Predictably enough, the Spector defection has given rise to a lot of speculating about the future of the Republican party. Getting down to brass tacks, Steve Benen finds yet another poll indicating that the percentage of Americans who call themselves Republicans is at a historic low.
Also predictably, Adam Nagourney lets the Meet the Press wing of the party have the last word in the debate over what to do next. In fairness, Huckleberry Hound makes a lot of sense when he says:
Do you really believe that we lost 18-to-34-year-olds by 19 percent, or we lost Hispanic voters, because we are not conservative enough? No. This is a ridiculous line of thought.
That’s the real bottom line. Unless the Republican finds a way to clone Lou Dobbs on a mass scale, and quickly, there just won’t be enough cranky white bastards to build a coalition around. Of course, that’s not really relevant to a party that doesn’t think it’s becoming less popular, just that their audience is being more selective. Meghan McCain can talk all she wants to about loosening up on social issues, but here’s the stark reality (from Ben Smith and Jon Martin):
The party will be shaped most clearly, however, when its presidential hopefuls begin their early state pilgrimages after the 2010 midterms. And they’re unlikely to emerge convinced that courting gay and Hispanic voters, in particular, is politically saleable within their parties.
“John McCain found out the hard way that being where he was not an asset,” Reed recalled of last year’s presidential primary, noting that the eventual nominee either shifted or downplayed some of his unpopular stances, including on immigration.
A presidential candidate’s arrival in an Iowa or South Carolina, Reed noted with a chuckle, offers “what I like to refer to as ‘a dramatically clarifying experience.’”
Expect to see a lot of hot air from “wise moderates” like Lindsay Graham and Olympia Snowe as the Republican party exits stage right. It’s Ralph Reed’s party, they’re just living in it.
I said it before, and I’ll say it again. I never expected the Republicans to be the party to first purge itself of ‘ideologically-impure’ people. I am stunned that they have collapsed so quickly and easily. If they are happy to be the party of purity, so be it. I’m hoping that the moderates will form a party of their own. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s wishful thinking, but I gotta have something that keeps me warm at night besides knowing that there’s a competent adult now in charge of the country.
I liked the Specter defection because it gave heartburn to the Republican Party, but it’s not so impressive when it’s clear that it was motivated by self-preservation and not by principle.
All Cornyn and McConnell have to do now is push Pat Toomey out of the race, get Tom Ridge in the race and then you have toss-up between Specter and Ridge.
A defection from Collins or Snowe would have been a real dagger to the heart because it would have been based on principle.
Meghan McCain is full of crap. She was recently whining that the MSM was giving Obama a free ride.
At the same time, ratings for Fox News Channel are thru the damn roof. Are these shrinking numbers of Republicans simply watching Fox News 24/7 or are those poll numbers about the number of Republicans inaccurate?
It will be next to impossible for a new party to form that won’t be invaded by the crazies. The perpetually pissed are always the first ones to show up.
There needs to be a diversionary party for their infestation. Sort of like sending the first colonization team consisting of hair dressers and phone cleaners to the “new” planet.
This also from the Nagourney article.
This is interesting, how easily the analogy comes to mind to these brave supporters of traditional marriage.
Blasphemy! John Cornyn must be purged from the GOP! That dirty, no-good, fraternizing-with-the-enemy, compromise-sympathizer (compie-symp?)!
Fox News gets all the high ratings because the crazies only tune in there. All the other channels split the sane audience.
Quaker in a Basement
I think there will always be a Republican party. However, it’s not going to regain national prominence until after it goes through a painful split. For all the reasons cited above, “becoming more conservative” isn’t the solution, it’s the problem.
As long as there’s a radical faction that demands fealty on abortion, gay marriage, and to the Club for Growth, the party isn’t going to grow its numbers. That same faction isn’t ever going to moderate its views to accommodate centrists. The only thing the radicals can do is split and become a permanent minority party.
The centrist remainder will be the part that returns to prominence. The smaller but more pragmatic branch of the party will be able to engage in governance, build alliances, and eventually gain traction in the ideological center.
