Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Is the Tea Party GOP's 2012 Platform Crazy Like a Fox? Or is It Just Plain Crazy?



The naysayers, skeptics, critical thinking old school political hands, Republicans who are terrified of losing to Obama, as well as Democrats who are crowing about an inevitable victory come November, are alternatively either bemoaning or cheering what they see as the batshit crazy "outside of the mainstream" GOP platform that is going to be debuted at next week's convention in Florida. 

I am in the minority of opinion on these matters. Despite what the polling data and other models are suggesting, I believe that Obama, if he wins, will only sneak by in a nail biter. The Bradley Effect was pronounced slain, and dead on arrival, in 2008; however, given Romney's sophisticated use of race-baiting and dog whistle tactics, the ghost in the machine may come roaring back as a political poltergeist in 2012. The experts are also talking about how Obama's likeability may trump both a bad economy, and a candidate in Mitt Romney that is less than inspiring to the GOP base--a man who is also an insincere, negatively enigmatic figure, in the eyes of undecideds and independent voters. 

I do not know if this is a corollary to what political scientists call sociotropic or "pocketbook" voting, but my sense is that a bad economy, plus a black president, are a recipe for a losing election. I do hope that I am wrong. 

To outsiders, the Republican Party platform is pure "red meat" for the base, and as such, has a little bit of something for everyone in the New Right: it doubles down on killing Trayvon Martin(s), keeps lazy and unqualified colored people from jobs that they do not deserve (like the Presidency), ensures that men can control women's bodies, and keeps the damn Mexicans out of the country. It also talks enough about the framers, American exceptionalism, and the merits of trickle down economics so that Saint Ronald Reagan will remain at peace in his grave. 

For those outside of the Right-wing echo chamber, and who have not drunk deeply from the New Right Fox News Tea Party Jim Jones Kool-Aid, the 2012 Republican platform is one more example of how a major political party is in the midst of its death throngs as it slips further down the road to demographic suicide. However, for those in the Fox News echo chamber, and for many low information, right-leaning voters, the language of the document is imminently sensible. 

On immigration, what reasonable person could disagree with the following statement?
"We support changing the way that the decennial census is conducted, so that citizens are distinguished from lawfully present aliens and illegal aliens. In order to preserve the pinciple of one-person, one-vote, the apportionment of representatives among the states should be according to the number of citizens."
Or alternatively, who could disagree with this phrasing against "unfair" programs such as "affirmative action?" The language sounds so meritocratic:
"We support efforts to help low-income individuals get a fair chance based on their potential and individual merit; but we reject preferences, quotas, and set-asides, as the best or sole methods through which fairness can be achieved, whether in government, education or corporate boardrooms...Merit, ability, aptitude, and results should be the factors that determine advancement in our society."
The Republican Party platform uses superficially benign language in order to advance the Right's radical political agenda. This is a genius move. As such, we mock the Tea Party GOP platform at our own peril.

Am I giving the spin masters on the Right too much credit? Or is this platform one of the last exhalations of a political party on the verge of obsolescence, but is willing to fight to the end in defense of its "principles?"

24 comments:

Shady_Grady said...

I do not think that the Repubs are on the verge of obsolescence. Platforms are always just red meat for the faithful. I think we should keep in mind that attitudes about illegal immigration cut across usual party lines. The Chamber of Commerce and WSJ editorial page have a different take on illegal immigration than Kris Kobach or Lou Dobbs.

As someone from Michigan, no it doesn't seem particularly fair that a state like California increases its political representation by an influx of non-citizens. It's a loophole. But it's one that can't be changed except by amending the Constitution and there aren't the votes for that.

So just relax and enjoy the party. Both the Democrats and Republicans will put stuff in their platforms to excite their bases but which they have zero interest in advancing.

Thrasher said...

The smoke signals have been smothered but I smell the stench of regressive, reactionary and soon resignation in the air. The majority of the white electorate are not forward thinking those that are have little muscle memory when it comes to progressive posturing.

Of course the Bradley effect is in effect it never dieda normal death.Obama despite handcuffing himself to the least offensive domestic agenda cannot over come the power of the white electorate in a state of anxiety and angst.

