Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Where lies the GOP future?
November 12, 2009 5:28 PM   Subscribe

Is Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao the GOP future? That's what Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) thought - a year ago. Since then, Cao has jolted Washington, and the question arises: was Boehner right about Cao being the future of the GOP, or will the purifiers prevail.

Today Scozzafavafication is a verb that gets a lot of use, with not even the 15th most conservative Senator being immune from the rage of the right. The GOP stands at a crossroads. Which road forward?
posted by VikingSword (63 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I really hope that it's not really a false-dichotomy between Cao and Everyone Else. He's still an anti women's rights asshole.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:29 PM on November 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


He's a man, so you're half right. But he's a minority, so that definitely rules him out as the future.
posted by smoke at 5:36 PM on November 12, 2009


Isn't this post like a week late?
posted by Think_Long at 5:39 PM on November 12, 2009


Call me when he's like the first Asian President or something.

Speaking of which: hey, this Barack Obama guy, we thought he was the future of American politics, but he's turned out to be a huge disappointment, not particularly progressive at all. When are we going to get a real progressive party in the country? I'll tell you one thing for sure, not by supporting the crop of Democrats we've got right now.
posted by namespan at 5:44 PM on November 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Isn't this post like a week late?

How so? The process is continuing - just yesterday Lindsey Graham was censured by the local GOP for a long list of sins (last lnk).
posted by VikingSword at 5:44 PM on November 12, 2009


I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the verb form of Scozzafava isn't going to stand the test of time.
posted by empath at 5:45 PM on November 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Speaking of which: hey, this Barack Obama guy, we thought he was the future of American politics, but he's turned out to be a huge disappointment, not particularly progressive at all.

This shit annoys me so much. The man ran as a moderate from day one.
posted by empath at 5:46 PM on November 12, 2009 [42 favorites]


I think the future of the GOP is an ongoing purge. Instead of being regretful about blowing a safe R seat, the Republicans in NY dumped Scozzafava from her leadership post in the NY State Assembly. Three days ago the strongest R candidate for Senator in Florida got snubbed by a powerful R fundraising organization-- because he is too moderate. Today we have the news about the Charleston SC Rs "censuring" Lindsay Graham for playing too nice with Democrats.

If someone sees a trend in a moderate direction, I'd love to know where they have spotted it. And once all the moderates are gone, it won't take long forl the hard right Rs and the religious right Rs to that they actually don't have a lot in common besides not being "moderate," and turn on each other.

This all makes me very uneasy. I grew up in a one party state, and that was not a good thing. It led to unchecked corruption, among other ills. But if the Rs stay busy assassinating each other, that's what we will end up with nationally too.
posted by bearwife at 5:48 PM on November 12, 2009


Wasn't Cao like, the one Republican dude that voted for the healthcare bill?
posted by jabberjaw at 5:51 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


When are we going to get a real progressive party in the country? I'll tell you one thing for sure, not by supporting the crop of Democrats we've got right now.

So you see the ongoing Scozzafavization of the GOP as a template for Democratic electoral success?
posted by fatbird at 5:52 PM on November 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


If the teabaggers keep fomenting and losing elections as they did in NY23, perhaps they'll turn their sights on getting instant runoffs/preferential voting systems installed. I think this is how Australia got instant runoff elections-- two conservative parties fighting with each other and losing to the progressive party. That'll allow them to get their true believer conservatives and the left to get their true believer progressives.
posted by stavrogin at 5:53 PM on November 12, 2009


we thought he was the future of American politics

If you thought that he was the future of progressive politics, you weren't paying attention. I wouldn't mind at all if he ends up being the future of American political behavior, though.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 5:56 PM on November 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


That Charleston censure of Lindsey Graham is pretty insane. One of the stated reasons is becuase he 'has stated on many occasions that his primary concern is to "be relevant"' He wants to be relevant? Horrors!
posted by slackdog at 6:08 PM on November 12, 2009


If you thought that he was the future of progressive politics, you weren't paying attention.

Oh, I think they've got an idea....
posted by lodurr at 6:10 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cao was doing fine until last weekend. Maybe Lou Dobbs will run.
posted by fixedgear at 6:11 PM on November 12, 2009


It's funny that the progressive left seems to have embraced both the fact that Cao defected from the GOP and voted for the health care bill as well as the fact that Kucinich voted against the health care bill on the grounds that it did not go far enough towards eliminating the for-profit health care racket.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:12 PM on November 12, 2009


This shit annoys me so much. The man ran as a moderate from day one.
No kidding. He had the weakest health reform plan of everyone running in the primary. No mandates like Clinton's plan, and no Public Option, like Edwards. I think both Clinton and Obama picked up the public option later, though.
So you see the ongoing Scozzafavization of the GOP as a template for Democratic electoral success?
It would be nice if we could get liberal congresspeople from liberal districts at least.
posted by delmoi at 6:13 PM on November 12, 2009


Scozzafavafication is clearly a noun and not a verb.
posted by ofthestrait at 6:29 PM on November 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Obama's been making slow and steady progress, but he's a moderate. You can't really say you ever expected him to make America into Sweden, whether you're on the right (where that's bad) or on the left (where that's good).

