What biology teaches about the GOP predicament

The biggest unanswered question revolving around the 2012 GOP presidential campaign is why?

Why is the field so lackluster? Why does it consist of Mitt Romney, a mediocre candidate whom much of the party continues to reject, running against a variety of unacceptable alternatives? I mean, when a man with as much baggage as Newt Gingrich remains viable this late in the process, it suggests a major leadership vacuum in the party.

As Democratic consultant Paul Begala writes today in the Daily Beast, “When I look at the economy, I think Obama can’t win, but when I look at the Republicans, I think he can’t lose.”

Gingrich_2012_Carr_t618

So what’s the explanation? Why, at a moment of great opportunity, has the party fielded such weak candidates?

To answer that question, it may be useful to import a concept from biology called “genetic diversity.” According to science, species that boast a wide range of genetic diversity, with a lot of variation, are generally healthier and more robust than species in which genetic diversity is restricted. In the field and in the lab, researchers have found that genetically diverse populations can fend off illnesses more easily and can adapt quickly to changing conditions; genetically similar populations find it much more difficult to respond to such challenges.

Genetic diversity explains why mongrels claimed from the humane society tend to be more hardy than their purebred cousins. It’s also why monoculture agriculture, in which vast swaths of farmland are planted in one genetically identical crop, is extremely vulnerable to pests and disease.

I would argue that by rejecting ideological variation and pursuing purity, the Republican Party has turned itself into a political monoculture that is unable to respond well to changed conditions. And as we’ve seen, by insisting that the most important test of a leader is his or her willingness to abide by a pre-ordained orthodoxy, they tend to produce a leadership class that shies away from creativity, imagination and innovation.

We’ve all seen that process at work. Any scent of heretical thought or deviation among Republicans is quickly sniffed out, its source ostracized as a RINO, or Republican In Name Only. The conservative media serves to enforce that orthodoxy, its power and profitability depending on its ability to punish those who might stray. Over time, the strain of acceptable conservative thought has become more and more pure, to the point that today Ronald Reagan himself would be dismissed as a RINO.

In stark contrast, the Democrats have no real counterpart to the concept of RINO, and they do not consider the term “moderate” to be a deadly epithet, as it is among Republicans. Depending on the state or district, it can in fact be a label to be embraced. They lack a sternly enforced party discipline and orthodoxy, and the truth is that their “squishiness” has significant drawbacks.

For example, Democrats in Congress rarely produce the unanimous party-line votes that allow Republicans to get maximum leverage from their numbers. And while Democrats tend to speak in a jumbled cacophony, their GOP opponents speak one clear message to the voters from many voices. The result is that “Republican” is a sharply defined brand, while “Democrat” is much more amorphous.

According to biologists, a lack of genetic diversity becomes a particular problem in times of great change, when adaptability is at a premium. And I would argue that in politics, this is one of those times. What we thought we knew about this world and this country no longer applies. The environment has changed dramatically, and those quickest to adapt and experiment are those most likely to succeed.

100818_mitt_romney_ap_328-600x325

The Republican Party, however, cannot bring itself to admit that capitalism unbound can lead to dangerous excesses; its ideology insists that capitalism has no faults whatsoever, and that any or all failings of the system can be attributed to imperfections imposed on capitalism by government.

Likewise, it cannot acknowledge that the ever-increasing share of wealth accruing to the richest of Americans poses economic, moral and social challenges to this country. And if they cannot admit the existence of a problem, they certainly cannot propose conservative approaches to address it.

Those beliefs have become increasingly difficult to defend in light of the events of the past five years. Yet the GOP is unable to bring itself to adapt to this changed environment.

Earlier in the primary season, Jon Huntsman tried to challenge the Republican orthodoxy head-on and was predictably brushed aside as a RINO. In his own unique fashion, the ever-rebellious Gingrich is trying to do the same, but through a more guerrilla-type approach.

With his attacks on Romney as a symbol of capitalism run amok, Newt is attempting to inject a needed degree of ideological variation into the intra-party debate. Sure, he’s doing so purely out of self-interest — he’s Newt Gingrich, after all — but that’s how the process works. Like any opportunistic predator, he sees weakness and is trying to attack it.

Given all that, the ferociousness of the counterattack against Gingrich is hardly surprising. He portrays himself as a threat to the GOP establishment, and the establishment sees him that way as well. And if the Republican Party goes on to do poorly in this election cycle, I suspect that Gingrich will get a lot of the blame, at least initially, from his fellow Republicans.

But in the end, he’s doing his party a favor.

