Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(4,913 posts)
Sun Feb 19, 2023, 10:42 AM Feb 2023

The GOP have a structural problem. It became chronic with the rise of Tea Party.

Today, when Republicans running for office debate any issue they do this. They try to one up each other by being more extreme on the issue. The most extreme often win their primary. They did this with abortion. It works well in their primaries. It hurts them badly in the general elections. It looks like the Republicans are going to run on education in 2024. They will try to out do each other with extremism.

I first noticed this in the 2012 when Romney ran for president. During the Republican primary debate Romney, who is a moderate was not doing well in the polls. Many people were running that year. After every debate, whoever was the most extreme in the debate took the lead in the polls. Remember, NINE, NINE NINE. He actually took the lead in the polls

Romney had to become more and more extreme and then he took the lead in the polls. The GOP created this structural problem by spending many years radicalizing their voters. They did that through Fox News and the internet. Now people like Moscow Mitch are trying to correct this problem. The problem is they don't know how to do it.

Of course this is good news for the Democrats in 2024.

15 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies


(70,919 posts)
1. it was the days of st ronnie that they embraced lying as a strategy.
Sun Feb 19, 2023, 10:49 AM
Feb 2023

old enough to remember the debate over whether spin=lies.
it’s been straight downhill ever since. it’s their willingness to lie that gets them ahead in the party now.



(4,913 posts)
2. You have to admit, The combination of the Tea Party, Fox News, Internet. made it much worse.
Sun Feb 19, 2023, 10:54 AM
Feb 2023

It not just the lying, they have gone off the deep end on extremism and they can't control it.


(70,919 posts)
3. i find the lying more important than what the lies are about.
Sun Feb 19, 2023, 11:03 AM
Feb 2023

none of this happens w/o ppl willing to blatantly lie w a straight face.
and the money to pay for those lies. i never believed limpballs was paid the way he was based on ratings. he was paid for his lies and his loyalty.
ppl will tell the truth for little to nothing. to stand out there and create a distorted reality takes ‘talent’ and money.

the culture wars are just wedges. they believe none of it.
the real goal is to gut regs, inc tax law, period. and loot the treasury.

you make it sound more high minded than it is.


(37,192 posts)
6. I put the turning point as the tag-team of Newt & Rush
Sun Feb 19, 2023, 11:21 AM
Feb 2023

They'd been moving in this general direction for ~50 years, but those two set it on the precise trajectory to the hellbeast they've turned their party into.

All-out assault on The Enemy, all the time, and anyone who slacks off is a quisling and a RINO.

They built a party of Ahabs, and no one but no one tells them there are other priorities besides the White Whale.


(11,074 posts)
13. While he was awful, I think the real shift happened because of Gingrich
Sun Feb 19, 2023, 12:31 PM
Feb 2023

Don't forget, Reagan worked with a Democratic congress and Tip O'Neill to enact his policies. There was at least some level of cooperation.

It was Gingrich, Whitewater, and the impeachment which really turned the dial up to crazy. They realized impeaching a president for a blowjob was effective enough to get their guy within striking distance of the White House. Add to that Florida's rise as crazy central in 2000, plus the Supreme Court and we have a trifecta.

All of that lead to 9/11 and the Iraq war, which was where the real shift happened.


(2,121 posts)
4. If Democrats vote we will win. We must mobilize every voter in
Sun Feb 19, 2023, 11:06 AM
Feb 2023

the Philly suburbs, Arizona, and Georgia who believe in modernity, equity, and a racially diverse democracy.

The danger to our democracy is still very real. Democrats must vote because our country depends on it.

Black women saved us in 2020. As a white male I am thankful. We will need a multiracial approach to 2024 again.


(21,394 posts)
5. They praised the GOP court letting dark money into elections
Sun Feb 19, 2023, 11:16 AM
Feb 2023

Soon after the dark money owned the party. That was fine with them when it was people like the Koch brothers or Rupert Murdoch. However, social media changed things in ways they couldn't imagine when Citizen United passed. With little or no party structure, and a global reach with social media. They have no way to prevent nuts from running or Russian and China taking over their party. They were helpless to deal with Trump. There's no fixing it. The national party of the GOP simply doesn't have any power in their own party anymore. In many places in the country they don't really exist. I have no idea who the sad sack who ran as GOP candidate for Governor of California the last three election cycles and I live in California. The California GOP as a state wide party doesn't exist outside the minds owned by social media. They couldn't even boot MTG from the party when she was just am annoying nobody because she was so good at social media.

The result is obvious. It's a party of grandstanders and social media influencers. Most care more about their likes and follows than legislating. Most will back anything that gets them attention. Not even the Kochs seem to have enough influence and power to stop it. The result should be a cluster * of a 2024 presidential cycle. Who knows, MTG could probably win the nomination in that party. They're that broken.

OAITW r.2.0

(25,653 posts)
7. And that explains why they need to suppress the vote, gerrymander, then claim stolen elections when
Sun Feb 19, 2023, 11:29 AM
Feb 2023

they lose. They can't win on their non-existent platform of anti-education, anti-minority, anti-healthcare, and anti-women.

Expect more extremism until the Republican Party implodes into a collection of incoherent, anti-social nutjobs.


(4,999 posts)
8. I believe extremism is their strategy right now.
Sun Feb 19, 2023, 11:36 AM
Feb 2023

And it has nothing to do with what led them here.

To understand it takes a longer view, and a reflection of history of the past few decades.