This election will push back and slow down the evolution of a progressive culture Obama was a perfect template for the first step to a progressive culture in our nation now we will have to retreat and maybe surrender until the next era of progressive evolution in America. I was glad to share just a taste before the dark ages return....

nomad said...

No. No. No.
Like there would be some great difference in the careening course ahead if Obama were reelected. When the choice is between fascism and fascism lite; there's not a whole lot to fight about.

And no, there was never anything progressive about Obama. It was an illusion. The right didn't prevent him from doing the things he wanted to do. We need to drop that illusion, regardless of whether we vote him back into office or not. The wingnut right gave him plausible deniability to implement the warmed over moderate Republican policies that he actually believes in: war, police state, cut social safety net. His faux liberalism was just a ploy to get elected. Is just a ploy to keep fooling the flock. Vote for him if you like, but please, let's not continue to delude ourselves about what we're voting for. Not that voting for or against him it's going to change anything...in this faux liberal president's faux democracy.

Invisible Man said...

Frankly, in many ways I admire the tea party. The originally were a grassroots effort who mobilized quickly and attacked the attention of big money funders like the Koch Brothers and continue to push their party rightwards. Liberals never do this. President Obama could have formed a similar movement with the numerous chapters of Occupy Wall Street, instead he immediately looked them out of the power structure of the White House and ushered in the very same investment bankers and lobbyist that he railed against as a candidate.

Thrasher said...

Nomad

Come on take off the battle fatigues Obama is not the enemy of the state . His election altered the course of history besides that he ended white rule only in the white house .

This truth is currency I leverage 24/7 as a Black American .

Anonymous said...

Tea Party grassroots? I've never seen a fundraiser for the tea baggers. I've never seen them trying to raise money, like any other poverty-stricken "grassroots organization."

I remember having a conversation with a guy in his mid-sixties. At first, it was a normal discussion, then the topic turned to politics, and it became obvious that he considered himself part of the teabag movement. He had just finished saying how relieved he was that he was finally collecting social security. He complained that his wife had been laid off, after 30 years at the same company, and lost the meager health benefits she had provided them. He had been to a cardiologist, with his medicare.

And yet, he was telling me nice things about the tea party, how he was waiting for a "savior" to lead them to victory (he admitted his skepticism about Palin).

I was left scratching my head at how these right wing good amuricans make use of every liberal policy coming.

I wish Kennedy had won in 1980, instead of Raygun. Maybe he would have pushed through some sort of single payer health system (there was no fox news back then) and today the teabaggers would be saying "keep your hands off my national health system."

- Buddy H.

nomad said...

@ Thrasher

"His election altered the course of history besides that he ended white rule only in the white house."

I won't quibble about the altering the course of history. His election is certainly of enormous historical importance, but I suspect for other reasons than the symbolic triumph of black Americans. It's going to be understood to be significant for much different reasons, IMO. The Obama presidency will be noted for ending white only rule, its true; but, alas, not for ending white rule. KnowwhatImean?

Anonymous said...

The Republican Party platform uses superficially benign language in order to advance the Right's radical political agenda.

And the Democratic Party platforum uses superficially progressive, liberal language in order to advance the Right's political agenda.

But I'm still voting for Obama. I'd rather cut off both thumbs than vote for Mitts, Ryan, or any of that gang of dog-whistlers.

- Buddy H.

SabrinaBee said...

No. I don't see it being their last exhalations, even if they lose. They will simply continue to try as they have been doing for years. Their propoganda machines will erase any bad setiments from the minds of the masses for them. They will re-invent the faces of the party but not the true leaders. They are seen as tied to the religious class and they work for the money-changers. There is no end to either.

I know that if they win it will be impossible for this country to remain cenetr right leaning 9 a media construct) and it will dip into full right territory with all "ohters" being subjected to various sorts of abuses without any recourse. Muslims, immigrants, blacks, women will all be tamped down and forced to live to under biblical constructs. Four years from now, there will be another article that says that America is no longer a center right country but a far right country and that will be taken as gospel despite all the oppressed voices that would say otherwise. There will be resistance but, it will be futile, impotent, they will see to that. As of late they don't even bother to hide their attempts at voter suppression and to break the unions. there will be no stopping them.