– Jay Bookman

421 comments Add your comment

JOE Cool

January 30th, 2012
10:40 am

Stonethrower

January 30th, 2012
10:40 am

Prediction for gas to be $5 a gallon by the summer which will cause a domino effect resulting in Mitt being our next president.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

January 30th, 2012
10:40 am

Oh no the biology-deniers are going to have a field day……

Redneck Convert (R---and proud of it)

January 30th, 2012
10:41 am

Well, we might could be a little puny in the choices, but just look at this other guy, Obama! I can’t answer your questions, Bookman. All I know is, hate does strange things to people. Us Republicans are mad as heck and we’re not going to take it anymore. It’s just that we don’t quite know what to do about it.

Talking Head

January 30th, 2012
10:45 am

Biology also teaches us about natural selection. There is no government in the field or lab, and those who can’t figure out a way to continue on don’t make it.

ty webb

January 30th, 2012
10:46 am

A “lackluster” field?…I don’t recall Jay’s writing this when the dem’s put up plagiarizing crazy uncle, a lying race pimp, a Jr. Senator from illiinois, and a paranoid(vast right wing conspiracy?)wife of a serial philanderer, and a cheating ambulance chaser with nice hair…oh, and Dennis Kucinich, in 2008.

Normal

January 30th, 2012
10:47 am

Does this mean that the GOP has become the runt of the litter? :)

Steve - USA (I support "None Of The Above")

January 30th, 2012
10:48 am

Talking Head@10:45

Good Point.

Welcome to the Occupation

January 30th, 2012
10:49 am

Ok I’ll just go ahead and get this out there:

inbred.

moonbat betty

January 30th, 2012
10:49 am

Sounds kinda RACIST

bill arp

January 30th, 2012
10:50 am

If the things Newt is saying were coming out of Mitt’s mouth, he’d be a shoe-in.

Lord Help Us

January 30th, 2012
10:50 am

The right can thank Fox news, Hannity, Limbaugh, and many others for creating their conundrum. It does wonders for ratings, but it stinks for ‘conseratism.’

Road Scholar

January 30th, 2012
10:50 am

Stone: No, the reality of $% /gal gas may do that. Predictions are not reality.

Redneck: “…we’re not going to take it anymore.”

If you can decide what “it” is?!

Heck, Jay, pretty soon you’ll have a column on Darwinism and it will blow the conservatives’ minds!

AmVet - Every time a publicly educated neo-con drives on public roads they are Marxists.

January 30th, 2012
10:53 am

So, ty, in your red herring way, you acknowledge that this GOP slate, like the last one, is a farce?

Adaptability?

Diversity?

Are these the uber-liberal code words for the repudiated, irrelevant, countermanded and heretical teachings of Charles Darwin???

Say it ain’t so, Joe!

The earth is only 6000 years old and the stupid ass dinosaurs wouldn’t get on the ark.

Notwithstanding your excellent article, Jay, a more “common” description that I use for this dysfunctional, deadly and generally disgraceful GOP is stuck on stupid…

Gingrich/McCarthy 2012.

Lord Help Us

January 30th, 2012
10:53 am

Do ‘conservative’ family trees have limbs?

Peadawg

January 30th, 2012
10:54 am

“When I look at the economy, I think Obama can’t win, but when I look at the Republicans, I think he can’t lose.”

That’s pretty spot on.

Lord Help Us

January 30th, 2012
10:54 am

godless heathen

January 30th, 2012
10:57 am

Good points, Jay. The GOP is going to have to at some point shake off the burden of the fundies, and become more in tune with he current climate. However, the message has to be clear and simple in order to remain viable. And if that message is centered on a smaller, less intrusive Federal Government, it will be successful.

ByteMe

January 30th, 2012
10:57 am

The Republican Party is only 6000 years old. My bible tells me so.

mm

January 30th, 2012
10:57 am

Jay, good article.

“And while Democrats tend to speak in a jumbled cacophony, their GOP opponents speak one clear message to the voters from many voices. The result is that “Republican” is a sharply defined brand, while “Democrat” is much more amorphous.”

You need to look no farther than this blog to see rightwing lies repeated day after day after day. They do stay on message, they just rarely know what the hell they are talking about.

Granny Godzilla

January 30th, 2012
10:58 am

Intellectual Inbreeding…..funny but true.

Jay

January 30th, 2012
11:00 am

“Biology also teaches us about natural selection. There is no government in the field or lab, and those who can’t figure out a way to continue on don’t make it.”

I disagree with your implication there, Ty. Among many species in the field, the stronger are expected to help the weaker, even at the risk of their own individual well-being. It is part of nature’s code of survival.

