Maybe this election is great for the GOP? Evolution.

The GOP has been boxed in, trapped, married to a brand that at the presidential level has less hope each cycle. Try to change the brand with greater outreach to Hispanics and the socially moderate and you lose some of that White base. Drive hard for the White base and you double down on the shrinking demographic and doubtfully have enough to win, not now, and even less so later.

Organically evolving out of that box gradually is … hard.

But a complete disruption offers an opportunity to build something completely new.

It’s sort of like punctuated equilibrium in evolutionary theory. The party was in stasis traveling down what at the presidential level at least was increasingly becoming a dead end. This campaign is an asteroid strike and something new possibly more “fit” for the current political ecosystem will perhaps emerge over the next cycle or so.

I’m afraid that is what we are actually witnessing!

Right now it’s

“Wandering between two worlds, one dead,
The other powerless to be born.”

But . . . what could it possibly evolve into, that is any more viable, and that the present GOP Establishment could desire? They’re elitist conservatives. Unlike the Dem Establishment, they side with Wall Street and the 1% without the slightest dissonance between their actions and their principles, sincere or professed. “Changing the brand” might produce a party that is more populist, more in tune with the base, and by now they realize very definitely and undeniably that their base just doesn’t want the same things they do. The base wants what Trump is offering, even if Wall Street doesn’t like it, and is clearly sick and tired of pulling the ® lever just for the sake of social conservatism, especially when it seems to make no real difference in social politics at the federal level any more. Abortion is still protected, gays can marry each other now, nobody in Congress even talks about school prayer any more, and the Establishment won’t even take the base’s anti-immigration feelings seriously enough to do anything about it that might increase corporations’ labor costs. The GOP that would satisfy them might conceivably win elections, but it would not be a GOP that the Establishment could stomach.

Just wondering…do the racists, evangelicals, and mouth-breathers realize that even President Trump wouldn’t be doing anything they wanted?

I don’t see this megalomaniacal New York billionaire putting prayer back in schools, stigmatizing gays, erecting crucifixes in every town square, or ordering nonwhite people to be shot on sight.

What do they think he’s going to do for them that Romney, for example, wouldn’t?

Deportations and protectionism. It is often said the GOP base votes against its own economic interests for the sake of social and cultural issues. There is much truth to that, but that does not mean they are oblivious to their own economic interests. Middle- and working-class white Americans have to live with stagnant incomes, rising costs of education and housing and health care, and declining prospects – and they know it – and even they are now starting to realize, I think, that the neoliberalism and supply-side economics that have been the Pub gospel since 1980 will never solve those problems. The cultural issues still matter to them, but what’s the good of voting social-conservative, if it gets them no appreciable social-conservative results at the federal level and Main Street continues to economically die anyway? So they turn to Trump’s protectionism and immigrant-busting. That probably won’t solve their economic problems either, but it is easier to believe it will, and if Wall Street don’t like it that’s just one more reason why they do like it.

Nope. The GOP control both houses of congress, as well as the majority of state houses. They have no motivation to change.

The GOP can’t win the presidency with their current demographic issues, but they can win and be competitive with the legislature and they can be competitive on the state level.

So they have no motivation to change, losing the presidency isn’t enough for them. They will limp along, being the minority party of the federal executive branch while still having an equal or greater number of state houses, governorships and federal legislature seats than the dems.

I think the GOP will continue to try what it has tried, pretending to be minority friendly while still making xenophobic whites the base of their party. So far it hasn’t worked, I don’t expect that to change.

Since 2010, the GOP has won and held a majority of state legislatures. Why change what has worked so far?

https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/files/2015/03/Screen-Shot-2015-03-04-at-2.07.19-PM.png&w=1484

Yeah, but Romney offered them that in 2012. “Self-deportation” of the Browns. Why do they think Trump is more likely than the Elites to do it for them?

(That was directed at BrainGlutton at #6.)

Because they know as anyone should know that “self-deportation” is nonsensical – if the Mexes were that ready to leave this country, they never would have gone into debt to coyotes to get here – but they think Trump will make the undocumented immigrants leave – which, of course, he won’t and can’t, the Obama Admin has already committed the maximum politically defensible amount of funds for the purpose – but, and what makes all difference, Trump is white. Or orange or something, but in any case not brown.