Now there is one way the GOP could shortcut this process: they could stand up another stealth candidate in the mold of George W Bush–someone who talks moderate to mask a hardline agenda.
As they say in Texas (and in Tennessee) “Fool me once…”
Mr. Cornyn isn’t offering compromise as a new plan. He’s just reaffirming that conservatism is what wins and the GOP just hasn’t been conservative enough.
@JK: True dat. Like I said, if Specter is going to vote no on cloture for EFCA, if he is going to vote no on Dawn Johnson (is that her name? I am too lazy to look it up), if he is going to vote yes on more spending in Afghanistan and Iran if it comes to that, then it’s really merely window-dressing.
I also agree that Meghan McCain is full of crap. If she wasn’t John McCain’s daughter, no one would give two hoots about her. Same with Michael Reagan. Talk about your nepotism.
@Alan: Oh, I know, I know. That’s why I said it was just a dream. Like many others, I actually want a healthy, thriving, reasonable opposition party.
P.S. I really do think once the current crop of geezer GOP members, um, fade away, there will be a better chance at having moderates carve out a toe-hold in the GOP.
I hope you’re right.
Big Bad John Cornyn
South Carolina–where to win, the candidates have to defend the Confederate flag and make a pilgrimage to Bob Jones University. That is why the GOP has no future outside of the South.
With the purity purges & hard insistence on narrow ideological positions, the GOP still has a monumental mountain to climb: the policies they tout have been poisoned by George War Crimes Bush. Dubya & his catastrophe will be a stone around the party’s neck that only the distance of 30 or 40 years will begin to unlock.
Ralph Reed is one of the most repellant, repulsive, and downright nauseating leaders of the Republican party.
Studly Pantload, Would Be Minion of John Cole
Honey, we shrunk the party!
I never would have guessed this would happen, certainly not so quickly (100 days after Obama took office). At this point I wouldn’t be surprised to see party switching, large and small, in all kinds of moderate states. Frankly, it’s already happening in the liberal states (moderates who would run as Republicans 10-20 years ago, running as Democrats for state legislative positions).
The best thing about this is that it’s not a one-time thing – it becomes this self-sustaining phenomenon. If it goes on for another 4 or 8 years I would wonder if the Republican party could ever come back.
i dont get the whole ridge thing….why would the guy run his ass off only to win and be one of only 38 to 41 republicans in the senate??? not to mentino he would be a liberal republican given their cliff diving journey to the right.
I see no ridge and I see the dems saving loads of dough running specter over toomey, while using the savings for florida and missouri.
Welcome to the new GOP…the WPE…White Power Evangelical party…
Because he’d be one of only 100 Senators in the Senate. If you like being on TV, if you like having the villagers suck up to you, as long as you don’t mind deferring your payday for a while it’s a decent gig despite the low pay.
Is their anyone in the Republican party with enough brass balls and ability to pull off what Ariel Sharon did with the Kadima Party in Israel? I don’t see it because the Democrats are to close to the center, no matter what Republicans say, and there is no iconic Republicans left with the credentials to do it.
I also don’t know why anyone is talking about Ridge, the Rs have got Toomey who is the guy they wanted. Toomey seems to want it and he’d kill Ridge in a Primary for the same reason Specter got out.
I can figure out why the R’s have won over the years, but short of an economic implosion I can’t see how they go anywhere from here in the next 8 yrs. If the economy stays flat and inflation hits or things disintegrate they’ve got running room, but short of that it will be a shrinking south.
OR 2 has Greg Walden (R) and he can probably hold onto it if he wants it but that is a question. This area is Republican due to Reaganism and a social conservatism. A Democrat could make real headway here but not one cut from the cloth that works in urban areas.
Walden has survived because he keeps his head down in DC, you almost never see or hear him and because the Democrats keep running pretty typical Ds against him. With the D/R ratio in the House nobody is going to spend money here to get rid of him, not with 2 D Sen & 4 (D) Reps. If the seat opens and the (D) can come up with the right candidate… a lot of ifs. I won’t try it again, I now have excess baggage and no interest in the money raising end – in fact I hated that part of it the first time.
