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December 18, 2014

What are Republicans Doing to Themselves?!

The Republican Party, after crushing defeats in the last two Presidential elections, and seeing newly elected members of Congress display racial intolerance, homophobia, and misogyny the likes of which have not been seen in recent history, has had to really sit down and do some soul searching. To their credit, Republican voters seem to have given some real thought to the condition of the not-so-Grand Old Party, and how it might be changed as they move forward to remain relevant, and serve the will of the majority in an evolving America.

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In that spirit, they’ve decided that Republicans simply aren’t conservative enough.

Huh?

Huh?

Hey, I didn’t say they were politically astute, I just said they’d given it some thought.

A recent Pew Research Poll confirms that Republicans are as sadly out of step with the majority of Americans as we thought they were, and that they want to get out of the quagmire and save their party by either:

1) vigorously heading in the wrong direction, or

2) standing in the quagmire.

Neither prospect bodes well for the Republican Party, and depending on your level of generosity, this is either unfortunate, or cause to sit forward in your chair, unblinking, and stuffing popcorn into your face. Extra butter, please.

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So, let’s look at this handy little graphic from the Pew Research Center. It looks pretty bad, but it’s actually worse. What this is really saying is that the number of Republicans who either think their current policies are just perfect as they are, or need to be MORE conservative, break down as follows.

Republicans who think the GOP is on track, or is just too dern liberal on the issues:

Gay Marriage: 60%

Immigration: 74%

Abortion: 67%

Government Spending: 87%

Gun policy: 79%

What’s gonna fix this mess? Heterosexual American babies with guns, that’s what. And we’re not gonna spend any money on ‘em, neither.

Another finding in the Pew poll that could nudge Republicans to the right, or at least keep them from moving to the left: The enthusiasm with which tea party voters participate in elections. While Tea Party-aligned supporters make up just 37 percent of all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, they make up about half of the primary electorate (those who say they always vote in primary elections). In 2012, tea party supporters made up an average of 61 percent of the electorate in Republican primary contests where network exit polls were conducted.

The people who want the country to become more conservative, want it really badly. Apathy by moderate Republicans is ensuring their own demise as candidates realize they must appeal not to the future constituent, but to the one who’s going to get off the couch, or put down the fishing pole, know who the candidates are and what they stand for, and go to the polls on Primary Day.

“You’ve got to really WANT it!” we hear coaches and parents telling their little soccer players. Same rules apply in the voting booth. Those who show up get to drive the bus. Participatory government is soooo annoying like that.

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Although Alaskans can shrug off national polls, and pull out their famous “We don’t care how they do it Outside” line, the truth is that this phenomenon is very real in the 49th state. It’s responsible for the fact that Joe Miller, a Ron Paul/Tea Party conservative Christian, flattened moderate Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski in the Senate primary in 2010. A woman with nine letters and three different vowels in her name then came back to run a successful write-in campaign. Clearly, the majority didn’t actually want Joe Miller, but the majority of those who showed up in August did.

In a state where even in conservative districts the Tea Party’s positive rating hovers only around 23%, it’s not hard to play the “what if” game, and say that had Murkowski bowed out in 2010, we’d have ended up with Democrat Scott McAdams as our Jr. Senator. And this is the Republicans’ problem. If Alaska, which is a fairly red state, came a hair’s width away from having two Democrats in the Senate (McAdams and Begich), it just makes you ask, “What the heck are Republicans doing to themselves?”

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Public Policy Polling recently showed that among Alaskan GOP primary voters, Sarah Palin would be their top pick for the upcoming Senate race. Alaskans don’t like her anymore. They really don’t. But the majority of registered Republicans who are likely to go to the polls on some Tuesday in August to fill in the little oval – DO. And yes, Democrat Mark Begich would trounce her in a general election.

In Alaska, the real problem on a local level comes when moderate Democrats and Independents don’t run for state legislative seats, allowing the Tea Party Republicans who either run unopposed, or defeat moderate opposition in the primary, to get elected in the general. The result is (as we can see with the current makeup) that the legislature ends up being farther right than their constituents are, resulting in laws that don’t accurately represent the will of the people.

This next legislative session, the Republican majority has said that bills will focus on social issues in Alaska. Now that they’ve plundered the state coffers to strew the altar of multinational oil corporations with offerings of cash, and the demise of education, public safety, parks and infrastructure projects, they have time to deal with all that other stuff.

Until Alaskans who are moderate Republicans, Independents, and Democrats start showing up like the Tea Party, we’re in for more of the same. Nationally, if this poll is any indication, we may not see a Republican President for a looong time.

Cheers.

100726 Tea Cup

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Comments
18 Responses to “What are Republicans Doing to Themselves?!”
  1. alpha_ursae_minorise says:

    Could you image what would happen if republicans realized that members of most immigrant groups are, in fact, socially conservative and overcame their allergies to non-caucasians?