ByteMe

January 30th, 2012
11:00 am

And if that message is centered on a smaller, less intrusive Federal Government, it will be successful.

You’ve hit on a point, but didn’t take it far enough.

They have to stop trying to screw their own message of a “less intrusive Federal Government” with their desire to regulate what happens in our personal lives (abortion, birth control).

ty webb

January 30th, 2012
11:00 am

Amvet,
actually, I like 50% of the field…Romney and Paul. Don’t really care about evolution. Just wish we could genetically construct a hybrid of those two by november…and maybe throw in a little Gary Johnson too.

ByteMe

January 30th, 2012
11:03 am

Just wish we could genetically construct a hybrid of those two by november…and maybe throw in a little Gary Johnson too.

The problem is “which part of Romney”? And how do you know that part isn’t already compromised by his ever-shifting positions on things?

Recon 2533 1811

January 30th, 2012
11:04 am

Wow, this one is way out in left field. The only ones who deny that the Democrats aren’t controlled by the far left is the far left. Unfortunately the “Blue Dogs” who must not be mongrels as they haven’t been a hardy breed are now pretty close to extinction. Since the typical Democrat has progressed over recent years from garden variety liberal to far left socialist I wonder how the concept of “genetic diversity” will be working out now for the party of irresponsibility.

Mary Elizabeth

January 30th, 2012
11:04 am

Excellent theory, with much merit.

I would, also, posit that a major reason that the Republican Party has a paucity of candidates of quality is that the core values of the present day Republican Party are spiritually lacking (in the larger sense of spiritual). Their core values are not connecting with the growing world consciousness toward egalitarianism.

For the most part, Republicans continue to view others with an outdated, hierarchial vision, i.e., those of more wealth, power, intelligence (you name the adjective) are more worthy than other human beings. The present Democratic Party embraces an egalitarian vision for the world and, contrary to popular Republican opinion, the present day Democratic Party’s egalitarian vision is more reflective of the original tenets of this nation, as penned by Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self-evident. . .all men are created equal.”

The Democratic Party is moving toward the future; the Republican Party is wedded to the past. That difference in vision shows forth in the caliber of candidates from each party.

Fred

January 30th, 2012
11:04 am

What a hilariously spot on observation Jay.

The moronic hard core right wing fanatical sheep who post here day after day are a perfect example. Anyone who does not walk lock step with their lunacy is instantly dismissed as a “liberal” or a “lefty” and automatically “loves Obama” and is a Democrat. And that simply isn’t true.

I seem many here who are like me, independent. if the Republicans COULD and WOULD field a candidate of any worth, I would probably vote for them in a heart beat. But unfortunately for the sycophants I DO have a brain and need more than their bumper sticker slurs against the sitting President and I need some true ideas that are not hate filled invective that will actually WORK. The Republican recycled version of substituting the ‘Messicans” for the Jews that Hitler used to ‘unite” Germany doesn’t fly with me. Their continued support of shipping all American jobs and manufacturing ability (and hence crippling vital military production industries) doesn’t fly for me. Their continued support of the billionaires with the Marie Antoinette attitude of :let them eat cake” doesn’t fly for me.

It doesn’t fly for anyone other than the weirdo fanatics. The idiots who listen like sheep to talk radio and have the “I’m so smart, you are so stupid” attitude.
If you don’t think like i’ve been programmed to think then you are REALLY stupid and it’s my job to insult you, berate you, and do the same to your wife and children. Wow, sounds like a group I REALLY want to join……….

AmVet - Every time a publicly educated neo-con drives on public roads they are Marxists.

January 30th, 2012
11:05 am

Sometimes the songs, apropos to the subject of unadaptable faux conservatism, just kind of pick themselves…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsTK2LHZKPQ

(ir)Rational

January 30th, 2012
11:05 am

My first gut reaction to this piece was to laugh derisively at Jay thinking that it’s a good thing he is paid to write opinion based and not fact based articles. Then I gave it some more thought and realized this isn’t a bad analogy. It also explains why I, and many of the people I know that are around my age, feel we have no real party to gravitate to. We’re typically more fiscally conservative, socially liberal, educated enough to understand things like natural science and feel that the government just needs to stay out of our lives as much as is possible. The lack of evolution of either party to address our beliefs and ideas leaves us without a viable choice of political parties. It leaves me, at least for every election I’ve been voting in, choosing the “lesser of two evils” when I vote.