Here’s the big difference between the conservatives and liberal when it comes to elections.
For example, as a liberal, I don’t like Ben Nelson. I call him nasty names. I think he’s sort of a douchebag. But, I’d never think it’s a good plan to run a serious primary against him. After all, he’s still better than whatever half-evolved piece of humanity would win the seat for the Nebraskan Republican Party.
In other words, we bitch and whine, but we attack targets that won’t cause _us_ internal bleeding if they fall.
@JK: I wonder if he’s the one forcing the public apologies out of the Republican pols who criticize Limblow.
Sadly we don’t go after the people who aren’t as liberal as their districts either. I agree, we have to cut blue state dems some slack, but it would be nice if California had one member that lived up to the stereotype. Yes, I know not all of CA is liberal, but none of their reps or senators are.
Lindsay Graham as “moderate” says it all.
To say the least. The guy is an annoying lightweight whose false earnestness and self-importance is neither “wise” nor “moderate.” He’s a yahoo in disguise.
Gail Collins had a good piece on the Specter thing. In particular,
Everyone knows he did this out of pure expediency. But that’s the point. The GOP has become toxic and insane in the eyes of a large swath of the country. Specter is a canary in the coal mine or a rat abandoning a sinking ship, take your pick.
2045’s Headlines Today:
Candidate X dropped out of the race for city alderman when a picture of him shaking hands with George W. Bush surfaced. “I was only seven but I should have known right from wrong,” he said.
Wasn’t the cry that Bush wasn’t conservative enough? That was their face-saving move.
So purging moderates is supposed to signal they are “getting back to their roots,” come back in, we took the turd out of the swimming pool.
Since they don’t listen to anyone else, they must think that was the problem, and they are addressing it.
When, face it, the swimming pool has to be drained and scrubbed.
The Republicans are finished. No future whatsoever.
Social conservatism has been revealed for the bigotry that it is. Fiscal conservatism has been revealed for the fraud that it is – the only recipients of government handouts who got less money under the Republicans were the poor. Their love of capitalism has destroyed our economy. And their legendary defense hawkishness has been revealed for what that really is – a bunch of dudes sitting around wanking over pictures of torture and police abuse. And their wet dreams about imperialism bear some mentioning, though the Republicans somehow managed to skip that whole stage of exploitation and national glory and go straight to failed post-colonialism.
How could anybody possibly vote for these losers? The party and their philosophy is dead. The dead enders should realize this and just do what other species that have been bypassed by evolution do – just go away quietly.
This notion that at its core, the Republican party harbors something pure and wonderful, but somehow too good for the mushy middle, is total hogwash. We have 8 years of very recent evidence to show what these folks will do if we let them. It wasn’t restrained government and strong moral values, it was war profiteering and corruption scandals.
Yeah, “Lindsey Graham, moderate Republican” caught me leaning, too.
The “Specter’s only in it for the Specter” line doesn’t ring true to me. Nobody’s in the senate for public service alone. The process is too torturous, the rewards too great. I give Specter credit for wanting to serve PA best. This is the state of Rick Santorum, remember. There’s as heavy a base of crazy there as any other state, and lots of money. But they’re also the state that sent Santorum packing, back to his anti-canine-marriage fortress in the Alleghanies.
For Specter to lose in a primary means all of his experience and seniority is gone; in a general Toomey couldn’t beat anybody right of Nikita Krushchev. But that party won’t nominate Ridge, and he’d be a fool to run. PA is still enjoying the afterglow of finishing first in the “Not as bigoted as everybody expected” competition–remember, that’s where Hillary expected to turn things around because of her extreme whiteness–but she didn’t. Specter’s a shoo-in in a general, and he wants to continue representing his state because, like most other members of the Senate, he thinks he can do the best job.
Odd to say so, but I think he’s right. It is still Pennsylvania. The Specter of Anita Hill was a long time ago. He’ll never be a real democrat, but he won’t be a republican either, which is better for PA and for the country. I feel so weird saying this, but Specter has always been one I trust to act on conscience (unlike the conscienceless reptiles who make up the Republicans’ right-right.) Arlen’ll vote no on a few party-liners, for sure, to keep his right-wing credentials. Seems he’s calculated that EFCA is a manageable fee to extract. And even if he does scotch a nominee or two–his forte, after all–he’s a lot more valuable to everyone, himself too, as a democrat. So, self-serving? sure, but not entirely.
