The Republican National Committee, hit by a grass-roots donors' rebellion over President Bush's immigration policy, has fired all 65 of its telephone solicitors, Ralph Z. Hallow will report Friday in The Washington Times.
Faced with an estimated 40 percent fall-off in small-donor contributions and aging phone-bank equipment that the RNC said would cost too much to update, Anne Hathaway, the committee's chief of staff, summoned the solicitations staff last week and told them they were out of work, effective immediately, the fired staffers told The Times.
The RNC is deluded if they think that immigration policy is the only reason they are losing support...
THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!The Conservative parrot, err party, is dead...
Pardon the lengthy introduction, but The Dead Parrot Sketch is one of Monty Python’s most important contributions to the humor of western civilization. Or not. I suppose it depends on whether you like Monty Python.Be that as it may, the sketch is also instructive regarding the imminent demise of what we used to call “The Grand Old Party” which became the nickname of Republicans back in the day when “The Grand Army of the Republic” – Union veterans of the Civil War – pretty much ran the party. Those 400,000 or so veterans elected every Republican president from Grant to McKinley. Their endorsement carried huge weight with a grateful electorate who recognized the veteran’s sacrifices and honored them even beyond the effective life of the GAR.
Now the party is run by cynical hacks and jackanapes who, despite all evidence to the contrary, insist that the parrot isn’t dead, it’s just resting. The plumage may still be pretty. But maggots have already begun to eat away at the insides.What political conservatives and on-the-ground Republicans must understand at this point is that they are not breaking with the White House on immigration. They are not resisting, fighting and thereby setting down a historical marker—”At this point the break became final.” That’s not what’s happening. What conservatives and Republicans must recognize is that the White House has broken with them. What President Bush is doing, and has been doing for some time, is sundering a great political coalition. This is sad, and it holds implications not only for one political party but for the American future.
The White House doesn’t need its traditional supporters anymore, because its problems are way beyond being solved by the base. And the people in the administration don’t even much like the base. Desperate straits have left them liberated, and they are acting out their disdain. Leading Democrats often think their base is slightly mad but at least their heart is in the right place. This White House thinks its base is stupid and that its heart is in the wrong place.
Peggy Noonan is not some turncoat, traitorous, weak kneed Republican pantywaist. She helped put Ronald Reagan’s ideas and thoughts to some of the most beautiful rhetorical music of 20th century politics. But she, along with many of us, are tired and dispirited. We have seen the Republican party run into the ground and then stepped on by an Administration and a President who have gone beyond taking most of us for granted and instead have declared war upon those who have sustained his presidency in the face of the most vicious and determined opposition to his policies. We have been slapped in the face, kicked in the teeth, stabbed in the back. And the smug, self-righteous mountebanks who are taking the party with them to oblivion could care less.
In fact, given all that has transpired since the 2004 election (which coincided with the last time the Bushies even paid lip service to the base) one could say that this President has seemed most determined to destroy the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Reagan leaving behind only a charred husk for the rest of us to live with. They have decided that Götterdämmerung is in order; if they can’t prevail, then they will destroy what is left of the grand coalition that changed the face of America and the world in the 1980’s and in a fit of either pique or ignorance, leave it for the next crew to cobble together something else.
I will say that it didn’t take much to destroy what was left of that coalition. Since the end of the cold war – the single uniting expedient of the Republican party for more than 30 years – the GOP has been adrift. Uniting against Clinton was fairly easy although that unity was a mile wide and an inch deep. It was based on the absolute worst of political bargains; the cold, calculus of how to get power and keep it. So for ten years Republicans played the special interest game, feeding the lobbyists a steady diet of earmarks and favors, reaping huge amounts of campaign contributions in return, while selling out their basic principles of smaller, less intrusive government and fiscal discipline.And now, there’s precious little left. No ideology. Little loyalty. Less desire to help this gang of cynical galoots maintain what power and position they have remaining. Witness the news [about the firings of phonebankers] from the Republican National Committee.
Not dead. Just resting.
The real danger, of course, is that come November next year GOP candidates simply won’t be able to compete in the 70 or so seats in the House that the Democrats are licking their chops to see change hands. With little available help from the national party and a base that will not only sit on their wallets but probably sit on their hands come election day, the chances are growing that a truly remarkable collapse will occur, an historic implosion that, like a tidal wave, will change the political contours of the country once it recedes.