Political Animal


September 12, 2012 12:14 PM Win Or Disband

By Ed Kilgore

I don’t know that there is any connection between what I’m about to write about and Mitt Romney’s risky and clumsy attacks on the president over the events in Cairo and Benghazi, but it does make you wonder….

Here in its entirety is Dylan Byers’ Politico post late yesterday on a new batch of threats from leading conservative gabbers that a loss on November 6 would justify a dissolution of the GOP:

Leading conservative talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham are both arguing that the Republican party will or should be shut down if Mitt Romney loses in November — an idea that, however hard to believe, gives you an indication of the right wing’s dissatisfaction with the Republican party.
“If you can’t beat Barack Obama with this record, then shut down the party. Shut it down, start new, with new people. Because this is a gimme election, or at least it should be,” Ingraham said on her radio program yesterday. “Election after election, we hire people who have lost previous campaigns, who have run campaigns that have failed, who have messaged campaigns where the message fell flat, and they keep getting re-hired.”
Where Ingraham made an argument, Limbaugh made a prediction: The Republicans would fall, but not before blaming the conservative base for their woes and opening a window for a third, more conservative party to take their place.
“If Obama wins, let me tell you what it’s the end of: The Republican Party. There’s gonna be a third party that’s gonna be oriented toward conservatism. I know Rand Paul thinks libertarianism. And I know if Obama wins, the Republican Party is gonna try to maneuver things so conservatives get blamed,” he said.
“The only problem is, right now Romney’s not running a conservative campaign. But they’re gonna set it up to say, ‘Well, the right sat home,’ or, ‘The right made Romney be other than who he is.’ They’ll try to deflect the blame, but they got who they want.”

Wow. Not to be outdone, Sarah Palin told Bill O’Reilly yesterday that she agreed with this warning to Romney, noting Ingraham’s threats and saying: “I couldn’t have said it better myself.” She also offered these suggestions to Mitt:

Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly asked the former Alaska governor on Tuesday if Romney’s campaign — which has come under fire from Republicans — needs to go after Obama in a “more personal way” and use buzzwords like “incompetent, dangerous, socialist.”
“Those aren’t just buzzwords,” said Palin. “Those are accurate descriptions of the commander in chief.”
“He should be very aggressive, and he should be adamant in his attacks on Obama’s record, which is so dismal, his plan, or lack of a plan of Obama’s, to get his out of these woeful times,” Palin continued. “He needs to be severely aggressive.”

That’s an interesting choice of words aimed at the man who once boasted to a CPAC audience that he was a “severely conservative” governor of Massachusetts.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Bokonon on September 12, 2012 12:31 PM:

    Ooooh ... so Sarah Palin wants to get out the REALLY REALLY BIG MEAN WORDS now! OOOOOH! And start using those really mean words to describe Obama! Wow ... not holding anything back, huh?

    That's going to shake up this junior high school election cycle for sure.

  • martin on September 12, 2012 12:34 PM:

    Please Baby, Please Baby, Please Baby, Pleeeeeaaaaaassssse.

  • c u n d gulag on September 12, 2012 12:37 PM:

    They never stop to consider that when the American people know what Conservatism stands for, they always vote against it.

    And I'd love to see a Conservative 3rd Party. What's it going to be calles, the Whigs, or the Know-Nothing's?

    This might finally open up the path for REAL Democrat's, instead of the Whoreporatists DINO's we've had for 20 years.

  • Peter C on September 12, 2012 12:39 PM:

    Yup, they should cut and run. Can you say, "death throes"?

  • schtick on September 12, 2012 12:42 PM:

    All those millionaires that have been pouring millions into Willard's campaign must be cringing over wasted money. I think Willard has just lost the election and I bet his backers push to fund the Congresscritters now only tossing him scraps. Grover's big plan of only having someone with workable digits to sign bill placed in front of him has failed immensely.

  • Josef K on September 12, 2012 12:42 PM:

    Here in its entirety is Dylan Byers’ Politico post late yesterday on a new batch of threats from leading conservative gabbers that a loss on November 6 would justify a dissolution of the GOP

    So they want to completely untether a collection of outraged, incoherent activists who are all but convinced the duly elected President of the United States is one order away from herding them all into camps to be gassed?

    However genuinely useless the GOP is, it at least has a focusing effect for these otherwise crazed activists, giving them some semblence of coherence and structure. The alternative is that they run riot and start their own little revolutions all over the place.

    Hey, I doubt they thought it would happen in France in 1789, or Russia in 1918. The US is just bigger and less-controllable than either of them were.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on September 12, 2012 12:45 PM:

    “Election after election, we hire people who have lost previous campaigns, who have run campaigns that have failed, who have messaged campaigns where the message fell flat, and they keep getting re-hired.”

