If there's one thing that really annoys me (and there are plenty of things that really annoy me), it's hearing insincere "advice" from Republicans about what Democrats need to do. This is because their advice is invariably along the lines of "you need to stop being a bunch of America-hating commie traitors". In other words, it's not actually advice -- it's just a rhetorical device for pushing bullshit talking points. *
But just to prove what a terrific guy I am (how white I am, as a Republican would say), and what wonderful people Democrats are, I'm going to return good for evil, and do for the Republicans what they're only pretending to do for us. I'm going to give them some good political advice: get out while the gettin's good. The GOP brand has been hopelessly compromised by Bush and the Bushies, and the national party itself has been taken over by Christian fundamentalists and neoconservatives. Republicans are already a dying breed here in New England, and the time will come when anyone who isn't a full-bore Freeper will be ashamed to admit to being a Republican.
The modern GOP consists of 3 main subgroups, two of which are already represented by minor parties. First, there are the Christian fundamentalists (or "values voters" as it pleases them to call themselves), whose bedrock principles are theocracy, antifeminism, and homophobia. The misnamed Constitution Party consists largely of former Republicans who have decided that the GOP, extreme as it is, isn't extreme enough. Second, there are the libertarians, whose bedrock principles are Social Darwinism, unfettered capitalism, free trade, isolationism, and total personal freedom. Most of the members of the Libertarian Party are former Republicans who became fed up at the growing power in the GOP of the fundies and the neoconservatives. Third, there are the Dixiecrats, former Southern Democrats who became alienated from the Party of the People after LBJ finished off segregation in the 1960s and who flooded into the GOP after Nixon started pandering to them with his "southern strategy". Although there are a number of tiny racist groups such as the Council of Conservative Citizens and the American Nazi Party, there is no significant racist third party, since racists have found such a receptive home in the GOP.
The rise of Rudy "I Have 9/11 Tattooed On My Chest" Giuliani's presidential campaign to frontrunner status has alarmed the fundies, who are appalled by his refusal to flip-flop on abortion and gay rights. The result has been a meeting of the shadowy Council for National Policy, where the idea of abandoning the GOP for a third party (probably the Constitution Party) has been bandied about. If the fundies do bolt the GOP, that will leave the party as an even more uneasy coalition of libertarians and Dixiecrats. Given the libertarians' unhappiness with the growing authoritarian streak in the GOP, a Giuliani nomination might well drive many of them out of the Republican Party and into the arms of the capital-L Libertarians, leaving a rump GOP consisting largely of Dixiecrats.
If this happens, then here in New England the GOP might very well vanish, and in its place will be the Libertarian Party. So, my advice for the local Republicans: get out now, and get in on the ground floor of the Libertarians.
*Something that really annoys me even more are Democrats who take the Republicans seriously and try to act on their "advice". These Democrats tend to be Beltway political consultants.
UPDATE: From PoliticsNJ.com comes word that the entire governing board of Lyndhurst, New Jersey, is switching parties from Republican to Democrat. Bergen County Republican Organization Chairman Rob Ortiz is not pleased.
Meanwhile, Digby thinks the fundies are just jerking the GOP around, reminding them that the Republicans are the religious right's bitches.