Doomed to Repeat It?

A question to readers: What comes after the GOP?

It’s conventional wisdom on some big-ticket blogs that the Republican Party is done for.  Stacy McCain thinks so.

I’m all for Scott Walker, but my faith in the GOP is relatively cratered. I have the gnarly suspicion, for example, the IRS emails are taking so long to drag out because the Vichy GOP would stand revealed as having certain strange familiarities with the details of what Lois Lerner was up to.

And he quotes Daily Pundit, who reminds us that

The Whigs collapsed and died in the space of a single election.

Ace of Spades has told the GOP, and America, to fuck themselves in pretty much those words:

Democracy is not being practiced here; it is merely being stage-managed. [The GOP] have worked their level best to insulate themselves from the rebuking power of popular opinion, and, with their corporate-media allies to protect them, they have managed to do so almost completely.

So this is why I have become a radical: I agree with a left-wing socialist/communist about the fundamental rotten lie at the heart of the American democracy.

I will not trouble myself to follow a farce.

A reminder: At least two of these blogs have readers in the millions.*  Not all of them agree with everything the authors write, of course, but there’s a sizable chunk of the most politically informed citizenry who are pretty sure the GOP will be gone in an election cycle or two.  I myself have been beating this drum for a while now.

A brief reminder: The Whigs collapsed in 1856, and the Democrats in 1860, because neither represented the views of the majority of Americans.  American politics had been all about slavery since at least the 1830s, but both parties studiously avoided it.  You could vote for the Whigs, who stood for nothing but not being Democrats, or you could vote for the Democrats, who were pro-slavery but wouldn’t admit it under torture.  The Dems were better at coalition building — some things never change — and were able to cobble together the “Hard Shell,” “Soft Shell,” “Barnburner,” etc. factions together for one election longer than the Whigs were, but when faced with a legitimate protest party, they too collapsed.  Their vote split several different ways, Lincoln won the White House, and I forget what happened next.

Given this…. what comes next?  What replaces the GOP?  Y’all know what I think, but I’d like to hear alternatives.  Or maybe the GOP isn’t really dead?

Fire away.



*No offense to Daily Pundit; I just don’t know your traffic numbers.

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7 thoughts on “Doomed to Repeat It?

  1. nightfly

    I don’t know if the Dems will ever go full-on and say, f*k it, we’re the New Socialist Party (same as the Old Socialist Party), but I can see a Constitution Party replacing the GOP by 2020. There will be the usual pointless squabbles about branding – Federalist! American! – but it will be clearly set against the establishment.

    You get points for being on this bandwagon early. In retrospect, it seems plain as day, ever since the GOP went with “Maverick” McCain in ’08, who was so maverickish that he muzzled his own outsider VP pick and attempted to out-bland the slick, empty suit he was running against instead of going visceral to highlight the differences. More fool I.

    1. Severian

      I didn’t see it that early, alas — I was wishcasting.

      The parallels aren’t exact, but they’re disturbingly close.

      The problem is, each “side” has something they’ve all agreed to keep silence on, and since politicians are all of the same class, the Other Guys have a gentleman’s agreement to keep silence as well. Thus, even though everybody knew the Democrats were the slavery party, nobody on either side would come out and say “the Democrats are the slavery party.” Similarly, the Whigs were the old-money oligarch party, but neither they nor the Dems would come right out and say it.

      But then somebody broke omerta.

      the Wilmot Proviso made everyone show their cards. The Whigs wanted a nice cheap, profitable war with Mexico, and the Democrats wanted more territory for slavery. All of that became exceedingly obvious in the debate over the bill. And… that was it. The Whigs were done, and so were the Dems; the party system was dead, and the next two elections were the last few twitches of the corpse.

      I read the Election of 2016 as the Election of 1852 — the Whigs ditched their incumbent, Millard Fillmore, for an avowedly apolitical general, Winfield Scott. The Dems ran a nobody, Franklin Pierce, because all the popular candidates kept splitting the votes at the convention. Nobody said word one about slavery. The real winner, wits said at the time, was “General Apathy.”

      As I said, it’s not exact — Trump’s inevitable 3rd party run is going to look a lot like Fremont or Fillmore (depending on who you think was the outsider) in 1856. But it’s close enough. Every single 2016 “debate” is going to be about stupid lifestyle shit like “Caitlyn” Jenner and gay marriage. The money boys will throw enough cash around to paper over the gaps one last time. Hillary will win, and will play the James Buchanan role in Bleeding Kansas 2.0.

      But it won’t be Lincoln next.

      1. nightfly

        I can still hope for a Lincoln, though. In 1856 there didn’t seem to be a Lincoln either. He was well-known locally for his law practice and a former Congressman, but was yet to find himself catapulted into national prominence by the Lincoln/Douglas Debates and subsequent speech to the nascent Republican Party. (Wikipedia tells me this was at Cooper Union. Thanks, Internet!)

        Someone yet-unheard of, or little-known and just starting, could take some major jumps to national stature over the next couple of election cycles. Considering the entrenched nature of establishment politics, in fact, such a quick overturn may actually require someone like this, from outside the well-known circles.

  2. Robert Mitchell Jr.

    I have been hearing this all my life. Kind of jaded about it now. The Republicans go from victory to victory, but they’re doomed this time. Sigh. And the history is clear, “third parties” give victory to the Left, to the worse people out there, like Wilson and Pornstar. But the “Real Conservatives” keep trying to get that boulder up the hill, because actually governing is too hard. Sad.

    1. Severian

      I guess we can count you inn the “the GOP is fine!” camp. 🙂 Although

      And the history is clear, “third parties” give victory to the Left, to the worse people out there, like Wilson and Pornstar.

      is, in a way, my point — the Republicans (the 3rd party from 1856) won with Lincoln, who was a big-government tyrant. (“Real conservatism” in America died with John C. Calhoun, but that’s a rant for another day).

      Just so this is perfectly clear: I’m under no illusion that the party which replaces the GOP will be a conservative party, “real’ or otherwise. It’ll be a fascist party, a white nationalist party, a national socialist party. In 2016, your choices are between vanguard-of-the-proletariat socialism (the Dems) and quasi-socialist corporatism (the GOP). In 2020, your choice will be between flabby international socialism and hard national socialism (and perhaps a rump Vichy GOP).

      The cultural conditions for “real conservatism” haven’t existed for at least 50 years. As for me, at this point I’m pretty much a straight-up Hobbesian.

    2. nightfly

      The anger is rising because, in going from victory to victory, the GOP does nothing with their gains. A united Congress should be pushing back against every Obama policy, not rubber-stamping, not indulging in “gee gosh we sure tried hard, please vote for me again!” kabuki politics, and certainly not sabotaging outsider GOP candidates

      The Tea Party, so influential and successful in 2010, was nearly invisible in 2012 – largely because of Lois Lerner and the IRS successfully thwarting citizens’ rights and political activities. Who’s been called to book in three years on that score? Who in Congress besides Darrell Issa has seemed even remotely interested in pursuing the matter legally? How often will John Boehner punish his own caucus by stripping members of their committeeships for daring to criticise his handling of the tasks for which he has been elected?

      Instead of using this anger to do something constructive, with real purpose, it’s been shunted off – and it’s going to ally itself with people who WILL get things done, even if those people are tyrants and monsters. The alternative is no longer tolerable to a growing number of people, and after a certain tipping point, you’re going to get past the point of no return.

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