I like you, Kate Harding

She sums it up real nice:

“Democrats,” Shiner and Thrush write, “have long maintained that the Republican Party is hostile to all but the most conservative women” — and since I take that to be not a partisan opinion but a verifiable fact, I guess I just don’t get how anyone could be confused about why the GOP alienates women who are neither ultra-right-wing nor self-loathing. But apparently, many Republicans are befuddled.They just can’t understand what’s gone wrong, apparently, when they even try extra hard to “emphasize the contributions of their female members” — like Virgina Foxx, whose remarks about the healthcare reform bill began, “I believe we have more to fear from the potential of that bill passing than we do from any terrorist right now in any country.” And Michele Bachmann who, in a characteristically paranoid and nonsensical statement, recently called a teabagger protest against that bill “the Super Bowl of our freedom.” And Sarah Palin, who… you get the picture.

But what about the more moderate Republican women, the ones less likely to favor “folksy” ignorance and tinfoil millinery? Well naturally, they get punished! Maine representative Olympia Snowe has been warned that she’d better bow to the hardcore conservative base instead of continuing to take a more balanced approach to serving her constituents. And Dede Scozzafava was shoved out of the race in New York’s 23rd district last week because, unlike her more conservative opponent, Doug Hoffman, she believes in gay rights and reproductive freedom.

There really is something ugly going on in that country. I mean, it’s usually pretty ugly everywhere, but is it just me or is it getting worse?

Even two years ago on Fox it wasn’t completely taken as a given that all gays are bad/pedophiles, all Muslims are terrorists, all women are evil and or sluts unless they’re Christian warrior moms.

I know all politicians in all countries are pretty nasty: what I want to know is why everyday Republican Americans are LETTING their party peddle in such nastiness? It’s a serious impediment to almost anything. Don’t they follow demographics? America is not getting any whiter or any richer or any more male: Republicans have to start taking women and minorities seriously. I can’t think of anything more obvious and yet they don’t seem to get it. Why? Is there even a logical explanation that anyone can give me?

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4 thoughts on “I like you, Kate Harding

  1. The Christian church still has a lot of money to focus policy and rhetoric. Not to say that the church is responsible for lunacy, but they certainly can fund it.

  2. Krugman has been doing some decent commentary on this lately. Basically, what used to be considered the right wing fringe has taken over the Republican party over the past twenty years. They were always told during that time that their issues had to wait until the Republicans could get a lock on power (they were told this by the Republican elites, who really wanted to just use their votes to get a governing majority in order to implement right wing economic policy). Once Republicans HAD a lock on power, and they still couldn’t really accomplish their agenda (frightening though the last eight years have been, immigration’s still high, abortion’s still legal, and church and state are still more or less separate), then their party was massively defeated, well, it was a bit too much to take. The current right wing basically doesn’t recognize the right of those of other ideological stripes to govern (hence the “real” vs. “fake” American distinction), and the cognitive dissonance has them going pretty ballistic.

  3. Right, but at the same time, moderate Republicans, or at least Republicans who understand that they need to woo moderates won in NJ and Virginia. So it seems rank and file Republicans are not actually as crazy as they’re made out to be. What I want to know is, why are they staying quiet???

  4. Well, think about the NY 23rd as the counter-example. Hasn’t gone Democrat since the 19th Century, but the right drove the moderate Republican Scozzafava out of the race, then lost the seat. Unfortunately it might prompt some of the party’s moderates to regroup to make sure that doesn’t keep happening, but it’ll take a bit. Also, the “moderate” center of gravity has shifted to conservative Democrats, which means that there are actually fewer and fewer elected moderate Republicans to pull the party back to the center. In the short term, I think they’ll keep going right. It’ll (hopefully) take a few election cycles in the wilderness before they figure out a formula for recovery.

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