That said, he is a real master at getting reform. Look at the healthcare bill. It looked like it was derailed and dead so many times, but here it is. It's in the late phases, and it's more likely than not going to have a public option. All of his opponents have been marginalized and now appear as fringe radicals. The best they can do is pretend that the voting out of two unpopular Democratic governors is a sign that America somehow hates healthcare reform, while they lost a representative in a traditionally Republican district, who actually could vote on healthcare, from their own stupid ideological purges.

As for whether Obama is a progressive who is pragmatically pushing for realistic reforms, or a centrist at heart, it's impossible to say. However, it's clear that he's pushing for the maximum extent that you can accomplish with the current political climate. America is deeply aware that many of our systems are breaking down, and in many cases it's because they've been under-regulated or over-privatized. It's hard to regulate and tax externalities, though, as all the money, and thus lobbying, is in the hands of the people running those failing systems. Add in to that the neoconservative dogma that any expansion of government (outside of domestic security and military spending) is bad, and we get the glacial reforms and the populist malaise about how expensive and awful healthcare is, but how they're worried it'll get even worse with the government involved.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:31 PM on November 12, 2009 [23 favorites]


Saying the GOP is angry at Cao is an understatement. Check out these screenshots of his wall post-vote. It might raise your blood pressure, but some of them are unintentionally funny. Like this one that says that he's a traitor to his "ASIAN" culture that honors the elderly. I'm no anthropologist, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that typically entire continents don't have 100% consistent cultures.

Plus, it's a nice way to blend in the "OBAMA WILL PERSONALLY CURB STOMP EVERYONE FROM THE GREATEST GENERATION!" myth. As a liberal not wired to think that way, it's fun to watch the right wing delusions hook together from afar.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:38 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Re: Kucinich voting against it: I like Kucinich, and I gave to his campaign to send a message that I was in favor of progress beyond what the other candidates in the primary were offering, but I feel like he's being too stubborn here. He has a good plan, but it will never pass in this climate. A freaking public option is being called a socialist plot to bankrupt the nation so that Obama can take over. How do you get people to warm up to a single payer system, especially when Britain's system is one of the worst in Europe (yes, because of Britain's poverty rate, and it's actually the most efficient in Europe considering how many people they serve and how little cash they get, but try fitting that much thought into a TV debate)?

He's asking for more than he can get. I know that's his style, but at the end of the day, I'd rather give up the fight for my ideal plan and seriously reduce the uninsured, than to fight until I'm blue in the face and end up with the same system that's getting worse and worse by the year.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:44 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Speaking of which: hey, this Barack Obama guy, we thought he was the future of American politics, but he's turned out to be a huge disappointment, not particularly progressive at all.

I was going to write an angry response to this but mccarty.tim laid it out much better and more politely than I would have.

All I'll say is that this is still the United States, the country that re-elected George W. Bush roughly five years ago.
posted by uri at 6:56 PM on November 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Britain's system is one of the worst in Europe

That's a really very arguable statement. Very arguable on almost any metric you care to name (health outcomes, cost, mortality).
posted by smoke at 6:57 PM on November 12, 2009


Britain's system is one of the worst in Europe

That's a really very arguable statement. Very arguable on almost any metric you care to name (health outcomes, cost, mortality).
posted by smoke at 6:57 PM on November 12 [+] [!]


Teeth?

/stereotype
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:00 PM on November 12, 2009


I live in Virginia Foxx's district (you've probably seen her insane rants) and I joined her facebook group to ask her a question. It was interesting to see the comments of her fans, who for the most part strongly dislike our Rebublican senator, Richard Burr, to my surprise. He 's one of the less-visible senators nationwide, so he isn't known for much of anything, but he's certainly not known for being any kind of moderate. The main reason, as far as I could tell, is that he's somehow associated with Lindsey Graham, and that makes Burr a liberal to these people. I mean I wouldn't expect anything rational from these people, but it's fascinating that their disdain for moderation goes way past Cao and Snowe all the way to Graham.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 7:12 PM on November 12, 2009


Lindsey Graham is one of my senators, and I'm not the biggest fan. However, I sent him a note through the contact form on his website to let him know that I appreciate his efforts to work with the other side and get something done, rather than spending most of his time bitching about the opposition like my other senator, Jim Demint, and my congressman, Joe Wilson.

