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I Hope Erickson is Right

It’s not very often that I hope the loathsome Erick Erickson is right about something, but I really do hope that his prediction about where the budget standoff is heading proves to be correct. He thinks Boehner and Cantor are about to cave in and says that will prompt the far right to leave the Republican party.

I’m being told by several sources that Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are plotting to give up trying to either defund or delay Obamacare…

Nonetheless, Cantor, Boehner, and with them Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn are expected to cave in and fully fund, unimpeded, Obamacare.

They will work up a new deal that includes a debt ceiling increase with a few sops to the GOP as cover. The only change they are still considering it the medical device tax repeal, which is being heavily lobbied for by former Boehner and McConnell staffers who left for K Street…

But John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, and John Cornyn will ensure that Obamacare is fully funded and give the American public no delay like businesses have.

In doing so, they will sow the seeds of a real third party movement that will fully divide the Republican Party.

Works for me. But I doubt it’s true. We’ve heard this many times before: “If the GOP shifts its position on (fill in the blank — gay marriage, abortion, etc), the right is going to revolt and go third party.” Wake me up when that actually happens. The Republican party does have a serious problem trying to keep its right flank happy without scaring the living shit out of everyone else, but that doesn’t mean the right is going to secede from the party, which is its only path to actual political power. Call me skeptical.

Comments

  1. whheydt says

    One other alternative is for everyone *except* the extreme right to leave the Republican party, leaving the Tea Partiers with the name, but not the organization.

  2. bcreason says

    It wouldn’t surprise me if they formed a third party. The Tea Party seem to exist in their own delusional bubble.

    Mitt didn’t win because he wasn’t far enough right, The people don’t want healthcare, Death Panels, Bachman and the end times, Obama as antichrist, dictator, Nazi, Commie, Muslim, etc. Obama never called Benghazi terrorism.

    They live in their own Fox news, WND world outside of reality. Most likely a lot of them think the old guard Republicans are holding them back and people who don’t vote now because they are disappointed with government would start voting for a pure Tea Party, party.

    Personally I think the Republicans would do better if they cut loose from the crazy train of the Tea Party. Ex Republican voters who have gone Democrat to avoid the crazies might come back to a sane Republican party.

  3. says

    Their platform isn’t even “Low taxes, Small government” anymore. It’s “Do you hate Obama?” (For the exam: the correct answer is “Yes”)

    They won’t leave. It’s a Big Tent. The Republican party accepts a wide variety of awful people.

  4. garnetstar says

    But, the party actualy hasn’t shifted it’s positions on abortion, gay marriage, etc., has it? Aren’t opposition to those still part of the official Republican party platform? And establishment Republicans are still doing things like allowing bills in the House to outlaw abortions after 20 weeks. Still supporting Tea Party objectives in the states, things like that.

    I think that this will do it: abortion and gay marriage and other social issues are one category, but Obamacare was whipped up by the Kochs and even the Republican establishment to be so socialist, tyrannical, freedom-denying, and end-of-America-as we-know-it, that the Tea Partiers are out of control. The Republicans did such a good job of instilling fear in them that I think that over this, they will leave. They’ve shown no signs of being able to be convinced by facts and reality on any other issue, and I think they’ll believe that they can become a major party and wield power on their own.

  5. says

    garnetstar “The Republicans did such a good job of instilling fear in them that I think that over this, they will leave.”
    Why would they leave the party when they can Save America from where they are, stopping Big Government simply by stopping government?

    “They’ve shown no signs of being able to be convinced by facts and reality on any other issue, and I think they’ll believe that they can become a major party and wield power on their own.”
    Or they can sit where they are continue to chase the “Establishment” and “Moderate” members out in primaries…

  6. badgersdaughter says

    I know this has been said many times and in many ways from many people. But my brother moved right with the Tea Party. He asked me, disapprovingly, why I was now identifying as a Democrat; what caused me to move so far away from our family’s political opinions, he wanted to know. Since he’s become the sibling who possesses the beautiful wife, smart kids, big house, three cars, good-paying job, and mega-church membership, it appears that his current political opinions ARE “our family’s political opinions” now. I didn’t get much headway out of trying to show him that the political opinions we grew up with were now too far left for the Republican party. I would get even less headway out of talking to him about how I grew up and realized that a good society means everyone gets a fair shake, and freedom means freedom from want, fear, etc., instead of freedom to starve.

