Election 2012

Quote of the Morning

"I think America is currently in a Cold Civil War. The parties, of course, have switched sides since the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The party of the Union and Lincoln is now the Democratic party. The party of the Confederacy is now the GOP. And racial polarization is at record levels, with whites entirely responsible for reversing Obama's 2008 inroads into the old Confederacy in three Southern states. You only have to look at the electoral map in 1992 and 1996, when Clinton won, to see how the consolidation of a Confederacy-based GOP and a Union-based Democratic party has intensified - and now even more under a black president from, ahem, Illinois." Andrew Sullivan

The Republicans are self-exiling and becoming a strictly rural, regional party -- frightened away from urban centers and diverse suburbs. But worse, they're fearful of the "browning" of America, both in terms of a threat to white society but also in terms of what this will mean for politics, since Latinos and blacks are leaning heavily in the Democratic column. The conservative movement's refusal to soften or compromise -- driven by the Tea Party -- is slowly suffocating the Republican Party.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.m.hall1 John Michael Hall

    Wow. Nice to hear Andrew Sullivan finally admit to what liberals have been saying for more than a few years now. Electoral maps have looked like slave state maps the past few elections.

  • bphoon

    …is slowly suffocating the Republican Party.

    I prefer the term “implode” but fair enough. I’m taking the long view and, from what I know about cultural development, living on the extremes is simply not sustainable. This is true for both the left and the right. It’s just that the right wing extremists are taking a more prominent role right now. Perhaps it’s because they say such inflammatory things and the media is drawn to such rhetoric like moths to a flame.

    Unfortunately, the right may succeed in dragging this country further right but I doubt that will last very long. Fewer people are self-identifying as Republican in most areas and certainly far fewer are self-identifying as Tea Partiers than in 2009, for example.

    I think President Obama is going to be reelected and the Democrats will retain control of the Senate so we may be doomed to four more years of GOP Congressional obstruction. Given that, our job is to continue shining a light on their obstreperousness as it happens and to remain stubbornly fact-based. We don’t necessarily need to try to drown them out but we certainly have to be as, if not more, persistent. Other than that, sooner or later they’ll take enough rope to figuratively hang themselves with.

  • villemar

    Well they can always secede, because that worked out so well for them 150 years ago.

    • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

      You are missed. :)

      • villemar

        Oh I’m still here :-)

        • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

          then you post too rarely!

  • notoriousbob

    Next Tuesday will hopefully ensure this suffocation happens sooner, rather than later. A Romney win would just validate the way they have done business over the last 4 years. Ugly stuff.

  • Mike_Norris

    I have thought along the same lines for a long time. But for better clarifiation, think of it this way. The culture has been shifting slowly–and for quite some time now–from a modern culture to postmodern. We have become what Dr. Leonard Sweet calls a TGIF culture. Not a “Thank God it’s Friday Culture,” but instead a “Twitter, Google, i-Phone, Facebook” culture. Even a casual observation of postmoderns (people between the ages of 18 and 40) indicates that they think, process information, and hold a different set of values and cultural norms than the moderns who came befroe them. I don’t have the time or space to write a whole essay on this subject, but suffice it to say this is not a group the Republican party is in touch with.

    Specific to this idea is the hard truth that postmoderns don’t have hard truths. They see the world in relative terms–there is no absolute truth. So ideologies and hard political positions is not something postmoderns embrace. They want to speak in terms of helping people to become better people. They want to talk in terms of what could be–not in terms of this is the way it is. Also , postmoderns don’t frighten easily–they have a vision for a better world. Since they communicate with pictures and visions instead of cold, hard, ideological supposition, they won’t be scared off easily about who can keep them safe from any perceived boogey man.

    Postmoderns also deal with religion from a different perspective–one that evangelicals find makes them crazy. Since postmoderns don’t see absolute truths, they are wide open in terms of what faith and religion means to them. Postmoderns love discussions of theology–but they shun and avoid any discussion of doctrine. Postmoderns are willing to live and let live. This has become such an issue for some in the Christian faith that the Southern Baptist convention has labeled the whole discussion about relative truths in terms of faith a heresy.