The big whine from the conservatives was always that they hadn’t been given enough rope to hang themselves.
Now they finally did it. I’m pleased so many have seen the light; it’s just too damn bad it had to get this bad for them to wake up.
kommrade reproductive vigor
Which explains the quote John pulled.
It doesn’t matter that McCain lost, he became ideologically pure. Alleluia!
Meanwhile, this promises to be a thing of beauty:
Ooooh baby. Just the thought of some yellow-toothed yahoo running around Arizona screaming about the danged Mesicuns … Wow. I need a cig … Zzzzz ….
Fox News gets all the high ratings because the crazies only tune in there. All the other channels split the sane audience.
It’s like what I said about Limbaugh: he has 25 million listeners… but Obama won by 65 million votes. I’ll take that math any day.
Oh, Jeebus Greebus: Via the GOS, we must ask ourselves — Is our Obama gubmit and ACORN covertly marking our doors with GPS markers to come get our guns & Bibles?
Clearly, Obama is now King Herod.
These f***ers are going to intentionally stir up the violent, paranoid batsh*t against the 2010 Census, all because they think it may help them with redistricting.
My god — I hope these people don’t find out about Google Earth, otherwise they’ll wonder why the government is “marking” every location on Earth for Communist Indonesian ACORN pagan sex magick.
@WereBear: This is exactly it. We have been told for 40 years that if only we’ll let the conservatives serve us a full strength, non-diluted shit sandwich, we’d love it. Well, they just got through with 8 years of shit sandwiches, 4 years of which it was just shit on a plate.
Now everybody sane hates them and people are sick everywhere, and there’s still 21-28% of us begging for more, and the conservatives are whining that the reason more people don’t like them is that we just didn’t get enough shit on our plates, and we had it diluted by too much bread and other distractions from the full healthful flavor.
in addition to cutting back on the caffeine, it sounds like someone needs to look up the definition of “coincidences”.
kommrade reproductive vigor
[Blog Pimping Alert]
Jesus Christ on a velocipede, the GPS system was developed (poorly) during the Bush Administration.
But now that the scary Muslim Kenyan has the technology we must all wet our pants and tear the bar code thingies out of library books!
This is my favorite part of the article:
I do not think that means what he thinks it means.
It’s mind blowing that these are all the bozos who sat like paralyzed deaf mutes rubberstamping 8 years of Bush, complaining that only NOW they can assert their principles, and every one will see, like a bolt from above, how principled they are. WTF?
What’s this Iowa or South Carolina shit? John posted here just the other day about the warm welcome Utah Governor Jon Huntsman didn’t receive in frickin’ Minnesota simply because Huntsman supports civil unions for gays. The GOP is looking more and more like a cult and sounding more and more like the Branch Davidians.
I think what we’re seeing is the 21st century equivalence of the disappearance of the Whig party. As far as the reactions so far, the Republicans look to be continuing running the train full speed off the cliff, shouting “GO GO GO!”
The Base: the loud, the proud, the pure believers….the few. Living in a Fox News/Limbaugh world may remove all stench of the DFHs and the Eeeevil Islamofascists, but it’s just as much of a bubble as our previous president surrounded himself with.
What I’m worried about is these people honestly believe that They Are In The Majority. So when the Republican party loses in elections, it can’t possibly be because they’re getting a biased picture of how much support its positions actually have; no, it’s got to be Soros/a conspiracy/ACORN. The possibility that they’ve been deluding themselves about the level of support never crosses their minds.
I hope someone talks these people off the ledge and back into dealing with the real world before it results in actual violence.
How could Americans have possibly rejected a POW War Hero and a plain-spoken Hockey Mom? Conspiracy is the only possible answer.
J.D. Rhoades @34: The popularity of the Fox News channel isn’t so baffling (I doubt the demographic gets much of it’s news and world events info from the intertubez – too ideologically impure and liberal).