  7. Michael Heath says

    The Republican party is effectively the Tea Party. The emergence of the Tea Party in 2008 merely revealed where the party had already drifted. E.g., in the fall of 2008 Sarah Palin was unanimously confirmed as the VP candidate by the 2008 GOP convention.

    There are no moderate Republicans anymore, all there are is some Republican legislators who still prefer bargaining with Democrats rather see a sudden collapse of the U.S. But let’s be clear, even those Republicans willing to bargain promote the same positions as those more closely identified with the Tea Party where they also used the same fatally defective methods of thinking to arrive at those same conclusions, i.e., they’re all conservatives where nearly the entire population of U.S. conservatives have evolved into a near-monolithic being.

    Yes there are still different wings of the conservative movement, paelos, neo-, libertarian, etc., but on a predominate number of issues they use the same delusional thinking to arrive at the same delusional positions where their differences rarely have them forming alliances with non-conservatives important enough it shifts voting patterns away from Republican candidates.

    Therefore, I predict with very high confidence the most strident Republican partisans will not split off into a more extreme group. They already own the party. The zaniest ones talking about leaving are also the leading indicators of where the party’s headed. The party continues to move in their direction precisely because conservatives are on the slippery slope after total succumbing to authoritarian thinking, the tension of being split between two parties having laid waste for the need to think critically. To change direction on how they think is not an attribute of their current psychological profile; being a closed-minded authoritarian doesn’t allow adapting to a more open, learning type of thinking.

    If the Tea Partiers did split off, i.e., I’m wrong, then I predict this is a signal of their having descended even further into the rabbit hole of denying reality. Where that descent is so far down they’ve become incapable of even evaluating their political prospects within the GOP. However I see the odds of this happening as low, at least through the 2016 elections.

  8. exdrone says

    If the Tea Partiers split off and formed their own far right party called something like the Patriot Party, what I would relish is watching their infighting evolve toward a further schism as factions in the party determine that some of their colleagues are not ultra-conservative enough.

  9. Larry says

    #9

    watching their infighting evolve toward a further schism

    Until there are hundreds of micro-teabagger parties, each with a single member.

  10. unbound says

    I’m with Ed. I’ve heard similar tales too often before that the Republican Party was about to split or implode or whatever since the 2008 elections. Instead, what I’ve seen is the continuation of both parties to dive further right to the point that the Democrats are pulling the same spinning techniques the Republicans employed in the 90s, and the Republicans don’t even bother with spin anymore…they just outright lie.

    I don’t see any real indication that this is ending any time soon. I know too many people that remain entranced with the extremist lies and follow whatever jackass gets up in front of the crowd spouting nonsense because of the same simple message that they’ve always put out: It’s not your fault, it’s because of group {insert bad group of the moment}, and if we only got rid of the {insert bad group of the moment}, then the world will be full of sunshine and unicorns. About 3/4 of the population is not interested in the issues enough to learn about them…and they simply latch on to whichever party spouts something simple enough and generally what they want to hear. The Republicans tend to be the simpletons that think they got to where they are in live on their own and they will always listen to those that tell them that.

  11. dogmeat says

    For the Republicans to take a stand against the Tea Party wing, they would have to accept losing most of the major elections for the next decade or so. I don’t think they’re willing to do so. Also, from what I’ve gleaned from most of my Republican friends, a lot of mainstream Republicans have adopted the same attitude toward the Tea Party as family members adopt regarding that one crazy/eccentric family member. As badgersdaughter pointed out @7 with her brother, many of the more conservative Republicans have convinced themselves that they haven’t moved to the right, instead the move has been to the left and they’re bravely standing against that evil liberal tide. Look at the earlier post with Scalia and his refusal to even listen to or read all but a few far-right media sources.

    We can hope that this will happen, but the likelihood is rather small.

  12. Reginald Selkirk says

    and says that will prompt the far right to leave the Republican party.

    I hope the last one out remembers to turn the lights off.

  13. RickR says

    Until there are hundreds of micro-teabagger parties, each with a single member.

    Sounds just like how Christianity has evolved and continues to evolve.

  14. says

    The only way the Tea Party splits from the Republicans is if the Republican leadership allows them to push the country into default, destroying the economy, and thus making the Tea Party utterly toxic to everyone else. I think only then will the Republicans decide that they are better off without the Tea Party altogether, instead of trying to limit their influence within the party.

    Anything short of that and the Republicans know they still need the Tea Party to have any chance of winning elections.

