Friday, October 18, 2013

Is the Republican ship sinking? Looks like it.

Stuart Rothenberg has posted an analysis of the Republican disaster that says what just about everyone else is saying.  Ted Cruz and his supporters have really damaged the Republican Party brand.  The damage is so bad that that Rothenberg and others are saying that the Republican behavior has now very likely put their control of the House in danger.  They could lose and lose big in the 2014 election, a mid-term election when the opposition party should have done well.  Additionally, reports are emerging that suggest a total split in the party between the Cruz-led Tea Party and more traditional Republicans supported by groups like the Chamber of Commerce.  Daily Kos says we may be seeing civil war break out in the party between Tea Party members determined to take control of the party and traditional, middle-of-the-road Republicans who may be forced out.  More good news for Democrats.  According to Addicting Info , Democrat challengers to Southern Republican incumbents are raking in tons of money from donors who see a real chance for Democrats to take back a chunk of the South from Republicans.  Right now it looks like the Republican close-the-government/default/defund Obamacare effort led by Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, and similar nuts has cost Republicans any chance to gain control of the Senate, may cost them control of the House, and puts Democrats in a stronger position to retain the White House in 2016.  Even the Wall Street Journal is worried about the future of the Republican Party.  William Glaston in a recent article says if the Tea Party gains control over the Republican Party, corporate American may end up having to go Democrat.  He writes: “It's no coincidence that the strengthening influence of the tea party is driving a wedge between corporate America and the Republican Party. It's hard to see how the U.S. can govern itself unless corporate America pushes the Republican establishment to fight back against the tea party—or switches sides.”  Additionally, Galston cites surveys that show that most Tea Party members have little in common with Libertarian corporate American.  Galston writes: “Although some tea-party supporters are libertarian, most are not. The Public Religion Research Institute found that fully 47% regard themselves as members of the Christian right, and 55% believe that America is a Christian nation today—not just in the past. On hot-button social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage, tea partiers are aligned with social conservatives.”

Of course, we are more than an year out from the next national elections and a lot can change between now and then.  Republicans could make things worse for themselves early next year by once again shutting down the government and threatening default, although most analysts don’t think they could be THAT STUPID.  But, who knows.  The Tea Party is still running things on the Republican side and Ted Cruz has become a hero to them.  Obamacare could explode, although I don’t think that is likely.  The administration and Democrats can’t afford for these technical problems with the exchanges to go on very long.  American voters could forget this whole episode but then many Americans were really hurt and angered by the shutdown.  Then, we have the stock market and economy.  Right now the market is going gangbusters and there are a lot of signs that the U.S. economy is ready to grow big time.  There is even a good chance, I think, that we could see a boom like the late 90s.  If that happens, the Republicans are REALLY doomed.

Stay tuned.  Early next year is going to be a very interesting time.

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