It’s become cable TV’s version of Pooh’s Thotful Spot for dumb, angry, scared, racist white people who sit transfixed by the flashy chyron graphic f/x and dumbed-down Real-American (TM) political content that reinforces all of their fears and prejudices.
Now add the ‘torture is OK with Jesus’ mind set to the mix and you have the Videodrome network.
I anxiously await the first reports of a Villager’s head mysteriously exploding. WIN.
Next up, the international islamoliberalfascist conspiracy to sap and impurify our Precious Bodily Fluids.
“Help! I’m being oppressed!”
This is great. First Republicans were “teabagging”, now they’re “out of the closet”. I saw a recent freep post where they were “fluffing”. Come on R’s, now we need you to say you are “on the down-low”.
I’m looking at you Michael Steele.
A little over 100 days ago, GPS was a great and spreading technology that helped truckers get to their destinations more quickly and more efficiently.
Now, GPS is a weapon, one whose evil deployment allows the ACORN Luo-fascists to, um, look at your house, and pinpoint where it is, which will allow them to, uh, look at you more quickly than they could when they had your address and Mapquest.
“Exit Stage Right” is nowhere near as good as “Exit Stage Left”. Neil Peart going Galt left a huge hole in their sound; his replacement might have made sense from a marketing perspective but Meg White can barely keep time, let alone fill Peart’s shoes. and even though Geddy Lee’s voice had been shredded by years of shrieking, it might have been better to let him try to sing anyway. Adam Lambert can certainly hit Lee’s notes, his decision to sing all of the songs as if they are Broadway finales really rubs die-hard fans the wrong way.
awww. don’t moderate me, bro!
Michigan. Kent County, to be precise, home of Calvin College, Zondervan Publishing, and other Bible-thumping Dutch fundies. Didn’t surprise me a bit.
Newt is on CSPAN right now talking about the same damn thing. Fuck him and the republican party. Can someone just make him go away? PLEASE, get lost, Newt. Sick to death of seeing you all over the fucking place ever since you guys tanked into the shitter.
TAKE YOUR LUMPS. GET LOST!
@harlana pepper: Frankly!
OT from the artist thread…
This is a great photo, Cleek.
That is true, but for other reasons. I don’t have the info at my fingertips to provide a cross link to but I have recalled reading at various times over the last 20-30 years where publications that have a particular ideological bent do better when they are out of power then in. For example The Nation having many more subscribers with Bush is office. I think it cuts both ways. I really don’t think Jon Stewart was joking when a couple of weeks ago in a piece in which he said what what Republicans thought was treason was just loosing and that loosing was suppose to taste like a “s–t taco”. He ended the piece by saying something to the effect “you can do quite well when your side is out of power. Trust me on that.”
I would love to see how Olberman’s numbers have done with Obama in office as a comaprison. I am willing to bet they have dropped, beyond what can be explained by an overall bump in cable ratings during the election season.
Newt Gingrich: serial adulterer, architect of the disastrous government shutdown, failed Speaker of the House, beneficiary of false equivalence.
Looking at the Prop 8 results by county was very instructive in terms of understanding our state’s politics. No on 8 won only 15 of 58 counties, and the 15 it won were, with two exceptions (Inyo and Alpine) either (1) along the coast, (2) in the SF metro area, or (3) home to a UC campus. Virtually everything south of Santa Barbara – including large parts of Los Angeles county – and almost the entire inland part of the state is deeply red. That’s why we have two “centrist” Democratic senators and continue to send reprobates like Dreier and Rohrbacher to the House. Even some of our Democratic congresspeople aren’t exactly beloved by the Kos/Firedoglake wing of the party. Harman, Pelosi, Brad Sherman, and McNerney come immediately to mind, las hermanas Sanchez are a decidedly mixed bag, and the jury is still out on Laura Richardson.
What’s fascinating is these conservatives calling for the party to return to its roots see themselves as rebelling against the moderation or even liberalism of the Bush administration, when it was the Bush administration that made their ascendancy possible. Rove thought he could use divisive issues to inflame the right wing of the party and get a permanent Republican majority. Instead, he decimated the party.