    So what does all this mean? It means that how we communicate, how we think, and how we sell ideas and ideology has to cahnge to fit the culture. It means that for at least half of the culture, one of our political parties doesn’t undersnad the societal norms of the people. And it also means that the Republican party is becoming less and less relevant all the time. And in time–unless something changes radically–they will be come totally irrelevant in the foreseeable future. The Republicans (even though they are loathe to admit it) already know this. And they see creeping postmodernism as a serious problem. They are screaming about it all the time, the problem is they are not smart enough to know that the culture is changing. They are just shouting at the wind about cultural morality, states rights, and the evil government that wants to ruin our lives. They shout about the foreigner in the White House and call him a socialist, communist, and insinuate about his race. They are totally unaware that this kind of rhetoric is very troubling to postmoderns.. Like the Southern Baptists, they have labled what the baptists call heresy as a decline in cultural morality. Of course anyone (like me) who speaks to this is considered part of the decline of society’s morality–or worse–a heretic.

    The Republicans are becoming a regional and culturally detached political party. The angry white men that are their party are feeling the effects of an encroaching culture changing before their very eyes. The browning of the culture–which postmoderns know about, embrace, and seek to share in, is a huge threat to the white base of the Republican party.

    What do you think the Republicans are really shouting about? When a Republican senatorial candidate sits in a press confererence and says that during a rape, a woman’s body has “a way to shut that whole process down” to keep her from becoming pregnant, do you think he is just a wacko? No–he believes it. And he believes it because he lives in a modern world where people can say things and no one questions them. When a fundamentalist talks about a world that is five thousand years old, do you think he is just afraid that to know the truth that threatens what he believes about Genesis 1:1? No–he doesn’t understand that he lives in a postmodern world where people can fact check him in two seconds with a smart phone. The culture is adapting, changing, and growing way too intelligent and sophisticated for Republicans. They know this at some intuitive level and it makes them crazy.

    I do believe there is a cold civil war we are engaged in. But the war front is going to shift soon. President Obama believes that if he wins, there will be an internal war in the Republican party. I agree with him. But the war for the Republican’s soul will take years and cost thousands of lives. Long before the Republicans figure out that the problem is them, they will continue to try to push the culture back a hundred years.

    P.S. Hey Nicole, it’s me Michael Norris, I had to change how I sign on so I got a new name. Go Boise State!

    • http://twitter.com/Eykis Eykis


      Terrific and truthful post. Thank you for saying it so well.

    • notoriousbob

      LONG responses like this are typically the work of crazy blowhards, but in this case Mike, spot on. Good stuff.

      • Mike_Norris

        Bob–you make me blush.

    • Lazarus Durden

      I don’t think it’s that cut and dry. You make some good points, and I agree with some of your generalizations, but post moderns also have a way of lying to themselves and I’ve found this to be very true living in East TN.

      I’ve talked with a lot of reasonable people in that age group who talk about a Mitt Romney that simply doesn’t exist going up against a Barack Obama that doesn’t exist. They aren’t the mouth breathing, snarling Tea Partiers, but they’ll vote for Mitt because 1) They were raised Republican. 2) They believe in the free market and libertarianism which the modern GOP doesn’t but in their minds they do. Now some of them are voting for Gary Johnson, but they refuse to embrace the Democratic platform even though most of their core beliefs line up with it.

      I’ve literally had one young woman tell me “I don’t wanna vote for a party that has a jackass as a symbol. I’m keeping my elephant.” That wasn’t her being flippant. That was her deflection. Because when I point out the GOP doesn’t like gay people, or support a woman’s right to choose, or any of the things that are important to her she’ll nod, agree with me and then say “I won’t vote Democratic. I don’t like Barack Obama.” And that’s it. How do you argue against willful stubbornness?

      So yes the post moderns are changing but they also, some of them, delude themselves into believing in a thing that doesn’t exist. The greatest failing of post modernism is relativism and the rejection of objective truth and it’s being embraced.

      To paraphrase Weber I take the world as it is not as it ought to be. I work toward the ought to be, but I first have to accept reality as I find it otherwise I cannot bring about authentic change.