First the problem the GOP faces:
Changing demographics. Younger voters, more diverse voters, voters who are as a general rule not going to vote R.

So, facing that certainty, how does the GOP remain a powerful force?

1) electoral votes are skewed to give more power to lower population states.
2) The Senate gives absolutely no differential power based on population of the state
3) The Senate also approves nominees for courts, govt positions, federal bills.

Given those three considerations, (and probably more), what can the GOP do?

They can play the long game. The long game is what they have been playing for a few decades now, and it has worked quite well. They have focused at the state level. This game, which literally took decades to play out, has allowed for extreme gerrymandering to help retain power in the U.S. House. But even that game won't work as demographics continue to push harder, narrowing election wins and starting to swing D.

So, what is the long game now?
Drive D voters out of red states. Attract R voters to red states.

So how do you drive D voters out?
Make the state unlivable for people with a conscience, for people with educations, for people who care about other people and the planet.

Of course, this will not cause people to move instantly, and some people will stay put for reasons of family, or historical bonds. But you don't need everyone to move, and you have to be willing to let time and cultural pressure do its work. The GOP has seen how time can do the work with patience.

And now we have from the GOP moves that impact or create legislation for:
. Striking down Roe V. Wade
. Attacks on LGBTQ
. Attacks on teaching race history
. Book Banning
. Attacking Women
. Attacking immigrants
. Loosening gun laws

Those things (and others) will, over a decade cause enough people to either move outright, not consider moving to certain states, employers (with a conscience) to reconsider certain states. Enough so the GOP can regain and maintain control of the Senate? -- possibly so. Enough to squeek out another presidential election or two? -- possibly so.

It's certainly worth the GOP trying it, they understand the long game. I don't think DEMs really understand the long game.

(on edit, added "Loosening gun laws" to the list)


(36,995 posts)
10. I know I wouldn't move to a red state.
Sun Feb 19, 2023, 12:01 PM
Feb 2023

An excellent post & you are right that they are playing the long game & have been playing it for decades, while our side? IDK. I feel like our party has only recently become aware of how extremist the repub party has become. Recently, as in it took Trump to wake up a lot of the old guard, & honestly, I worry there are still too many who don't see the Republican Party as the threat to Democracy that it is, including President Biden.


(4,999 posts)
12. Thanks.
Sun Feb 19, 2023, 12:21 PM
Feb 2023

I'm a numbers person, and know how shifting a few percent here and there over a long period of time can work, and in the past year or so I realized this is what they are up to.

I have no great counter strategies. Many of these insane GOP attacks to have real, immediate impacts on quality of life, so asking someone to stay in a R state or move there until it becomes a D state is a big ask.

One thing I see is boomers retired in California. It wouldn't take many of them (as a percentage) to move to a place like ID or WY to turn those blue.

My daughter that lives in Boise, ID said they could have possibly turned ID more blue last November, but Ammon Bundy was running for governor, and absolutely no one was willing to risk that, so the less insane R candidate drew a bunch of D votes.


(36,995 posts)
9. I mostly agree with the exception that they've been courting the racists, zealots, & loons
Sun Feb 19, 2023, 11:49 AM
Feb 2023

for decades & at the same time, drifted to the right with every election as they all tried to out-conservative each other. They lost control to the extremists when they let Sarah Palin bring her racist rhetoric to the national stage & give the tea party a national voice. They can't win without the losers & now the genie is out of the bottle.


(55,265 posts)
11. This is not necessarily good news for Democrats
Sun Feb 19, 2023, 12:12 PM
Feb 2023

If the crazies on the other side put up a united front, and thos opposed resign themselves that it is better to go along than go alone, then they will present a united front of cryziness that will have a three billion dollar campaign edge in the form of Fox Noise, National Hate Radio, and a phalanx of right wing newspapers for those few of them that still understand the printed word.

Like the proverbial scene with Adlai Stevenson, having the support of every thinking American will not be enough. We need a majority.

Actually, as seen in 2000 and 2016, even THAT isn't always enough.


old as dirt

(1,972 posts)
14. Mitt Romney has the distinction of being the first presidential candidate...
Sun Feb 19, 2023, 12:43 PM
Feb 2023

...to openly utter a blatant racist epithet during a live televised presidential debate being watched by millions and millions of people simultaneously.

It's been more than a decade since Mitt normalized the use of blatant racial epithets, and he still hasn't apologized for it.

Mitt Romney's 'illegals' rhetoric alienates Latinos

Wed 3 Oct 2012

Immigration may be illegal, but people are undocumented. Romney risks being on the wrong side of history at this election


The rest is history.

After Obama Victory, Shrieking White-Hot Sphere Of Pure Rage Early GOP Front-Runner For 2016


(8,324 posts)
15. GOP lies go back much further than the Tea Party or even Reagan,
Sun Feb 19, 2023, 12:47 PM
Feb 2023

though they both embraced the tactics and made lying that much more acceptable and prevalent.

Think about Joseph McCarthy and his list of "known Communists" working for the State Department. Think of Republicans in the 1950s accusing George Marshall--a primary architect of Allied victory in WWII--being "soft on Communism."

Think of the lies they told about FDR "selling us out" at Yalta.

And then of course there was this:

Notice even in 1944 the GOP was trying to limit the vote. Though it should be noted that southern Democrats--social conservatives--were experts at limiting the vote in their states.

Notice also FDR calling out the GOP for adopting "the Big Lie."

Unfortunately, the clip above skips over the best part of the speech:

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»The GOP have a structural...