Skip to main content

Is the Republican Party giving up on the 2012 Presidential Election?  It sure seems so, according to this long article published in the current issue of New York magazine by John Heilemann - The Lost Party.

In it, Heilemann paints a picture of a political party wholly unsatisfied with and, indeed, thoroughly disgusted with its current crop of presidential candidates.  With no political savior in sight and the GOP headed towards defeat, several prominent voices are predicting doom in November.

Update #1:  timewarp quoted a section of Heilemann's article that I overlooked and one which references Daily Kos.  It's on page 2 of the article

LOL - from the article!

Romney and his people never expected, however, to be confronted in the Republican phase of the race with a raft of challenges related to the legitimacy of his wealth. But first on his record at Bain Capital and then on his tax returns, that is what occurred. With Gingrich and Perry sounding more like commenters on Daily Kos than Republicans, Romney coughed up a remarkable collection of gaffes: from his fear of pink slips to his enjoyment of firing people to his “not very much” in speaker’s fees (when they totaled $374,327 last year).

I'm going to summarize some of the highlights from the article but you really need to read it in its entirety to get a good feel for the inner dynamics of the Republican Party

  • Republicans are being delusional if they think that just like the 2008 Democratic primaries, a long drawn out contest between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum will actually strengthen either candidate for the General Election.
  • The last few primaries and caucuses have really exposed the weaknesses inherent in Mitt Romney's candidacy.
  • The fragmentation of its political base is not only reflective of the 2012 Republican field but, also, the changing political times.
  • None of these candidates has much appeal for independent voters.
  • The calls for a white knight to come riding in and save the party from itself are growing louder.
  • A loss by Rick Santorum to President Barack Obama in 2012 might be better than one by Romney to preserve the long-term health of the GOP.

In either case, there is not much optimism to be found.  Heilemann quotes a disillusioned Ed Rollins, who ran Ronald Reagan's 1984 Presidential Campaign

[T]he Democratic tussle in 2008, which featured two undisputed heavyweights with few ideological discrepancies between them, may be an exception that proves the rule. Certainly Republican history suggests as much: Think of 1964 and the scrap between the forces aligned with Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller, or 1976, between backers of Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.  On both occasions, the result was identical: a party disunited, a nominee debilitated, a general election down the crapper.

With such precedents in mind, many Republicans are already looking past 2012.  If either Romney or Santorum gains the nomination and then falls before Obama, flubbing an election that just months ago seemed eminently winnable, it will unleash a GOP apocalypse on November 7 - followed by an epic struggle between the regulars and red-hots to refashion the party.  And make no mistake: A loss is what the GOP’s political class now expects.  "Six months before this thing got going, every Republican I know was saying, 'We’re gonna win, we’re gonna beat Obama,'" says former Reagan strategist Ed Rollins. "Now even those who’ve endorsed Romney say, 'My God, what a fucking mess.'"

A political party that built its base on working class white racial resentment after Barry Goldwater's historic defeat in 1964 deserves this.  Exploiting the ginned up feeling that many were being deprived of their basic political and social rights after the passage of the the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Richard Nixon honed his "Southern Strategy" to pry away a previously solid electoral South from the Democratic Party.  Even after the disgrace of Watergate and Nixon's resignation from office led to Jimmy Carter's election in 1976, Ronald Reagan shamelessly exploited these racial tensions in 1980 and with the help of religious fundamentalists, continued this tradition.  

Fast forward three decades.  With the Cold War long over and the Republican propensity to conjure up imaginary external demons severely diminished, the GOP has tried to invent domestic ones.  If Reagan united Cold War hawks, fiscal conservatives, and religious nuts obsessed with social issues, in 2012 that coalition is at the very end of its political usefulness.

The current Republican strategy is not working.  It couldn't have happened to a nicer group of people.

Please read the full article.

The Lost Party by John Heilemann, New York magazine.
The strangest primary season in memory reveals a GOP that’s tearing itself apart.

Originally posted to JekyllnHyde on Sat Feb 25, 2012 at 04:20 PM PST.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and Moose On The Loose.

Poll

Can the GOP Nominee Still Win the 2012 Presidential Election?