What biology teaches about the GOP…

January 30th, 2012
11:06 am

[...] What biology teaches about the GOP predicamentAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Why is the field so lackluster? Why does it consist of Mitt Romney, a mediocre candidate whom much of the party continues to reject, running against a variety of unacceptable alternatives? I mean, when a man with as much baggage as Newt Gingrich …Tea party v. establishment in 2012 race: A battle for the GOP soul?Fox NewsIn Florida, Romney could lead Republicans out of the wildernessAljazeera.comHistorical echoes in Romney-Gingrich battleWashington Post (blog)National Journal -PolicyMicall 3,731 news articles » [...]

ty webb

January 30th, 2012
11:07 am

as the Kama Sutra says…there’s nothing wrong with changing positions.

Steve - USA (I support "None Of The Above")

January 30th, 2012
11:08 am

Fred,

You basically just did everything you said you dislike.

A Conservative

January 30th, 2012
11:10 am

According to science….

Annnnnd I stopped reading.

St Simons - codewords are the new black

January 30th, 2012
11:10 am

there is no future in the Future for the failed ideology of the neocon

ask the kids – they know

ty webb

January 30th, 2012
11:10 am

I see Fred just finished reading “Irony for Dummies”.

Jane Doe

January 30th, 2012
11:11 am

Excellent article Jay! In the past African Americans endured several years of oppression because the laws were written to hinder their progress. They survived harsh treatments and being placed in the category of being second class citizens. Things are somewhat different today and they are the most diverse and adaptable species around. It can be summed up in one word; SURVIVOR!

Adam

January 30th, 2012
11:12 am

Fascinating take, but I really don’t think you can argue genetic diversity with a bunch of people who consider genetic “oneness” as a strength. It also sort of speaks to the aristocratic and “royal” nature of the party right now.

Steve - USA (I support "None Of The Above")

January 30th, 2012
11:13 am

(ir)Rational@11:05

I feel the same way.

Talking Head

January 30th, 2012
11:13 am

“I disagree with your implication there, Ty. Among many species in the field, the stronger are expected to help the weaker, even at the risk of their own individual well-being. It is part of nature’s code of survival.”

Not intended to be a factual statement. For instance, “Among many species in the field, the stronger are expected to help the weaker, even at the risk of their own individual well-being” So why do mothers of serveral species eat the (weak) young and not give them a bail out?

godless heathen

January 30th, 2012
11:13 am

Byte: “They have to stop trying to screw their own message of a “less intrusive Federal Government” with their desire to regulate what happens in our personal lives (abortion, birth control).”

I thought that was covered in the “shake off the burden of the fundies” part of my post.

Welcome to the Occupation

January 30th, 2012
11:15 am

According to science ..

There’s your sign. :)

Fred

January 30th, 2012
11:16 am

ty webb

January 30th, 2012
11:10 am

I see Fred just finished reading “Irony for Dummies”.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

you are the poste child for hate filled invectives and bumper sticker lunacy. Thank you for proving my hypothesis so quickly. My mom has been dead for 20 years so it won’t help you too much to insult her, but that still leaves my wife and daughter free for you to target.

ByteMe

January 30th, 2012
11:16 am

So why do mothers of serveral species eat the (weak) young and not give them a bail out?

Because if they didn’t “cull the herd” early, they risk overrunning their own environment with too many survivors vying for too little food. That’s a “survival” mechanism for the species.

And you’d know that if you had stayed awake during bio class. :)

AmVet - Every time a publicly educated neo-con drives on public roads they are Marxists.

January 30th, 2012
11:17 am

ty, fair enough.

I’m not certain Mitt would be a disastrous president. It depends on which Mitt showed up – the more moderate, rational one of yesteryear or the new and unimproved neo-con version.

I think that Ron Paul has a lot of great ideas mixed in with a bunch of absurd ones.

Obama will again not deserve my vote.

Therefore, I’m in a bit of quandary as to whom I will cast my vote for.

(Stay tuned, presuming he is eligible as a write in candidate, I’m investigating Rocky Anderson as a real possibility…)

mm

January 30th, 2012
11:17 am

“Since the typical Democrat has progressed over recent years from garden variety liberal to far left socialist”

I rest my case.

Wild Eyes

January 30th, 2012
11:17 am

Jay
The World has empirical proof that unrestricted capitalism and deregulated/privatized markets do not work. Yet as you say the Republican continue to hold fast to Friedman’s lies at the expense of this great country.

Chile
Argentina
Russia
Europe
USA

Adam

January 30th, 2012
11:17 am

ty: So why do mothers of serveral species eat the (weak) young and not give them a bail out?

Because they are not similar to humans. Please do try to keep up.

Tribe mentality exists in MANY mammal species. What species are YOU thinking of?

