As Rachel Maddow pointed out in this segment, the media narrative that Republicans "are on the march" may not necessarily be true, because after a number of these very heated primary races, they're at each others' throats instead of uniting as a party and as her guest E.J. Dionne wrote about this week, the Republicans are in the midst of "an insurrection" from the right wing of their party.
Republicans are in the midst of an insurrection. Democrats are not. This vast gulf between the situations of the two parties—not some grand revolt against "the establishment" or "incumbents"—explains the year's primary results, including Tuesday's jarring outcomes in Florida and Alaska.
The agitation among Republicans is not surprising, given the trauma of the final years of George W. Bush's presidency. After heavy losses in 2006 and 2008, it was natural that GOP loyalists would seek a new direction.
Liberals who saw Bush's presidency as a failed right-wing experiment thought Republicans would search for more moderate ground, much as Britain's Tories turned to the soothing leadership of David Cameron to organize their comeback. But this expectation overlooked the exodus of moderates over the last decade, which has shifted the balance of power in Republican primaries far to the right.
As a result, the main critique of Bush in Republican ranks saw him as insufficiently conservative—too inclined to support federal action on education and in expanding prescription drug assistance to the elderly, and too ready to run up the deficit.
That the deficit increased primarily because of two tax cuts and two wars did not enter their calculation because acknowledging this was ideologically inconvenient. In the meantime, the election of President Obama by a demographically diverse coalition anchored among younger voters helped unleash the furies inside an older, overwhelmingly white and Southern-leaning GOP coalition. Read on...
And as Rachel noted, here's just one example in Florida.
But according to the media, get ready for a blood bath for Democrats come this November because Democratic voters aren't enthused and thus aren't going to come out and vote. I hope to hell they're wrong since the prospects of the GOP controlling the House and what it would mean for economy make me shudder. Having to deal with the obstruction in the Senate is bad enough right now.
I agree with Rachel that they're largely ignoring the divides within the Republican party and whether voters are going to want some of the really extreme candidates the right has managed to get pushed in there during the primary process. It is worth asking whether those extreme candidates are going to turn off Republican voters when you're looking at what she pointed out here, and the losers of those primaries were not willing to support the candidate that won and some of them are trashing each other even after the primary races are over.
I guess time will tell soon enough. I hope to hell the Villagers are wrong because as Bill Mayer said, we've got one party that's friendly to corporations and actually cares about still governing and another party that looks like they've lost their collective mind. The Republican Party needs to go the way of the Know Nothings with the track they're following now, and yesterday could not be soon enough.
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