It has been a bad week for the Republican Party.
A no good, very bad week.
I am not talking about their failure (once again) to get rid of Obamacare. I am not talking about their failure (once again) to ban gay marriage. This is also not about their victory to eliminate any talk of meaningful gun control in light of another mass killing. The Republican Party's bad week is about how all of those events caused the party's leaders to embrace the typical hate filled white christian majority victim hood that is losing the party voters and any national future.
The Republican party has been fighting the reforms of the New Deal for multiple generations. Their current leaders can not have a meaningful thought about domestic policy without attacking reforms enacted nearly eighty years ago. The programs of the New Deal have been large a part of american society, removing them would cause a massive economic crisis. The Republican party has been so invested in dismantling the New Deal, they have no plan to deal with the catastrophic aftermath of their goals.
These irrational, outdated, tactics infect the current Republican voter outreach strategies. The Affordable Health Care Act was not a perfect law, far from it. The law did succeed in giving healthcare to more at need Americans. Since the passage of the ACA, the only action from the elected republicans is to act like petulant children and try to repeal the law. They tried, and tried, and tried, and on and on. There was no plan, only a tantrum. Lower income Americans were beginning to see clearly that the republicans had no interest in helping them. These potential voters were mostly lost to any national campaign by the Republican party.
The need to cater to the outdated and hateful religious right has caused the Republicans to alienate a very powerful and engaged voter group, gay men. The actions of the Supreme Court were long overdue, and many Americans were happy that this embarrassment had been corrected. The response from all the national Republican leaders was predictable, silence or hate. The hate, coming from supposed Christians, was ugly and useless. Christian conservatives always vote in the exact same numbers, and they always vote Republican. If one national Republican realized that gay men tend to be more conservative on fiscal issues, that person could start to cultivate new voters. Instead the legacy of hate and obstruct stops any movement in bringing in these new, valuable, voters.
Where the Republican hate trap reared its ugly head the most is the aftermath of the Charleston Church massacre. Our government is filled with cowards when it comes to stemming gun violence. The tricky part for the Republicans is they needed a distraction from having to talk about the gun problem in America. The media decided that distraction was going to be the Confederate flag. The hate trap was set, because now Republicans who defended a symbol of hate had to now openly attack it. This was not a good plan to a few deep south Republicans (see Haley Barbour). These politicians defending the Confederate flag kept reminding voters of the parties history of racism. The brain trust that is Sean Hannity even used his tired tactic of false equivalence and demanded rap music be banned along with the Confederate flag. Hannity is whining because he cannot embrace his symbol of hate, so attacks something else ethnic that he hates. Every single guest on Hannity's radio and television shows will have to defend the Confederate flag and attack rap music. Good bye millennial voters, good job Sean.
The Democratic Party has not been very proactive in creating positive social change. The national leaders usually sit back and wait for social changes to become more viable. This allows the Democrats the luxury to co-opt these movements and be seen as the party of all people. Their biggest asset in claiming the progressive mantle is that the Republicans can not claw out of their hate trap.
RD is the Head Editor for Seed Sing. He enjoys watching hateful people dig themselves into holes. Fox News is one of his favorite entertainment options. He needs you to write for Seed Sing.