Yeah, sorry, couldn’t pass up the pun.
I’ve been really looking at these folk and the history of such folk in our past. Because of the latter, I’ve some predictions.
At current trends, I expect the Republicans to nominate a zealot for their presidential candidate in 2012. I expect that candidate to lose even worse to Obama than McCain did in 2008. Note that the zealot may not be Palin, but she fits the profile. Romney won’t get it. Huckabee could, maybe. Ron Paul fits in a lot of ways as well.
More than 50% of people who call themselves Republicans are supportive of the TEA parties and/or Birthers and all the rest of what some are calling the crazies. I’d like to point out a simple rule: If the majority of your party believes “that way” then I’m not sure those within the party can call them “crazies”. Those outside the party can do so, but not those within. They’re the majority, they ARE your party. They are going to select the candidate that most reflects their desires. Oh – and because they dominate they probably won’t split off and form a third party, though that’s a possibility I’ll return to in a moment.
I say that by pointing out the majority of members and supporters of the Democratic party were anti-war; supporting Cindy Sheehan as an example.
As I said they may split off – figure a 20% chance of that happening, and it would require a charismatic leader (as Perot was back when) getting in front. I don’t see such a leader, and that’s why the odds are so low. On the other hand there is a short list of people who COULD do this over the next couple of years, so it’s not an impossibility.
Regardless, barring extraordinary events between now and then I think Obama will dominate his opponent in the 2012 elections.
The real ugliness is the effect at the congressional level. I think we’re going to get a lot of these people in office. They won’t be the majority, but they’ll be the majority of the minority. Because of that they’ll run their party.
Expect to see a lot more of what we’ve seen already – not just “Party of No,” but rabid birther/TEA party/anti-Democrat behavior that makes the last few months appear completely civil. I expect that to happen in 2010. The good news for partisans is that this is likely to make more people dislike them. It is, in my opinion, bad news for the nation, but we’ve survived its like in the past and will probably do so in the future as well.
The next decade is going to be ugly for the Republican party. They are finally reaping the seeds they sowed in the 1960s and 1970s. The sooner other people realize this, the easier time we’ll have working our way through it. But I still think it’s going to be an ugly decade.