Your Hermetically Sealed Republican Party

Have you heard the latest? Republicans have decided that the LAMEstream LIEberal media is in the tank for NObama because there’s no way those polls showing the Kenyan usurper in the lead could possibly be right, so they’ve developed their own polls which — shocker! — show Mitt Romney with an insurmountable lead. I know, what are the odds, right?

Isn’t that just typical? Whenever reality contradicts conservative ideology, it’s always the reality that’s wrong, and the conservative solution is always to create their own version of whatever so-called “liberal” thing vexes them at the moment. It must be exhausting creating your own alternate reality: your own news network, your own Bible, your own science and history, and on, and on. Expensive, too. But there you have it.

Last week Mistermix over at Balloon Juice observed:

…the Romney campaign is what you get when your incubator is Fox News.

Y’know, I’d never seen it stated quite so bluntly before. I smacked my forehead and went, “Duh! Of course!” And so I’d like to take this moment to thank Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch and Rush Limbaugh and all the rest for effectively killing the Republican Party as we know it. By creating this alternate reality hermetically sealed against anything dangerous like, y’know, facts, they’ve effectively cut themselves off from any political party’s oxygen supply: reality.

Jonathan Bernstein put it better than I ever could:

The truth is that Romney is constantly constrained by what conservatives want him to do and by what they believe. Furthermore, what they want is generally unpopular, and what they believe is far too often simply cut off from the reality that the rest of the nation lives in.

So Romney cannot have a coherent foreign policy because what his voters want to hear is that Barack Obama sympathizes with terrorists. Most Americans, meanwhile, think of Obama as the guy who took out bin Laden. Romney cannot have a sensible tax policy because conservatives insist that he promote large, self-funding tax cuts for the rich. Most of the nation, however, supports raising taxes on the rich, and reality insists that cutting taxes also reduces revenues.Also, Romney didn’t invent the 47 percent nonsense; whether he truly believes it or not, he was simply parroting back what his voters have been hearing for years from Rush Limbaugh and others like him.

Somewhere back in the 80s and 90s a bunch of conservatives got together in a smoke-filled room and decided if they didn’t like what the “LIEberal establishment” was doing in the news media, the entertainment media, at the nation’s universities and science laboratories, economic policy think tanks, etc., they’d use their vast wealth to make their own. That was deemed such a good idea that over the years it’s grown to some ludicrous extremes like Andy Schlafly’s Conservative Bible Project, for example. Or, think the AARP is too liberal with their Medicare-loving, Social Security-supporting enabling of life on the taxpayer teet?Welcome to AMAC, the right-wing version. Or the 60 Plus Association. Or, um, the ASA.

Anything deemed “liberal” by conservatives now has its right-wing counterpart, catering exclusively to right-wingers. The results have been predictable: a core group of intractable true believers increasingly cut off from the rest of the electorate.

Ghettos are never a good idea, but when a political movement willfully and intentionally separates itself from the people at large — the very people it needs to reach if it’s going to continue to exist — it has become irrelevant.

12 thoughts on “Your Hermetically Sealed Republican Party

  1. ThresherK says:

    It was gonna happen sooner or later.
    After McCain stopped being a maverick to get the nod, we saw any number of indicators that he was wavering between his two identities since Election Night 2008.
    The next step was logical: Someone who didn’t have the capacity to have a crisis of (whatever once was a) conscience, and with the added bonus of never being able to say no to his friends.

  2. Jay in Oregon says:

    It’s the same mentality that infects the conversative Christian subculture; they probably feed off of each other, actually.
    They can’t expose themselves to anything that might challenge their religious beliefs, so we get textbooks that pretend set theory doesn’t exist, the Jesus hung around with dinosaurs, and more.

  3. Dbp says:

    The ASA website has a Medicare and social security poll I suggest people take. 16 voted for Obama. Mysteriously.

  4. It’s the same mentality that infects the conversative Christian subculture; they probably feed off of each other, actually.