Here in South Carolina, a little effort is better than none, so we've at least got that going for us.
posted by chiababe at 7:20 PM on November 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


mccarty.tim's first link features a comment from a right-wing Republican Man U supporter. I don't like that guy.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 7:21 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Kucinich was allowed to vote against it because they had enough votes without him.
posted by sineater at 7:23 PM on November 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm starting to wish democrats would ride their representatives out of town for veering too close to the right. I do sort of admire the dedication to purity of these people.


Yeah, I see you over there in bed with big oil, Senator Landrieu, "D" Louisiana. Pack your stuff. Lieberman's waiting outside to take you to GOP HQ.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 7:34 PM on November 12, 2009


Britain has nationalized health care, not single-payer (per se, nationalization is a subset of single payer). The government owns the hospitals and employs the doctors. Canada, France, etc. have single-payer.
posted by kiltedtaco at 7:46 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


That Charleston censure of Lindsey Graham is pretty insane. One of the stated reasons is becuase he 'has stated on many occasions that his primary concern is to "be relevant"' He wants to be relevant? Horrors!

It'll be interesting to see if the Repubs eventually tell people why they really hate their pal Lindsey. If so, it'll be a tragic but inevitable stab in the back for the good Senator.
posted by Avenger at 8:23 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


It'll be interesting to see if the Repubs eventually tell people why they really hate their pal Lindsey. If so, it'll be a tragic but inevitable stab in the back for the good Senator.

All you have to do is throw Lindsay Graham into google and you'll get tons of hits about how they're gonna "expose him as being gay". Lovely bunch, these repubs. But then again, if you are going to play in repub politics, you gotta know what to expect. That's what's so pathetic about the log cabin folks.
posted by VikingSword at 8:27 PM on November 12, 2009


That's what's so pathetic about the log cabin folks.

That's one of the things that kills me about Graham. He tries so hard to be uberSocial-Conservative while simultaneously teetering on the edge of being an eternal outcast in his own party and political circles.

His party's rank and file hates him for who he is while his party's leadership barely tolerates him because he's an extra vote in the Senate. Meanwhile he does his duty and tries so hard to make them like him.

It's kind of sad, actually.
posted by Avenger at 8:33 PM on November 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


about how they're gonna "expose him as being gay".

"Being gay is a quasi-illegal thing which should disqualify someone from holding public office."

-closeted gay Republicans.
posted by hamida2242 at 8:43 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


That said, [Obama] is a real master at getting reform. Look at the healthcare bill.

...but whatever you do, don't look at Iraq, DADT, Afghanistan, gay marriage, corporate influence on politics, regulation of the finance industry, or prisoner abuse.
posted by hamida2242 at 8:52 PM on November 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


but he's a moderate. You can't really say you ever expected him to make America into Sweden

Never asked for or wanted that. I'd just prefer he stopped making America into... I don't even know what? Some kind of place where people who stay on the right side of the government are basically happy and prosperous, but it's not a real democracy. Jordan, maybe?

The man went to Philadelphia. He stood in the place where the founders conceived our nation, and he said that he believes we need to detain certain people BECAUSE THEY MAY COMMIT CRIMES IN THE FUTURE. That's not moderate. That's not conservative. That's just plain not American, and it should be deeply disappointing to anyone who cares about this country. I'm really not sure where all this mindless orthodoxy and excuse-making is going to get us.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:55 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


hey, this Barack Obama guy, we thought he was the future of American politics,

He is, hth.


but he's turned out to be a huge disappointment, not particularly progressive at all. When are we going to get a real progressive party in the country? I'll tell you one thing for sure, not by supporting the crop of Democrats we've got right now.

Babby's first post-election disillusionment.

(nothing personal)
posted by hamida2242 at 9:00 PM on November 12, 2009


The healthcare bill? Kucinich expressed the reasons why I don't like it far better than I could.
posted by ooga_booga at 10:26 PM on November 12, 2009


This shit annoys me so much. The man ran as a moderate from day one.
...
So you see the ongoing Scozzafavization of the GOP as a template for Democratic electoral success?
...
If you thought that he was the future of progressive politics, you weren't paying attention...
...
Obama's been making slow and steady progress, but he's a moderate. You can't really say you ever expected him to make America into Sweden...
...
I was going to write an angry response to this but mccarty.tim laid it out much better and more politely than I would have...
...
Babby's first post-election disillusionment


Guess I need to work on tuning my deadpan delivery a bit. :)

Yeah, the GOP's current trajectory, not just a win for America, also interesting as a cautionary tale.
posted by namespan at 11:09 PM on November 12, 2009


"Being gay is a quasi-illegal thing which should disqualify someone from holding public office."

