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GOP Postmortem and Prognosis For Senile American Democracy

As the Republicans ease into being a party that can't win national elections for demographic and economic reasons, where is American politics heading?

As a minority party lacking national election prospects, the incentives for adhering to a moderate political center will disappear. The goal of maintaining half of the electorate will no longer be realistic. When that incentive is absent it makes the party much more real ideologically, more true to its hardcore constituency, but also much less practical.

All of these good effects only have value if the party is radicalized in the right direction. It could just as easily become an ethnic advocacy or hardcore religious party, once it accepts permanent minority status and is no longer viable in presidential elections or congressional dominance.

Whatever the case, it is difficult to see a coherent coalition of interests large enough to sustain the Republican party on the national level.

Aside from its direction, this ideological hardening only has value if it leads to the party staking out a position that allows it to challenge federal authority in such a way that it can either force it to back down, or win the ensuing legal or extralegal conflict if it does not. Whether the House withholds funding from the federal government at some point, or some kind of secessionism arises, it only has value if it can succeed.

That can't happen without extensive, horizontal infiltration and capture of other institutions, which would enable a minority party or political faction to win a such a showdown. Or alternatively, an incredible weakening of the ability of the state apparatus to operate or of the will of the ruling class to rule. Both are possible but not evident yet.

Another danger in the GOP becoming the minority party is the move toward sub-politics, or "inside politics," where the whole purpose of party activity is to win primaries and win stronghold districts, Senate seats that are still locked in, and milk those remaining positions.

As their power wanes, they might just become showpieces and fake opposition, maintained and funded by the state apparatus as it moves comfortably toward one partydom. Shills will do good work here. What is worse than McCain and Graham, who pander to the media, lobbies, etc., because they only want power? Shills who play the opposition part with no expectation of ever winning, just to milk their constituents.


What will happen to the Democrats once they attain dominant party status?

Once they no longer need to win a tight election every four years, or fight tooth and nail to win the House, interesting dynamics occur. For one thing, they can in-fight more, and more often, when they have a comfortable margin. Groups can split off and still allow Democratic predominance.

More ideological flexibility will emerge in the dominant party. The other institutions of power, like media and corporate lobbies, will lose influence in a world where the two party game is less tightly strung, where media influence or corporate money can no longer turn the election on a dime.

These power institutions will want to keep the even party split, and moderate Republicans like McCain will try to move the party to the left, away from the base, to keep their half. But factors beyond the control of the elites and the beltway republicans have been set in motion.

Immigration, demographics, and economics are pushing the country away from Right-libertarianism, classical liberalism, cultural traditionalism, etc. Like it or not. And these factors are not on the tight leash the governing class might wish. They're ideologically embedded in our political culture, and difficult to impossible to reverse.

For these reasons, the Democrats will have much more leeway to act independently of peripheral institutions, including congress as a whole, the Fed, the corporatocracy. This strengthens the government against the private sector elites, and the executive against the other power centers of government.

It will become increasingly difficult for the string pullers to raise the GOP from the dead, as it trends toward 40% or 35% inevitably in the coming few decades. The ethnic and age demographics, the ideological shifts owing from public education and declining faith, the changing economic realities of globalization, wage arbitrage and the declining middle class, will lead to a developing-world style of politics.

The new internet intelligentsia of unaligned, independently thinking and independently evaluating participants is a factor I won't go into much. It is the only positive on the radar, and the only thing balancing the loss of the old civil society of institutions like churches, fraternal orders, labor and professional organizations, local community bodies, which provided cohesiveness and identity at a sub-state level.

But it is a poor substitute for organizing action, as much as it is an excellent substitute for ascertaining political reality.


Congress is becoming less and less relevant. The procedures, constitutional processes, the legal technicalities which limit the state, are going to become awfully unwieldy in the future I would anticipate.

When there is no cultural, ethnic, religious or other center of gravity and stability; no ideological consensus, no dominant middle class, greater and greater dependency on government, denser population growth and diminishing resources -- constitutional republican government will become an increasingly tenuous way of managing this formless morass.

Capital flight, inflation, the brain drain, are are looming. Diminishing social capital and vanishing cultural bonds will handicap the ability of people to endure hardship and work together to solve problems.

