Sunday morning re-up: The GOP rides into the sunset.

I don’t usually post on the weekends, but the readership of this blog has leapt exponentially since Thursday, when I posted a little reminder to the Republican Party regarding how babies are made. So, given the interest and the audience, not to mention the despair that so many of us are feeling about the anti-woman tactics of the current GOP, I thought it made sense to re-up the post I wrote a month or so ago, in which I posit that the Republican Party, as currently constitued, is not long for this world.

So I despair — and I grieve for the lives currently being ruined by these cruel acts of anger, ideology, and political posturing — but I also hope. I don’t forsee (or even wish for) an end to the Republican Party (a two-party democracy cannot thrive in the absence of two viable parties, and our two-party democracy is far too important to me to lose sight of that), but I do quite genuinely foresee an end to the race-baiting, homophobia, poor-shaming and misogyny. Because the American people simply doesn’t buy it anymore.

(And thanks again, so much, for coming by! If you scroll down, you’ll also find a general introduction to the blog).

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Ok, I’m just going to say this crazy thing out loud:

It is my professional opinion, as a typer of words for little pay and longtime citizen of these United States, that the GOP as we know it will soon, within my lifetime, be a thing of the past.

BEFORE YOU START TELLING ME I’M WRONG, let’s focus on the words “as we know it.”

I’m not suggesting that the Republican Party will disappear, nor that a third party will rise to threaten it. No apocalypse, no Zombie Lincoln coming back to regain the brand.

I’m merely suggesting that the GOP that very clearly has little-to-no time for gay people, black people, Latino people, Asian people, not-rich people, not-Christian people, or women people, will, within a generation, have to find a new way to keep big business afloat.

My evidence?

The American people.

First of all, fewer than two-thirds of Americans are non-Latino whites. At a certain point, the percentage of the nearly-40% of Americans who are not-Caucasian who get fed up hearing that they don’t know how to work, speak the language of the ghetto, and/or are threatening our economy will reach a tipping point, and the GOP-as-we-know-it will not be able to get them back.

Second of all, the issues on which the GOP-as-we-know-it is campaigning have simply stopped resonating with most Americans. A wee sampling:

Gay marriage is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: Really GOP? ‘Cause 53% of America disagrees with you. Perhaps more to the point, 70% of Americans aged 18-34 disagree – and according Gallup, that number is up from 54% the previous year. Sixteen points in one year!

Birth control is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: I have to admit, I didn’t see this one coming. Abortion? Sure. But suggesting that there’s something wrong with controlling our fertility even if we’re adults, even if we’re married, even if…? Wow. Sorry, GOP, but even Catholics disagree with you here, even when we take into consideration that (contrary to what we were all saying last week) it’s not quite true that 98% of all Catholic women have used birth control (it’s 98% of Catholic women aged 15-44 “for whom a pregnancy would be unintended and who are ‘at risk’ of becoming pregnant“). Apparently, 61% of Catholics support federally-mandated contraception coverage for religiously-affiliated employers — a percentage identical to that of Americans more broadly. (And even on abortion, we’re not really with you: 57% of Americans think abortion should be legal “in all or most cases”).

Increasing taxes on the wealthy is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: Not only do 72% of Americans disagree with the GOP-as-we-know-it on this, but that includes 55% of self-professed Republicans!

Being not-Christian (in a particularly narrowly defined sense of “Christian”) is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: It is true that 78.4% of Americans identify as Christian (51% Protestant, 24% Catholic, the rest various others manners of Christian) — however, not only do 70% of religiously affiliated people (of all religions) believe that “many religions can lead to eternal life,” but 68% believe that even within their own faith community, “there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion.”

And finally, even the GOP’s central, driving issue — Barack Obama is evil/unnatural/will ruin America – has lost a lot of steam: Today the President has a 47% approval rating (including among Catholics [46%. Let's not quibble]) — whereas the GOP’s nominee (stop it – it will not be Santorum) currently has a net favorability rating that has dropped to -24%. That’s right: “Mitt Romney’s net favorability rating has plummeted to NEGATIVE TWENTY-FOUR PERCENT.” I’ll be honest – I’m not sure what that means or how it’s even possible, but I do know that “47% job approval” is better than whatever the hell that is.

So, gentle reader, here’s the point: Whether its leaders realize it or not, the GOP is pulling away from the American shore. Way, waaaaay away. As its primary function is to protect the moneyed class and promote the world-view (to which I believe many Republicans sincerely subscribe) that being not-poor is a simple matter of will, the Republican Party will soon have to start shifting its place on social issues if it’s going to stick to its larger goal.

Bottom line, this is good. There will always be rich people who want to protect their hoard from the hordes, but as we chip away at the social issues, we’ll also (unbeknownst to them) be chipping away at the economic ones. The more people who are genuinely enfranchised, the better the power will be distributed.

Other bottom line? It’s up to us to give the GOP the push. If we want the Republicans to stop assaulting the rights and dignity of entire American communities, we need to act on the knowledge that Americans don’t like what they say. Whatever the hell kind of not-Republican you consider yourself to be, you have to get involved with the 2012 election. You can start here, or here, or by picking up the phone and calling your local Democrats.

Let’s regain the House, strengthen our hold on the Senate, sweep through our statehouses and city halls, and show the GOP what America really thinks.

Remember 2010: Elections have consequences. Polls don’t matter, unless people vote.

