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The Future of the GOP

by ARGeezer Sun Apr 4th, 2021 at 11:08:32 AM EST

One of my thoughtful conservative FB friends thinks the election results in 2020 are a bit of a fluke and that the Republicans will come back strong in '22 and '24. I beg to differ.

The problem for the GOP is that their base remains loyal to Trump, while four years of Trump soured enough voters to cost the GOP the presidency. Under Trump the GOP SHRUNK its base. Meanwhile Trump keeps being Trump and his core support, older white voters, predominantly male,   remains strong. That base will deliver him victories in most of the states of the old confederacy along with the plains states from Oklahoma to N. Dakota. Not enough to win the Electoral College.

Worse, Georgia can no longer be counted as solid Republican and Texas is coming into play, both for the Presidency and the House and Senate. If Beto O'Rourke runs against Gregg Abbot for Governor of Texas in '22 he could well win after Abbot's conduct during the blizzard, and Texas could vote Democratic in '24. If that happens and O'Rourke carries at least one house of the legislature with him, and Texas turns blue, not just purple, it is much more likely that Texas would vote for the Democrat for President in '24 and it is game over for the GOP as a national party.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

Three factors will determine the results in '22 and '24.

First will be the economic effect of Biden's budget and his effort against COVID - all of which are staunchly opposed by almost all of the GOP, House and Senate. This opposition is entirely tactical and opportunistic. The Republicans would do much of what Biden is doing if there were a Republican in the White House, (other than Trump.) I believe that enough voters have noticed and will notice to tilt the vote even  more to the Democrats both in '22 and '24.  Do more voters want to vindicate Trump, or do more prefer the economy and health status the country has achieved under Biden. I like the Democrats chances, but time will tell.

Second will be the success or failure of the GOP's voter suppression efforts. If most of these efforts remain in place they could tip the balance in GA, AZ, and other states with solid Republican control. But by these efforts the GOP is showing that they can only compete when they can choose who gets to vote. The first of these laws just passed in GA and the backlash is setting in. The result could be a Governor Stacy Abrams. Black leaders like Abrans and  Wm. Barber have shown the power of solidarity with other ethnicities and Asians, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans have become solidly Democratic and much more active. Again time will tell.

Third, WHO WILL THE REPUBLICANS PICK as their presidential candidate in '24? And will the Republicans again fall in line once the primaries have concluded? Will Marjorie Taylor Green and Lauren Opal Boebert still be in office in '24. Matt Gaetz will likely be in prison - to the relief of most Republicans. And where will Trump be? In prison and/or bankrupt? But most importantly, WHO will the GOP presidential candidate be? I will not even try to guess. But I don't see the entire Republican party, as it was in 2016, ever reemerging.

If he is alive and not in prison I think it's a sure bet Trump will run again in 2024.  He has everything to gain and nothing to lose.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Apr 4th, 2021 at 03:33:42 PM EST
But it will be harder for him to win again in '24.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 4th, 2021 at 03:36:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Win the nomination or win the office?

I think he would be a shoo-in for the first and I can't poo-poo his chance at the second.  The man got 74 million votes.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Apr 4th, 2021 at 03:41:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why can't he run from prison?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Apr 4th, 2021 at 04:13:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US doesn't have one presidential election.  We have 50. The states determine eligibility and many deny convicted felons the right to run for public office.  Thus he wouldn't be on the ballot in those states and in the highly unlikely event he won the popular vote, somehow, he still wouldn't get the Electoral Votes from those states.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Apr 4th, 2021 at 04:31:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They can certainly deny Trump the right to vote. As for running: there is nothing about felons in the Constitution. Nothing has changed since Debs' time? (Beyond the fact that Trump won't come even close to getting a plurality of the Jewish vote....)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Apr 4th, 2021 at 04:46:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Between the Creel Committee on Public Information and the ascending J. Edgar Hover the progressives in the Democratic Party were pretty much driven out. The most Progressive thing Wilson did was to sign the Federal Reserve Act. The rest of his term in office was largely an eight year serial disaster.

