The GOP “Is Alarmingly Unified”

mad tea partySome of my liberal friends still think civil war between Republican Christian culture warriors and GOP bluebloods is an irrepressible conflict.

Maybe they’re right. But this union-card-carrying Hubert Humphrey Democrat isn’t betting the farm on internecine strife before November 2.

I’m with journalist-author-economist Robert Kuttner.

“Notwithstanding the takeover by the radical right, the Republican Party is not in fact ‘shattered,’” he suggested in The American Prospect online. “It is alarmingly unified.”

Kuttner added: “The marriage of religious fundamentalists and market fundamentalists is holding…because, in the favorite word of Church Lady, it is so convenient. The Christian far right hates big government, and so does the commercial right. It may be annoying to socially moderate financial elites that the religious right is so crazed on the subject of gays, guns, and God, but these views do not affect the business elite where it lives.”

I’m afraid he’s right.

Okay, the “socially moderate financial elites” probably are a tad queasy with Tea Bagger boors, racist neo-Confederates, gun crazies, xenophobes, homophobes, religious bigots and assorted other paranoid nut jobs that make up a big chunk of the Republican base.

But guess what. The GOP’s hoity-toity and hoi polloi are planning to vote for the same candidates in November.

I know some liberals – MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow among them – have been pointing out that some establishment Republican candidates who lost to Tea Bagger-tilters in GOP primaries seem reluctant to embrace the victors.

That doesn’t matter. Almost all Republicans are backing – or will back — the Tea Bagger-tilters. Where else will they go?

Maybe I missed it. But I’ve yet to see any of the establishment Republican losers endorse a Democrat over a Tea Bagger candidate who beat them in a primary. (We’ll see what moderately conservative Mike Castle, who came up short against loony Tea Bagger-blessed Christine O’Donnell in Delaware’s U.S. senate primary, has to say.)

Some of the GOP’s “socially moderate financial elites” might wince when the Tea Baggers and their ilk trash Obama as a Kenyan-born-Islamo-socialist who loves Joe Stalin and hates America .

But, hey, Tea Bagger candidates like O’Donnell and Rand Paul in my native Kentucky loathe unions and “big government” as much as the GOP gentry does. Mr. and Mrs. Gotrocks know they can count on Tea Bagger Republicans to keep-government off the backs of the wealthy folks.

At the same time, the Republican elite is content to let the Christian fundamentalists rant that gays — and everybody else who isn’t a Christian fundamentalist – are going to hell.

Rich Republicans don’t care if Christian rightists think Jesus wants everybody to pack pistols – even to church. Rich Republicans don’t go to fundamentalist churches.

Moreover, rich Republicans don’t care if abortion is outlawed in the land. They’ll just take their daughters and wives who don’t want to be in the family way off to Canada or to Europe to terminate pregnancies safely and legally and maybe do some sightseeing to boot.

Kuttner is on the money. Religious rightists really don’t “affect the business elite where it lives.” A lot of them reside a long way from Easy Street.

But you’re about as apt to see a Republican candidate’s sign — Tea Bagger or establishment — in the crabgrass yards of the humblest abodes as you are in a well-manicured greensward on Snob Hill.

Berry Craig

Published by the LA Progressive on September 16, 2010
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About Berry Craig

Berry Craig is an emeritus professor of history at the West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah and a freelance writer. He is a member of American Federation of Teachers Local 1360, the recording secretary for the Western Kentucky Area Council, AFL-CIO, and the author of True Tales of Old-Time Kentucky Politics: Bombast, Bourbon and Burgoo, Hidden History of Kentucky in the Civil War, Hidden History of Kentucky Soldiers and Hidden History of Western Kentucky. He is a native of Mayfield, Ky., where he lives with his wife of 33 years and their 20-year-old son.