How did the Republicans let things slip so far out of their control this year? Now, as the polls tilt more and more toward the re-election of President Obama and important Democratic gains in the Congress, many within the GOP ranks are scratching their heads. Geez, where did we go wrong?
Only a handful can see, at this point, that having the election narrative shift from economic to social issues was the key.
This happened as the harshly bigoted right wing base of the white male-dominated party was placed into a glaring national spotlight. They didn’t act out of character. On the contrary, they acted in it, and that’s what’s done them in.
The discipline required to stay “on message” by focusing solely on contrasting the economy’s sputtering performance with Romney’s business background simply could not be maintained.
The problem wasn’t even the social issues as they were shaped to win Bush a second term in 2004. No, it was a veritable involuntary eruption of barely-disguised old white male rage that, like The Hulk, as it became increasingly angry, began to hyperventilate, swell up, turn pea green and roar to the shock and horror of innocent wide-eyed standers-by.
This was what the nation witnessed as in state legislatures, old white male supremacists passed some of the most egregious anti-women laws seen since before suffrage. In Virginia, the thought of requiring women needing an abortion to submit to the state’s penetration of their bodies with an ultra-sound wand evoked the worst images of the Inquisition.
Such measures were debated and passed in right-wing Tea Party-controlled state legislators all over the country.
These old white male supremacists did it over and over again, and the all-old white male panel of “experts” that appeared before Congress to address women’s health issues was only a by-product of all the insidious Neanderthal discussions of outlawing contraception, intoning “personhood” mandates to strip a woman of any control over her own body from the moment a sperm greets an ovum, and talk of those forced ultrasound penetrations.
Sen. Todd Akin’s comments about rape fit perfectly into this eruption, and by then it was too late. Mortified by the kind of monster their own party had become, some GOP leaders recoiled in a combination of horror and fear of political incineration.
When Mitt Romney was revealed talking to GOP insiders about ignoring “the 47 percent,” it became evident that the GOP can no longer credibly claim to be a true national party. It’s become a creature not only of the rich and privileged, but of the ideologically obsessed, driven by rage over the perceived loss of control of the old white male supremacist over his dominion.
The old white male supremacist fears that as a woman becomes too uppity, she abandons her rightful role as his surrogate mother. The old white male supremacist wants to count on Mom. Fearful of a mean world that other males have convinced him will eat him alive, he seeks the comfort and solace of cozy women willing to behave the way he needs them to.
The same goes for his children. They must be under his unquestioned control, and Mom needs to help make sure that happens. No feminists at this dinner table!
It accounts for his visceral loathing of gays and lesbians. It is his fear that drives it, his fear of losing control and by so doing, of becoming exposed as a shriveled, impotent coward.
Such men feel it’s a tough world out there for them, but they’ve had it their way down through the course of western civilization almost without challenge.
Ironically, one of the biggest challenges to their dominion came in the form of the American revolution, and the revolutionary notion that no king had a right to pass on his rule through inheritance.
Yes, it was the American revolution that sowed the seeds of the demise of old white male supremacy, silly patriots!
The brand of the GOP this election is a slightly demented, ornery old white man. Clint Eastwood deserves an Oscar for so completely embodying everything the GOP has come to stand for.