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12 Comments

  1. Beth Harrelson

     /  March 18, 2012

    Politics and politicians are the problem. I don’t believe that the conservative voters are all bigots who want pollution, damn abortion and contraceptives, are war-mongers or homophobes, etc, etc, etc. On the other side of the coin I don’t believe the reverse of the liberal side. Politicians talk and promise and once they achieve their goal they keep a few tiny promises to say “Look what I’ve done.” In your lifetime how many politicians have actually ever done much of anything that has made a true positive change that caused permanent, good for any group of people? Every campaign we hear the same blather from BOTH sides. My niece recently was killed. She was an extreme liberal and feminist. The funny thing was we both had the same beliefs and goals in life and desires for our country and way of life. I loved her so much, not in spite of her beliefs, but because she was who she was, a very strong, intelligent woman who actively participated in actions that improved the world, helped others one at a time as needed and living her beliefs.
    Politicians spend their lives getting elected and re-elected. They should be held accountable in their job just as we are. They are employed by us and my vote is to fire every single one of them and start over with much stiffer rules for their productivity and truthfulness.
    In our town we have a Catholic hospital and a non-denominational hospital across the street from each other. Talk about freedom of choice…there it is, which door will you choose. The cooperation between the two is outstanding. I wish all major cities could have the set-up we do. The medical corridor is outstanding and always looking for ways to improve.
    Our government is working for us, we need to make them accountable. Brainstorming for compromise to make as many constituents happy is their job. There is no way to please 100% of the population. WE shouldn’t have to be arguing over these things. It’s a waste of our precious time.
    Just my thoughts…which I have plenty of and still maintain the right to express them, Thank God!

    AS for the insurance company paying for the contraceptives…no two insurance companies cover all of the same things. Usually, from what I understand you need to petition your employer to have that added to the policy. Most of the time with enough pressure from employees, it works.
    Sorry for the long spiel.

  2. Susan Isherwood

     /  March 18, 2012

    Is this Emil Hauser from Hartt 1969-73? I hope it is; I have searched for you many times.
    BTW, I agree with 100%.

  3. Susan Isherwood

     /  March 18, 2012

    Sorry EmilY Hauser.

  4. ed note: I’ve deleted the comments that the person you were responding to left, making your reply kind of oddly meaningless! Please feel free to comment again – I was juggling comments, etc, from the road, and now believe I made a mistake by allowing the first poster through in the first place.

  5. No problem. I found him all too typical, but admit that I returned ready to explain white male privilege and why a white male could never possibly know what it was because he never knew what it wasn’t.
    Soldier on, Emily Hauser. Your perceptive insights are exceeded only by your writing talent.

  6. Hey, E

    Missed this first time around and would like to add a couple of points. In light of the many, many voter suppression laws that have been passed around the country by the newly empowered Republican legislatures, I propose that it is imperative that the collective WE do what we can to help voters get registered, get the documents they need to obtain ID (where necessary), be advocates for enfranchising voters across the country. The worst outcome I can see is for prospective voters to give up because the act of registering has become onerous.

    Another option is to contact your local elections office and volunteer to help at the polls on election day. Or go to the party offices of your choice and volunteer as a poll watcher.

    My point is to do everything you can to help spread the voting franchise to as many voters as you can. It is both our constitutional right and civic responsibility to participate in the electoral process. Make your voice heard at the polls and help others to do so too.

    • My point is to do everything you can to help spread the voting franchise to as many voters as you can.

      That’s the trick, I think. I think that’s where I’ll have to get involved as the election approaches.

  7. I’m actually sympathetic to your point about the demographic disaster that is the GOP’s future, and I agree that the party’s going to look very different in 20 years.

    But I can’t agree about the unpopularity of their positions being particularly important. I went into this in more detail over at my place a little while back, but the long and the short off it is, what’s the evidence that the merit and popularity of a politician’s proposals matter?

    Sure, everything in the ACA is popular (except the mandate that makes it work), but the GOP has spent three years barking about death panels and socialism, so it’s not that popular. Sure, voters don’t want an economic agenda consisting of nothing but tax cuts for the wealthiest earners, but that’s been the GOP’s MO for over a decade, and now they have the House. Sure, by a wide margin, economists believe that the stimulus was very effective, but a narrow plurality of Americans oppose it. Sure, every economist will tell you there’s very little the president can do about gas & oil prices, but we blame him anyway.

    The Republican Party’s mendacity, and the media’s inability to accurately report the news, mean that facts don’t matter in our political discourse. If elections were about rational policy preferences, then the GOP would be at a serious disadvantage. But you go to elections with the discourse you have, not the discourse you wish you had.

  8. They have doomed themselves by their own actions. You can’t tick off EVERYBODY and expect to win elections, not even (eventually) on a local level. That said, they will not go quietly, and what will come post-November will make what’s happening now seem absolutely quaint. The toughest fight is yet to come.

  9. No, they will not go quietly. Nobody who is that right (as in correct) will go away quietly. In fact, they will only go down kicking and screaming about how right they are and how wrong everyone else is. I think we need only look at the McCarthy Era business to see how this is likely to go down. The sad part is the amount of collateral damage that will come with it.

  10. Sandman

     /  March 22, 2012

    Numbers nitpick: you’re comparing an Approval rating to a Net Favorability rating. While it’s not quite apples-and-oranges, they are different. Approval rating is just that: the percentage of respondents who approve of X. Net favorability is the Disapproval rating subtracted from Approval rating — the percentage of people who approve of X minus the percentage of people who disapprove of X. Which is how you get a negative net favorability rating. In this case, 24% more of poll respondents disapprove of Mitt Romney than approve of him.

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