If the Republicans keep this up, Democrats won’t even have to work that hard to elect Hillary Clinton in 2016, assuming (as most do) that she enters the race. By ‘this’ I mean everything they’re doing that seems to stumble and fall under the label of ‘campaign strategy’. Despite the ever-changing demographics of this nation in which we live, the Republicans continue to be better at denigrating and insulting women, non-whites, and average working people than any other organized group out there save white supremacists, and even white supremacists seem to appreciate the value of working class folk since that’s who comprises most of their ranks. Still, it’s probably too early to project winners and losers for 2016.
The road to (name your campaign season here) is littered with the egos of political pundits who tried and failed to exalt their status above the pack by making far-too-early early predictions of who was likely to win a major political race. The standard rule of politics is pretty much anything can happen, so best to just stay tuned and watch the circus. But since making predictions makes for better TV viewing, or at least that’s what the reasoning seems to be, then we will likely never be free of the predictions game. Hey, it’s fun to predict just like it’s fun to play the lottery; you might not win, but then you might. If you lose, most folks will forget and you can always play again, but if you win then you’re a genius.
So what the hell. Count me in.
I’m predicting Hillary at this point because, frankly, I don’t see how she loses. Similar to 2008 and 2012, Republicans once again are boasting a presidential contender field of ankle-biting midgets and circus clowns who will provide us with hours upon hours of merry political entertainment but who have little to no chance of attracting support from a majority of Americans. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was being hyped as the best shot, but now that he’s been exposed as Don Corleone, his chances are fading quickly. And to be honest, I don’t think his chances were great before he joined the mob. Jersey tough guy plays well in Jersey, but I have a hard time seeing that act succeeding in Middle America or on the West Coast.
Jeb Bush is also being nose-tested, but so far the Bush stank is still too potent, plus the crazed Right Wing wants nothing to do with the establishment sort. They want blood and war. Victory accompanied by compromise is no victory at all to them, which is why they have very little chance at victory, but an excellent chance at wrecking the Republican Party. Which brings me to a very interesting blog written by Reed Galen in The New Conservative (thanks to the Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza who referenced that blog in his own blog, “The Fix), which raises the relevant question of what happens to the Republicans if the Tea Party jumps ship in 2016?
Another fundamental question is whether the Republican Party as it’s constituted today can live with itself. While parties typically have a hard-core, somewhat disaffected minority, they are usually swept along with the current of a larger movement.
However, in the case of the Tea Party, their lack of central organization and strict adherence to ideology over politics makes them a potent ingredient tossed into the evolutionary soup.
That the Establishment wing of the party is either unwilling or unable to co-opt them for the larger goal of winning major elections shows just how exotic an addition to the mix the Tea Party is. They won’t do what you want them to unless they’ve already made up their mind to do it. Reasoning with them doesn’t work because their starting point isn’t based in rationality but passion.
It may be time for Republicans to dig up Ronald Reagan. Sure he’s dead, but compared to the liabilities of the other candidates that just might be a plus.