      • Michael Norris

        Laz, your observations are correct. One of the things I didn’t mention is that postmodernism does influence education and education also speaks to postmodernity. Uneducated (or shall we say rural people) are not going to embrace postmodernity as fast as educated people.

        You and I both know that Republicans rely heavily on uneducated and uninformed people to increase their voter rolls. And relativism is something that doesn’t work well with postmoderns. Because the fact is, there are some absolute truths. But in religion and philosophy, I think postmoderns don’t see anything really concrete. It has been my observations that political discussion seems to fit into that relativism.

        Good discussion–thanks.

        • Lazarus Durden

          I definitely agree with you there Mike about relativism fitting into political discussions. I believe in very few absolute truths. I’m much more of a post modernist then I am a modernist, but I do believe in a hierarchy, or comparison between values i.e. this is better then that and here’s why.

          That’s where I departed from Camus and that’s why Foucault took him to task on the French war in Algeria. You can’t say everything is relative and then take a stance on something “just because you give value to it.” Some ideas objectively suck on their own merit or lack thereof.

          Good discussion, and great first post BTW

          • Michael Norris

            Thanks for the discussion. I am a frequent poster. I had to change my sign-on name.

  • http://twitter.com/mommadona mommadona™

    Now, if we can just manage this without them taking the whole country WITH them ~

    I blame the US media for ENABLING these fascists (yes, that’s what they are, by definition) with their constant ‘need’ for ‘access’ ~ they spread this shit into mainstream conversations.

    MainStreamMedia needs a soul searching reality check. Immediately.

    • http://twitter.com/Eykis Eykis

      Yes, they are the RePiggery Obstructionist Team of Evangelibagger Fascists and Fools~

  • GrafZeppelin127

    And yet this “slowly suffocating” party is about to regain executive power, and either full or practically full control of the federal government, in the United States, after having perpetrated the most dishonest, cynical, ugly, hateful, destructive, mean-spirited, deplorable four-year political strategy in modern history.

    I’m sorry; I just don’t see evidence that the GOP is “slowly suffocating” or that it is losing power and influence, that its prospects for future electoral success have diminished, or that Americans are abandoning it in droves for more sensible, reality-based, pragmatic policy and governance. A lot of us thought that after 2006 and 2008; Rachel Maddow had a regular segment on her show about Republicans wandering in the wilderness or somesuch that ended as soon as the first Tea Party™ rallies were orchestrated and foisted upon the nation by the folks at Fox.

    There’s no question we’re in a “Cold Civil War.” But I don’t think the other side has any less chance of winning than we do. In fact, I think their fanatical devotion to their cause, misguided and anachronistic though it may be, gives them an advantage. And if Romney wins next Tuesday, it will only validate and normalize that advantage.

    On the other hand, having a Republican in the White House will at least put a stop to the anti-government bullshit for eight years….

    • http://twitter.com/Eykis Eykis


      Hello~first of all, I do not for one second believe the Post-Modern generation is going to put up with this garbage by the RePig Fascists and two, they will NOT be able to steal this election, they are trying, but they will lose.

    • MrDHalen


      If they manage to win this election, the Republican Party still must change and start including brown people, because the numbers of their voting bloc go down every year.

      I personally don’t think Romney is going to win. We’ll both win and further marginalize the Right, or we will lose and watch the epic destruction of our nation’s foundations at the hands of a long standing majority who is terrified of slipping into the status of minority.

  • http://twitter.com/kerryreid Kerry Reid

    The guy who signed off on publishing “The Bell Curve” wonders about entrenched racism? Hilarious.

    • rob black

      Yep….Sully is making a boatload repeating as epiphany what “the dirty 5th columnist libs” have been screaming for years….to paraphrase Mr. Glass.

  • Nanotyrannus

    Behold! The Great State of Apalachia! Last Bastion of the Glorious Cause!

    They’ll either suffocate or inbreed themselves to death.

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    I wish to hell that they’d “suffocate” a whole lot faster.

    This country can’t survive much longer with these fascist pricks in charge.

    • http://phydeauxpseaks.blogspot.com Bob Rutledge

      Yep. I clicked into the comments to say “too slowly for the health of the country (and, indeed, the world)”.