Why the GOP crackup is bad for America

“With the Iowa caucuses just days away, the Republican crack-up threatens the future of the Grand Old Party more profoundly than at any other time since the GOP’s eclipse in 1932,” Robert Reich, who has served in three presidential administrations, writes on his blog. “That’s bad for America.”

“The crack-up isn’t just Romney-the-smooth versus Gingrich-the-bomb-thrower. Not just House Speaker John Boehner, who keeps making agreements he can’t keep, versus House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who keeps making trouble he can’t control. And not just the GOP establishment versus the Tea Partiers.

“The underlying conflict lies deep in the nature and structure of the Republican Party. And its roots are very old.

“As political analyst Michael Lind has noted, today’s Tea Party is less an ideological movement than the latest incarnation of an angry white minority – predominantly Southern, mainly rural, largely male – that has repeatedly attacked American democracy in order to get its way.

“It’s no coincidence that the states responsible for putting the most Tea Party representatives in the House are all former members of the Confederacy. Others are from border states with significant Southern populations and Southern ties.

“And the views separating these Republicans from Republicans elsewhere mirror the split between self-described Tea Partiers and other Republicans.

“In a poll of Republicans conducted for CNN last September, nearly six in ten who identified themselves with the Tea Party say global warming isn’t a proven fact; most other Republicans say it is.

“This ‘no-compromise’ right wing of today’s GOP isn’t much different from the evangelical social conservatives who began asserting themselves in the party during the 1990s, and, before them, the ‘Willie Horton’ conservatives of the 1980s, and, before them, Richard Nixon’s ‘silent majority.'”

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

7 thoughts on “Why the GOP crackup is bad for America”

  1. It is astonishing how much brain power can be stored in a man of such diminutive stature.

    Professor Reich has defined the problem well; I only wish he had also been able to come up with a remedy. Democracy seem so inadequate at times.

  2. Reasonable Repubs can solve the problem in the voting booth by NOT voting for “angry White Men” and one willing to solve problems, not obstruction at every tern. “My way or the highway” will ultimately get to a dead end; no issue resolved. The Vote Can Fix The Problem and my well do so in 2012.

  3. Jeff,

    I think this is more of a retread of the old “vast right-wing conspiracy” stuff we had years ago from Hillary.

    The recent piece from NPR does a much better job of showing the real battle that is waging within the Republican Party. The 20th Century belonged to the progressives with the advance of almost every plank in their platforms from the early years of that century.

    The goal for many of us in the Republican side of things is to see a return of the Old Right: The conservative views that built a strong America that did not think we should be running the world.


    1. JS wrote: “The conservative views that built a strong America”

      Like the ‘good old days’ when there was no compulsory education, no child labor laws, and voting was for white males.

      “that did not think we should be running the world.”

      Wow! how does that fit in with the last 30 years (at least the last 10) of Republican ideology?

      John, it always amazes me how much reality you can ignore.

      Happy New Year.

      1. Chris,

        As you know, I have often pointed out the many sins of the past that need to be confessed, but I think you last statement makes the point that I was trying to make: This battle raging in Republican ranks is very different from the social battles of the 1980’s and 90’s. The kind of conservative Republican I would like to see would more likely be modeled after a Democrat: Grover Cleveland, who most would not recognize as a Democrat today.

        Do I want things to be just like they were in the 1800’s? No because of some of the things that you point out and also because I like flush toilets and dentistry! This does not mean that there is not much to learn from those years, like the kind of economic growth that we had after the civil war!


  4. The fact that Santorum is in third tells us everything we need to know about the republican field. Romney say and do nothing campaign is #1 in Iowa, Paul is despised be GOP leadership #2, and now Santorum is a diagnosis away from clinically insane #3

    Our country is in trouble

  5. Jim – I just finished reading Prof. Reich’s book “Aftershock.” He presents a whole chapter of remedies for the economy. The problem is that the President picked Summers Geitner and the Wall Street crowd as economic advisors and is not listening to many economists that suggest an alternative approach. Of course, it is not just the President’s fault. The Republicans simply want to double down on policies that brought us the mess in the first place. Happy New Year

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