Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rightardia editorial: Why the GOP doesn't get it

by Eric Elder

To really understand the predicament the GOP is in, you must go back to the Voting Rights Act in mid-60s and perhaps even back to the Great Depression in which Democrats gained political control of the country. An alliance between the liberals in the NE and the conservative Democrats in the South kept the GOP at bay until the Voting Rights Act was passed.

The Voting Right Act of 1965 landmark piece of national legislation that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S.

The aftermath was that the conservative Democrats or Dixiecrats either left the democratic party or became Republicans. LBJ thought it would take 10 years for the Democrats to recover. It actually took closer to 30 years. At one stretch, the GOP had held the white House for 20 of 28 years.

The GOP may have believed its brilliance had turned the US into a conservative country. Actually, the rise of the GOP in the 1980s was because of the Voting Rights Act which split the Democratic Party.

Conservatives savored their victories in the 1980s and 1990s with purity tests and purges of moderates in their party using the Club for Growth who challenged moderate GOP incumbents in primaries. If the incumbent survived, he or she had little left of the war chest to fight the Democrat in the general election.

Bill Clinton restored the Democrats to the white house and Al Gore should have won in 2000. GW Bush went into the White House as a minority president and lead the country into the Great Recession with two unfunded was and his conservative tax program that accelerated the deficit as well.

Meanwhile, demographic shifts that had been predicted showed up early in the 2010 census. Latins were the fastest growing population. In the US, there were record levels of black voters, as well rising numbers of minority voters, that turned out at the polls just as the white vote is declining.

As Allan Lichtman, a presidential historian at American University in Washington, said, “the GOP [is] on the wrong side of history, demographically speaking.”

The GOP tired to slow down this Democratic voting onslaught bey changing the voting laws in several states, most of which were red. It didn't work.

The GOP hasn't a adapted to these changes and this new political reality in America. Perhaps some see the Obama victories as a fluke. Believe me, hey were not. Democrats were stoked in the last two elections and we wanted to see GOP blood running in the streets.

It's not going to get better for the GOP. It's possible the party may altogether disappear. The belief of many party leaders that conservative principles are sound and just a little image tweaking is needed will fail. The GOP's turn to the right is also a nonstarter.

The Democratic Party has fully recovered from the Voting Rights Act. We paid a huge political price, but it was the right thing to do. Our black, Latin and Asian turned the tide for us in the last election. So did the women and LGBT voters.

It is a brave new political world. The GOP must adapt or die.

It will no longer be able to function in the alternative universe it has created for itself atop bullshit mountain.

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