  2. OMG says:

    Until the GOP is dealt a serious defeat, they will continue to play to the fringe. Moderate republicans need to suck it up and defeat the monster in their midst. Look at how Marco Rubio is now playing nice to the very fringe elements who want to defeat his immigration reform attempt. Why, because the fringe is louder than the moderates who are terrified of being labeled a RINO and being ‘primaried’ by a tea party candidate. The right keeps lunging further to the right and the electorate keeps encouraging it by voting in these nutters. Heavy sigh.

    On a lighter note…when you look at the math, SarahPAC’s scandalous expenditures are a criminal hoot. She spent about 0.01% on candidates (which are the stated purposed of the PAC) and 99.99% on herself and the overhead it takes to keep the brand alive. WOW! Can you imagine giving to a charity with that kind of expenditure record?! That and she spent more than she took in (as a fiscal conservative) should have her loyal followers in a tizzy…but then again, they want to support their princess in the manner that she has become accustomed.

  3. hedgewytch says:

    I’d like to see this poll juxtaposition on the age demographics of the republican voter. While the Party is going even farther off the deep end of the conservative right, they actual numbers of Republicans have got to be dropping either from disillusionment or old age.

    They won’t go quietly into the night, but they aren’t going to be relevant within the next decade.

    • thatcrowwoman says:

      from your mouth, er, keyboard,
      to Dog’s ears

    • mike from iowa says:

      Of course they won’t go quietly into the night,nights are dark and you know deep down inside how nutters feel about pigments other than white and greenback.

  4. OMG says:

    The news continues to say how the GOP is on the outs but they still control the House and are likely to keep that control. Nate Silver also says there is a good chance of them gaining in the Senate. I don’t get it! Poll after poll suggests that the American public does not identify with their policies now that the fringe is in control but time after time voters go to the ballot box and elect them. Have the inmates taken over the asylum?

  5. AlaskaCodPiece says:

    I agree with Alaska Pi — the voter turnout in Alaska is shameful, no matter if it’s a city/state/federal election.

    It is beyond me why people don’t recognize the importance of their vote, but that’s the sad case here in the Great Land.

    It’s an even sadder case that those elected in gerrymandered districts get to keep their seats in the AK legislature and all their votes stand.

  6. Ice Gal says:

    The republicans are on the right path, but they need to move more to the right, and to be more transparent about eliminating the middle class, and destroying the environment. They should also move their national headquarters to the creation museum grounds, oh and they need to step up the war on women. Go Go
    Go away gop

  7. Alaska Pi says:

    I must be worn out from all our unusual heat because I’m feeling huffy about the whole “Alaskans who are moderate Republicans, Independents, and Democrats start showing up like the Tea Party, we’re in for more of the same.” dealie.
    As a super voter and an utterly immoderate far left Dem I’m getting cranky about trying to stave off the Tea Party cohort on the other side at primary time and having to listen a number of “moderates” who didn’t vote whinge in the General…
    For crying out loud. Vote.
    Every election, every time. Vote.
    And quit shutting me down at Party doings when you ask why you’ve lost rural Alaska and then don’t want to hear some of the whys.
    Dems, yes, I mean YOU.
    Pffft.

  8. Dagian says:

    I don’t suppose anyone has sidled over to Scott McAdams and suddenly thrown themselves down and wept hysterically on his knees to please please please try again, have they? As I’m not an Alaskan it would be unseemly of me to do exactly that.

    Well, today’s Republican party would probably lynch Connie Morella and I’m halfway expecting them to sacrifice the few who can be identified on a stone slab under the light of the full moon.

    This is an older coloumn by a humour writer I enjoy, but I hope that it may provide a giggle to others.

    http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20130629/NEW9000/130629587?p=2&tc=pg

    The most famous half-term governor of all time, Sarah Palin, rejoined her old pals at Fox News this week, transported onto the set via an ivory and gold chair/bed adorned with four posts, a canopy and billowy curtains and held aloft by the dreams of a grateful nation.

  9. Dale says:

    Moderate voters not showing up for primaries, yeah, that’s a problem.

    But let me suggest an alternative solution to “Find a way to motivate the people who don’t feel like voting twice as often”: Use a voting system that seeks consensus.

    http://www.alaskacommons.com/2013/03/14/approval-voting-electoral-reform-that-makes-sense/

    With approval voting in use for the general election, a Murkowski-scale event wouldn’t be a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Moderate candidates would find that–instead of being penalized like they are with plurality voting–that they get a fair shake. Moderates would win, often, instead of always being eliminated in a tea-party-dominated primary.

    (And, on the flip side, we’d see more-moderate Democrats running too. Although, personally, I think McAdams only lost because people were so scared Miller might win, that they voted for Murkowski even though they preferred McAdams.)

  10. mike from iowa says:

    Dems have to take back their state legislatures. Rethugs have picked up enough statehouses and so they control the gerrymandering which allows a minority of one party to align the electorate so the minority stays in power.Rethugs control all these states for at least the next seven years. We best start making inroads so we have a shot of balancing America or else we all fall off the edge of the Earth with the nutters.Texas abd North Carolina are perfect examples of minority parties controlling the agendas.And it ain’t pretty.

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