    Yup, that’s exactly right. I used to work in Christian music, which is a big business here in Nashville. I saw this ghettoization of the music world with my own eyes — they have their own radio stations, bookstores where they sell CDs, magazines, award shows, there was even at one point a Christian version of MTV. But the problem was, their sales (and a good bit of their PR spin) depended on reaching music audiences as a whole. They needed to have their videos on VH1 and MTV as well as GMC. Their stuff needed to be sold at Tower Records and Cats, not just LifeWay. The result was a constant struggle to stay true to their core belief while compromising some values to appeal to consumers as a whole. It was hilarious to watch.

  5. Randy says:

    Funny thing is even Fox and Rasmussen are publishing favorable Dem numbers.

  6. thebewilderness says:

    I think two things are going on. One is that quite naturally if you think God is on your side you expect God to win it for you.
    The other is that it is essential to provide advance cover for the amount of organized vote suppression and just plain cheating that is in the works. Otherwise it would be obvious, and sowing doubt is key to getting away with cheating.

  7. MapleStreet says:

    @Southern – “the Romney campaign is what you get when your incubator is Fox News.” LOVE IT!
    I saw a news item yesterday tht Pallin is advising Romney to “go rogue.” I had to get beyond that this is her advice for everything and that we saw how well that works 4 years ago. Then I found myself actually finding some substance in what Pallin said.
    Looking at the dependence of the Romney campaign on and need to please the goosestepping ultra-reich wing fascists, the ultra-conservative fundamentalists, and the high rolling 1% including the Koch brothers (and somehow appear to be simultaneously pleasing them all). This is running a train on square wheels (hat tip to argument about train wheels a few days ago). No way it can put out a coherrent message.
    BTW – I polled both of my cats and neither are registered to vote and thus won’t vote. Therefore, the voter turnout in this election will be zero.

  8. MapleStreet says:

    Being of the age that I can now join the AARP, everytime I look at them, I am slapped in the face by the extreme conservative bent. Admittedly, one of the major goals is to keep the retirement that I’ve saved up for which blends well with an I’ve got mine mentality. Schools aren’t important as my kids are grown, etc. And even they are stressing the importance of the enacted Medicare for Everybody over Romney’s plan (which included him recently saying that the Emergency Room is a good safety net??)
    I do have to give Romney credit on his ER quote, though. The current healthcare debate is strictly about who pays for it (charge other folks that visit the ER more to pay for those without insurance to pay for the insolvent at the highest rate available – that is in an ER where you have to pay for all sorts of emergency machines and rooms equiped for major surgery). It has nothing to do with improving healthcare, including initiating measures that have worked well in developed countries.
    Obama holds that using techniques proven elsewhere (such as nurse follow ups, Electronic record, etc) you can actually deliver better care while decreasing the total cost. I have to note that my insurance company (which is certainly not interested in paying money they don’t need to) has started regular nurse calls to make sure I have my meds, using them right, etc. Why? TO SAVE MONEY!
    About the shell enclosing the religious environment, I spent a lot of my years in a Baptist Church that was too conservative to join the SBC. If you go to church twice on Sunday and also on Wednesday night. And fit in a group Bible Study, your social network does tend to focus on the Church. It definitely has potential in making sure one holds the correct dogma and doesn’t leave the church.
    At the same time, I have to cut them some slack as looking back on my high school at the same time, the stoners had their social clique, the _____ had theirs, etc. etc. etc. And while I’ve heard Baptists say some awfully crazy things, I’ve also heard similarly illogical things by the other groups also.

  9. MapleStreet says:

    @Southern, sorry to be so long winded, but where you note that Romney can’t have a foreign policy while criticizing any and everything Obama says about foreign policy.
    I agree to a point. If Romney ever gives any specifics on any of his plans he is liable to show that some of the labels he throws at Obama apply to him (for example, the group asking Romney to prove that he was born in the States as his father spent a lot of time in Mexico).
    But I can’t shake the memory that Bush II ran on an ironclad platform against nation building and getting the US involved in the affairs of other countries.
    Of course, he was already planning for deposing Hussein / invading Iraq so they were more than ready to talk about spreading the sweet air of freedom.

  10. pansypoo says:

    gotta preserve the old order of classes.

  11. swoosh says:

    The BS poll numbers are just underpinnings for right wing cries of “illegitimate!” if Obama is reelected.

  12. Lori says:

    I’m am dumber for having read this ridiculous garbage. Get your heads out of your rectums and open your eyes!!!

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