But they all know and even at the time knew very well that Romney never meant it, how could he – and that Trump, being a governmental ignoramus and subhuman soul as he is, very probably does.

Evolution? Pretty much every major GOP figure wants to do away with Social Security, and they aren’t changing their minds. Turd-polishing is more like it.

I doubt any change will result. The Republican party has shown itself capable of denying much more blatant evidence that it’s lost touch with the general electorate.

They’re going to crash and burn again. And this time it will all be because of Trump. They’ll tell themselves that if he hadn’t messed things up, they would have nominated a True Republican and carried all fifty states. Which is what they’ll do next time, you betcha.

But going forward, whilst agreed they will hold on to state legislatures etc., and no doubt congress, the vast dumb bloc will be voting for right poujadist challengers to the GOP Establishment brand, and perhaps start rejecting more the libertarian loony tunes hymn-book the Clown Car sang from.
What rough beast…
And after they anoint dreary old Hillary as in a death foretold, the Democratic Establishment brand will also be poised to crash and die, simply because the more hopeful of their dupes want enormous changes and she and the other apparatchiks will just sit on their hands, staring out like Easter Island statues, and having silenced Sanders, offer more of the same, for ever and ever amen, with tiny glacial gestures at remote intervals, preferably utterly meaningless.

Only with more war in the Middle East, ISIS demands it. You left that part out. Or maybe that is “more of the same”…

Even without Hillary’s gracious words to AIPAC a day back, promising more and better weapons to pacify the enemies of Eretz Yisrael, no-one ever kidded themselves she wouldn’t be a war-president.
And a re-pledge to destroy the boycott.
Common Dreams

Evolution does not imply a motivation to change and has no intent. It is about that which survives.

If this campaign is as disruptive to the party as it has been popularly made out to be then there will be no cohesively functional GOP party remaining, if there in fact has been one this cycle with what Congress, especially the House, has been like. Some predict down ticket impacts of the cycle such that not only the Senate is lost but that the GOP loses much of their House majority as well.

The question is what emerges from that, not as an immediate or even rational response, but over a few cycles as that which survives and gains strength.

If the elements cannot survive in their current federated form what comes out? If the animosity grows to the point that Ryan cannot pander enough to the still minority but even more extremist and angry populist elements.

I can make up all kinds of events from there … including a prolonged period with no House leader until some elements of the GOP end up coming with some compromise with Democratic members of the House on a candidate that serves as a consensus between them, and give a metaphorical finger to their own other side.

In that context where then do the GOP big money players and lobbies place their bets? How do the no-compromise elements respond? Do they leave? If they do does the remaining element of the GOP, which subsequently loses their majority House status, actually become a place not anathema to elements which the Democratic side must have the overwhelming support of (Blacks, Hispanics, suburban White women …)? I can imagine a cycle or so leading to a Democratic party becoming increasingly beholden to its most “progressive” elements and a GOP with the populist authoritarian wing having split off (to wither over a cycle or so) now increasingly centrist … but I can imagine many other paths too. I just doubt that the current species of dinosaurs will be dominant after the asteroid, even as I do not know if we should bet more on birds or on those mammals scurrying underfoot. Ach. Always bet on the bacteria!

Evolution is about what works. Crocodiles have barely changed in millions of years while humans have changed drastically in the same timeline. The gop can’t win the federal executive branch as is. They have lost the popular vote in the last 5 out of 6 elections. But they are doing fine in Congress and on state and local level elections. The presidency alone isn’t motivation to change.

Also their motivation to win can and is just as easily expressed in voter suppression. Rather than change to become what young people, minorities and the poor like, the gop has decided instead to suppress voting to make it harder for those groups to vote. Voter suppression is a strategy that allows the gop to pursue unpopular policies while still winning elections.

I don’t think the GOP is going to consider not having a shot at the presidency as a good place to be at even if they control both houses. The senate is going to swing back and forth even if the house doesn’t. Giving up on the executive branch also means giving up the supreme court. The party leadership has been trying to change, they’ve just been finding out that it isn’t up to them and forcing the issue will cost them their careers.

I think it’s more like DEvolution. A last gasp at trying to hold onto the most antiquated ideas in the party. Xenophobia and unbridled militarism. What a combo!