Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Todd Akin exposes Republican rift

As I see it, the GOP has long been controlled and directed by persons serving the interests of the mega-rich:  oil extraction executives, old money estates, high-stakes financial swindlers.  These monied elites have carefully cultivated a fearful resentment in cultural conservatives by playing to racial and religious prejudices.  That's how, they've managed to stay competitive in national elections even though they flagrantly push economic policies that are hostile to the vast majority of the voting public.  That old "Southern Strategy" that they cooked up  in the wake of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has served them well --so well that they've spawned other similar (and similarly ugly) strategies.  They've promoted loathing for homosexuals; hostility toward Muslims; rage at Hispanics.  Playing to people's fears and prejudices is an easy way to win votes. 

This dependence on fear and hatred is like heroin addiction.  Just as a junkie must increase his hit to get the same high, so must Republicans go ever farther with their xenophobic pandering to evoke the same response from the redneck rabble.

The election of 2010 was the culmination of this Republican strategy.  When the Tea Party (which is a manifestation of the warped ideals of cultural conservatives) swept into power, the Frankenstein's monster was unchained.  The GOP owed their 2010 victory to right-wing populism and the Tea Party knew it.  "Old Guard" Republicans like Senator Dick Lugar (IN), Senator Bob Bennett (UT) and Congressman Mike Castle (DE) were all deposed by Tea Party upstarts in the primary season.  The monster is run amok.

Todd Akin:  the man of the hour
So when Missouri senate candidate Todd Akin shot his mouth off on Sunday, unintentionally revealing his contempt for women (a contempt that is shared by the hard-right elements of the Republican party), so-called "main-stream" Republicans pounced.

On Monday, big time Republicans publicly called for Akin to resign.  The list is long:  Mitt Romney, Senators Scott Brown (MA) and John Cornyn (TX), Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, GOP fund-raiser supreme Karl Rove, former Senator Roy Blunt, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  Rove's PAC, Crossroads GPS, released a statement saying it was pulling all funding and advertising out of Missouri.

Akin is a Tea Party candidate.  He won the Missouri primary by beating John Brunner, a multimillionaire businessman, a plutocrat. So, today, when Akin faced them all down, right-wing populists like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Mike Hukabee the Christian Warrior were cheering.  They have the plutocrats on the run!

All of this puts Romney in a bad position.  His pick for vice-president, Paul Ryan, is a Tea Party favorite.  That's why Romney chose him.  Romney, after all, is mega-rich money changer --which is to say --an "Old Guard" Republican.  Ryan is supposed to win Romney street cred with the plebs.  But what happens when the two sides are locked in combat over control of the party?  Can Romney bring them together?

The civil war within the Republican party is escalating.  The stakes couldn't be higher for Republicans.  Seventy-six days until the election, and the knives are out.  Aristocrats versus snake-charmers.  Harvard Business School versus Oral Roberts University.  Grasp versus gasp.  Greed versus ignorance.

I hope there will be lots of blood and guts.

1 comment:

Marcella said...

I love your last sentence best of all, Dade, and I hope you're right - I hope they defeat themselves in this election and that those who would vote for them get their shit together and realize what a travesty it would be having these idiots running our country....