As time has gone by, Republicans have become their own worst enemy.
Seven years of being “the party of no” and hardly doing a damned thing in Congress has their base seriously pissed off with the Republican establishment, though it’s unlikely even a 100% Tea Party Congress could have done much more.
While on one level, the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision seems to play into the GOP’s hands, allowing big business to give the party almost unlimited funding through PACs, it also bound the party to those PACs, further alienating the GOP base.
Speaking of the their base, they have over the last two or three decades cultivated the favor of some of the crazier corners of the right wing: birthers, conspiracy theorizers, race bigots, and right-wing Christian fundamentalists. This base has helped them gain control of state legislators as well as the legistlative branch of the Federal Government. Unfortunately, this base can’t win them a Presidential election. People will vote party lines in local elections without paying a lot of attention to policy statements, but unfortunately for the GOP, Presidential races get a lot of coverage and people pay a lot more attention.
Because they need to keep their base, they often give wishy-washy or baffling answers to direct questions like “are people born gay” or “do humans contribute to climate change.” Witness Scott Walker’s answer when Bob Shiefer on Face The Nation asked him what his foreign policy credentials were:
Well, I think as a governor, it’s really ultimately about leadership. To me, in my lifetime, one of the best presidents when it comes to foreign policy was a governor from California. My lifetime, one of the worst presidents when it comes to foreign policy, was a freshman senator from Illinois. So I think it’s not just about past experience. It’s about leadership. As a governor, you have to put a cabinet in place. Hopefully, you pick people who are as smart or smarter than you on any given topic.
I think that’s something that’s required of a successful president is putting people in place, be it Secretary of Defense, National Security Advisor, Secretary of State and others, and then having the good sense to listen to them and to others, chain of command in the military, consulting with the Congress. All of those sorts of things I think are important to the president, and I think a successful governors in either party have to do that every day.
The country’s top three minorities, women, Hispanics, and blacks taken together constitute a majority. And yet hardly a day goes by without one Republican—if not two or three—saying something insensitive, tone deaf, completely wrong, or unnecessarily harsh about at least one of those three minorities.
And this after Reince Preiebus’s very accurate autopsy of their loss in 2012, in which he made clear that the GOP is dead in the long term if it can’t get more women, blacks, and especially Hispanics into the fold.
Then there’s the GOP’s problem with science. Almost all of the climate deniers are Republican. The GOP seemingly will hang onto any shred of evidence that the bulk of climate change is due to human activities, despite the vast majority of concerned scientists believing that climate change is largely human-caused. And of course we know the answer to why: The GOP prides itself on being the handmaiden of business. Anything that impacts business badly—even it’s a fact—must be fought tooth and nail. Their resistance just makes them look foolish to the younger generation who, along with women and ethnic minorities, they will also need in the future.
Well, good luck, Reince. From here, it looks like things are getting worse, not better. And I’m not just speaking about Trump, though he’s probably the most obvious example.