That’s what happens when you become a regional party. I’m sure the wingnuts in Bumfuck Creek, South Carolina *are* in the majority. Friends and family, all wingnuts. Co-workers, wingnuts. Guy who owns the gun shop, wingnut. Huntin’ buddies, crazy-ass wingnuts. Oh, yeah, and maybe there’s that one nigra fella who might be a bit liberal. They just haven’t figured out that there is a whole country outside of South Carolina that doesn’t follow this pattern.
… you don’t think Barbara Lee is a liberal? You don’t think *Pete Stark* is liberal?
California can undoubtedly do better than that useless sack of shit Feinstein, but otherwise they have the range of political representatives you would expect from a large and diverse state.
@SLKRR: That’s it. That’s why they’re all convinced when they do their little teabagging parties that they represent “all” America — why, everyone they talk to agree with them, and, surely that is representative of the majority of the nation, right?
No one could have anticipated that decades of assiduously practicing the Southern Strategy would leave the GOP without a Northern strategy, an Eastern strategy, a Western strategy…
We can only hope that from now on every single Republican presidential candidate announces their run from Philadelphia, Miss. just like St. Ronnie Reagan.
@tavella: I’d say that Barbara Boxer is pretty damn liberal for the Senate–her voting record is the equal of Teddy Kennedy or Tom Harkin.
No problem with that. The next one will probably announce in full CSA uniform with a Bible in one hand and a drawn saber in the other.
Indeed, yet people still ask his opinion on things and he’s still trolling “news” shows circuit. Were he a Dem with the same track record, he would be considered completely irrelevant ancient history by now.
Fear not: the Comforter cometh:
Edit: Frickin’ blockquotes.
@Dennis-SGMM: This is, though, how the Civil War started: The Democrats decided it was more important to represent the south than the country as a whole. That’s also why my dick of a governor can talk about secession – though he doesn’t seem to be saying it so loud now that he needs Tamiflu. Now, I don’t expect Texas or the other Republican states to actually secede, but I do feel like I’m living on the other side of the mirror.
Yep, the words “siege mentality” come to mind. I’ve seen both parties declared dead too many times over the years to believe that the GOP is going to go away. I do think that they are going to be in the wilderness until they realize that calling a shit sandwich corned beef on rye does not make it so.
I look forward to the Republican primary season. I want to see a pledge for the fabled “triple Gitmo”.
The Moar You Know
@MikeJ: This kind of comment re: California drives me insane. California is not a liberal state, and if not for the Los Angeles metro area and the Bay Area, this state would be redder than Alabama. Given the electorate that we have to work with here, I think we’ve got representation that is more liberal than we deserve.
I live in San Diego, and I can drive twenty minutes from my house on any given night and find a Klan meeting. That’s the reality of most of California.
Lee from NC
Bingo! We have a winner. Best one line summary of the GOP’s problem that I’ve seen.
The Moar You Know
@cleek: My ears committed suicide on reading your post. Then I threw up. Then I laughed.
The Moar You Know: I feel your frustration with CA being perceived as a liberal state. I feel the same way about all the people saying the GOP will dump Toomey and nominate Ridge and then Specter will lose a Dem senate seat. PA would be Alabama without Philly, Pittsburgh, and thei suburbs. And you can’t always count on Pittsburgh and for sure not the Steel City suburbs. No way they dump Toomey. They love him!
I know this was quoted earlier, and is probably by now o/t, but did this not make anybody physically ill? Namely:
Sounds fun! So what if Republicans can’t get elected. They’re in great shape. Toomey being a great example of someone who is hired before being elected, and not while, and so what does it matter if he loses.
Like: Please somebody correct me, but I seem to recall the last presidential election, either in the primary or as recently as the general, involving a storyline about how Reed was in fact less relevant to Republican strategy in general, how his failure meant something about far-right ideology. Now how did that narrative suddenly reverse itself: his failure now meaning something about center-right ideology?
The Moar You Know
@geg6: Exactly. No way Toomey gets dumped. Fortunately, Snarlin’ Arlen has the advantage of incumbency.