Thrasher said...

Ink that is the beauty of altering the arc of history predictable outcomes are no longer predictable ...Knowehati mean:-)

Anonymous said...

Much as I thoroughly despise the notion of a Romney Presidency and by extension, the triumph of the Corporate Right that trumps all else in the US, I wonder if on some level the degree of indiscriminate misery inflicted on white non-1%ers will finally prompt their awakening?

Meh, who am I kidding? Even Pavlov's dog had sense to know when it was going to get shocked and pressed the bar in the box to avoid it when it could do so. Too many chumps in White America are too easily manipulated by their emotions and prejudices. Maybe it's only human nature, but it is a fatal flaw in humanity if there ever was one.

Black Sage said...

I do not believe that the Republican/Tea Party is standing on its last leg, nor do I think that their conditioned subjects (Whites) will somehow miraculously become unconditioned in the near future. It appears that The Republican/Tea Party has successfully programmed White voters over a prolonged period of time into believing that the GOP/Tea cabal is the party representing their best interests. Additionally, Ivan Pavlov also believed that conditioned reflexes could explain the behavior of psychotic people as well. Sounds familiar? Hell...., even Ivan Pavlo’s experimental dog was smart enough to figure out that when he heard the ringing of bells, the dog would salivate and therefore, the animal knew it was time to eat. In other words, the dog responded appropriately when signaled. Sadly, the Republican/Tea Party base (Whites) doesn’t seem to understand this simple concept that has been surreptitiously thrust upon them.

Invisible Man said...

Black folks in New York had grumblings of their own "Tea Party" called The Rent is Too Damn High Party and in Chicago we know have the fledgling "Broke Party" partially in response to Obama's banking his conservative Democratic former chief of staff and investment banker Rahm Emanue who's making the last autocrat seem almost benign in comparison. Clearly the Change Mantra was a Trojan House. I think Black people need to start seeing Green this November and with our unemployment rate, I aint talking about dollars, but I am talking about sense!

Black Sage said...

@Invisible Man

I agree with you Invisible Man, Black Americans must begin to see Obama for who he really is, a handkerchief, yes-mam-yes-sir, dancing for White people, Negro! We must organize as a group and stop waiting for the Democratic or the Republican/Tea Party as rescuers. Neither one of these Brokeback Mountain parties are our savior! As Frederick Douglas said to Black Americans while on his deathbed, organize, organize, organize!

Thrasher said...

Obama is not a tom or anything like that he is a consumate politician who captured the most powerful position in the world and now understands thetotalityof his power.Obama has created a new template for Black attainment .

I never under estimate any person...

Black Sage said...

@Thrasher
Obama is not a tom or anything like that he is a consumate politician who captured the most powerful position in the world and now understands the totality of his power. Obama has created a new template for Black attainment. I never under estimate any person. - Thrasher

What are you talking about? Obama is the epitome of an Uncle Tom! He occupies the White House specifically to supervise the affairs of White folks. Have you witnessed him visit any economically distressed areas inhabited mostly by Black Americans or minorities? Hasn’t he filled most of his cabinet positions by Jews and bankers who created this current economic mess in the first instance? Didn’t Obama stand at the podium at an even sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in September of 2011 and retorted, “Shake it off. Stop complaining. Stop grumbling. Stop crying. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”

“As Malcolm X once stated, “What good is it to have a Black body with a White mind?” Obama fits this description perfectly! The only thing that I wholeheartedly agree with you is that Obama has in fact created a template for Black attainment. And that’s only if you’re willing to kow-tow towards Whites while being the POTUS, happily carry their bags at the airport or shine their expensive shoes on the corner in one-hundred plus degree weather and grinning the entire time while doing so. Is this the template you’re referring to? By the way, refrain from utilizing the word template so often, they’re many other words that you could use that literally means the same thing.

Michael Paul Goldenberg said...

