Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Simplifying America's Republican Politics

Matt Taibbi has written an article in Rolling Stone that gives the absolute minimum that is required to be known to understand the Republican party and its "program" for the American people:
Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann have just summed up the entire Republican storyline with perfect precision, through their respective responses to Hurricane Irene. There’s really not much left for any pundit to add, after this weekend’s quips.

Michele Bachmann says Hurricane Irene is God’s way of telling Washington that it is spending too much.

For his part, Ron Paul says hurricane relief isn’t the responsibility of the state and we should stop using tax dollars to rescue people. Apparently we should go back to our year-1900 disaster policies, which included watching 6,000 people die in a hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas.
If you like mucking around with the dreck of Republican party "principles", read this article.

Matt Taibbi points out the one weakness of the "scare 'em" approach to politics favoured by the Republicans:
As we’ve seen with the career of Glenn Beck, there’s a built-in problem with building a following upon fear of imminent catastrophe. In order to succeed and keep people interested, you need to constantly up the ante, with warnings that are more and more desperate and future nightmare scenarios that are more and more graphic. Even the most brilliantly nutty rhetoricians, and Beck is one of the best ever, ultimately run out of ways to keep twisting the nightmare plot forward while keeping at least a little toe of credibility in the real world.

This slate of Republican candidates is very passionate when it comes to warnings and predictions of doom and yearning for the days before antibiotics and universal suffrage, but not nearly as eloquent when it comes to expressing ideas like hope, reassurance, enthusiasm and forward-thinking, which is ultimately what the majority of voters tend to go for. I'm as worried about the future as anyone, but if your message for the next generation is buy gold, stock up on canned food, and duck, I don't see how you can win a general election. But stranger things have happened in this country...

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