And that's our big problem with them: It's ALL politics for them. That's all they really understand or what they're interested in. Even their undying support for Bush was due entirely to political concerns. They didn't truly believe he was the second coming of Jesus wrapped in the persona of Lincoln and Churchill. They acted that way because they realized that it was best to tie their cart to his wagon, which would make him even more powerful and thus more likely to bring political success to them. Sure, it all backfired, but it sure made sense for awhile.
Here's an example of that from Ken Blackwell, who's trying to be the head of the RNC, who actually argues that Republicans should oppose the economic rescue package because it will create 600,000 new government employees who will vote Democrat; and thus keep Virginia in the Dem column forever. And not only is this bat-ass crazy, but it's even more ridiculous that he's actually making this argument publicly. I had assumed at first that this was some secret memo that somebody released. But no, he actually made this politics-first argument publicly at Townhall.
And again, while his plan is dangerous for America and stupid to admit publicly, as it makes him look like a partisan turd without enough brains to come in out of the snow. But...it's the exact sort of things Republicans want to hear, and they're who he's trying to woo. So in regards to his political goal of getting the job, this idiotic move scored him a few points. And in fact, it's the exact sort of sneaky political ju-jitsu move that really appeals to Republicans, and so in that regards, it really might help him. Particularly if Democrats make an issue of it, which will only increase the esteem Blackwell has with the Republican base.
Oddly, I had originally meant to focus on a different example, but saw the Blackwell post and decided to go with that. And here's yet another Republican trying to win the RNC chairmanship by wooing the crazies by insisting that he'll be our "worst nightmare." These people aren't even pretending to propose real solutions. They just want to appeal to the base by showing how what they're doing to obstruct Democrats. How pathetic.
And if you read Blackwell's column, you'll see it's entirely devoid of facts. Just a bunch of mindless assertions about how government can't create value, all evidence to the contrary. But again, this sort of thing only helps him politically. He's telling the rubes what they want to hear, and even if he knew he was wrong (which I don't think he does), it'd be stupid of him to be truthful.
But this is all part of the reason why Republicans are now doomed. To have an honest policy debate which included facts and expert opinion would allow them to resurrect their tarnished reputations, but for what point? Then they'd be Democrats, and the Republican base would reject them and there will always be another Republican to tell them what they want to hear. But the imbecilic policies that are required to woo these voters will always undermine any politician who is forced to follow them, and thus we have the Bush Administration.
Political concerns might help you win elections, but you'll still be expected to do things. And that's where it all falls apart. And now that Republicans were given the chance to prove their theories wrong in the real world, even their political arguments are undermined. And so the only chance they've got are in elections where the conservative population is large enough to support the insane candidate; as even the independents are now rejecting them. But of course, then they get stuck in a Crazier-Than-Thou pissing match, where only the craziest survive; and thus drag the party down further into the depths of insanity.
And so it was the politics-first mentality that helped them rise to power, but which also is dragging them down. It wasn't an irrational plan. Merely short-sighted. It'll still get you office in places like Alabama and Mississippi, as well as helping win the RNC chairmanship. But it's basically been played out everywhere else. The surprise isn't that this happened to them, but only that it took so long.