  15. Scientismist says

    ..I think they’ll believe that they can become a major party and wield power on their own.”
    Or they can sit where they are continue to chase the “Establishment” and “Moderate” members out in primaries…

    I think Modusoperandi is right. The Teabaggers have no reason at all to leave the party. They already control it. Any caving on the part of Boehner and other “leadership” members will just be the fuel needed to purge them and move the party further into the camp of the “libertarian” plutocrats, where the Koch brothers have always wanted it. Why would they give up the GOP brand when they have already, over the past 20-30 years, been so successful in moving it well into crazy town?

    And remember, the “Tea Party” senators and congressmen don’t call the shots; its the plutocrat warlords who will decide what they do. These mere politicians are in the same position as fishermen or anyone else who lets themselves be hired as hostage-takers: “I can’t give up now, Irish; I’ve come too far.”

  16. John Pieret says

    There doesn’t have to be a real third party movement in order to cripple the Republicans in key races. If the teabaggers start sitting out races where the “RINOS” have the nomination, that may be enough to tip the balance. I’m not all that hopeful but never underetimate the ability of wingnuts to shoot themselvs in the foot.

  17. schweinhundt says

    I don’t expect a split up in the short term but do suspect the 2016 presidential election will be an interesting test if the Republicans lose. If a Tea Party nominee loses in the general election, the (relatively more) moderate establishment might see impetus for a purge. If an establishment Republican loses, the Tea Party folks might split in order to field a “true” conservative in 2020.

  18. dingojack says

    Has anyone considered that the moderates/plutocrats might split from the teabaggers (rather than the other way around)?
    Oh the new centre right party will be small – but extremely well funded and well connected.
    If they can make gains in key seats and on key votes (and as the teabaggers’ funding and voting bases shrink away, denying them success) the teabaggers might come to realise the value of the old adage ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend‘…
    (A kind of mod/plut take-over of the teabaggers, if you will)*.
    Dingo
    ——-
    * Very, very very unlikely I know, but a man can dream. ;)

  19. Scr... Archivist says

    Lately I’ve been wondering, what happens in Congress after default?

    Once it is a fait accompli, I expect the far Right to continue to say that the sky isn’t falling, just as they have with the shutdown. There won’t be any need to start D.C. up again, either.

    A few of the brave ones will even happily point out that we finally have a balanced “budget” (of sorts), and the moochers are being kicked off the dole. This will ease the burden on Real Americans. Win-win. And anything bad that happens, like a new depression, is obviously the fault of the Kenyan and his fellow travellers. New conspiracy theories will be invented, so rest assured that someone will make a few bucks.

    I also wonder just how immune the Tea Party congressional districts are to global economic convulsions. Are they insular autarkies, or will they experience a lot of pain like the rest of us will? And will any economic pain smarten them up by November 2014? (Yeah, I know, too late for the world, but I’m looking for a silver lining.)

  20. DaveL says

    I hope the last one out remembers to turn the lights off.

    When the far right leaves, they leave the lights ON, intentionally, to waste energy.

  21. eric says

    @5:

    But, the party actualy hasn’t shifted it’s positions on abortion, gay marriage, etc., has it?

    Yes, in fact it has. Abortion is a good example of a rightward shift. In the 1973 case which became Roe v. Wade, McCorvey could just have said she was raped in order to get an abortion, because Texas law at the time allowed abortions in the case of rape. Now even that comes under fire from conservatives. Another example is health care – as pretty much everyone knows, the ACA was modeled after Romneycare and a Heritage Foundation proposal from the 1980s. IOW, it used to be the Republican position. You can chalk some of the GOP’s current opposition up to racism and political manouvering (i.e., wanting to make the Dems look bad even if they do something the GOP agrees with), but I think that if we took these things away, there would still be an “ideologically honest” opposition to health care within the GOP. That reflects a rightward shift.

    Gay rights, however, is a special case where both parties have actually shifted left (but the Dems have shifted far more than the GOP). Go back to the 70s and a mainstream conservative position was that sodomy should be a criminal offense, punishable by jail time. While you still occasionally hear some minor politician say that, it is IMO no longer a mainstream GOP position. You’re not ever again going to hear the GOP presidential candidate say that (within earshot of a reporter).

  22. eric says

    Forgot to mention – a third and much more glaring rightward shift can be found on the subject of environmentalism and government regulation of pollution. The EPA was started by Nixon, a republican president. The party is now officially trying to eliminate an agency they themselves founded. That, my friend, is a pretty big rightward shift.