7%205 votes
1%34 votes
19%540 votes
12%351 votes
18%501 votes
39%1085 votes
0%22 votes

| 2738 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, skybluewater, sdf, a gilas girl, bink, Kitty, paradox, buffalo soldier, Sylv, Alfred E Newman, chuck utzman, vicki, Alma, Trix, PrahaPartizan, hazey, jazzmaniac, Ray Radlein, Odysseus, murphy, melo, eleming, glitterscale, Caelian, native, Rolfyboy6, nicolemm, madmsf, mimi, BigOkie, PeterHug, karlpk, dengre, sara seattle, Shockwave, byteb, donna in evanston, Wintermute, ChicDemago, CleverNickName, cotterperson, SanJoseLady, meg, hyperstation, OLinda, lysias, Stein, eeff, dsb, willyr, xynz, verasoie, Woody, frisco, SallyCat, MarkInSanFran, bumblebums, vrexford, davelf2, Doctor Who, Birdman, Bugsby, regis, cinnamon68, Delilah, missLotus, TracieLynn, DickCheneyBeforeHeDicksYou, annrose, nyceve, whenwego, Loquatrix, PBnJ, Aquarius40, roses, JuliaAnn, ivote2004, kaypaul, bwren, jalbert, navajo, Cedwyn, antirove, artebella, Alna Dem, hopeful, dksbook, lmnop, Brit, wader, revsue, jdmorg, Texknight, MrSandman, danthrax, mwk, TexDem, pat bunny, roseeriter, wdrath, niteskolar, flatford39, hoplite9, QuoVadis, Steven Payne, Sychotic1, defluxion10, hazzcon, harrije, Timbuk3, riverlover, Brian82, bwintx, zerelda, Sembtex, side pocket, Curt Matlock, mungley, tomjones, dnta, jcrit, lyvwyr101, rickeagle, boran2, Sybil Liberty, Sassy, sebastianguy99, Frank Vyan Walton, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, weelzup, Julie Gulden, rapala, davidincleveland, ExStr8, historys mysteries, radarlady, 3goldens, Tinfoil Hat, NoMoreLies, wmc418, alaprst, SherwoodB, PBen, Alice Venturi, Flint, ZappoDave, citizenx, basquebob, dewtx, stitchmd, juliesie, Laurence Lewis, ratzo, fixxit, Beetwasher, dansk47, Pam from Calif, Sun Tzu, where4art, eastvan, Inland, cspivey, Ice Blue, blue jersey mom, markdd, sunbro, ord avg guy, PinHole, Savvy813, Rydra Wrong, Blu Gal in DE, Shotput8, Ginny in CO, sodalis, Pluto, Rogneid, Hannibal, peacestpete, murasaki, kathny, noweasels, Jim R, begone, Philpm, alrdouglas, elliott, Jennifer Clare, gwilson, BachFan, Orinoco, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, cas2, myboo, vigilant meerkat, 417els, edwardssl, Russgirl, tonyahky, HoundDog, koNko, KenBee, deha, Son of a Cat, fou, kck, SherriG, global citizen, wild hair, nonnie9999, Libby Shaw, Crashing Vor, SadieSue, tapestry, JVolvo, NearlyNormal, boatsie, ER Doc, MBNYC, llbear, onionjim, CA Nana, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, fiddlingnero, Stripe, frankzappatista, nannyboz, Statusquomustgo, crystal eyes, kurious, Friend of the court, Hedwig, sea note, markthshark, Quicklund, cpresley, BentLiberal, DBunn, Thinking Fella, One Pissed Off Liberal, FlamingoGrrl, bear83, Noor B, pgm 01, timewarp, Cronesense, peagreen, Loudoun County Dem, camlbacker, ksp, moodyinsavannah, ColoTim, EdSF, linkage, edsbrooklyn, FishOutofWater, jeanette0605, deepeco, joedemocrat, bnasley, jayden, stratocasterman, jhop7, gchaucer2, Wreck Smurfy, uciguy30, Timmethy, leonard145b, zorp, TomP, Empower Ink, chicago minx, gizmo59, rmonroe, JDWolverton, jwinIL14, rogerdaddy, gundyj, davidseth, ScottyUrb, OleHippieChick, Sixty