Republicans have been trying to discount the results of the midterms as sort of a fluke. Yet the losses were real, particularly when you consider that they had fewer seats to defend in the Senate and through the miracle of gerrymandering, a bastion in the House. This was dented if not ended during the elections.
But the portends were ominous, with California becoming a place where the GOP is threatened by the prospects of extinction. Consider the Golden State’s political history since 1988. No Republicans have won the state since Ronald Reagan. When their “moderate” governor Pete Wilson lost on an anti-immigrant platform, the party has gone quirkier and quirkier. The coup d’etat orchestrated by the Republicans against Gary Davis in 2003’s recall failed to revive the party. Putsch after Putsch could not revive the once-shining symbol of reactionary John Bircher’s style of Conservatism.
However, the addiction to using over the top methods has not gone away. In Wisconsin and Michigan, where their governorships were taken over by Democrats, the legislature has tried to reduce the executive power in the state. Their tools have been sloppily drawn districts that try to subvert majority rule. Add to this the blatant attempt to steal a congressional seat in North Carolina and you have the approaching death knell of a party.
And, of course, do not exclude that crown prince of bossism and backward thinking Paul Ryan who routinely cries foul without evidence. Like his heroine Ayn Rand, he thinks nothing else counts but himself. These so-called responsible representatives of what they perceive as Reaganism endorsed Donald Trump, possibly the most corrupt executive in American history. But the Ben Sasse and Susan Collins types love freedom only as far as it extends to their pocketbooks. If only they were not stuck with that Trojan horse Trump.
The GOP denied Watergate until the last minute, they launched coup after coup against Democrats in state houses and actively tried to destroy the Barack Obama presidency before it began. In the south, they resorted to the old tactics of voter suppression and intimidation to win in Florida and Georgia.
How gracious the old order end their dominance will determine how the republic survives. The old groups will still have a piece of the power pie, but reduced.
If cooperation replaces confrontation, they might not fear the future as much as they do at present. Indeed, had the south been patient, they may have not been economically destroyed by the Civil War.
Indeed, I was in high school before the damages of the ill-sought “cause” was repaired.
But the GOP are like the Bourbons in France, they “learned nothing” and “forgot nothing.”
Given their track record, if they fail to subvert the election system, they probably will move to overthrow Trump. As they say, they can’t resist.