ByteMe

January 30th, 2012
11:18 am

I thought that was covered in the “shake off the burden of the fundies” part of my post.

it sort-of was, if anyone knew what a “fundie” was. There are fundamentalists on the capitalism side (the Rand-istas) as well as on the social side.

Adam

January 30th, 2012
11:19 am

Since the typical Democrat has progressed over recent years from garden variety liberal to far left socialist

This didn’t happen. However, what DID happen is that conservatives have been indoctrinated to believe this kind of drivel without any semblance of factual data or even remote reality-based opinion data to back it up.

Brad Spencer

January 30th, 2012
11:19 am

Of course they don’t have the integrity to call Reagan a RINO.

godless heathen

January 30th, 2012
11:22 am

fundie = fundamentalist Christian for those not in the know. ;)

ByteMe

January 30th, 2012
11:22 am

Of course they don’t have the integrity to call Reagan a RINO.

Are you referring to Reagan the person or “Reagan” the myth they’ve created in the 20+ years since he’s been out of office? The myth is how they keep politicians in line. The person was much more moderate than they remember.

Fred

January 30th, 2012
11:22 am

Steve – USA (I support “None Of The Above”)

January 30th, 2012
11:08 am

Fred,

You basically just did everything you said you dislike.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In what way? How is pointing out the idiocy and decisiveness of the fanatical far right wing some how “hate filled?” Facts are facts. Fanatics, no matter what they are fanatical are by definition nut jobs. They are incapable of rational thought and susceptible to nothing but base emotional response. Look at the synonyms for a fanatic: zealot, bigot, hothead, militant.

I was actually spot on in what I said. It’s not my fault you don’t know what a fanatic is. I didn’t say “Republicans” or “Conservatives, or “Right Wingers.” i made a very deliberate and distinct definition of those whom I was talking about. The hard core nut case fanatics.

Read ALL the words, not just the ones that you want to see………….

Adam

January 30th, 2012
11:23 am

godless: “I SMOTE THEE!” :D

ty webb

January 30th, 2012
11:23 am

adam,
I didn’t say that. Someone else posted that.

ByteMe

January 30th, 2012
11:23 am

fundie = fundamentalist Christian for those not in the know

I need a new dictionary :)

Robert Lee

January 30th, 2012
11:24 am

This is the part that confuses me, when did somewhat normal Repubs decide that anyone who is not 100% behind their views is now extremely far left socialist, marxist, closet gay. I’ve considered myself in agreement with some of both sides positions but now I’m an extreme leftist according to some. When did the lines move?

Quagmire

January 30th, 2012
11:25 am

Great Article Jay,

Valiet points, republicans have never and will never acknowledge the short-comings of their party. For years they have protected the rich and wealthy and now it’s all coming to a head. They fell in line with the War in Iraq and anything W and Cheney wanted to do. I’m a registered Independent but I do support President Obama. One of the reasons is because of the Racist attitudes that republicans have for him and anyone who looks like him, plus they little respect that they have for the Institution of the Presidency. Look at how the govt of Arizona pointed her finger at the President. If that been the other way around, President Obama would have been call sub-human. I disliked george bush and his administration 2000%, reasons too long to blog. I never ever spoke a bad word about President’s Bush family or wife. Republicans destroyed the party of Lincoln years ago. What the party stood for in the 1800’s is total different than now. The biggest enemy that the republican party has in 2012, is the “republican party”

Fred

January 30th, 2012
11:26 am

Amvet: How in the HELL did Rocky Anderson (if he’s the one I’m reading about) get to be Mayor of Salt Lake City? I thought that place was the center of the conservative Mormons…………

Jm

January 30th, 2012
11:26 am

Lots and lots of silliness in this column

Anyway

The liberal equivalent of a RINO is called “a sellout”. Usually to “corporate America”.

Welcome to the Occupation

January 30th, 2012
11:26 am

Unfortunately the “Blue Dogs” who must not be mongrels as they haven’t been a hardy breed are now pretty close to extinction

As I said the other day, Recon, the Blue Dogs were defeated by Republicans! Not Democrats. What’s so hard to understand about that?

Moderate RINO Republicans are ruthlessly purged and hounded out of office and Blue Dogs go down to defeat across the board, and these conservatives think the left side of the political spectrum is moving further left?

It’s absolute delusion.

Steve - USA (I support "None Of The Above")

January 30th, 2012
11:28 am

Fred,

Your pretty angry for a Monday morning. I suggest that you refrain from starting out a rant about name calling by avoiding comments like “moronic hard core right wing fanatical sheep”.

That whole pot-kettle thing.:)

Welcome to the Occupation

January 30th, 2012
11:28 am

Jm: “The liberal equivalent of a RINO is called “a sellout”. Usually to “corporate America”.”

