Friday, October 9, 2015

So the GOP's Just a Joke?

All the cognoscenti were sneering yesterday at the clown-car wreck in the House of Representatives. Apparently it's laughable, according to the president's spokesman, that the House GOP can't get its act together in electing a new Speaker.

As usual, it's the Democrats whose slip is showing. It reminds me of Nancy Pelosi's confidence back in 2009 that the Tea Party was an AstroTurf outfit. Of course it was, Nance, because in the Democratic Party, it would have been.Think Occupy Wall Street.

So the Democrats are sneering because a cock-up on the Speaker front could never happen in the Democratic Party. Exactly, because nothing moves in the Democratic House without Nancy Pelosi approving it. Well, she's such an amazing fundraiser. House members could never do without her.

Also, the Democratic Party lives to keep its various interest groups, from gentry liberals to #BlackLivesMatter, separate from the American mainstream and angried up. It doesn't work the same way on the Republican side.

As I see it, the Republican base is something of an embarrassment to the GOP leadership. And it is something that it doesn't control. Let's compare with gays on the Democratic side. Gays and Democratic leaders are in sync. They know what's on the agenda; they know what the sound bites are. They know what to say and what not to say. All stitched up.

But the GOP leadership is out of sync with the Republican base. I'm not quite sure why that is, but it may have something to do with the fact that the Republican base really doesn't want too much from government. It just wants to be left alone.

But what do you do with a base that just wants to be left alone? How does a politician deal with that? The answer is: not very well. The name of the game of politics is that the politician finds something that need the government to act: protecting America from the world; and then the politician reels in the supporters with promises of free stuff.

So the GOP leadership can't really order the rank and file around. And it can't angry them up with immigration and welfare because political correctness forbids such right-wing extremism. The result is chaos.

But it's a healthy kind of chaos. It's the people demanding that the politicians start paying attention to their concerns. And it's independent representatives breaking with the party leadership because they don't owe their political lives to the leadership, as apparently do Democratic representatives.

So if you ask me, the current confusion and disarray is a sign that democracy is happening in the Republican Party. The politics of the next year heading up to the 2016 election ain't gonna be pretty and it ain't gonna be smart. The only time it is pretty and smart is when it is completely in the hands of the professional imagemakers and completely separated from the people. As in, for example, 2008.

The problem with politics in America right now is that, for about a generation, the political system has been paying absolutely no attention to "typical Americans." It's all been about the marginalized, the minority, the special, the beautiful, the cool. So "typical Americans" are as mad as hell and they aren't going to take it any more.

The amazing thing is that "typical Americans" have put up with it for so long.

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