Why the GOP Isn’t Dead Yet

If you understand politics to any serious degree, you should realize that the current incarnation of the GOP is pretty much the walking dead, politically speaking. That said, like the corpses in that iconic TV show, being politically “dead” is meaningless, in a certain way. I cringe every time I see a progressive proclaim with glee that the Trump candidacy is causing the Republican Party to “implode.” It’s as if, all we have to do is just wait and they will keel lover dead and we’ll never have to deal with them again.

If only it worked that way… But it doesn’t.

Do you realize how many times an epitaph has been written on the GOP? And yet, here they are, as obnoxious as always. And they will continue to exist and make our lives hell because it is not possible for a political party to simply fall apart. In politics, as in nature, a vacuum is intolerable, which means, even if the GOP was to fall over and die, some demographic and political group would take its place. And that’s okay. However, it doesn’t happen spontaneously. We have to make it happen. If you want to know why the GOP is still alive and kicking, unicorn progressives need only look in the mirror. You can’t keep shouting that Republicans and Democrats are very much alike and you can’t target Blue Dogs incessantly and then tell everyone how politically savvy you are. It is that kind of simplistic bullshit tat keeps the Republicans in power. If the loudest contingent of the progressive movement would get a clue, we’d be rid of Republicans by now, and we’d be helping to move the Democratic Party left, while simultaneously helping the Republican Party return itself to something respectable. Instead, they whine and complain about Blue Dogs, as if they’re the biggest problem we have. They’re not even close.

If you believe Democrats, even Blue Dogs, are a big problem, you’re being absurd. If you believe President Obama hasn’t been the most progressive president in history, you’re nothing short of insane and I encourage you to rejoin the real world. President Obama is doing as much as anyone could reasonably expect, given the circumstances. If you want Democats to do more, you have to give him the tools. I mean, the blame for the 2010 and 2014 elections falls squarely on unicorn progressives, who are all too keen on blaming Democrats for everything and ignoring Republican excesses, thus helping keep Republicans in power. And if you think that’s no big deal, I encourage you to compare the  first 25 years after World War II, when Democrats and liberal Republicans ran the show, with the last 25 years, which have been dominated by the GOP.

I think about this every time I read some professional lefty pen some ignorant screed about how President Obama wasted his presidency. They are written in such a heartfelt way, I feel bad calling them “ignorant trolls.” Obama didn’t waste his presidency, the professional left did. They started whining about his presidency before he even took office, whining about his choice of Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary even before the inauguration. Even now, these same idiots whine about Geithner, even though nothing bad happened and, in fact, the economy turned around more quickly than anyone thought possible. These people complain about everything and they demand shortcuts for everything, even when a shortcut is a stupid idea. Remember when the pro left drooled all over Lt. Dan Choi and demanded that Obama just ignore the law and reinstate soldiers who had been drummed out of the service over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”? If Obama had done things their way, DADT would still exist AND the GOP would have something to impeach him for. Obama’s approach to immigration has been to deport so many people that we progressives put pressure on Congress to change the law and stop it; instead, the professional left attacks Obama for deporting so many. Cluelessness should only be a Republican trait, but unicorn progressives have it in spades, too.

And all of the comparisons of Obama with FDR and LBJ are missing one key ingredient. Both of those presidents had supermajorities to help them get things passed. Unicorn progressives took Obama’s Congressional majority and flushed it for him. Is this really so incredibly difficult for people who consider themselves “political junkies” to understand? Who in their right mind thinks President Obama had so much he wanted to do during the election, and then just “forgot” it all when he became president? Do unicorn progressives and the professional left really believe that he simply crammed everything into the first two years and then simply blew off the last six? Who do you think is responsible for giving him the most obstructionist and most radical right Congress in history? Does the current GOP really look as if they are able to convince everyone of the righteousness of the cause?

Yes, a lot of great things happened when FDR was in charge, and a lot more happened while LBJ was in charge, but goddamn it; why do so many think that shit just happened because FDR and LBJ were just such “strong leaders”? They didn’t just have a knack for passing legislation, they also had Congressional majorities that made such a thing possible. And they had that because progressives were four-square behind the best political party we had, the Democrats. .

Compare Congress during LBJ’s 5+ years with Congress since January 2011, and explain to us how it’s Obama’s fault he can’t get major things done. They won’t even pass a universal background check bill that is supported by 92 percent of the American people. Democrats would pass that in a heartbeat, but Republicans won’t even consider it. Republicans have yet to pass a significant jobs bill, even as they complain about What a hellscape we are living in. Republicans won’t pass financial reform; they won’t even consider it. Nothing truly progressive will ever happen as long as the Republican Party has chief lawmaking powers. And yet, look at the rhetoric coming from unicorn progressives and the professional left. They love nothing more than to portray the two major political parties as the same. THIS is why the Republican Party won’t die. We have the far right telling us how great Republicans are and how horrifying Democrats are, and we have the far left essentially agreeing with them. The professional left is always telling us how “bold” the GOP is and how Democrats are just as bad. If you’re a swing voter, who are you going to vote for?

Unicorn progressives are responsible for keeping the current version of the Republican Party alive. People who identify as GOP number about 22-24% of the electorate, so the easy question is, if the greatest progressive minds in the country are as smart as they claim to be, how do Republicans keep winning? Someone needs to explain that. The problem is, their political strategic skills are terrible, as evidenced by the fact that someone who is presumably qualified to speak in public about politics seems to misunderstand basic civics. LBJ signed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, Medicaid, Medicare and all of that. He signed them. What do they imagine he signed? He signed bills passed by Congress. A Congress with a Democratic supermajority.

If you want Hillary Clinton to be progressive and effective, you have to give her a Congress that is willing to do what she proposes and is willing to pass bills that he can sign. There is only one political party that will do that most of the time. Giving a Democratic president a far right Congress and then demanding progressive policies is like giving a fisherman a mallet and demanding that he catch a tuna for dinner. You can wish for it, but it’s never actually going to happen. In order to get new policies and programs, Congress needs to pass them. Presidents can’t just decide to go ahead and do something; Congress has to pass a law. If you want presidents to be progressive, then give them the tools. You don’t elect the first black president, and then give him a Congress run by a party that hates him for being black. It doesn’t work.

The reason the GOP is still alive is because of unicorn progressives and the professional left. Trump can’t kill the Republican Party, only we can.

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One comment

  1. One bit of key evidence that is missing from your essay is that Obama had just enough congressional support at the time to get the ACA passed. And even that was a bloody battle that generated more compromises than we would like. But overall your point is right on.

    At this point the biggest risk to Hillary is that since she is so far ahead in public and media opinion that many Democrat voters might stay home and not vote since they think it won’t matter. So in a twisted way the media that is still trying to portray (or manufacture) a horse rase is actually doing a service for us.

    Really the biggest thing to worry about now is all the down-ballot races. Many of them are going well but I wouldn’t be happy until I see the Republicans lose every single one.

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