Few nights ago I was watching Rachel Maddow go through one of her long rants, armed with charts, graphs, and tons of documentation, about how the nation has become increasingly conservative in the past half-century.
It left me thinking that the Republican Party has adopted a Vladimir Lenin, Soviet Union, approach to fighting its political battles. Make some gains, fall back a little to avoid bloodshed, and after the dust settles take another leap forward. Doesn’t matter if you win or lose in the short-run as long as in the long-run you end up at your goal.
The extreme conservative wing of the GOP is determined to make America a bastion of right-wing ideology. It is hellbent on making this a one-party, strict constructionist, heterosexual, male dominated, Christian based theocracy where little room remains for free thinking progressives.
If Rachel’s charts, graphs and evidence is correct the conservatives are inching towards their goal. The conservatives continue to drift further to the right of center while the liberals inch closer to the center line and overall the nation becomes more conservative. Look at Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who neither are traditional liberal Democrats. In their fiscal policies both are much closer to the center than LBJ was with his Great Society and War on Poverty. Both are closer to Ronald Reagan than any of today’s candidates, the GOP having moved that far to the right.
So, where does the current insanity of the Republican Presidential Clown Mobile fit into all of this. Unlike a horse race where the fastest horses head for the inside, today’s GOP candidates couldn’t get to the outside far-right fast enough. Their focus hasn’t been on the things Americans worry about, it’s been on who can claim the title, Most Conservative. To prove his claim to the title Mitt Romney even coined a new political adjective, “severely” conservative.
Santorum caught flak in one of the debates for saying politics was a team sport and he took one for the team in several of his decisions while serving in the Senate. Well, I think maybe Santorum is still doing the team’s bidding. The right had Obama on the ropes with the church v. state issue swirling around contraceptives. But they couldn’t leave it at that, especially Santorum. They had to turn this into an issue that makes them look like they are going to war against any woman who has ever used or considered birth control measures.
In the end the bulbous nosed candidates of the GOP are wreaking havoc on the party’s chances of victory in November. But possibly that’s the plan. Maybe the party’s leaders, Rush, Shawn, Glen & Ann, realized they couldn’t win with any of these candidates so why not push them as far to the insane right as possible. Then, four-years later, come back with a slightly saner slate of candidates and maybe the 2016 version of conservatism will seem more rational and acceptable than today’s version.
Like some old Soviet dude may have once said, take two-steps forward followed by one-step back, do it often enough, and you’ll eventually arrive at your goal. Today’s GOP team is just playing this one for the Gipper.