This stew of division will require a hard boiled executive administrative apparatus to make things happen, and this will then open the pandora's box of even more terrible mismanagement and horrible ad hoc policy, ignoring market signals, private interests, local bodies, and constitutional protections.

We're already well on the way down this road. The long road toward making republican, representative institutions merely titular and forma; but really, de facto obsolete, before sweeping them aside entirely.

There will also be the positive effect of sweeping away lots of inefficiency and absurdity inherent in our ridiculous democratic, bureaucratic rule by gameshow elections, and the no-one-in-charge or accountable for anything once in power-structure. Where those in power are just self serving criminals and skilled liars serving the short term interests of lawyers and lobbyists in order to game the system and line their own pockets.

Maybe a real American empire is in the cards, with one party executive Caesarism or commintern Sovietism. Not the empire we rail against, merely overseas, but actual imperial government when the exhausted domestic power bases that balance our political system weaken before these trends, and ultimately yield to authority as an alternative to chaos.

That I think is the likely future.

You can fight it only by reversing these trends, displacing and supplanting the elite ideology that occupies all the institutions of power which Washington ultimately rests on. But that effort is gargantuan and needed to start a long time ago. It hasn't even begun. The consequences of present conditions are baked in and will play out.

The only realistic thing is to prepare, decide where you will stand your ground and fight, and try to build toward a point where you can establish and defend a perimeter and make it not worth the enemy's effort to cross it. I don't know where that is and what it looks like, but it will require something deeper, more fundamental, more visceral, and more catalyzing than dead political abstractions no one will fight for.

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Be a man, answer the query.

or dazzle me with your brilliance..


be a good boy and sit in the

be a good boy and sit in the corner.

Bow to your intellect?

forget how to embed,

forget how to embed, numbnuts?

nice move.. the option has been "disappeared"


are you promoting democracy?

Democracy is illegal in this country. promoting Democracy is either treason or subversive at best.

"dead political abstractions no one will fight for."

are you referring to our Constitution?

Exposing BILL3 for what he is.

anyone care to defend him?

Yin yangWhether we like it

Yin yang

Whether we like it or not (I don't) we have a two party system and the two parties will continue to battle it out, circling one another in their dance for power.

The GOP will not disappear, the GOP will simply morph, is morphing, from the elitist, warmongering troglodytes (that I will not miss) into a more libertarian, populist, peace loving opponent to the authoritarians that dominate the other party.

It's not a time for lamenting the passing of the evil GOP, it's a time for nervous excitement for the possibilities of the future.

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. Albert Einstein

I disagree strongly.

I disagree strongly. Republicans are losing their largest constituencies demographically.

The Rand wing is popular on foreign policy for now, yes. But that's largely with Obama in office, and because of general war weariness.

Either way, the fiscal conservatism of a balanced budget and cutting medicare, social security and military spending, except around the edges, is not popular with the republican base.

If the republicans win another electoral vote majority it will be a miracle and probably their last. The GOP civil war is coming from the ideological hardening of the base vs. the beltway who want to move the party left to keep things split down the middle.

The reason the old beltway leadership is so neoconservative on war is because the lobbies which dominate congress demand it, and the only way the republican beltway has to play this hand is to be even more eager for war than their Dem rivals.

If the GOP became the peace party that'd be a strong move, but Obama's foreign policy has been very conservative and the contrast with Bush will continue to frame that debate even in the next few cycles.

It's unlikely a peace GOP would go that much further than Obama's decent (comparatively) FP record. No war with Iran, minimalist approach to Syria which avoided war (regardless of why), getting fake bin laden with spec ops, using drones. America's love that crap. It's perception, not reality that counts.

Fiscal conservatism provides good rhetoric, but actually cutting social security or medicare from the parents of the republican base voter won't fly, not until the boomers are off the stage anyway.

Cutting the Fed's morphine drip to the economy would re ignite the recession, as would cutting back the deficit. It may or may not make good economics long-run, but it would be piss poor politics, easily exploited.

Abortion and gay marriage are necessary issues to continue appealing to the GOP base, its strong evangelical wing, and this demographic is actually growing, and offsetting the dying right to life, traditional morality demographic. So it isn't going away.

But beyond GOP base, no one wants abortion illegal or gay marriage illegal, these are completely horrible political positions for younger people, for national elections in 10 or 20 years.