    I will start be saying that I am heartened by how soon the Far, Far, Far Away Right is throwing in the towel on this election. The ballots have barely even be printed and they're already pointing fingers...

    Anywho, for a political faction that rewards block-headed pols who just revel in being politically incorrect, bigoted, ignorant and/or incompetent, is it really a big surprise that the GOP campaigns can't seem to close on the sell?

  • gandalf on September 12, 2012 12:48 PM:

    Just WTF would these so called conservatives stand for? They could call it the United old white peoples party.

  • Bokonon on September 12, 2012 12:52 PM:

    Wait, wait ... I've got it. The radicals on the right love them some historical analogies. And for some time, they have been painting themselves as the heirs to the anti-slavery movement for some time (Dred Scott decision is just like Roe v. Wade, etc.), while simultaneously sympathizing with the states rights and limited government political ideology of the antebellum South.

    They now think this is the equivalent to the 1850's, and the Republican Party is the latter day Whigs.

    So - you blow up the Whig party, unite behind a new, latter day Abraham Lincoln, and then march your purified political movement off to a TRUE confrontation with your enemies! No compromises any longer! No limits! Nothing off the table.

    Let's explore some more historical analogies about what happened next, during the 1860's ...

    They are talking escalation here.

  • Marko on September 12, 2012 12:53 PM:

    Grab your ankles, Rush. After this election, the "right" will naturally steer towards the center.

  • jjm on September 12, 2012 12:53 PM:

    So Romney's effort to quiet his internal critics is the totally disastrous comments and doubling down on them re Benghazi? Toss this guy out, and the entire GOP as far as I'm concerned.

    After all, what they're really saying is, with our whiteness and our wealth we can't beat a black man? What good are we if we can't do that?

  • mb on September 12, 2012 12:53 PM:

    Can these people really believe that a third party even more conservative than the GOP could capture a majority in this country? They apparently cannot see that they are a big part of Romney's problem. He cannot talk openly about what the the conservative things that he wants to do because he'll be rejected out of hand. Meanwhile, his base thinks he needs to be more specifically and jarringly conservative. I really expected that they'd take a back seat during the General Election to allow Mitt to seem more centrist and electable. Silly me.

    Seems to me that Obama benefits most from the nature of his opponents.

  • boatboy_srq on September 12, 2012 1:04 PM:


    And I'd love to see a Conservative 3rd Party. What's it going to be calles, the Whigs, or the Know-Nothing's?

    Perhaps the contradicTories? Although given the disdain they seem to share for education (either the nation's or their own), Know-Nothings would certainly fit them well.


    @Josef K:

    So they want to completely untether a collection of outraged, incoherent activists who are all but convinced the duly elected President of the United States is one order away from herding them all into camps to be gassed?

    Considering that's precisely want that camp wants to do with everyone else they've managed to Other, it may not be all that far-fetched: they most fear what they most intend.

    I still say this election is looking more like 1860 every day.

  • g on September 12, 2012 1:04 PM:

    “I couldn’t have said it better myself.”

    Well, actually, I agree with Palin here. She couldn't have said anything better than anyone because she is incoherent 99% of the time.

  • Sean Scallon on September 12, 2012 1:21 PM:

    If I had to bet who shuts down first, the talk shows or the GOP, it's going to be the talk shows. The hosts are roughly about the same age give or take a few years and they've doing this since late 1980s and early 1990s. Who's going to replace them when they're gone? The GOP has been around since 1854.

    These broods of vipers need to ask themselves this question: If Ronald Reagan, who had every opportunity to start a conservative third party under his banner, was unwilling to do so, then why would such a party have any more credibility led by aging talk show hosts? George Wallace did start such a party in 1968 and after 1980 it had been reduced to collective of extremists who split it to pieces in the usual non-major party pettiness fashion (Splitters!).

    Just remember, the Romneys and McCains of the world are the GOP nominees because "conservatives" can't figure out or come to an agreement on what they believe in to pick one person to run against the "establishment" candidate. So you get a bushel of candidates, some of whom are absolute jokes who have no business running in the first place, that wind up chopping each other up. Why would that be different in a "conservative" party? Not only that, the process will not exactly produce a Bill Buckley. It is more than likely it would produce a Herman Cain or Sarah Palin as the nominee of that party after appealing to the LCD. Do you honestly think either persons would be a threat to win the White House?

    As a Paul supporter, I would be more than happy to see such fellows bolt after 2012 to leave the remains to Rand and crew to rebuild again. We'll be more than happy to leave third party land for Red State Nation and leave behind all the socialist parties for the conservatives to deal with. I'm sure they will be good neighbors.

