The GOP: Unhinged, Yet Still (Kind of) Popular?

Andrew Sullivan recently made the following observation:

[T]he GOP Obama faces is arguably the most partisan, factional and deranged that it has been since I started observing it in the mid-1980s.

Yes, and the GOP is nevertheless on track to gain seats in both the Senate and the House in the 2014 midterm elections. It’s an odd confluence of trends. Does the below video account for it?


My own take is that the national Republican Party is where the California Republican Party was in 1994 (the year that the GOP pressed hard for Proposition 187, the “Save Our State” anti-immigration initiative). Republicans won that battle, but have since lost badly the long-term war for voters. California has been largely dominated by the Democratic Party throughout the roughly 20 years since Proposition 187 passed. If the national Republican Party follows a similar trajectory (winning the 2014 off-year election using its “old time religion” themes, but causing serious damage to its brand in doing so), Democrats can expect to be pretty darn happy for at least two or three decades thereafter.

As can pot smokers. Democratic dominance probably means a dialing back of marijuana laws–the end of the buzz kill.


The demographic bus seems to be leaving many Republicans behind. In a decade, not even Texas will be a safe Republican state. Will the national GOP leadership grouse at this from the sidelines (as the California Republican Party leadership largely does today) or adapt?

21st century America is now the Republican Party’s home. It is not back in the 20th century with Ozzie and Harriet and Ronald Reagan. Do Republicans know that?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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