As if that weren't enough, the demographic shift by itself would be sufficient, without any of the above, to put the last nail in GOP coffin. The minority outreach pipedream will go on a while but with no success.

Amnesty is coming. Birthrate differentials make amnesty itself unnecessary as the children of immigrants and illegals have voting rights.

The GOP will be an ideologically hardened, minority party en route to a multi party or one party system.

Make your plans with such conditions in mind, or else explain why its wrong.

It's true that the old GOP is

It's true that the old GOP is withering away, and good riddance!

The poles and the polls are changing.

The old GOP is in the process of being replaced. Look at who the true GOP leaders are now in the Senate; Rand, Cruz and Lee, all more fiscally conservative, more civil libertarian, more "constitutional", more populist than most all of their GOP colleagues.

The GOP is changing because the base is changing. The public mood is changing on issues like war and drug legalization and crony capitalism, and while there seems to be no consensus yet on fiscal restraint, that can change quickly and likely will when the bond bubble bursts and interest rates rise and that debt payment starts growing again.

Plus, the emperor's numbers are low and going lower, and Hillary will likely be carrying the torch in 2016. Hillary will have a hard time coming off as a centrist on foreign policy after having just thrown down on the unilateral Syria attack plan. (Poor timing, Hillary.)

So yea, McCain and Graham and the like will be supporting Hillary over a moderate libertarianish GOPer in 2016, and as long as the idiotic "it's time for a female president" vote doesn't hold sway, this match up will be good for the GOP.

Once the authoritarian empire expansionist crony capitalist troglodyte creeps have switched sides, the GOP will look much more attractive to younger and minority voters. And Joe sixpack will still be there.

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. Albert Einstein

not seeing anything here that

not seeing anything here that describes a dominant faction in the GOP, or a majority national coalition.

you're not dealing with the xian fundie wing, the persistence of the abortion/homosexuality focus for primaries.

not dealing with the demographic timebomb, the 60% + dem vote for every ethnic minority, even third generation and wealthy. are you saying this is going to change to 50/50 or majority gop in the next couple decades?

you ignored amnesty.

you ignored the entitlement dependent boomer demographic that will continue to be a factor for at least another 20 years, killing any real fiscal conservatism.

you ignored the dem superiority on peace/war, since the military industrial and israel lobby own the gop, and congress, and the military bases pepper the south and gop states.

you ignored the fact that the big states are all going to be out of gop reach, CA, NY, TX soon.

you ignored widening socioeconomic gap, declining middle class and no wage growth...

you actually didn't address any points i raised or make any of your own points. i wonder why you believe as you do besides wishful thinking.

I'm not wearing rose colored

I'm not wearing rose colored glasses. All of the weaknesses of the GOP that you list are very real.

But you are discounting the attractive forces that will fill the vacancies.

How this will play out party-wise remains to be seen. I believed for a long time that libertarianism would rise in the Democrat party before the GOP but here we are, the opposite has happened, but the point is - libertarianism IS on the rise. It's a stronger political force than it has ever been in my lifetime, and it is growing stronger.

Not that we're ever going to see a truly libertarian state - not in my lifetime or yours - but things are moving in the right direction on many fronts.

Politically, this country is run from the mushy middle. Left and right dance around each other like yin and yang until a "moderate" consensus or compromise is reached. That mushy middle is going to move, and move in our direction on many fronts, because the composition of relevant left and right forces are changing,

The warmongering right is losing relevance. Look at the Syria backlash.

The authoritarian right is losing relevance. Look at the positive movement in the war on drugs.

The homophobic / intolerant right is losing relevance.

As all of these factions of the right are replaced by more libertarian positions, the forces on the right change, and that will move the mushy middle needle our way.

And the left is changing too. Look too at the new conversations happening between the libertarian right and the populist left. Ron and Rand Paul are finding common ground with Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinch, Tavis Smiley and Cornell West. Not that this portends a new permanent coalition in the form of a party that always votes in lockstep, but as the relevant players in both parties change, the needle on important issues like empire expansion, personal freedoms, crony capitalism, the rule of law and the drug war will change.

And the really exciting aspect of this is that libertarianism is on the rise among the young. The old die off. The young will be with us and influencing politics for a very long time.

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. Albert Einstein

what is the difference, between a Democracy and a Republic?

do you know?

notice, I did NOT say Democrat and republican.