Monday, November 3, 2008

The Republican Rump*

*Not the word I would have used.

Good read from Paul Krugman today. He's predicting the Repugs will become even worse after their impending defeat.

[...] But let me ask a different question that will also be important for the nation’s future: What will defeat do to the Republicans?

You might think, perhaps hope, that Republicans will engage in some soul-searching, that they’ll ask themselves whether and how they lost touch with the national mainstream. But my prediction is that this won’t happen any time soon.

Instead, the Republican rump, the party that’s left after the election, will be the party that attends Sarah Palin’s rallies, where crowds chant “Vote McCain, not Hussein!” It will be the party of Saxby Chambliss, the senator from Georgia, who, observing large-scale early voting by African-Americans, warns his supporters that “the other folks are voting.” It will be the party that harbors menacing fantasies about Barack Obama’s Marxist — or was that Islamic? — roots.

Why will the G.O.P. become more, not less, extreme? For one thing, projections suggest that this election will drive many of the remaining Republican moderates out of Congress, while leaving the hard right in place.

Anyway, the Republican base, egged on by the McCain-Palin campaign, thinks that elections should reflect the views of “real Americans” — and most of the people reading this column probably don’t qualify.

To take that a step further, most of the people who can read probably don't qualify.

[...] The real America, it seems, is small-town, mainly southern and, above all, white.

But the G.O.P.’s long transformation into the party of the unreasonable right, a haven for racists and reactionaries, seems likely to accelerate as a result of the impending defeat.

This will pose a dilemma for moderate conservatives. Many of them spent the Bush years in denial, closing their eyes to the administration’s dishonesty and contempt for the rule of law. Some of them have tried to maintain that denial through this year’s election season, even as the McCain-Palin campaign’s tactics have grown ever uglier. But one of these days they’re going to have to realize that the G.O.P. has become the party of intolerance.

A lot of us realized that a long time ago. Like a cuckolded husband (or wife), those closest to the problem are the last to know. Or at least to admit it.

Mr. Krugman is probably right. Facing defeat, the worst of the Repugs have been coming out from under their rocks and being pretty open about their intolerance for some time now. Good. They'll be easier to deal with out in the light. As we learned on the rifle range in times long past, the better the light, the better the sight picture.

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