The GOP’s Outsourcing Problem
For a few years, we’ve debated the value of outsourcing in American business. Companies like Apple make most of their products in China, while others have sent their customer service call centers to places like India. The debate is often about American jobs being sent overseas and what effect that has on our economy and global business.
In the case of the Republican Party, most of the jobs are staying stateside, so there’s that. But it is wreaking havoc with the party itself. The GOP is becoming a husk, a Weekend at Bernies style corpse that just gets marched around from one spot to another.
We saw hints of this in the last election, when outside spending on campaign advertising from outside groups hit a record high. Granted, much of it was simply Karl Rove burning rich Republican money, Joker style, but the party has become a bit player in this exercise. On the Democratic side, it may not be as dramatic, but things are headed that way.
What is really alarming is that the GOP has also outsourced its intellectual underpinnings. The thought leaders of the right are mostly tv and radio pundits, not the elected officials. That’s why you have pundits exerting demands on the party for how to proceed on parliamentary issues.
The Republican most affected by the wholesale outsourcing is Speaker Boehner. Compare Boehner to the two people who previously served in the same office. Speaker Pelosi passed a slate of progressive legislation – not just the health care bill, but other bills that unfortunately died in the Senate, including cap and trade, immigration reform, and more. She ruled. But its not just Democrats. Speaker Dennis Hastert was just a puppet rubber stamp for the corrupt Tom DeLay, but he still got things done. They browbeat their caucus to get votes in and while it was net bad for the country – he got it done.
Boehner has no power. Bills he has guaranteed have died on the floor, while he hasn’t been able to sway his party away from the extreme right. Rush Limbaugh has more power with House Republicans, as do groups that threaten to primary members – because the RNC is a powerless body, only able to whine about Hillary Clinton movies and debate moderators.
There’s barely a GOP left, except perhaps as a vehicle for ballot access in all fifty states. If its that weak, its no wonder some are concerned that the entire thing could just collapse on itself.