Conservative radio host Michael Savage Sunday called for a third, "nationalist" American political party to challenge the Republican Party on the right of the political spectrum.
“We need a nationalist party in the United States of America,” said Savage on Aaron Klein's WABC radio show. "There is no Republican party. It’s an appendage of the Democrat machine as we’ve all just seen. It’s two card Monte, as we all know. It’s a game being played against the American people."Wait... we are talking about the same Republican Party, aren't we?
Savage does have a point in seeing the irreconcilable schism between the business wing of the party and the increasingly nativist base. That tension, best seen in primaries, is why John Boehner gave us the quote of the weekend: "Most of our members wanted this (the fiscal cliff bill) to pass, but they didn't want to vote for it."
So are the Republicans en route to being a nationalist party? Or do they need to become a no -ist national party? Paul West, LA Times:
To an unprecedented degree, today's Republican majority in the House is centered in the states of the old Confederacy. The GOP enjoys a 57-seat advantage across the 11-state region that stretches from Texas to Virginia.
In particular, the South's preeminence could pose challenges to national GOP efforts to broaden the party's appeal on social and cultural issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
"An increasing challenge for Northeastern Republicans, and West Coast Republicans, for that matter, is the growing perception among their constituents that the Republican Party is predominantly a Southern and rural party," said Dan Schnur, a former GOP campaign strategist who directs the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC. "There's always been a political and cultural disconnect between the South and the rest of the country. But as the parties have sorted themselves out geographically over the last few decades, the size of that gap has increased."
And we know what happens when the Deep South is diametrically opposed to the rest of the nation:
Even though it’s a truism of American public discourse that the Civil War never ended, it’s also literally true. We’re still reaping the whirlwind from that long-ago conflict, and now we face a new Civil War, one focused on divisive political issues of the 21st century – most notably the rights and liberties of women and LGBT people – but rooted in toxic rhetoric and ideas inherited from the 19th century.
We’ve just emerged from a presidential campaign that exposed how hardened our political and cultural divide has become, and how poorly the two sides understand each other. Part of the Republican problem, in an election that party thought it would win easily, was that those who felt a visceral disgust toward both the idea and the reality of President Barack Obama simply could not believe that they didn’t represent a majority.
As many Republicans are now aware, the party now faces an existential crisis. It’s all very well to go on TV and talk about attracting Latinos and downplaying cultural wedge issues. But the activist core of the Republican Party is neo-Confederate, whether it thinks of itself that way or not. It isn’t interested in common cause with Mexicans or turning down the moral thermostat. Just ask Rick Santorum: What it wants is war.
If you though the fiscal cliff fight, or the health care battle of 2009-2010, were ugly, just wait until we see a serious immigration debate.