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The Bush presidency is snail-pacing towards the exits, predictably, leaving revisionistic slime all along the way as W. attempts to dress up the pig that is the most criminal administration in American history. However, incurious George has done something, while wrecking the nation and it's standing in the world, which I will always be thankful for.....he's singlehandedly shattered the Republican Party.
So thanks for that, George.
The new president, Barack Obama, with his cabinet appointments, and his outreach to Republicans, is taking advantage of this Bush-destroyed-the-GOP-brand situation. Obama has kept Robert Gates on as Defense Secretary, appointed General James Jones, a McCain supporter, as head of the NSA, and nominated Hillary Clinton for the Secretary of State job. The newly elected president met with both Democratic and Republican governors the other day and specifically reached out to the GOP'ers in the room.
All of this is evidence of not only pragmatism, but also of political genius. What Obama will accomplish will further weaken the already emaciated Republican Party. Obama is opening his arms to moderate, center and slightly right Republicans....as he did in his campaign....and as in his campaign, he will be successful winning many of these Republicans' support.
Many Republicans do not want to be identified with the extremism of the GOP. The anti-science, the cultural wars, the neo-con's fascism-lite, pre-emptive wars of choice...the fiscal recklessness, have left many Republicans wondering what happened to the party of Lincoln. Now, Obama is preparing a place for those Republicans to feel comfortable with his administration.
Obama is, even now, broadening his support base. Through his appointments, through his calm headedness in face of multiple crises....he is establishing an even stronger coalition of American supporters. And that is how it will go.
What then, will happen to the Republican Party? As I've been warning for years.....marginalization.
Starting at the 6 minute mark of this Rachel Maddow clip from last night (just move the arrow on the horizontal timeline) L.A. Times columnist, Rosa Brooks, explains the dilemma of the GOP....
When a political party hitches it's wagon to an extremist element, represented this year by Sarah Palin, it lives or dies based on that same element. Moderate Republicans, and independents who would normally vote Republican, have seen enough. As many of these centrist GOP'ers support President Obama and his initiatives.....the extremists in the GOP will move further right in defiance, and in so doing, will fracture the Republican Party even further than it already is.
Simply consider the fact that Sarah Palin currently polls highest among potential GOP contenders for 2012....
Ninety-one percent (91%) of Republicans have a favorable view of Palin, including 65% who say their view is Very Favorable.
When asked to choose among some of the GOP’s top names for their choice for the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, 64% say Palin. The next closest contenders are two former governors and unsuccessful challengers for the presidential nomination this year -- Mike Huckabee of Arkansas with 12% support and Mitt Romney of Massachusetts with 11%. Link
One third of GOP voters do not view Sarah Palin as Very Favorable or do not think she should be the top choice in 2012. Many of that one third will be voting in 2012 for the re-election of Barack Obama.
And the marginalization of a failed, out of touch and discredited political party will continue.
As it should be.
Thanks again, George.