Staying stupid

Joe Conason on why young Republicans can’t change their party:

The young Republicans bitterly mock the Romney campaign’s technological ineptitude, and complain more broadly about the party’s repellent reputation among young voters, minorities, gays, immigrants, women and everyone sympathetic to them. They largely seem to believe that if the Republican National Committee would hire people like them—and if Rush Limbaugh and Todd Akin would simply shut the eff up—then the party could expand beyond its narrow, aging, white, and religiously conservative base.

As they hasten to assure Draper, these dissidents would adopt a friendlier attitude toward those who are different and are even eager to engineer a few minor platform alterations to accommodate immigrants or gays.

But why would they make such concessions to decency? Not out of any sense of justice or shame. They are not interested in social justice and they only feel ashamed of losing. Rather than honestly confronting the harm done by pandering to bigotry and division, they’d prefer to paper it over with a smiley face and move on.

By proclaiming that their defeats are due mainly to technological inferiority or bad messaging, the young Republicans ignore the underlying source of popular disdain for their party. It is true that their technology was feeble, their candidate and consultants were incompetent, and their messaging was often repellent. But the self-styled hipsters of the right are in fact not much different from the Tea Party octogenarians in their hostility to government investment, social insurance, health care, education, and industry – and both are in conflict with the evolving attitudes of young Americans across all demographic lines.

4 Responses to Staying stupid

  1. imhotep February 22, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    The goal of every Republican is to win. Once they’ve won they have no clue about how to govern. Enter Karl Rove. Bush’s brain. His job was to sweep up every nut case in the USA (mostly neo-fascists), give them a cause to fight (the Socialist Left), and then get them out to vote (using fear as a tactic). Rove accomplished that job. He created a monster that is now devouring the Republican Party. Much to the chagrin of the 1%. So the “establishment” has instructed Rove to kill the beast. But like all lusus naturaes it dosen’t want to die and so it is fighting back.

  2. secondharmonic February 22, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    Maybe imhotep. But I tend to think Republicanism, Randism, whatever, in one form or another, in one name or another is here to stay. Can people be taught consistently not to fear the ‘other’? Can they be taught not to cheat, not to take advantage of momentary opportunities to ‘win’ by screwing someone else over? To not be greedy?
    Just invent a new Party/cult/pyramid scheme that massages everybody who might feel a twinge about any of thee things. Tell them it’s all right. They’re forgiven. Nay, they’re SUPERIOR to those who don’t. They deserve their success. Tell them that, and you have got yourself a winner. Maybe a winning Party. It sure seems a perennially successful formula.

  3. lless February 22, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    All this smug commentary about the demographic doom faced by the Republican Party is gonna blow back. The factors the YR’s point at, most particularly the acute empathy void that was Mitt Romney, can be papered over sufficiently to shift the great unwashed undecided vote and shift a four point margin. The governorships and the state legislatures can’t be viewed in isolation and they are not some enigma wrought by gerrymandering. This country is perilously center right and teetering.

  4. Izquierdo February 22, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

    I doubt that the actual country is center-right.
    The reins of government are, through gerrymandering, voter suppression, vote-counting fraud, a corrupt supreme court, spineless elected Democrats, and complicit media.

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