  • June on September 12, 2012 1:29 PM:

    The problem with these prominent conservatives is that they always believe 100% in "teh crazy" they feed themselves 24/7, which has no basis in reality. It is astonishing to listen to Ingraham actually being astonished that Romney can't win against Obama based on Obama's record. The right-wing may lie to themselves, but the fact is, Obama has a solid record to run on - we all know the drill - the Recovery Act stopped the country's economic meltdown and created in the neighborhood of 3M jobs; the auto industry rescue revived the American auto industry and positioned it strongly for the 21st century; the country was losing 750,000 jobs a month when Obama took office, he has halved that rate, the stock market was at what, about 9,000 at the end of 2008, and now it's less than a thousand points away from its' all-time high of about 14,000 - and all of this with only three Republicans joining Obama on the Recovery Act, and none supporting the rest of the initiatives. So if Ingraham were capable of being honest with herself, what she's incredulous about would sound more like, "If Romney can't win on *his relentless lies about this president's record, and our right-wing noise machine that's backing him up,* then we should start over."

  • boatboy_srq on September 12, 2012 1:29 PM:

    @Sean Scallion:

    Just remember, the Romneys and McCains of the world are the GOP nominees because "conservatives" can't figure out or come to an agreement on what they believe in to pick one person to run against the "establishment" candidate.

    If the 2012 primary cycle taught us anything, it's that the Reichwing comes with baggage, and the purists can't wish that baggage away. They want a true believer, but true believers are likely to be tax cheats, adulterers, spouse-abusers, paedophiles, or "sinners" of some equally damnable form. Yet for all their insistence on The Purity of The Cause, they don't understand that this is the mirror they're looking at: dishonest, cowardly, abusive s##ts who think the rules just don't apply to them aren't merely their candidates, but their actual representatives and representation. They have to come to terms with that before we'll see anything like a sane, viable, honorable person put forward as a candidate from within that camp.

  • Lifelong Dem on September 12, 2012 1:35 PM:

    Wow, I had a way different reaction than the rest of you. I'm reading this article and I'm amazed that the "cream" of right-wing opinionators are even discussing the possibility of a loss. In mid September! During previous election cycles, these folks wouldn't admit that there might be a chance that he Republican might lose.

    This is how much his own party hates Willard Romney. They're already dissecting his loss.

  • Renai on September 12, 2012 1:36 PM:

    Circular firing squad...If the wingers do splinter off from the Republicans, they may as well call themselves the Nadar Party, because electorally, that's all it'll accomplish.

  • JM917 on September 12, 2012 1:38 PM:

    I too have a name to suggest for the post-Republican rightie-whities:

    The American Party. That was the official name under which the Know Nothings marketed themselves in the election of 1856--the same election in which the post-Whig Republican Party nominated John C. Fremont. The American Party's nominee was former president Millard Fillmore.

    What we see unfolding here is the revival of Know-Nothingism wedded to neo-Confederate fantasies.

    I will be the first to cheer when Limbaugh, Ingraham, Palin & Co. launch their brand-spankin' new-and-improved GOP post-Mitt. An open split in the Republican ranks (perhaps with the likes of Jeb Bush leading what's left of the GOP) may finally break the deadlock of American politics and open the way to a new liberal ascendancy, and long-overdue progressive reforms.

  • CharlieM on September 12, 2012 1:39 PM:

    Pretty evident that what they fear more than losing this election to Obama is the thought that they will have lost *twice in a row* to someone who's a member of "the other". It will be the devastating confirmation that the self-entitled party of "angry white boys" is no longer in charge.
    The thought that they may have their butts handed to them a second time fills this "angry white boy" with glee.
    Yeah, go ahead. Disband. The despair and fear on display and the irrational panic is.....enjoyable.

  • advocatethis on September 12, 2012 1:43 PM:

    Palin said, "I couldn't have said it better myself." I realize this is just Palin employing a trite phrase, but I like to imagine it as a moment of self awareness; there is in fact nothing anybody anywhere says that Palin could say better herself.

  • mudwall jackson on September 12, 2012 2:10 PM:

    rush limbaugh wouldn't know a truly principled conservative if one would walk up and kick limbaugh in his hugely fat ass. they've pretty much gone the way of the liberal republican, chased out of the gop by the carnival freak faction of the party.

  • golack on September 12, 2012 2:12 PM:

    Don't forget the down ballot races...

    If they keep control of the house, then they'll be a lot of whining and conspiracy theories--so nothing new.

    There has to be a wholesale stand up against the fear and hate mongering that is the current POG party. Not just losing the Presidency (again), but they have to lose the house and in the next year or two, the state offices.