-closeted gay Republicans.


You'd think that Republicans ought never to win elections. Let's see... they deprecate the following groups, and some they just outright want to exclude: gay people, non-white minorities, immigrants, people of Arabic background, people of French background, atheists, Muslims, women. I just cannot imagine why it is they win elections - ever. It seems like the numbers are against them, but then again, we do have the log cabin types, and maybe that explains it - sufficient numbers of the self-hating and/or politically clueless.
posted by VikingSword at 11:22 PM on November 12, 2009


...but whatever you do, don't look at Iraq, DADT, Afghanistan, gay marriage, corporate influence on politics, regulation of the finance industry, or prisoner abuse.

Well, Barny Frank said DADT may be eliminated in the next military appropriations bill.
posted by delmoi at 11:39 PM on November 12, 2009


The healthcare bill? Kucinich expressed the reasons why I don't like it far better than I could.

"Wah wah wah wah wah - there are still going to be insurance companies -- the world is not fair"?

The hell is he hoping for? Sweden?

I guess on one hand I can appreciate "It's not progressive enough" as a no vote. I'd just think with how pathetic the "progressive" party is at actually getting a vote together that he'd at least try to help any progress limp along.

ACK! I fell in a polifilter thread!
posted by cavalier at 3:30 AM on November 13, 2009


Well, Barny Frank said DADT may be eliminated in the next military appropriations bill.

and someday we'll all have jet packs & fly!
posted by msconduct at 3:34 AM on November 13, 2009


How can "ethics, ethics, ethics" be the focus of the party of big business? Republicans have an advantage over Democrats when the time comes to providing their corporate masters with highly optimized legislation, which usually translates into more campaign contributions.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:16 AM on November 13, 2009


Well, Barny Frank said DADT may be eliminated in the next military appropriations bill.

I would like to see DADT expanded to include religion. Pray if you wish in your own foxhole and be quiet about it.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 5:31 AM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


guys, DADT will go away. I know it's a painful issue, to say the least, and I'm disappointed that it hasn't gone away sooner, but it will go away. It's inevitable. (Unfortunately, not for the moral or ethical reasons many of us would like: It will be a combination of need ["we need the manpower"] and military ethics ["tell me again why their blood isn't as worth as that of my other soldiers?"]. But we have to take what we can get.)

I don't think I'm underestimating the Right's knee-jerkism on the issue, BTW. But my understanding is that most senior military commanders would rather just suck up and deal with having homosexuals in the military. They see the vagueness as worse for morale than having to deal with somebody different would be.
posted by lodurr at 5:42 AM on November 13, 2009


You'd think that Republicans ought never to win elections. .... I just cannot imagine why it is they win elections

Hint: Because they are not the party with the 'Democrat' label

More than a few blue-ians voted for Kerry because he was not George Bush.

When one opts to vote for the lesser of 2 evils, one still has evil.


"Wah wah wah wah wah - there are still going to be insurance companies -- the world is not fair"
The hell is he hoping for? Sweden?


Look at the headquarters of Insurance firms. The pay to their management. Or outright fraud (like AIG), Exactly *WHY* are they in the loop again?

Perhaps its another bailout.

WHEN commercial real estate craters this is going to place many insurance firms in a bad place as they tied their fiscal boat to commercial real estate.

What better way to keep the cash flowing than to create a mandate to keep people paying them?
posted by rough ashlar at 5:58 AM on November 13, 2009


How about dumping the freaky social conservatives and going back to the fiscal-conservative principles the party was founded on?
posted by clvrmnky at 5:58 AM on November 13, 2009


going back to the fiscal-conservative principles the party was founded on?

Because the last person who suggested a balance budget on a national level had his head handed to him while others danced around skyclad* chanting "Deficits don't matter!"

And the guy who last ran on a 'balance the budget' plan (Ron Paul) had issues with the party not following the rules WRT his delegates.

Let us not forget that when The Benjamin's talk - people listen:
"When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." - Benjamin Franklin


*Not responsible for mental images that may result
posted by rough ashlar at 6:24 AM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


clvrmnky: "How about dumping the freaky social conservatives and going back to the fiscal-conservative principles the party was founded on?"