  23. Michael Heath says

    eric writes:

    Another example is health care – as pretty much everyone knows, the ACA was modeled after Romneycare and a Heritage Foundation proposal from the 1980s. IOW, it used to be the Republican position.

    It’s wildly untrue the Republican party promoted broad healthcare reform at the federal level. Instead they’ve ignored the issue when in power and fiercely obstructed reform when the Democrats were pushing the issue, with the sole exception of Medicare Plan D, which is not broad reform. That obstruction includes the implementation of Medicare in the 1960s*, First Lady Hillary Clinton’s attempts during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and of course President Obama’s push.

    Romneycare was a state-wide initiative that never got any traction in other states. The Heritage foundation proposal was a talking point only when they were obstructing “Hillarycare”. Afterwards when some Republicans talked about the issue they brought it up, but no Republican caucus ever picked-up the ball and seriously charged forward in Congress with the Heritage proposal. In addition, the Republican party never uniformly supported the Heritage initiative, instead this has become a false talking point by Democrats seeking to increase public support for Obamacare by falsely claiming this proves Obamacare was developed in a bipartisan manner.

    Obamacare was a bipartisan piece of legislation, particularly in the Senate finance committee and in spite of its GOP members chickening-out and not voting for the very bill they helped to develop, but not because Republicans at the federal level ever universally sought to implement the Heritage proposal.

    *Gerald R. Ford was House minority leader at the time. You can find a Meet the Press clip of him attempting to justify the minority’s opposition to implementing Medicare on that show. I found it memorable because ‘conservative’ was considered a pejorative at the time, much like Newt Gingrich almost single-handedly did the same for ‘liberal’ during his reign of terror in the House. In the clip Rep. Ford was explicitly exclaiming he wasn’t a conservative but still opposed the bill. IIRC, he wasn’t making a case against Medicare in general, but instead had problems with the specifics of the bill. I’ve never researched whether the GOP opposition in the House was a disingenuous tactic or based on credible concerns.

  24. dogmeat says

    In addition, the Republican party never uniformly supported the Heritage initiative, instead this has become a false talking point by Democrats seeking to increase public support for Obamacare by falsely claiming this proves Obamacare was developed in a bipartisan manner.

    Michael,

    Most of those I see presenting the Heritage Initiative and RomneyCare arguments aren’t doing so to argue that it is bi-partisan legislation, instead, what I see, is that they are pointing out the idiocy of attacking a conservative piece of legislation as if it were some sort of radical paradigm shift; a communist takeover of the private sector, etc. When I talk about the legislative process I point out that there was bi-partisan support until it became obvious that the Republican party wasn’t going to support the plan, wasn’t playing by the well established rules of governance and the legislative process, and that they were going to cannibalize anyone who supported “Obamacare.” That’s where it all shifted and members of congress began screaming bloody murder about their own ideas.

    ———-

    Has anyone considered that the moderates/plutocrats might split from the teabaggers (rather than the other way around)?
    Oh the new centre right party will be small – but extremely well funded and well connected.
    If they can make gains in key seats and on key votes (and as the teabaggers’ funding and voting bases shrink away, denying them success) the teabaggers might come to realise the value of the old adage ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend‘…
    (A kind of mod/plut take-over of the teabaggers, if you will)*.

    Dingo,

    I think this is likely the best solution possible given the circumstances. I don’t think it is going to happen unless the erstwhile party leaders realize that they are only going to become more and more marginalized on their current path. Personally I think we would be better off if the few remaining rational Republicans joined the Democrats and we had a new liberal party form to their left. At the moment we have conservative and batshit crazy parties and it really isn’t working.

  25. eric says

    It’s wildly untrue the Republican party promoted broad healthcare reform at the federal level.

    Sorry if that was my implication. The GOP has shifted right on healthcare in that healthcare plans it once found palatable, it no longer does. Their “compromise” position has shifted to the rght. You are correct in that, to my knowledge, they have never promoted significantly expanding health care. At least not in the modern era, and with the caveat that I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me they had kowtowed to the AARP on some minor issue or two.

  26. briandavis says

    The tea baggers won’t leave the GOP until they have someone to lead them out. It would take something like one of their own losing the GOP presidential nomination, and then running on a third party ticket. This could create a right wing equivalent of the Green party. I hope it happens. It would create a safe asylum for a bunch of nuts who shouldn’t be wandering our streets — much less our halls of government.

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