The “liberal equivalent” of a RINO is an average Democrat, comfortably at home in his or her party. Simple as that, Jm.

Adam

January 30th, 2012
11:29 am

ty: sorry

Jm: Yeah and Democrats TOTALLY hold them to account for that….

Fred

January 30th, 2012
11:31 am

@Robert E Lee: It’s been several years now that those lines have been moved. You can thank the inflexibility of talk radio. Everything now has to be over sensationalized. There is no moderate viewpoint or position. it’s now all “us or them.”

I mentioned several months ago that it scares the hell out of me that the Democrats are now actually more sane than the Republicans……….

jconservative

January 30th, 2012
11:32 am

Nice piece of writing Jay.

The problem with today’s Republican Party is that they do not have the intellectual courage to tell the truth. Obama is being blasted, correctly, for the excess spending of today. But Republicans do not have the courage to blast Reagan for doubling the national debt or George W for doubling the national debt.

Until Republicans have the courage to intellectually clean house they will not resolve any problems.

And this house cleaning needs to start with past failures but continue to the present fiction that tax policy will bring an unemployment rate of 4%.

As Michael Dell, the founder of Dell Inc. said recently “I always remind people that 96 percent of our potential new customers today live outside of America.”

Last year Apple sold 70 million iPhones, 30 million iPads and 59 million other products, all of which we manufactured outside the US. Manufactured in China in a factory where workers are paid $17 dollars a day, work six 12 hour days in a factory employing 250,000 workers.

Yet Republican policy is that if we give Apple a zero taxes incentive they will move their production back to the US and pay workers $17 dollars an hour.

I hereby nominate the Republican Party for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Fred

January 30th, 2012
11:36 am

“calling by avoiding comments like “moronic hard core right wing fanatical sheep”.

That whole pot-kettle thing.:)”

Still too deep for you eh? A FANATIC is by DEFINITION “sheep.” They lack the ability for individual thought. Again i will try to explain it to you(I still can’t understand it for you);

fanatic: a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics.

Fanatic and zealot both suggest excessive or overweening devotion to a cause or belief. Fanatic further implies unbalanced or obsessive behavior

uncritical has also been described as “sheep like.”

I wrote clearly and you even used my words in a quote: FANATICAL

Now saying fanatical sheep may be REDUNDANT, but it is in no means hypocritical.

Nor is it an exhibition of anger. Disgust of the fanatics who have stolen a whole party and perverted everything it once stood for is not anger. You really need to increase your vocabulary.

ByteMe

January 30th, 2012
11:36 am

This is the part that confuses me, when did somewhat normal Repubs decide that anyone who is not 100% behind their views is now extremely far left socialist, marxist, closet gay.

When their messaging was taken over and amplified by FOX.

Think about all those articles you read about producers at FOX having meetings about how to produce a consistent message-of-the-day across all programming. And they’re really good at it, but it drowns out any competing message that might be compelling to the rest of the political spectrum.

pat

January 30th, 2012
11:36 am

The only thing that will lose obama the election is the economy. If everything stands pat, he will will, if there is a down tick in the next 9 months he will lose, but just barely.
The feild is weak, no doubt, but that’s really a matter of show biz and weak personalities.
Some of our ealiest presidents would not have been elected in this day and age as they weren’t very dynamic in public. Weak personalities is a problem accross the board. Look at 2004. Bush was a totally beatable, already unpopular president, but Kerry was so boring and his message so vague, he got killed in the election.
I see the same thing here, weak field, but a beatable president.
Bottom line, this election is obama’s to lose. If he can’t beat Romney, than he definately deserved to lose…

Quagmire

January 30th, 2012
11:37 am

If republicans want to re-gain some self-respect. To start, get ride of grover norquist and stop listening and taking ideas from people that have 0 accountibility in the political process, i.e. rush, sean, boortz, savage, etc

Be an independent thinker……….I’m a Proud supporter of Presidnet Obama but I do not like Nancy pelosi or harry reid(they have no backbone)

sam

January 30th, 2012
11:37 am

Ty Webb? you sound more like Carl Spackler to me

AmVet - Every time a publicly educated neo-con drives on public roads they are Marxists.

January 30th, 2012
11:38 am

Fred, it is a mystery,

But given the RINOs Hunstman and now Anderson, and notwithstanding the hype-reactionaries that dominate out there, there must be a very strong bastion of ration and reason out there in the capitol city.

Kind of like Atlanta, versus the rest of this backasswards state.