Something, prettyobvious, dadadata, NewDealer, elwior, skohayes, CDH in Brooklyn, lineatus, Sharon Wraight, wonderful world, Akonitum, Its any one guess, VL Baker, jakebob, jamess, mikeconwell, Lujane, pamelabrown, hwmnbn, smartdemmg, Jake Williams, Jeff Y, catly, alnep, Horsefeathers, glendaw271, petulans, rodentrancher, palantir, dmhlt 66, Diogenes2008, shortgirl, lissablack, statsone, lostboyjim, woodtick, Leftleaner, maggiejean, prettygirlxoxoxo, Bule Betawi, multilee, pileta, rubyclaire, MufsMom, J M F, BennyToothpick, Kansas Born, ARS, juca, bobatkinson, matmak, Carol in San Antonio, Nebraskablue, Gorilla in the room, janmtairy, BlueInRedCincy, CamillesDad1, Bonsai66, petral, kravitz, followyourbliss, elziax, Alise, papahaha, Denise Oliver Velez, kevinpdx, Keith Pickering, IreGyre, sfarkash, PoliticalJunkessa, Little Flower, haremoor, Tortmaster, mahakali overdrive, astral66, citisven, French Imp, collardgreens, Clyde the Cat, BlueOak, Railfan, Just Bob, commonmass, smileycreek, coppercelt, mamamorgaine, RhymesWithUrple, confitesprit, OrangeMike, rb137, Laurilei, willynel, martybee, NJpeach, eXtina, estreya, Susan Grigsby, politik, Observerinvancouver, jethrock, catwho, klompendanser, Radical def, ATFILLINOIS, JoanMar, Nurse Jeckell, SevenSix, gulfgal98, pixxer, Puddytat, dlemex, DeanObama, DiegoUK, sharonsz, addisnana, nirbama, elengul, Fyre, ericlewis0, Otteray Scribe, cocinero, ZedMont, soaglow, Its a New Day, Actbriniel, rmabelis, Onomastic, Mike08, Maximilien Robespierre, kerflooey, targetdemographic, MidwestTreeHugger, agrenadier, xgy2, Acktiv, I love OCD, Quite Contrary, ozsea1, spiraldancer8, Valerie8435, bluebuckaroo, sostos, freesia, donaurora, Possiamo, UtahLibrul, Seitanist, FarWestGirl, asterkitty, OhioNatureMom, cleduc2, GollyMissMolly, imokyrok, California06, KelleyRN2, AnotherAmericanLie, princesspat, molunkusmol, mrsgoo, marleycat, zukesgirl64, thomask, BarackStarObama, smoothnmellow, KVoimakas, RfrancisR, blw, SueM1121, floridablue, Idgie Threadgoode, tardis10, LSmith, MRA NY, blue58, gnbhull, Bill in MD, peregrine kate, yaque, MinistryOfTruth, Wood Dragon, diffrntdrummr, Andrew F Cockburn, beforedawn, bakeneko, Mets102, Vatexia, SteelerGrrl, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, Book of Hearts, stlsophos, RLMiller, leftykook, googie, Chitown Kev, aerie star, Mentatmark, DEMonrat ankle biter, drawingporno, No one gets out alive, Azazello, hulibow, GenXangster, ridemybike, Liberal Granny, JTinDC, RhodaA, OldDragon, anodnhajo, cwsmoke, Siri, IndieGuy, Eric Nelson, S F Hippie, pimutant, a2nite, FreeSpeaker, exatc, Horace Boothroyd III, evilhoodedcrow, IProfess, Lorinda Pike, This old man, Mike RinRI, mapamp, peachcreek, TBug, BusyinCA, MartyM, qannabbos, Revy, notdarkyet, wxorknot, Scott Campbell, redstella, Vote4Obamain2012, jeannew, bigrivergal, raina, Glen The Plumber, dotdash2u, wasatch, pashber, JAM11, barleystraw, Patrick is Lucky, TheLawnRanger, Chaddiwicker, ForestLake, nomandates, Tom Stokland, akadjian, glorificus, GenXBadger, GPMOAT, SanFernandoValleyMom, SquirrelQueen, topazOR, parsonsbeach, Jollie Ollie Orange, Jon Sitzman

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site