The Republicans lost bigtime this election, and watching them work through the various stages of shock, anger, and denial has been highly entertaining. But as the hangover fades in the cold morning light, the few remaining sane people left in the GOP are taking a hard look at the facts:
FACT 1: The only groups that voted Republican were old
white people and blue collar white men. One of those groups is dying,
and the not-yet-old white people are pretty Democratic.
The current wave of young people, the Millenials, turned out in large
numbers in 2008 and 2012 (half of them voted Tuesday, and they made up
19% of the total vote, 2% higher than senior citizens) and
overwhelmingly voted Democratic. The typical pattern is that if young
people vote for the same party in three straight Presidential elections
they'll vote for that party for life. If the Republicans don't convince
a lot of Millenials for vote for them in 2016, they're toast.
The Republicans are going to have to come up with some way to convince
young people, especially non-white young people, that conservative,
patriarchal values are necessary, relevant, exciting, even sexy.
Why? Because in their mind there's a:
GIVEN: It can't possibly
be the MESSAGE that's wrong, only the MARKETING of the message. "We do
not need to change our values, but we do need to find ways to
communicate them in an engaging and welcoming manner." (Morrissey)
Every reasonable individual (as they see it) will surely become an
authoritarian, conservative Republican if the package is only sold to
them in the right way.
The HELP WANTED sign is already up. Ed Morrissey
is looking for "men and women who can think creatively, produce a
positive agenda that isn’t defined by an oppositional nature, and who
can eloquently communicate that agenda and the values that drive it."
There's a gig for an out-of-work colllege grad with a Creative Writing
But this solution runs up against
FACT 3: People
who can "think creatively" and "produce a positive agenda" tend to be
progressives, not conservatives. It's going to be hard to find a genius
who can take a worldview that's defined by an oppositional nature and
sell it as something else, and even harder to find people who would buy
that argument under normal circumstances (more on that later). It's a long shot. The very fact that it's a long shot runs up against
4: The 1% lost a ton of money backing Republican candidates who lost.
Ralph Reed was given $10 million, Karl Rove $400 million, and that's
not counting Adelson, the Koch brothers and all the other conservative
SuperPacs. Rich people don't like losing money on what they had been
promised was a sure thing. (The fact that they could stand to lose it
is irrelevant. They still don't like it.) There's a lot of very
wealthy, very angry white guys out there who want to make sure that a
progressive Democratic landslide never happens again on their watch.
They're not going to want to back long shots. They're going to want to
back sure things.
FACT 5: There is only one sure, time-tested, tried-and-true
method to tilt the country to the right -- war.
foreign grievance against the US is going to be carefully cultivated
for the next year until it erupts sometime in 2014 or 2015 to frighten
this country into seeking solace in the jingoistic propaganda of the
Republicans, just like so many people did after 9/11. It'll happen just
in time for Obama's "incompetence" in dealing with it to become a
rallying cry for the Republican presidential candidate in the 2016.
It'll happen because it's the only guaranteed way to scare that many
people into changing their worldview (and subsequently their politics)
Does my conjecture sound callous to you? It does to
me as well. Only a cold-hearted cynic would do something like that, and
only a blind idiot would let them. But lest you think the Republicans
wouldn't do such a thing, consider
EXHIBIT A: Republican
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Romney made his vast fortune as a
job destroyer, closing down factories, shipping the jobs to China,and
leaving vast swaths of the country (including the town I used to live
in) that had been healthy, prosperous communities full of starving,
destitute people bereft of income, jobs, and hope; yet Candidate Romney
was sold to the American people as a "job creator". Only a cold-hearted
cynic would try to pull such a con game, and only a blind idiot would
fall for it.