The Committee on Public Safety turned public opinion strongly against Germans, including German Americans, and the Red Scare after WW I, along with the rise of the KKK took care of the Blacks and Jews. Wilson's dismissive attitude towards women alienated the Suffragettes and the imprisonment of Debs further sealed the deal with Socialists.

So there was no need for legislation about running from jail when the most prominent jail-bird was a socialist.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 4th, 2021 at 06:09:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The states determine who can vote.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Apr 6th, 2021 at 06:02:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think by 2024 Trump will be out of prison (presidents are not convicted in the US) and rich (rich people get all the breaks in the US and can easily stay rich). Alive and well enough to run for president? Well that is the question. Also a relevant question for Biden. And if Biden steps down the obvious move for the establishment faction is to install Harris who in 2020 dropped out of the primary after poll numbers deflated.

I think you are right about the economy being the deciding factor. And Biden has done more then I expected, even while suffering some self-inflicted damages from the 1400USD checks instead of 2000USD and not whipping for 15USD minimum wage. The question is if it will be enough, for example when eviction moratoriums run out.

by fjallstrom on Wed Apr 7th, 2021 at 11:49:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Presidents have not been convicted when they should have been. And there is a general disposition not to criminalize politics. But Trump is different and there is also widespread acknowledgement of that. No former president has so flagrantly broken the law to his own financial benefit while in office and no previous president has ever incited an insurrection against his own government. There are a number of Republicans/former Republicans to argue in favor of a conviction and popular sentiment is turning against the admiration of rich scoundrels. It is not for nothing that there are several criminal investigations of Trump currently underway. By the time these investigations come to trial I would place the odds of a conviction from at least at one in ten and possibly as high as one in two.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 7th, 2021 at 03:34:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect the effect of Biden's Covid relief package and (even more so) of his infrastructure bill (if passed) will be to turbocharge the economy for 2 years at least and ensure a vict,ry in the mid-terms and some governorships for the Dems  and improve the 2024 playing field for them.

Whether this positive healthcare/economic boost lasts until 2024 is less certain, and also, by then the country may have tired of having an octogenarian President. If Biden doesn't run again I suspect Kamala Harris will win the nomination but it is doubtful she be able to achieve the same broad coalition Biden achieved and so the GOP could do well in the Presidential.

However if Trump runs and wins the GOP nomination (as I expect he will) a Trump/Harris contest will set up the same dynamic as the Trump/Clinton contest, only with less apathy on the Democratic side. With Trump controlling roughly half the GOP electorate every GOP candidate is going to have to declare for or against Trump at the risk of losing up to half his base.

As always, it is events that will determine the fate of a sitting President/Vice-President, and if Biden/Harris handle any crises well, they could set up a period of Dem Hegemony for some years to come.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Apr 4th, 2021 at 04:41:24 PM EST
The old "corporate" GOP has been swept out by the MAGA crowd. Some retired member turned lobbyist is promoting his book on Politico by unloading on the present GOPers:

Panic Rooms, Birth Certificates and the Birth of GOP Paranoia - John Boehner

In the 2010 midterm election, voters from all over the place gave President Obama what he himself called "a shellacking." And oh boy, was it ever. You could be a total moron and get elected just by having an R next to your name--and that year, by the way, we did pick up a fair number in that category.
by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Apr 4th, 2021 at 08:13:13 PM EST
John Boehner R, Ohio was the Speaker of the House of Representatives from 20ll to 2015. He was an emotional guy and had a sense of decency. He retired rather than try to lead the House in 2016, and the Tea Party had been the bane of his Speakership.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Apr 5th, 2021 at 03:29:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Emotions (other than rage) and any sense of decency would disqualify anyone in today's GOP.

