Saturday, August 22, 2015

Is the GOP Flying Off the Rails? Oh My, Yes...

The sanest moment in the GOP campaign so far? Not many since the Fox debate.

Of course we all remember the GOP "autopsy" shortly after the party lost the 2012 election by an unthinkable margin. In fact, there were some who were staggered on election night that they lost at all, so thorough was the seal on their information bubble.

Anyway, Jindal said that they had to stop being the party of the stupid, and just about every sensible Republican leader said that the party absolutely had to reach out to women, minorities, even to the GLBTQ community. A number of potential candidates ran a few policy proposals in speeches, testing the impact the rhetoric might have.

There was even a burgeoning reformicon movement, trying to pivot the GOP back to being the "party of ideas," and not so radical ones at that.

Then came the ascendancy of Donald Trump, and everything since has become unglued, as candidate after candidate tries to attract attention in a race where it seems The Donald has all the oxygen.

Bob Cesca of Salon pitches his take on the madness:
So, the far-right is mainstreaming slavery; it’s pushing for women and even young girls to die from complicated pregnancies or to birth the children of rapists; it’s planning to strip the citizenship clause from an amendment that was ratified 150 years ago; it’s embracing racist colloquialisms; and it’s acting upon videos that are proven hoaxes. The Republican race for the presidency is all about who’s better at blurting ridiculous non-sequiturs — all of it following the lead of their reality-show frontrunner.
If there is one place where the GOP may have crashed for good, it's with the immigration issue. Trump, in the speech announcing his candidacy, blew the lid off. Picking on the Mexicans -- but angering immigrants of all stripes -- he has since that speech doubled, tripled, and quadrupled down, saying build a wall all the way across the Mexican border (making Mexico pay for it?!) and while you at it, gather up every last singe "illegal" immigrant and deport them, all 11 or 12 million of them.

Thoughts on how they'll do with minorities? Anyone? Bueller?

 And how about the womenfolk? When Politico can't find a silver lining (well, they do, among married, non-college-graduate women), you know the Republicans are in trouble:
A detailed report commissioned by two major Republican groups — including one backed by Karl Rove — paints a dismal picture for Republicans, concluding female voters view the party as “intolerant,” “lacking in compassion” and “stuck in the past.”
Women are “barely receptive” to Republicans’ policies, and the party does “especially poorly” with women in the Northeast and Midwest, according to an internal Crossroads GPS and American Action Network report obtained by POLITICO. It was presented to a small number of senior aides this month on Capitol Hill, according to multiple sources.

Even on fiscal matters — traditionally the party’s strongest issue set — Republicans hold only slight advantages that do not come close to outweighing their negative attributes. The GOP holds a 3 percent advantage over Democrats when female voters are asked who has “good ideas to grow the economy and create jobs,” and the same advantage on who is “fiscally responsible and can be trusted with our tax dollars.”
When female voters are asked who “wants to make health care more affordable,” Democrats have a 39 percent advantage, and a 40 percent advantage on who “looks out for the interests of women.” Democrats have a 39 percent advantage when it comes to who “is tolerant of other people’s lifestyles.”
Female voters who care about the top four issues — the economy, health care, education and jobs — vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. Most striking, Democrats hold a 35-point advantage with female voters who care about jobs and a 26 percent advantage when asked which party is willing to compromise. House Republicans say jobs and the economy are their top priorities.
Obviously, I'm deliriously happy about these developments, since as a Democrat I'm secure in the knowledge that not only do Democrats have clear policy positions on women's issues, jobs, education, and immigration, they've had the good common sense to latch on to the most popular ones. This is no accident but the happy result of having voices like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in the race. No longer frightened of their shadows, the Democrats might, driven by these popular issues, secure a significant victory at the polls in 2016.

Heaven knows the Republicans are doing their best to lose. Let's not get in their way.

Who's the biggest prick among the GOP field? Nowadays, it's pick 'em.

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