By Charles Cullen
Anyone who knows me knows I’m hopelessly addicted to work of the Coen brothers. My addiction goes beyond nodding when someone mentions that “the Dude abides.” I can quote nearly the entire movie. I believe “No Country For Old Men” is a piece of art that could never be replicated, and I’m shocked by how closely the Republican Party now comes to resembling Homer Stokes (the KKK, “is you is or is you ain’t my constituency?” political candidate of O Brother, Where Art Thou?) “Is you is or is you ain’t my constituency,” Homer pleads with a booing crowd.
“Is you is or is you ain’t my constituency?” Speaking for myself, Homer, I ain’t. I’m not accusing the GOP of being entirely made up of bigots. Though they mostly are exactly as racist as old Homer, they’re much better (with some spectacular exceptions) at hiding it.
The fact that an entire party can be represented by a single slow-witted racist is what makes the following question so fascinating; what happens when the Republican party can no longer rely on racist and/or stupid Caucasians to mindlessly back them? In many areas the white majority is quickly disappearing, and the old trick of just saying something hateful and getting white voters to vote against their own interests is growing more and more difficult.
The GOP has long been able to count on a certain portion the Latino population to help them over the hump, but they’ve been so hateful toward Latinos that that population is rapidly disappearing. Without these voters the highest office Republicans can realistically hope for is the House, with a few Senate seats scattered from still extremely white districts.
And that’s what makes things so interesting: the GOP can still count on the very deep South, but one can’t win a presidency without contesting swing states. Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, and North Carolina, will become reliably Democratic as long as GOP Republicans have to out-crazy Tea Party challengers to win primaries.
Hateful and lunatic comments have a way of following one into general elections. And this becomes more and more true the higher the office one is aiming for.
The American people seem to like to switch presidential parties after roughly two terms, but the Republicans simply aren’t offering them anyone to vote for. From disastrous Republican SOTU speaker (rebuttal) Bobby Jindal, to Donald Trump, to “Awww Shucky-Ducky” Herman Cain, the Republican brand has never looked so weak. Marco Rubio would probably be an attractive option, were the footage of him guzzling gallons of water nearly as viral as the Star Wars kid.
It’s a bad time for weakness, too, as the United States becomes more and more diverse. What must the GOP do to win a Presidency once White voters no longer hold so much sway in swing states?
Perhaps Ol’ Homer could’ve offered some advice but, alas, he was ridden out on a rail (and fictional).
Rand Paul is probably the Republican’s last, best hope–Bush III has shown little interest in running–so one must ask, after a Paul Presidency (if it happens) where do the Republicans turn?
In sum, the Republicans look like FOP. And we as a people don’t want FOP, goddammit, were Dapper Dan voters.