Thursday, November 13, 2008

Will Repugs Choose Practical or Palin?

Turn your eyes for a moment from the catastrophic wreckage of Democratic Party hopes and dreams here in Kentucky and contemplate the stinking, bloated corpse of the national Republican Party.

Right-wing ideologues are suffering from massive cognitive dissonance (not to mention a healthy helping of denial). They can't grasp why their party imploded because the vast majority of them always supported Bush and his policies and still do. A few conservative critics have blasted him for lacking fiscal discipline, but most right-wing pundits liked Bush's policies just fine -- until the public turned on him and on McCain.


When you add all these things up, there is nowhere for the GOP in its current form to go. Any action it takes to shore up one group will hurt it more with another. If the right continues to make the culture war its main strategy, it will shore up its base with working-class white men in rural areas. But this "Deliverance" strategy, in which the GOP lets the Democrats have every part of the country where large numbers of people live together and targets lone white men surrounded by vast open spaces, is only a ticket to dominance in places like Utah, Arkansas, Idaho and Oklahoma, with their rich treasure trove of 22 electoral votes. The post-election map already shows a weird correlation between unpopulated areas and Republican votes -- not a trend the GOP should be encouraging.

In the coming years we will witness a war between conservatism's pragmatists and its true believers. If the pragmatists win, America will have finally arrived at the era of broad political consensus that pundits erroneously forecast after Lyndon Johnson's demolition of Barry Goldwater in 1964. If the true believers win, we may witness a Palin candidacy in 2012 -- and a likely electoral landslide that will bury the GOP so deeply it may never dig out.

Read the whole thing.

Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic ....