America.

If they are compliant, the GOP may survive - although I suspect that many may flee to more radical parties in 2012, like the Citizens Party, the Libertarian Party or the Constition Party. Indeed, mass revolts may lead to a fusion of the radical right - although the remaining GOP will have lost its spark and will be unable to form a majority anywhere.

Of course, Obama is quite capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. 2010 can mostly be explained by his new voters staying home - mostly because they are upset that they have graduated college and are living at home without a job, including that job in the West Wing that they all believe they deserved.

If the economy comes back, they will come back to the polls. This is where Obama must frankly dump some of the advice he is getting and instead force Fannie and Freddie to do principal modifications to nip the housing crisis in the bud, as lingering pain in this sector will continue to keep the economy at half speed. More imporanatly, he must find some way to regulate the oil market so that the bubble pops now and not in 2012 (at the behest of David Koch, who knows something about energy trading and who hates Obama). If he ignores these issues, he deserves to lose.

The only question is, who deserves to win?

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