An old paleocon gag, which I think was coined by Sam Francis, is that America has two parties, the Stupid Party and the Evil Party. I recall hearing it in the 80’s, but I could be mistaken. It is one of those pithy expressions everyone wants to take credit for because it becomes more obviously true every day. The budget bill the GOP just passed is a reminder that “stupid” in this context is too kind.
Read the comment sections on news stories about the deal and the general theme is “why did we bother to vote Republican?” The whole point of putting the GOP in charge of both houses was to reign in Obama and begin rolling back his excesses. Instead, we got the opposite. The Republicans have done more for Obama in six months than his own party did in six years.
Most people assume that smart politicians are on the right side of their voters. Stupid politicians go against the wishes of their voters. That makes sense as a practical matter. Scale it up and political parties should be careful to never get sideways with their constituents. Otherwise, the party has no reason to exist. The GOP is the Stupid Party because they keep finding ways to piss off their voters. It’s like they have a death wish.
In 2010 they put an emotionally disturbed drunk in charge of the House after the voters put them in charge. Boehner was a good soldier, but you can’t have your leader sobbing in public. In 2015 they finally had enough and replaced him with a Wisconsin Progressive, who has now declared war on the people that vote Republican. Frankly, calling them the Stupid Party is too kind. They are the Suicidal Party. Even Rush Limbaugh is calling for a third party now.
What we’re seeing is not a two party system, but a single party system. What looks like political debate is really just the call and response one would see in a black church. The Progressive wing does the call and the Conservative wing does the response. Anyone who has been inside a black church understands how the latter half of this relationship is judged. It’s not on rejecting the call.
What we call the two parties are nothing alike. The Democrat politicians are ideologically in tune with their voters and work hard to deliver on their shared goals. They fail a lot, thank goodness, but it is not for a lack of trying. When the Democrats strayed too far from the mission of the Cult, the Green Party sprouted up as a reminder about who is the boss. The Democrats quickly fell in line.
Republicans are a different animal entirely. They exist not as an ideological alternative to Progressives, but as a mild critique of the Progressive wing. That means they can’t exist as a standalone entity. Their existence as a party is ectosymbiotic, defined by their dependence on the other party. The opinion of Progressives is vital to the psychological well-being of the Conservative wing. It’s their food.
As I’m fond of putting it, the GOP is a Southern Party with Northern leaders. In my post yesterday, I compared the American ruling class to the ascendancy class that owned the farmland of Ireland. In retrospect, the analogy holds better with the GOP and its voters. The GOP leadership holds their voters in contempt to the same degree the English held their mick tenants.
That is where the stupidity, or what appears to be stupidity, comes on scene. On the one hand, the party needs to win elections and that means appealing to those rubes they detest. On the other hand, they are compelled by tradition and sentiment to appeal to their analogs in the other party. As the Chinese say, a man who chases two rabbits catches none. In the case of the GOP, they just look like feckless idiots.
A hilarious example is conservative media darling Marco Rubio. He is being flayed over his open borders fanaticism and the deep suspicion he is Chuck Schumer’s rent boy. He’s being whipsawed by the phony-baloney adulation from “conservatives” and the hostility from the rank and file, who despise his open borders treachery. To use a crude expression, he does not know whether to shit or go blind.
Compounding his dilemma is the fact that he is as dumb as a goldfish. I’m fond of calling Rubio Ms. South Carolina with a penis. No, that’s not a link to Lindsay Graham’s website. Rubio gets by on his looks and charm, which is fine if you’re selling Cadillacs in Boca Raton, but it is a liability when trying to run for President in these crisis times for the party.
That’s why Rubio skipped the vote on the budget bill. There’s no safe answer so he spent the day playing Halo and listening to hip-hop. That non-vote just ended his career as a politician. Who will vote for him now? His presidential campaign will now collapse and he has already decided to give up his Senate seat. He’ll land in some lobbying gig or in a no-show Wall Street job, but he is finished as a politician.
That is the fate awaiting his party.