GOP’s real problem

Poor Newt. The GOP’s beloved policy wonk, long revered as an innovative thinker, quickly discovered how unforgiving his party can be for those who trespass against its conventional wisdom.

The only real question now is whether Gingrich emulates John McCain by surrendering any claim to intellectual independence before he bombs out of the GOP race, which otherwise seems assured.

Like Sarah Palin and Donald Trump before him, Gingrich finds himself under fire in what would look like another coordinated assault, except of course these things are always called a coincidence.

First it was Palin. Long the darling of the conservative media, it finally dawned on the GOP establishment — watching her negative poll numbers climb — that she can’t beat President Obama, and isn’t making any real attempt to become “serious” by boning up on the issues.

But the GOP’s real problem? To paraphrase columnist Clarence Page, the GOP candidates with the best chance of beating Obama appear to have the least chance of winning the party’s nomination.

Worse, Palin was also a darling of the mainstream media and was getting more attention than anyone else in the GOP. So conservative pundits began attacking her. (Athough it must wound Gingrich, the idea man, to see a recent poll putting him behind her, the woman with hardly any.)

Then came Trump’s circus act. He rode to the top of the polls flogging birtherism, which the GOP establishment was trying to lock in the barn. The conservative machine shifted into gear again, and all of a sudden the usual suspects began to take down Trump, who didn’t really care because it was just a publicity stunt anyway.

But Gingrich does care, and thus it hurts. He has already issued at least one apology, for trashing the budget plan of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. What really rankled was that Gingrich reminded voters about the plan’s impact on Medicare, something all those House Republicans who voted for it when it seemed like such a good idea began to regret when they realized what a weapon it handed to Democrats.

So Gingrich seems doomed, and Trump and Huckabee, who were leading the pack, dropped out. Who’s next to attack? Probably Mitt Romney, polling barely ahead of a resurgent Palin, who started flirting with birtherism again after Trump’s success with it.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sally in MI
    May 21, 2011 @ 03:39:37

    My take on this is that the GOP has no interest in real policy or telling the truth. The Kochs are after seats because they want to end the middle class, end public education, and make the wealthy an even more powerful ruling class. The person who talks about those ‘values’ is Bachmann, and she will be crucified in any debate with Obama, as will Palin. The Kochs may think they can buy elections now, but, as Wisconsin and Michigan are showing, the people will fight back. The Snyder recall petitions hit the streets today, and I bet we come up with the million signatures we need. The Kochs may have billions, but we still have souls.
    So, the GOP is left with losing in 2012, and the big question is who will be willing to be thrown under the bus while they bide their time until 2014. Best bet? Sister Sarah, who has the biggest ego of all.


  2. SarahHalfTime
    May 21, 2011 @ 09:49:49

    Wake up conservatives, Sarahgeddon is your doom.
    And it couldn’t make Sowah more happy.


  3. climber357
    May 21, 2011 @ 10:15:19

    I remember when American conservatism was synonymous with optimism, when what made Republicans great was our willingness to embrace the future. Gingrich once condemned the Left for rejecting ¨any hope of salvation through technological innovation.¨ And I remember when Republicans condemned the Far Right extremists who carried their hostility to government and love of firearms to lunatic extremes; when ¨Preachers of Hate¨ like sarah were kept under control, lest we become the ¨Party of Hate.¨

    Pat Buchanan, the most right-wing candidate to run for POTUS, got only 0.5 percent of the vote in 2000.

    Americans do not vote for hate.


  4. majii
    May 21, 2011 @ 11:06:32

    I’ve voted for both republicans and democrats since I cast my first vote in 1972. I voted for Sonny Perdue when he ran here in GA, but I find it difficult to even think about voting for a republican these days. Huntsman was a very attractive candidate for me because he was a moderate in the style of Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower, but his interview with George Stephanopoulos turned me off to him. Stephanopoulos asked if he supported the “idiotic” Ryan budget plan that destroys Medicare, and Huntsman said he would. Why a man with such great positions on the issues in the past would lower himself to pandering to the far rw of the Republican Party doesn’t make sense to me. IMO, he could attract some democrats, independents, and moderate republicans to vote for him in 2012 if he stuck to his guns, but I guess he saw what happened to Gingrich this past week when he spoke the truth and decided to take the path of least resistance.

    The far rw of the GOP should be ashamed of itself for forcing these candidates to toe an unpopular party line by making them endorse Ryan’s budget. This sickness has spread beyond D.C. Both Nikki Haley, current governor of S.C., and former S.C. governor Mark Sanford have threatened all of the GOP 2012 presidential candidates by telling them that if they want to win in S.C., they’d better endorse the Ryan budget. I am despondent at seeing how presidential candidates have no power to speak their own minds without having to go crawling back to people like Rush Limbaugh who holds no political position in America. We need two good political parties and candidates in both parties who are willing to work on behalf of the American people. Democracy isn’t democratic when politicians are forced to support bad policies to satisfy only a small group of individuals. I keep hoping that the moderates in the GOP will rise up and tell the far right contingent to straighten up or leave the party. I liked Nixon, Reagan, Ford, and G.H.W. Bush immensely, but in today’s GOP, they wouldn’t stand a chance at winning the party’s nomination or the presidency in 2012. IMHO, this push to the extreme right doesn’t bode well for our country’s future. We need problem solvers, not ideologues, in the WH and in Congress.


  5. molly malone
    May 21, 2011 @ 15:51:29

    Majii, I used to think we needed the two political parties to balance each other out–in fact, I still think that would be great. Trouble is, although we still use the labels Republican and Democrat, what we actually have now are:
    The International Corporatist Party, which promotes policies that seek to turn the U.S. into England at the time of Charles Dickens.

    The Christianist Party, whose primary objective is to eliminate the separation of Church and State, thus turning the U.S. into a theocracy.

    The Anti-Tax, Anti-Government, Know Nothing But Shout Loudly Party, which considers itself well informed via Palin, Beck, Hannity and Bachmann.

    The Common Good Party, which aims at promoting the general welfare of all citizens regardless of religion, social status, or color of one’s skin.

    Lumping politicians into simply Republicans and Democrats does the voter a great disservice because it clouds our ability to recognize which political ideology they actually intend to represent. Maybe we need to develop some kind of a rating scale so we can clearly understand which party we are actually voting for before we cast our ballots.


  6. newmeximan
    May 22, 2011 @ 00:15:03

    The real problem for the GOP is that their rhetoric never did match reality. Now they have to find a sacrificial candidate at the end of his/her political career.

    Please nominate $arah. I hold stock in many of the companies that produce popcorn.


  7. grammy11
    May 22, 2011 @ 04:59:06

    I have a feeling Huntsman will be the R nominee. He is the only one that has a chance with his experience, intellect, charm, nice looks and above all, courtesy for the Commander in Chief. The ones constantly criticizing the President will get nowhere near the White House.


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