Group therapy for Republicans

  • Article by: Dana Milbank , Washington Post
  • Updated: March 19, 2013 - 1:15 PM

If this week's Conservative Political Action Conference were a papal conclave, black smoke would be billowing from the chimney at the Gaylord Convention Center.

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mjcmspMar. 19, 13 1:35 PM

The Republican party is officially dead. If you look at any of the speeches at CPAC there is no other conclusion you can make. Chris Christie wasn't even invited, yet Rand Paul and Sarah Palin (who even Fox news now sees as irrelevant) were. No gay people were allowed (and yet there were tons of CPAC attendees on grindr and on craigslist looking for same sex hookups). Hypocrisy and denial of reality was in full display at CPAC.

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ginny6Mar. 19, 13 2:18 PM

The Democrats have shown themselves to be the party of fiscal responsibility, responsible budgeting, pay-as-you-go, forward thinking, the party of science, the party of evidence-based reality, the party of inclusion, the party of the big tent, the party of economic fairness, the party of opportunity for all. The GOP has shown itself to be the party of deficits, wars on a credit card, tax breaks not paid for, irresponsible budgeting, infrastructure crumbling, you're-on-your-own social darwinism, anti-women's rights, anti-gay, anti-science, anti-evidence-based reality, protect the rich and priveleged.

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crystalbayMar. 19, 13 2:23 PM

A party which refuses to change with the times, stubbornly clings to very unpopular/unworkable strategies, maintains intolerance for minorities, women, gays and the poor, repeatedly creates artificial economic crises, and tries to destroy the opposition by tanking the economy cannot and will not survive. The worse it gets, the more they dig in their heels in protest, offering nothing in the place of that which they attack. They'll still hang onto the House in 2014, but only because of massive gerrymandering favoring Republican candidates starting in 2010. Hillary will be our next president and, by 2020 when the effects of gerrymandering can finally be unraveled, the Dems will take back the House as well. By 2024, I predict that what's been known as the GOP will have necessarily been replaced by a new third party.

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gearrunrMar. 19, 13 2:28 PM

mjcmsp - Hope you're right... and it's soon replaced by a party that holds true fiscally conservative values and doesn't let itself get drawn into street fights over social issues. If a party like that rises from the ashes and stays on message, the liberal agenda will be exposed for what it is.

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mjcmspMar. 19, 13 3:46 PM

"the liberal agenda will be exposed for what it is." --- What agenda would that be? Fighting for working people vs corporations and the wealthiest among us? Fighting for equality for everyone? Yeah...the liberal agenda is just SO nefarious.

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rms316Mar. 19, 13 3:55 PM

For once I agree with Rand Paul. The old guard has B.S.ed us one too many times. As for Iraq, I remember Dick Cheney standing in front of every American and telling us the war was being paid for by oil. The party of exclusion is on the ropes and getting pummeled.

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swmnguyMar. 19, 13 3:59 PM

The problem the Republican Party has is the inevitable end-game of Nixon's Southern Strategy of 1968, which Reagan doubled down with his embrace of the Evangelicals in 1980.

Both of these moves created winning, if temporary and short-lived, winning coalitions. As time has gone on, the pieces of the coalition don't have much in common with each other. Those in favor of strict immigration controls are in the same party as those who have built their businesses hiring illegal workers. The Libertarians are in the same party as the drug warriors and bedroom morality police. The tax-cutters are in the same party as the defense contractors, medical industry profiteers and energy executives. You get absurdities like John McCain inveighing against the military's development of post-petroleum energy at the behest of the petroleum industry, while the Navy war-plans to defend the US in a world irrevocably changed by climate change. You get religious moralists making ridiculous rationalizations for rapists. Gun fanatics in the same party with police chiefs.

I think we'd all be better off with a parliamentary system, or at least a lot more political parties who would have to work together at least once in a while to get things done. Let's have Fascists, Communists, Trade Unionists, Keynesians, Nativists, Gold Bugs, religious nuts, gun fetishists, Greens; all of them get their own party. To get a bill passed, they need to find 50% +1 votes, but they don't have to be crammed into a party with people with whom they have nothing in common.

And I don't even want to guess which ideological party gets stuck with Ann Coulter. Not gonna go there.

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gearrunrMar. 19, 13 4:29 PM

"What agenda would that be? Fighting for working people vs corporations and the wealthiest among us? Fighting for equality for everyone? Yeah...the liberal agenda is just SO nefarious." - The liberal agenda is more power and control over the people. The things you list here are a facade, straw man arguments. Politics of envy resulting in an emotionally clouded point of view. Name me one thing a wealthy person or corporation has "taken" from you, or anyone you know.

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gandalf48Mar. 19, 13 4:42 PM

Libertarianism is the way forward for the GOP, leave the social issues behind and then we can have the real debate about the size and scope of government!

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sarahanneMar. 19, 13 4:42 PM

The people who can fix the Republican party were not invited to CPAC. Until the Republicans who were at CPAC come back into the real world that party will struggle. Maybe they can do what they did in 1864 with Lincoln create a different party aside from the Republican party.

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