'Cause the Republican politicians have shown themselves to be completely incapable of actually cutting budgets. They're fine on the cut taxes half of the equation but somehow they never manage to cut any of the "pork and bloat" that they're always yelling about. Government usually ends up getting bigger under Republican administrations.
posted by octothorpe at 6:57 AM on November 13, 2009


Maybe Lou Dobbs will run.

After seeing that resignation spot with the flapping Stars and Stripes behind him, not to mention the oratorical flourish that sounded exactly like an announcement of a run for office... I don't think there's any doubt about that.

Dobbs is angling for leadership of the slightly-less-loony faction of the extremely right wing "Conservative Party" of Mrs Palin.

And yes, that would be glorious.
posted by rokusan at 7:04 AM on November 13, 2009


Britain's system is one of the worst in Europe

That's a really very arguable statement. Very arguable on almost any metric you care to name (health outcomes, cost, mortality).

Teeth?

/stereotype


Our general health is good, but our teeth are bad.

Our health service is nationalised, but our dental service effectively isn't.


Maybe it's just me, but it's almost like there's some kind of lesson there which that should teach us...
posted by garius at 7:34 AM on November 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Look at the headquarters of Insurance firms. The pay to their management. Or outright fraud (like AIG), Exactly *WHY* are they in the loop again?

As far as I know, AIG doesn't actually do health insurance. There's a huge difference between health insurance companies (many of which are nonprofits) and financial insurance companies.
posted by snickerdoodle at 8:24 AM on November 13, 2009


I just googled, and it turns out Lindsey Graham's never been married in his 52 years of life. Considering he's in an extroversial kind of career, that says to me he's either asexual or gay.

Neither of those things are bad or wrong, and in an ideal world, I'd be glad if he'd come out and stand up for other homosexuals. He'd be happier, and gays would have another voice in the senate. However, considering that he's a Republican and has historically been very anti-gay, I can't help but speculate that perhaps his party is blackmailing him. It's a sad reality that a gay Republican in his district probably can't stay in power.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:59 AM on November 13, 2009


garius: "Our health service is nationalised, but our dental service effectively isn't.


Maybe it's just me, but it's almost like there's some kind of lesson there which that should teach us...
"

That the British government subsidizes bad teeth for foreigner's amusement?
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:07 AM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Lindsey Graham thought a politician's sex life was the public's business when he was an impeachment manager against Clinton, so if he gets outed and ousted I won't feel too bad for him.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:40 AM on November 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


"The future is chaos"
posted by matteo at 10:18 AM on November 13, 2009


Neither a social conservative/fiscal moderate like Cao nor a social liberal/fiscal liberal like Scozzafava should be the future of the Republican party.

Ideally, a future GOP should embrace social liberals/fiscal conservatives (i.e. get rid of the fundies along with the don't-tax-but-still-spend-like-drunken-sailors).
posted by gyc at 10:26 AM on November 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I just googled, and it turns out Lindsey Graham's never been married in his 52 years of life. Considering he's in an extroversial kind of career, that says to me he's either asexual or gay.

Selma: Are you gay?
Troy: Gay?! I wish! If I were gay they'd be no problem! No, what I have is a romantic abnormality, one so unbelievable that it must be hidden from the public at all cost. You see...
Selma: Stop!
posted by The Whelk at 11:26 AM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have heard several political observers from this state say that Lindsey's trapped in the "glass closet" of South Carolina politics. He's got nowhere to go but down, so he's actually shifting more toward the center to hold his ground. While I don't always agree with the man, politically, I can say that the few times I've dealt directly with him, he has at least taken the time to listen, and even responded to me based on what I've said, not some talking point he's read. If he's what the party is moving away from, may God have mercy on our little insane asylum of a state, because I can't imagine the rest of country granting us any.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:38 AM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Scozzafavafication is clearly a noun and not a verb.

But scozzafavafy.... now that's a voib.
posted by rokusan at 1:07 PM on November 13, 2009


Scozzafavafication is clearly a noun and not a verb.

To be precise, it's a noun form of an intermediate verb form: Scozzafavacate
posted by empath at 2:52 PM on November 13, 2009


Ideally, a future GOP should embrace social liberals/fiscal conservatives (i.e. get rid of the fundies along with the don't-tax-but-still-spend-like-drunken-sailors).

They used to have both. Since the beginning, the Republicans were a patchwork of different groups, but through their strategies of embracing the Moral Majority as well as their Southern Strategy, and all that entailed and followed from it, they have poisoned the pool so much that they're getting eaten alive by it. This was hastened by the rise of the neoconservatives, but IMO it was inevitable. Racists and fundamentalists are not a good basis for anything, much less the populist wing of a major political party.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:32 PM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


« Older Do you want a definitive guide to washing your cas...  |  North Dakota might be the butt... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments