The Republicans are not going to change in any substantive way for two very good reasons: one, they can't. (See above.) Their base is a mixture of crazy ideas and lunatic independence, and now the crazy ideas and lunatic independence are independently financed, and the politicians they produce instantly walk into safe congressional districts that have become ironclad locked wards; and two, they don't really want to. As is obvious, they've forced the debate so far to the right, and so distant from the confines of intellectual gravity that our politics have become utterly unmoored. The ur-lunacy of the modern Republican party is represented by the crazy bass-ackwards theories of economics which they have come to adopt as an unshakable faith. Bear in mind — supply-side theory, which was blessed at birth by Saint Ronnie Himself, is no less nutty and distant from reality than is Paul Broun's view on how the earth was made and whence come the snowflake Jesus babies. It's the original anti-science position that made all the others possible. It's the gate through which all the more baroque ideas were delivered. It's how a scenario actually can be constructed whereby Paul Ryan is the liberal alternative. And it is the one part of the Reagan legacy that the party can never give up.He's right that the party has come to hold so many crazy ideas as firmly as any religious belief that they can't really change any of them without undermining all of them. It brings to mind a little song from a long time ago, which pretty well sums up how a religious tenet gets taken to the logical extreme:
If the party really were committed to changing itself, it would encourage within its ranks a real economic debate over whether the fanatical adherence to an economic philosophy that was concocted on a cocktail napkin almost 40 years ago is really where the entire party wants to plant the flag forever. It would debate seriously whether it is time now to lay the ghost of Imaginary Reagan. And a thousand Republican politicians say, in response — "OK, you first, Ace."
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Why Republicans Can't Change