While America sees the Republican Party as the party of creepy uncles nobody wants to talk about, the best (or worst) Ted Cruz can say is that we don’t need another Mitt Romney or John McCain in 2016:
We need to look to history and what works and what doesn’t and the one thing is clear is if Republicans run another candidate in the mold of a Bob Dole, or a John McCain, or a Mitt Romney — and let me be clear, all three of those are good, honorable men. They’re decent men. They’re patriots. But if we run another candidate in the mold of a Bob Dole, or a John McCain, or Mitt Romney, we will end up with the same result, which is millions of people will stay home on Election Day.
And if we run another candidate like that, Hillary Clinton will be president.
Yes, Hillary outpolls Mitt Romney. Big surprise. Keep in mind – because Cruz won’t – that Hilary has outpolled everything the GOP has to offer, including Chris Christie (in his own state), Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush (in his own state), Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, the other half of 2008’s “Mavericks,” Sarah Palin (in her own state) and yes, Ted Cruz.
Despite all attempts to character assassinate Hillary Clinton over the invented Benghazi scandal, she is still more popular than any Republican you care to mention. Americans love themselves some Clintons.
Despite some rumblings from the Romney camp that he might still be alive, Cruz probably doesn’t have to worry himself about Romney, who never stood a chance in 2012 after he opened his mouth, and won’t stand a chance again in 2016 for the same reason.
But since Cruz seems serious about this, let’s play ball: given all the above, we can say that Cruz is right when he says we don’t need another Romney or McCain, but he’s only partly right.
Why? Let’s get into that now.
First, another thing Ted Cruz won’t tell you – for obvious reasons – is that even big money Republicans prefer Hillary over Cruz. Or Rand Paul.
Second, speaking of Rand Paul, it is time to ask, is this the same as Rand Paul on Wednesday saying – again – that the GOP brand “sucks?” Again, partly. Cruz wants you to think individuals – not the party itself – suck. But Paul is trying to be a man of the people he despises, so he’s trying to admit to some collective guilt as the least possible cost to the party as a whole and to himself in particular:
Remember Domino’s Pizza? They admitted, ‘Hey, our pizza crust sucks.’ The Republican Party brand sucks and so people don’t want to be a Republican and for 80 years, African-Americans have had nothing to do with Republicans.
Why? Because of a perception. The problem is the perception is that no one in the Republican Party cares.
For Paul, it is all about marketing. The point he misses is that Dominoes actually made their pizzas better. The GOP isn’t about to make their platform better.
It is true that Cruz bogeyman Mitt Romney doesn’t care. He admitted this with his infamous 47 percent remarks. He proved it when he mocked the raincoats worn by fans at a NASCAR event who could not afford his fancy duds. And McCain is just at the point where he ought to be looking at post-retirement plans.
So yes, Paul is certainly right that the GOP has the image of group that doesn’t care. But this is largely because, well…they don’t care. They prove it daily in both word and deed. And not individually, but collectively with their legislation at local, state, and federal level.
Republican deeds match up very well with Republican rhetoric. It’s not as though Ted Cruz (or any other Republican) jumped up to criticize Romney over his 47 percent remarks.
According to Paul,
We’re also fighting 40 years of us doing a crappy job, of Republicans not trying at all for 40 years, so it’s a lot of overcoming. You got to show up, you got to have something to say and really we just have to emphasize that we’re trying to do something different.
And there’s the rub. Paul’s talk is all about just that: talk. Notice that he doesn’t say they have to actually DO anything. They just have to “say” and “emphasize that they’re trying” without ever actually doing.
I don’t think that’s going to get them very far.
Hey, look what Paul just noticed!
We look at incarceration and we see a disproportionate number of people of color in jail and then when we see statistics on drug use, it seems to be about equal among all the different races,” he said. “Blacks and Hispanics seem to populate our jails more.
It’s strange, don’t you think, that the GOP would think they need to reach out to black voters even while they’re busily disenfranchising them? What exactly are they reaching out to give black voters beyond empty verbiage? Republican reaction to Ferguson and attempts to register black voters shows us everything we need to know about how the GOP feels about blacks: “Disgusting.”
The sad fact of the matter is that the Republican base is rife with racism. They know it, though they won’t admit it, we know it, and they’re outraged when we mention it, and blacks know it. It’s the worst kept secret in America, but one nobody is allowed to talk about without Republicans demanding apologies.
Apologies Democrats have all too frequently given.
It’s time for that to stop. No apologizing for the facts. The facts are what they are, and if the GOP doesn’t want to be called out on their racism, then they can stop being racist. It’s not only the simplest solution, it’s the only solution.
So yes, Ted Cruz is right. The GOP doesn’t need another Mitt Romney or another John McCain, and the rest of us don’t either, gods forbid! But they’re only symptoms of a larger problem. And yes, Republicans need to reach out to black voters (and other minorities as well) but that won’t accomplish anything as long as their base is made up of ethnic nationalists, particularly when the ethnicity of choice is lily-white and solidly pseudo-Christian.
And even if the Republicans somehow got the black vote, they’d still be lacking the growing Latino vote, and women’s votes, and Muslim votes and atheist votes and millennial votes. There are a lot of votes that ain’t gonna fit in that tiny little tent the Republicans set up deep in the heart of Dixie, surrounded by Confederate flags and guarded by white supremacist secessionist militias.
How’s that for voter outreach?
So you go ahead: get rid of Mitt Romney and John McCain – and Sarah Palin while you’re at it – and each out to black voters with empty promises, and see where that gets you. You can even take Rand Paul’s earlier suggestion that the GOP needs earrings and tattoos. Heck, Paul can even put on those blue jeans he thinks are going to open the doors of the White House.
You can’t be a man of the people if you despise the people.
Underneath it all, the truth is there to see: if the Republicans had something – anything – they would not be so eager to stop people from voting. But they have nothing and they know it, and they know we know it, which leaves them no choice but to let only those whose votes they can trust – white Evangelicals – retain the voting franchise. The rest of Americans? Well, they can go the way of the 47 percent.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.
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