Dunno who ghost-wrote the book for Boehner, but he/she has quite a sense of effective sound bites, which I suppose is a prerequisite for this job; the description of one Texas senator is even funnier than Al Franken's:

There is nothing more dangerous than a reckless asshole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Senator Ted Cruz.
by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Apr 5th, 2021 at 12:24:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just a few years ago Boehner was the poster boy for crazy right wing nut jobs.
by asdf on Mon Apr 5th, 2021 at 07:42:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose it depends on whether one can see shades of GOP. Boehner, to his credit, at least wanted the House to function as a GOP House, not as a Tea Party. The Tea Party enthusiasts first and foremost were disrupters and agents of Chaos. Perhaps they made impossible many of the worst goals of the 'mainline' GOP, much like Trump's personality thwarted his goals in so many ways.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2021 at 02:23:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump moved the Overton window so far right that even some of the most bone headed conservative GOPers seem reasonable and sane by comparison in retrospect. In fairness to  Boehner, it was always political, not personal with him. He seemed to get on with Obama et al quite well on a personal level, but he had a job to do as conservative Leader of the House to thwart their agenda.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 7th, 2021 at 04:23:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Three things: culture war, autocracy, cleptocracy.

The end. Conservatism as a political program has been hollowed out. It has been lost at sea in the US since at least the Iraq war. The values are still valid but what are they going to do if the social and economic views of the majority have moved on?

Bogeyman wanted! Will pay in Dollars and bullets.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Sun Apr 4th, 2021 at 08:59:02 PM EST
I tend to agree with you except for one thing, which is that it is important to not assume stability of the party platforms. The GOP is turning itself into the working class party, and the democrats are not exactly the most enthusiastic supporters of traditional blue-collar labor union activism. But everything is fluid and could change in six months.

I would say that the political scientists and their poll analysis programmers are working overtime to figure out how they can position their bosses to win in each upcoming election. Trump was/is an outlier because of his "I don't need no experts" approach, but I think he is out of the picture practically speaking.

There's lots of attention paid to a handful of loud mouths in both parties, but there are still probably more than 500 reps and senators who are mostly operating using the traditional methods. My bet is that US politics will continue to be divided almost exactly 50:50--because if it is not divided like that and you are on the low side, then your analyst is not doing a good job in finding a platform plank you can change to edge up your count.

by asdf on Mon Apr 5th, 2021 at 07:51:06 PM EST
You are correct in that a lot of Democratic House and Senate members are still committed to willingly doing the bidding of the billionaires, which was what led the party astray since 1970 - i.e. neoliberalism. Clinton's DLC certainly was dismissive of unions. And that has been a feature of Democratic politics since then, even through Obama's administration.

But Biden is a union guy and makes no bones about it. He also is compassionate towards the former union workers who have suffered loss of status and income - regardless of their attitudes on race, gender identity, etc. But at the same time he continues to support the agenda of the social issues Democrats. His approach seems to me to be 'all of the above'.

And, beyond my wildest expectations, he has embraced going big on federal spending. Late this afternoon we received word that the Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that other bills can be pushed through NOW under 'budget reconciliation' and $3-5 Trillion more in spending over the next ten years. I am betting that the US electorate, given the choice of continuing down that path or reversing course under new Republican leadership will vote to continue. The will be showered with benefits and living in a booming economy such as we have not seen since the '60s.

Republicans and some Democrats express concern about all of the spending, but, in truth, it matters MUCH more on what the money is spent than on the size if the expenditure, and Biden's budget is spending on all of the right things. Everything he proposes will improve productivity = even if the financial sector again manages to blow up the markets. But between Yellen and Powell he has some pretty sensible financial managers.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2021 at 02:46:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had misstated the case for Beto in my original post. The last two years of the Trump presidency certainly seemed like an eternity, but the O'Rourke/Cruz contest was in 2018 and Beto would have to wait until 2024 to again run against Cruz.  He may do just that, but many are encouraging him to run against Governor Greg Abbot in '22 instead. Then he could be Governor during the '24 election and both help to see that the '24 election is fair, although he would need both houses of the legislature to ensure that, and could be well positioned for a national run in '28 either against Senator John Cornyn or for the Presidency. Sorry for the confusion.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2021 at 03:45:50 PM EST
I think one long-term dilemma for the GOP is the possibility that Trump might buck the party and run as an independent. Given his numbers, this would create an unnerving scenario in the electoral college. In order to prevent that, the GOP has to toe to two mutually exclusive lines, catering to Trump extremists and winning back moderate conservatives. Appeasing Trumpisti appears to be the present strategy.
My personal impression is that it will be changes in society and impending legal cases that will influence the future of politics more than what the GOP and its allies could ever do. Four years are more likely to be the grave of the patriarch rather than an autumn.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Tue Apr 6th, 2021 at 11:33:05 PM EST
The mid-term elections (2022) will expose whether he still has significant influence. We're only three months into Biden's term, and Trump's many pending lawsuits have not really started yet. A lot can change.