People are incorrectly assuming that Republican and conservative are the same thing. This just is not so.
With the increasing decline of newspapers and weekly news magazines, the various networks have an opportunity to pick up viewers. Fox has strenuously courted conservative and wingnut viewers, and have branded themselves as the supposed alternative to the mainstream media.
On the other hand, it would be very interesting to see how the Fox News demographic shakes out in terms of age and gender, as well as political philosophy.
One of the stranger outcomes is that some people are deserting the GOP because it is not pure enough, and declaring themselves to be libertarian (which comes from the Latin for “I’ll throw my vote away by joining a lunatic fringe political party.”)
Not even if former Senator Man on Dog jumps in the race?
Man on Dog v. Club for Hair Growth
Can you say Must See TV?
Somebody’s gotta get Sanctorum into the race.
There are other explanations. Let’s take a look at these “sky-high” numbers that FOX is posting, shall we.
Here’s a story from the end of March that has some hard numbers in it:
FOX was the 2nd highest cable channel in the ratings (second only to USA) for that week. That amounted to 2.15 million viewers across the entire country.
In the 2008 Presidential election, there were 131.24 million votes cast for any political candidate in the election nationwide. The primetime FOX audience is therefore 1.6% of the voting population, and roughly 3.5% of the portion of the population that voted for one of McCain, Barr and Baldwin (the candidates who could reasonably be considered “conservatives”).
This essentially makes Fox’s numbers meaningless as a metric for determining the mood of the country. Even large increases in their ratings give exactly ZERO indication of the mood of the country because their regular viewing audience is already a very tiny sliver of the population as a whole. Increased viewing may be because of people shifting in attitude, or it may be because people who are already sympathetic to FOX News are finding themselves with more time to tune in to Hannity instead of doing something else (maybe their favorite show on another network got canceled, maybe they’ve lost their job and are sitting at home collecting unemployment, maybe they’ve just decided that monitoring the first 100 days of Barack Hussein Obama is more important than watching “John and Kate Plus Eight” – who knows?).
And as Byron York reminded us yesterday, Obama would be a lot less popular if black people didn’t count. But Philly and Pittsburgh are in PA, LA and SF are in CA, and black people are Americans. The fact that predominantly conservative areas are geographically large doesn’t mean they’re really a more important part of their state or country or whatever.
Believe me, I’m enjoying the GOP meltdown as much as anybody. I think it’s hilarious to behold that these people can’t even get out of their own way and think that the way out of the wilderness is to become smaller, more hardline and less palatable. However, the one true thing about American politics is that the pendulum always swings back to the other side eventually. Always. People will get sick of the Democrats’ dithering and dumbfuckery and start voting Republican again sooner or later. Enjoy the Great Wingnut Freakout while it’s happening, but don’t presume that it will always be this way.
I suspect that many of Fox’s viewers are there for the porn (busty anchors), not the ideology.
Oh yeah? I saw a map with a lot of RED on it. This means America is Republican. If you left out all the cities and stuff. One acre, one vote.
...now I try to be amused
That’s what I always fear. The media — and the Democrats! (except Obama) — won’t pull the mask off. Molly Ivins told us exactly what to expect from George W. Bush in 2000, but not enough of the right people listened.
Outside of the wingnuttiest districts, Democrats should be able to run against the Republican party and use its party discipline against it. No matter how reasonable a GOP candidate might appear, emphasize that he/she would vote with the wingnuts every time.
I really think people are missing a much more sinister precedent: if you can’t win your primary, switch parties!
Look, I realize the Pa conservatives are a bunch of wackos, but whose to say politicians won’t do this even if a less-than-wacko bunch might be able to unseat them?
Looking at it in another way, here in Wa St not all of us really have warm fuzzies for Sen Maria Cantwell. What happens if we somehow get organized and put together a real, serious, progressive candidate to run against her in the primary? Why wouldn’t she just switch to Republican, beat the (R) in the primary, get access to funds and then win re-election as a Republican?
Seems to me that this is a harbinger of things to come, and not in a good way.