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The Runback: The Future of the GOP is Bleak
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News and Politics
Is Recent Warming Volcanic and Not Anthropomorphic? We Don't Know: While many like to pretend there is a scientific consensus around global warming and anthropomorphic climate change, there never truly is.
City Tax Dollars Are Paying For More Abortions, and More Unborn Kids Are Dying Because of It: There is no doubt that Baltimore City Government is paying to increase the number of unborn children killed in the City each year.
August 2023 Republican Presidential Power Rankings: What number will be larger; the number of Trump Indictments, or the number of times Trump debates in the primary?
News and Politics
Riptide Win Second Straight OLW Title: Defending champs defeat the Wildcats 3-games-to-1 to retain the Cup.
The Summer of Rerun: We’ve seen this story before.
Our new 50-part series on great restaurants across America continues.
Nevada: The New Orleans of the Desert
New Hampshire: The Diner through which the White House goes
New Mexico: An Albuquerque institution.
New York: The best of the best of the best.
North Carolina: Sweetness in the Outer Banks.
North Dakota: Do you remember the Ground Round? It’s still a thing.
The Monday Thought
Eight years ago, the future of the Republican Party looked bright. The Obama Administration was in its waning days. A solid cadre of candidates for President were seeking the GOP nomination. Paul Ryan had just become Speaker. A new Republica Era looked like it was upon us.
And then Donald Trump won the Presidency and it's all been downhill since.
I and others have spilled much digital ink showing the damage that Donald Trump has done at the ballot box for Republican candidates. Now, the stench that Donald Trump has bequeathed the GOP is starting to show itself in other areas.
Michigan’s Republican party is broke. Minnesota’s was, until recently, down to $53.81 in the bank. And in Colorado, the GOP is facing eviction from its office this month because it can’t make rent.
Around the nation, state Republican party apparatuses — once bastions of competency that helped produce statehouse takeovers — have become shells of their former machines amid infighting and a lack of organization.
Current and former officials at the heart of the matter blame twin forces for it: The rise of insurgent pro-Donald Trump activists capturing party leadership posts, combined with the ever-rising influence of super PACs.
“It shouldn’t surprise anybody that real people with real money — the big donors who have historically funded the party apparatus — don’t want to invest in these clowns who have taken over and subsumed the Republican Party,” said Jeff Timmer, the former executive director of the once-vaunted Michigan GOP and a senior adviser to the anti-Trump Lincoln Project.
That’s just the money aspect of the notion. The Politico story linked above goes into even more gnarly details:
There have been multiple physical altercations at party meetings in the state as tension boils over about the direction of the party. A proxy fight between the two sides over control of a county party has spilled out into court. The Michigan GOP appears to be flat broke as well, with a bit under $147,000 in its federal campaign coffers as of the end of June.
“Everything has fallen off a cliff,” said Jason Watts, a one-time local party leader who was ousted from his post after criticizing Trump and party Covid protocol in 2021. He added that the state party has been reduced to “basically” a “UPS Store P.O. box and an email blast account.”
Look, proxy fights and financial woes are not new to Republican state parties. The Maryland Republican Party, for example, had to take our loans in order to stay afloat during the disastrous run of Jim Pelura in 2008-2009. It took years to overcome that financial damage to the party.
But this is different. Maryland in 2008 was a backwater Republican Party that caught lightning in a bottle in 2002. It was not ready for primetime like it was in 2014.
These states that are having financial woes are some of the states that the Republican National Committee needs to be successful in if the party wants to survive. Colorado, Michigan, and Pennsylvania are all states that a Republican Presidential candidate needs to win in order to win the White House. And Minnesota is a state that Republicans can be competitive in.
It’s basically 54 Electoral Votes that are off the table for the GOP.
Although inflation is the most important issue to 77% of Republicans, according to a report from Pew Research, college students, in interviews with MarketWatch, instead mentioned education, abortion, identity politics, guns and “transgenderism” as the main issues facing the country.
This reflects “what the energy of the Republican Party is in the conservative movement,” Dallek said. “All these questions of identity and culture, and the sense that America is, as they see it, slipping away from them” is what animates the modern conservative movement, he said. “It’s not energized so much by tax cuts or deregulation.”
But when pressed, even the young people who claimed indifference to economic issues expressed frustration about the economy.
Breana Marsh, the director of membership at Young America’s Foundation and has a degree in finance, said that, for her, the biggest issues are, “from the conservative perspective, the Second Amendment as well as transgender issues.”
When asked about the economy, Marsh said, “I don’t like the way that we’re going,” adding, “The policies being implemented across the United States just are not good.”
When asked about specific policies, she said, “Truthfully, I couldn’t name you any right now.”
Economic conservatism and free markets have been central to the success of the Republican Party electorally. But the new generation of conservative activists is eschewing that in droves.
It’s hard to deny the promotional success conservatives seem to have had in connecting with America’s youth. Advocacy groups like Young Americans for Freedom and Turning Point USA, the latter of which purports to have more than 1,300 high school and college chapters, flourished during the Trump era, while a deep roster of celebrity speakers––from Ben Shapiro to Matt Walsh to Candace Owens––has been a perpetual energy source for right-wing campus activism.
And yet, for all of this organizing, conservatives just can’t seem to get young people to the polls. Year after year, election after election, Republicans have been hemorrhaging voters in the 18–29 demographic—and while most pollsters, activists, and strategists on the right can agree on the urgency of the issue, no one, it seems, can settle on a solution.
The problem for Republicans is that the party leaders of the future have grown up in the culture of Trump-style Politics and in generally being perpetually online. This is something that caught up with Ron DeSantis and his staffer that put out a Nazi-themed video.
How Hochman went from a National Review writer to a guy producing Nazi videos is quite a juxtaposition. Especially coming from the guy who wrote the column “The Left’s ‘Fascism’ Problem.”
The future of the GOP leadership is guys just like Hochman.
This is what the future of the Republican Party looks like unless something changes quickly. It’s more memes, more pussyfooting with fascism, and more party leaders who eschew conservative values for Trump’s big-government, statist “National Conservative.” And more election losses will follow.