Defenders of Rush Limbaugh cry out that if you condemn the so-called conservative Limbaugh for his vile language then you also have to condemn the liberal Bill Maher. Well, while I would rather listen or watch and listen to Bill Maher any day, unfortunately I have probably heard more from Limbaugh because he is hard to escape on the radio. But as someone else observed in a column I just read, Maher is an out-and-out comedian, a political satirist. Limbaugh is the defacto leader of the ultra conservative movement and practically all GOP politicians dare not speak ill of him. And I have not heard enough of Maher’s supposed vile speech (although I know he’ll say about anything).
I’m beginning to think I am observing the self-destruction of the Republican Party.
I caught just a little bit of a right-wing talk show yesterday (not Limbaugh), and it seemed the host was saying that indeed the party was in disarray and fracturing.
Right now there seems little doubt that Mitt Romney has a lock on the nomination by the fact he is far ahead in convention delegate numbers — this even though many of his own supporters or his voters can’t seem to get enthusiastic about him.
In his heart, and I think he has one, by the way, he is a pragmatic moderate in politics, but he is a Republican through and through.
But a few decades ago the Republican Party, in an effort to boost its rolls, pandered to the ignorant and bigotry and so on, along with its appeal to well-meaning conservatives.
As I mentioned, I think in my last post, this was the Nixon strategy.
Now after all this time it has come back to haunt the Republican establishment, who has cowered all these years before the likes of Rush Limbaugh, who will say anything over the radio airwaves, controlled for the most part by something called Clear Channel, and have sold their souls to Fox News, the answer from the far-out right wing to the perceived (and to some extent correctly) liberal bias of the established media (the traditional big three networks, along with PBS).
I want to add here that while the traditional media may have or have had a liberal bias, that bias was only there because educated people or intellectuals often tend to be liberal because their eyes are opened to varying points of view and the world at large (although there are educated people who are nonetheless conservative, but those people are closer to the liberals than their less-educated but so-called conservative brethren).
But anyway, the ultimate effect has been that moderation and compromise have been thrown by the wayside, and getting anything done in governance is nearly impossible without moderation and compromise, that is in a democratic (small d) society.
Bottom line here:
Barack Obama gets four more years.
I would not have believed this a year ago or less.
I think I wrote this before, but Obama is as much a comeback kid as Bill Clinton.
Disparate groups (to some extent disparate), the ignorant, the bigoted, the believers in traditional values, religious fundamentalists, just plain conservatives, the selfish, and so on, have found themselves lumped together in the Republican Party, but the only thing they may agree upon is that they are against anything that is perceived as liberal or progressive (two terms that seem to be synonymous, but are not necessarily). But trapped in this cage, they are beginning to fight one another. How could the Democratic Party be so lucky? One thing, the Democrats have for most of their history been a collection of disparate groups, whose only commonality was that they were not Republicans — so the Democrats just have more experience with this phenomenon.
Political pundits on Chris Matthew’s Hardball today were saying that Romney may go into the convention next summer with a plurality of committed delegates, but not the total needed, and they raised the spectre of a brokered convention (and this has come up elsewhere recently), something not seen since the days of Eisenhower and Taft and the smoke-filled rooms — back in the days when conventions really meant something. I think that would be fun to watch.
There probably needs to be a third party, at least, to accommodate those who like neither Republican nor Democratic politics (some would say that are really the same), but our own unique federal system does not seem to be conducive to that. It seems that only parliamentary systems allow something beyond two parties.