Originally Posted by addabox
Absolutely and I estimate they are at about 30-35% of the electorate. Bush could drink the blood of Christian babies live on network television and they would vote Republican.
Rove, by his own admission, has crafted a strategy of energizing the base. It doesn't matter if you win by 10 votes, if you win. So Republican election strategy has been an extremely orchestrated process of driving that 30-35% to the polls coupled with discouraging everybody else. Since most Americans don't vote anyway, that can be more than enough. Of course, it creates a polarized and angry landscape, but that's not Rove's problem. His job is to win elections by whatever means necessary.
That's why American electoral politics have looked so gnarly the last 6 years-- the ruling party has explicitly embraced a "fuck you" agenda that means to rile up the base while deeply depressing everyone else. It's also why talk of "bipartisanship" with these assholes is so completely beside the point.
What's happening now is that "everybody else" is getting riled up (as in more likely to vote) and the base is getting bummed. A lot of them aren't exactly "Republicans" in the sense of being "party loyalists", it's just that the Republicans are the only game in town when it comes to pandering to their fears and prejudices. That's always been the risky part of the Rovian strategy-- using reactionary demagoguery to drive your base to the voting booth isn't the same as building a stable party ideology that seems to speak to the voter's world view. Fear and hatred are pretty fungible values, when it's all said and done.
What do Republicans stand for, at this point? Lower taxes. You bet. Small government? Absolutely not. Keeping government out of your private life? Absolutely not. Fiscal responsibility? Absolutely not. A pragmatic, orderly view of America's place in the world based on "strength" coupled to a healthy suspicion of foreign entanglements? Absolutely not. Moral values? Until recently, that was still in play, but it's been steadily eroding as Republicans become ever more associated with power, and the Foley thing looks like a knock-out punch on that count.
No, the modern Republican party stands for a ruthless disregard for any constraints in achieving its ends.
Now, as it happens that vibe actually worked very well in a post 9/11 America. If they were willing to savage their domestic opponents, just imagine what they were willing to do to kill all the bad men!
But, at some point, "we're bad asses" needs a dose of "who can get things done". Just roaming the earth blowing things up and snarling doesn't really cut it, once it becomes obvious that it doesn't work.
So yeah, some number of that 30-35% will certainly vote Republican and do it with extreme prejudice, believing they are striking a blow against appeaser fag commie losers.
But unless a great many of them do, along with a significant number of "hold my nose and vote for lower taxes" types, and a lot the people who have started to wonder what the hell is going on stay home, it's not enough. The "red America" meme was always a fiction, based on narrow margins driven by the base.
You obviously don't live in a red state, I do, Mississippi, for 23 years now, in fact.
Prior to that I lived in a blue state, Vermont, for 30 years.
Down here, not a day goes by that I don't think "there's no place like home, there's no place like home, ..." But now all my friends I know live here in Mississippi, so whatever, I'll probably stay till I die!
It's a culture thing, it's a religious thing, it's an Abe and LBJ thing, it's a closet racism and segregation thing. A lot of water has gone under that bridge, is going under that bridge, will go under that bridge. IMHO, progressive thinking IS the only real way to move forward socially.
But throughout my voting record, voting in 100% of ALL elections, starting in 1972, I'd say I've voted Democratic 95+% of the time (100% at state and national levels).
And consider this, less than 50% of the voting public vote, it's usually in the mid 40's. Apathy, whatever. And if your 35% figure is correct, I'll assume so for this point, and 75% of them turn out and vote Republican, versus 65% but only 40% of them turn out and vote Democratic, do the math, guess who wins, all the time, Republicans!
It ain't over, till it's over! Don't count your chickens before their hatched!
Bottom line, we all need to vote, I don't like a situation where ~25% of the voting public dictates how 100% of us are supposed to behave! But even if we were to have 100% voter turnout, I'm still uncomfortable with ~50% of the voting public dictating how 100% of us are supposed to behave! The Bush "mandate" BS, is just that, BS! We all need to be thinking of what 95+% of the general population is willing to accept, not what 25% of the general population is willing to accept!