    Sorry martin, I think they're just teasing you
    Has anyone gone Galt yet?

  • beejeez on September 12, 2012 2:28 PM:

    Actually, splitting the GOP into the Money Party and the Wingnut Party might be good for everybody. The Wingnuts (read: Bachmann-Santorum)get to have uncompromising candidates to speak for them. The Money Party (read: Boehner-Ryan) gets to cut deals with either Democrats or the Wingnuts so they don't have to hold up judicial appointments and dick around with abortion rights in order to pander to the Jesus People. The Dems, of course, get to have a constantly divided opponent. Am I wrong, or is this a win-win-win?

  • DRF on September 12, 2012 3:11 PM:

    It's hard to take this seriously. Ingraham and Limbaugh are media personalities and have no skin in the game, so it's easy for them to talk. And Palin is almost too ridiculous for words. Anyone who actually thinks Obama is incompetent, dangerous and a socialist--as Palin appears to believe--isn't in touch with reality (and, in any event, outside of an increasingly smaller group of idiot right wingers,no one in the conservative movement or the Republican Party takes what she says seriously).

    If Romney loses, it will be interesting to see whether and where the bulk of the GOP moves, and this, of course, has something to do with who is blamed for the defeat. There is clearly a segment of the party that believes that they need to move closer to the center; Rove, Lindsay Graham, even McCain, many of the older generation of professionals fall into this category. And certainly the Wall Street/big money interests backing the Republican Party are already either moderate or totally indifferent to the social issues that seem to motivate the rightwing. That element of the party is also probably more disposed to compromise than the hard-core ideologues.

    But whether this faction will regain its position in the party is anyone's guess at this point.

  • Gail Force Winds on September 12, 2012 3:38 PM:

    The Angry White Boyz make themselves that way. No one is stealing their beer or their NASCAR or their women, no one is taking their trucks, their churches, their big screen tv's. No one's scrapped off their bumper stickers or turned them Muslim. Gays getting married never stopped straight folks getting married...divorced...married...etc.

    The Angry White Boyz have spent wasted years, effort, and brain cells scaring themselves and each other with their idiotic talking points, their fear-bearing emails and their I'm More Patriotic Than You country songs. It's time that silliness came home to roost.

  • Marko on September 12, 2012 4:56 PM:

    CNN now saying it was a coordinated terrorist attack, not some protest-gone-bad-over-a-movie:


  • Doug on September 12, 2012 7:09 PM:

    These are people who are either severely delusional or severely criminal.
    The severely delusional KNOW, KNOW I TELL YOU!!! that President Obama is the font of all evil and a child could defeat him. Romney is NOT defeating President Obama; therefore Romney is incapable, incompentent and probably in league with the President! Besides that, these people demand, as a validation of their own beliefs, frothing, spit-flecked denunciations 24/7 of President Obama. If not it HAS to because the candidate isn't really trying. Remember: The Cause can't fail, it can only be failed by its' supporters!
    Ok, that's the severely delusional group.
    Limbaugh, Palin, Ingraham, Beck and their ilk know that THEIR influence, and income, depends on the strength of the crazies they can stir up. A second term for President Obama means the number of crazies is on the decline and so is their influence and incomes. We have to think of the egos!!! Besides, haven't both groups gotten to where they are today by screaming, b*tching, threats and tantrums? Why shouldn't it work to get them the Presidency as well?
    In case you were wondering, the criminal group also includes the likes of McConnell, Bachmann, King, etc, but as they're not running for national office they have a better chance of surviving.
    At least for a while...

  • smartalek on September 12, 2012 11:45 PM:

    "I think Willard has just lost the election" -- schtick 9/12/12 12:42 PM

    "From your mouth to God's ear," as my people are fond of putting it.

    "They're already dissecting his loss." -- Lifelong Dem 9/12/12 1:35 PM

    And well they should.
    Intrade's currently showing our President at 64% probable, and Mendacious Mitt & Lyin' Ryan at 37%.
    I know the various wingerz have been fond of saying, of every tiny twist in the road, "Game-changer! Romney's got it fer SURE now!"
    But I really do think this one might just be the thing that gets over half of those few "undecideds" to say, "Naw, that ain't right."

    "I will be the first to cheer when Limbaugh, Ingraham, Palin & Co. launch their brand-spankin' new-and-improved GOP post-Mitt" -- JM917 9/12/12 1:38 PM

    I'm sorry, but you'll be 2nd.
    I've had a nice little sock-puppet account over at FReePerLand for years that I use for just such occasions.
    The crazier my posts, the more they love it.

  • Joel on September 13, 2012 2:14 AM:

    Please let the new party be The Rent Is Too Damn High Party...