Also there are external geopolitical events all sorts. In the past, at least, there has been a general tendency for the US to rally around the president when things get tough internationally. But that is not always the case.

by asdf on Tue Apr 6th, 2021 at 11:44:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the ideal scenario for Dems is that Trump is damaged by legal actions, age, ad ennui; but not enough to deny him the GOP nomination. He will wreck havoc with GOP candidates in both 2022 and 2024 being forced to declare either for or against him. Those who declare against will lose his base in the primary and general, and those who declare for will lose any claims to moderation and lose what remains of the moderate conservative GOP and swing vote.

While each election in each state is different, and the votes lost through declaring for or against Trump very variable, the marginal effect could be to lose the GOP an awful lot of seats in Governorships, congress and down ticket races.

The real question is whether Dems will seize defeat from the jaws of victory by scoring a few own goals of their own, as governing parties tend to do. At the moment Biden's popularity seems to be holding steady at 54/40 approval and so long as his team sustain legislative/reforming/activist momentum all could be well.

But the moment they lose their mojo through  legislative defeat, division or scandal (manufactured or real) his game could be up. Once his numbers start going south all those Dems in conservative leaning marginals will start looking after their own welfare and vote against reforming legislation dividing the party and rendering it useless.

Biden still has some working class/union street creds which nearly all other prominent Dems lack, and the contrast with Trump in his handling of the pandemic and economic recovery will give him some credit in the bank which should last thru' 2022, but I doubt it will count for much in 2024 when people look to a future under an ailing President.

So it's how Dems handle the responsibilities of office, maintain their momentum, and manage any transition post Biden that will be the key. Fear of Trump will act as a unifying force for only so long, and cannot last forever. What are they going to do about growing inequality, the urban/rural divide, racial tensions, climate change and environmental degradation?

A little bit of everything may not be enough to cut it in the longer term. Does Kamala Harris have a vision and the ability to project it convincingly to enough people? Can divisive social issues be neutralised? Will SCOTUS wreck havoc with any reforming agenda? Will big business call the shots and destroy Dem credibility? It will take no mean skill to keep the show on the road.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 7th, 2021 at 12:40:01 PM EST
Right now, both in Texas and in Georgia, big business is coming out strongly against Republican voter suppression. Only time will tell how this holds up.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 7th, 2021 at 03:44:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's the cynical political reality behind Mitch McConnell bashing big business - Ch.Cillizza
So, given all of that, here's what McConnell is up to. He knows that corporate America is entirely bottom-line focused -- as in, what way can it keep as much of its money as possible. And that corporations believe -- and have ample reason from the past to believe -- that the Republican Party is the party most likely to make that happen.

Which means that attacking corporations -- and throwing a bone to the Trump populists with a nod to supposed "cancel culture" -- amounts to a freebie for McConnell. He knows corporations aren't going to walk away from the GOP because he's issuing vague threats to them over the reaction to the Georgia election law.

by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Apr 7th, 2021 at 08:42:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yet corporations might not walk away from opposition to voter suppression on account of McConnell's hectoring. They remain committed to their bottom line, which they correctly perceive as being favored by free and fair elections. Worse yet, more than a few are signaling that they can live with higher taxes.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 7th, 2021 at 08:54:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, corporations going woke on us is very much about the bottom line because it's about serving their high-income customers.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Wed Apr 7th, 2021 at 10:18:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem for the GOP is that their constituency is happy to elect people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has just announced an "America First" caucus" that will focus on Anglo-Saxon political traditions.

It is absolutely not about race at all says noted non-racist Louie Gohmert.

by asdf on Fri Apr 16th, 2021 at 11:45:21 PM EST

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