And even Willard has some of that in him, he’s just so busy sucking up to the disgusting fake conservatives that run the GOP, he is more confused that a 16 year old at a cross dressers party…

godless heathen

January 30th, 2012
11:38 am

Quagmire: “One of the reasons is because of the Racist attitudes that republicans have for him and anyone who looks like him,”

FYI, I don’t like the white half either.

JKL2

January 30th, 2012
11:39 am

Jay- In stark contrast, the Democrats have no real counterpart to the concept of RINO

Never heard of a “Blue Dog” Democrat before? Interesting…

Normal

January 30th, 2012
11:39 am

ty webb

January 30th, 2012
11:40 am

Sam? You sound more like Lacey Underall to me

(ir)Rational

January 30th, 2012
11:42 am

jconservative – You start off good, but then you kinda lose me in the rant about Dell/Apple. Care to explain exactly what that has to do with the point you’re trying to make? Unless your point is just that you feel conservatives are crazy for thinking that it is a good thing to let the people (and companies) earn more of their money. Or that the government should be able to do something about companies that build factories overseas to try and lower their bottom line.

Jay

January 30th, 2012
11:43 am

Sure I’ve heard of the blue dogs, JKL2.

What I haven’t heard is a Democratic consensus that blue-dog Democrats aren’t Democrats and ought to be banned from the party. To the contrary, they are welcomed for the most part.

Fred

January 30th, 2012
11:44 am

@JKL2: Good question @ 11:39……….. what do they call the Democrats that aren’t the hard core fanatical left wing nut cases? It seems to me that after losing to a very beatable President Bush that the Democrats managed to do a better job than the republicans of pushing the fanatics back into the closet, or to the back of the bus at least, not put them in the drivers seat…….

Peadawg

January 30th, 2012
11:45 am

“FYI, I don’t like the white half either.”

:lol:

Don’t care who you are that was kind of funny.

AmVet - Every time a publicly educated neo-con drives on public roads they are Marxists.

January 30th, 2012
11:48 am

FYI, I don’t like the white half either.

Good one, heathen.

But according to the scholarly josef, he’s only one quarter white…

As has been noted here repeatedly and by numerous writers, until the immoderate Republican Party can become more than just a radicalized gang of intolerance and intransigence, they will always have the same homogenous make up they do now – older, whiter, more rural and less pragmatic Americans.

And future demographics are going to work very much against them going forward…

John

January 30th, 2012
11:48 am

Jay,

I am waiting for your blog about why the Democratic field is so lackluster!

Adam

January 30th, 2012
11:48 am

jconservative: Obama is being blasted, correctly, for the excess spending of today

Which is why last quarter Federal expenditures dropped 7%.

Wait, what?

St Simons - codewords are the new black

January 30th, 2012
11:48 am

when Newt Gingrich is a metaphor for genetic evolutionary diversity,

you might be a…..

sam

January 30th, 2012
11:48 am

i look a lot like her too

Doggone/GA

January 30th, 2012
11:51 am

“Among many species in the field, the stronger are expected to help the weaker, even at the risk of their own individual well-being. It is part of nature’s code of survival”

Jay – sorry to disagree, but in many species in nature it’s actually the other way around. The weaker help the stronger, and thereby gain the value of the strongest of their family genes going forward down the generations. There are no instances of animals – other than people – that make an all-out effort to help the weak surive. Even elephants, which will assist the weak, will eventually give up on them if they don’t get stronger fast enough.

Welcome to the Occupation

January 30th, 2012
11:51 am

Jay: What I haven’t heard is a Democratic consensus that blue-dog Democrats aren’t Democrats and ought to be banned from the party. To the contrary, they are welcomed for the most part. .

I tried explaining to him the other day how the fact that the Blue Dogs were swept out in 2010 points to a shift rightward in our political system, not leftward. But he pointed to the prominence in the Democratic party of groups like the congressional progressive caucus (a group that’s so powerful and influential that its most well-known member, Bernie Sanders, isn’t even a Democrat! And its deficit reduction plan has been languishing in the margins for over a year now, the victim of a well orchestrated campaign to ignore it) and the CBC. What he fails to see is that the apparently reduced role of the now defunct DLC does not point to a shift rightward in the party, but precisely to the mainstreaming of that group’s influence on the party. It’s not needed any more bec. for the most part the Democratic party has completely internalized DLC positions.

Oh, and by the way, the current Democratic party flag carrier, its leader, president Obama would easily fit into the mainstream of the Republican party during Nixon’s time.

St Simons - codewords are the new black

January 30th, 2012
11:52 am

Republicans are the dinosaurs, and the meteor hits in November

Adam

January 30th, 2012
11:53 am

(ir)Rational: Or that the government should be able to do something about companies that build factories overseas to try and lower their bottom line.