Sorry, but there are enormous differences between the two slates running for president, and there's simply no way I will forget the most recent time people said that it would be a good thing to punish the Democrats by voting for the GOP. That was in 2000, when some folks, ostensibly deeply offended by Bill Clinton's extracurricular activities with women not his wife, plus the SHOCKING revelation that he lied about it to Congress (who had no business asking, quite frankly) announced that they weren't going to vote for Al Gore. And BOY did they teach everyone a lesson: not just Americans, but the entire world got to contemplate the wisdom of that argument.

If you seriously believe it doesn't matter who wins in November, please read what George Lakoff wrote yesterday: http://bit.ly/NFJB0A

If you can still stay home, vote for Romney, or vote for a third-party or write-in candidate after reading "The Devil's Budget" piece, then there's nothing left to say. I know I'll vote for Obama in November: I won't be as naive as I was in 2008, but I won't be holding my nose, either.

nomad said...

"That was in 2000, when some folks, ostensibly deeply offended by Bill Clinton's extracurricular activities with women not his wife, plus the SHOCKING revelation that he lied about it to Congress (who had no business asking, quite frankly) announced that they weren't going to vote for Al Gore. And BOY did they teach everyone a lesson: not just Americans, but the entire world got to contemplate the wisdom of that argument."

Right. And the trajectory the nation took during the Bush administration was a disaster. And that is what makes the push to reelect Obama so farcical. It's not like after Bush we went back to something else, to some sense of sanity, we continued on the same insane Bush trajectory. Some say Obama actually amplified the Bush trajectory. At the very least he normalized Bush policies and in the process exonerated apparent war crimes. With Bush normalized, here we are so called liberals lining up to cosign by vote the same damn agenda. Now tell me, we might delay things a bit by going with the Obama soft authoritarian approach (Bush-lite) but where does this trajectory inevitably terminate? There is no real choice here. This moment is completely Orwellian. I guess that's hard to see when you in the midst of it. America is like the protagonist in a horror movie. The viewer, in the detached comfort of the theater is idly wondering why doesn't see the monster rising up behind her. And coming closer! And closer!! DOESN'T SHE HEAR THE CREEPY MUSIC! EEEE! EEEE! EEEE! "LOOKOUT, YOU LITTLE IDIOT!" Oops. She couldn't hear me.

Thrasher said...

Black Sage

Really your analysis is so obsolete and primitive move into the future and stop it with the tired Malcom X template... Yep I used your that word again ...lol
Lol

Anonymous said...

The tea party folks...

The cognitive dissonance it takes to hold all their various contradictory opinions (I love Ayn Rand & Jesus & also believe the opposite of what both of them said!) means that they have grown really skilled at ignoring the obvious.

That they are pawns in a larger game.

- Buddy H.


Black Sage said...

@Thrasher,

you may continue to dissect my opinions all you want, however, it still holds true that what Malcolm X said over 50 years ago is relevant even in the age of Obama. Uncle Toms are everywhere. Therefore, if the shoes fit comfortably, you should wear it!

Thrasher said...

I don't wear shoes in the summer I wear sandels .. Sorry but I don't genuflect to all of our icons they were of course human

fred c said...

Thanks, Mr. Goldenberg, for the link. I boosted it. "Devil's Budget" indeed.

Cavoyo said...

"...the 2012 Republican platform is one more example of how a major political party is in the midst of its death throngs as it slips further down the road to demographic suicide."

Nope. The darker this country gets, the more anxious whites get about the racial privileges they feel they are entitled to. The percentage of whites in this country is decreasing, but this only increases white allegiance to reactionary conservatism.

"We support changing the way that the decennial census is conducted, so that citizens are distinguished from lawfully present aliens and illegal aliens. In order to preserve the pinciple of one-person, one-vote, the apportionment of representatives among the states should be according to the number of citizens."

The states with the most undocumented immigrants tend to be the most conservative, like Texas. Also, the undocumented population cannot vote, which means counting them in the Census just gives more political power to the states with the most undocumented immigrants. It's like a modern Three-Fifths law. I've got to hand it to Republicans for taking the principled stance of shooting themselves in the foot.

Also I wonder how the Census could even figure out how someone has immigration documents. Do the Republicans want the Census form to have a big check box that says "Are you an illegal immigrant" on it or something?