The Conumbrum

February 5, 2013

The painful and difficult irony with Republicans is that they absolutely must strengthen their support from women and Hispanics if they have any hope of winning the next generation of presidential elections. Both of those groups overwhelmingly went for Obama in the last election out of outrage over what they perceived to be misogynistic and jingoistic comments from Republican candidates. Some of those comments, like Todd Akin saying that a woman’s body had some mysterious power to “shut down” and not produce a baby, if the woman had been raped legitimately, were borderline psychotic. Some of them, like Mitt Romney’s comment that we plan on making life for undocumented foreigners so miserable and painful that they would eventually decide to “self deport,” i.e. leave the country to get some relief from the oppression, were flat-out cruel.

But at the same time, 96 percent of all Republican districts are solid, locked down, Republican districts. And the representatives of those districts are far more concerned about being attacked in the next primary from someone from the far(ther) right than they are concerned about who is in the White House. So, to protect their jobs, they have to vote against what is good for the national party. To do what is good for Republicans in general, is to do what is not good for their own re-election prospects. To do what is good for their re-election is to do what is not good for the party. Crazy statements at home will get them re-elected. Crazy statements on a national scale will get Hilary elected. 

How to get out of that conundrum is something that no one in the Republican party has yet figured out. 

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