Apple did not build the factory. The Chinese government subsidized the construction and continues to subsidize the practices in that factory, including multi-person small dorms, longer than 8 hour work days, sometimes 7 day work weeks, and no one can quit once hired of their own free will. Also Dell and Apple are not the only companies that rely on this Outpost for their circuit boards – nearly all circuit boards are constructed there, and nearly every company buys them for use in their electronics.

If there is anything that can or should be done, it is a government vs. government solution, at least in part. There is no easy solution here that I can see, but I am not the smartest in the world on these subjects. Undoubtedly what will happen is someone will come up with a solution that makes sense and can be explained to a number of people simply (who get more than the basic nonsense like “LIBRUL! SOSHULIZM!”), and then I can support that. For now, there are no alternative jobs for creating circuit boards here in the U.S., and even if there were the race to the bottom mentality would persist.

Aquagirl

January 30th, 2012
11:53 am

Never heard of a “Blue Dog” Democrat before? Interesting…

Blue Dog Democrat is not an epithet. Watch any GOP race and accusations fly that opponents are fifth column liberal-weenie RINOs. It’s like a cussword and usually delivered via foam-speckled lips.

getalife

January 30th, 2012
11:53 am

“it suggests a major leadership vacuum in the party.”

Yes, they are recycling old cons that got ran out of Washington on a rail.

The dems lose Obama and Hillary after his second term so we need the younger generation to step up and lead like President Obama.

JKL2

January 30th, 2012
11:53 am

jconservative- Manufactured in China in a factory where workers are paid $17 dollars a day, work six 12 hour days in a factory employing 250,000 workers

Soulnds like you’ve found your liberal utopia. Welcome to obamaland and the new world order.

Adam

January 30th, 2012
11:54 am

WTTO: Oh, and by the way, the current Democratic party flag carrier, its leader, president Obama would easily fit into the mainstream of the Republican party during Nixon’s time.

Indeed.

Adam

January 30th, 2012
11:55 am

JKL2: Soulnds like you’ve found your liberal utopia. Welcome to obamaland and the new world order.

That makes no f***ing sense.

willie lynch

January 30th, 2012
11:56 am

You can listen to Boortz, Hannity, Limbaugh and the rest and never hear a divergent thought or opinion. They make it a point to beat the same drum over and over until they’ve put their group in a trance so without thinking they spout the party line verbatim.

They are the “Stepford” party, cloned in perfect foolishness.

Paul

January 30th, 2012
11:57 am

Nice construct, Jay. You’ve raised the issue and offered some explanations. I’ll also add, in addition to the media dollars that need protecting from heresy, there are also some very, very wealthy ultraconservative Republicans whose funding perpetuates the condition.

So, if Republicans lose in Nov, will they take a hard look at themselves and conclude “we weren’t pure enough!’?

If Mitt wins, the million-dollar question AmVet raised was, which Mitt will show up? The realistic moderate or the guy saying what he has to to get elected? (For example, I can’t believe a guy who ran a huge business really believes that if he took over a world-wide enterprise with revenue approaching $700 billion a year that he’d really maintain there are no major cost-saving efficiencies possible, as he does with Defense).

Fred

“How in the HELL did Rocky Anderson (if he’s the one I’m reading about) get to be Mayor of Salt Lake City? I thought that place was the center of the conservative Mormons……

Yes, SLC is the headquarters of the LDS Church. Data I’ve seen from a few years ago shows SLC is about 30-40 percent LDS, while about 40 percent of the state is not LDS.

And you might want to think twice about overgeneralizations about conservative Mormons if you ever speak with Sen Majority Leader Reed. Or LDS people from Europe. Or Africa. Or SE Asia. Or the Pacific.

JKL2

January 30th, 2012
11:57 am

Redneck- We are mad as heck and we’re not going to take it anymore. It’s just that we don’t quite know what to do about it.

Didn’t know you were in the OWS…

Fred

January 30th, 2012
11:59 am

Welcome to the Occupation

January 30th, 2012
11:51 am

Oh, and by the way, the current Democratic party flag carrier, its leader, president Obama would easily fit into the mainstream of the Republican party during Nixon’s time.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Are you kidding? he’s more conservative than President Bush was…………..

http://news.yahoo.com/video/foddebate-27792292/obama-s-sexy-rebuttal-27797145.html

Adam

January 30th, 2012
12:00 pm

Fred: I HAVE BEEN LOOKING EVERYWHERE FOR THAT VIDEO

Thank you