Are Republicans Cracking Up?


There’s talk that the Grand Old Party might not live past 2016.

Because contradictions are arising within the party.

There are three primary types of Republicans — and a new emerging group. Here’s a brief outline of each coalition (with some overlap):


Republican establishment: John Kasich Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio

Republican establishment: John Kasich Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio, John Kasich 

Republicans say that what is good for business is good for America. So they are for low taxes, low regulations, low minimum wage, bust unions… And get rid of government programs in order to have low taxes.

And because they are primarily aligned with the wealthy, they are especially concerned that the wealthy have low taxes.

But the majority of Americans aren’t wealthy or business owners. So the GOP must create coalition with other groups:


Ted Cruz, Ben Carson

In the early 80’s Republicans began incorporating conservative Christian views: anti-gay rights, anti-abortion, anti-birth-control… to peel away folks who would normally vote Democratic because of their economic interests.

Ben Carson and Ted Cruz

Ben Carson and Ted Cruz, religious conservatives


Donald Trump

Cultural conservatives feel safer within the status quo — which has historically favored whites, men, straights and Christians. They are leery of cultural change.

Many also like feeling superior to others. So racism and sexism have been used to attract these voters, using the “Southern Strategy.”

Until Donald Trump, racism/sexism were only hinted at. Like this:

Ronald Reagan announced his Presidential run from fairgrounds located a few miles from Philadelphia, Mississippi, where civil rights workers had been murdered. Most people didn’t realize this. But many racists did — and it helped to get their vote.

But Trump blatantly trumpets sexism/racism and defends his “political incorrectness.”


Donald Trump

Racism/sexism helps to peel away people who would normally vote Democratic for economic reasons.


Donald Trump 

For the past 40 years pretty much all of the increase in America’s wealth has gone to the richest 1%.

The workers who help to create profits have been left out of sharing in them.

Many “Establishment” Republicans have used racism/sexism and Christianity to distract cultural and Christian conservatives (the coalitions above) from this fact.

Lately, it hasn’t been working. Among the right-wing working-class, Christians are trending a bit more toward Cruz and the rest are moving to Trump.

This new coalition doesn’t trust “establishment elites.” While they aren’t necessarily racist, many tie their low wages and evaporating jobs to “foreign competition” from Mexican immigrants and China. (Although a number of other things actually help to create their problems, as I’ve discussed.)

Schism in the GOP

The GOP is facing a schism:

Wealthy/Business Elites v. Working Class

“Establishment” wealthy/business elites are for free-trade and immigration (cheap labor) and many want to do away with things like Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, and other parts of the social safety net — in order to support low taxes (especially for themselves). And they keep wages low via union-busting and a low minimum wage.

The “anti-establishment” working-class fears both free-trade and immigration (cheap labor). They want and need higher wages. And they depend upon Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, and other parts of the social safety net.

The Republican establishment is delusional

The Republican establishment doesn’t want to believe that the party is splitting over fundamental differences.

They say the division isn’t about goals. It’s about being drawn to macho, dominating candidates. So if Rubio just acts like a bully, he will draw Trump voters.

Marco tried that. Didn’t work.

So long as the Republican establishment continues to promote wealthy interests at the expense of middle-class and working-class voters, the party may not survive.

Related Posts 

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on March 4, 2016, in politics/class inequality, race/ethnicity, sexism and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 45 Comments.

  1. Marco Rubio, John Kasich would probably be similar to our president Mauricio Macri.
    Our Congress is close to pass a law authorizing the payment to vulture funds…
    Its is a cause which actually lies in Thomas Griesa´s Courts and which had been paralyzed during the previous presidency of Kirchner.
    The new president is in charge since Deember 10th and many drastic neo liberal measures were taken… prices and tariffs have increased and the most favored are always rich people..
    I think american interests are clearly involved, as you can see in this article
    Well then… I just wanted to give you an overall frame of situation ogf how things are here… Because we have always had straight relationships with USA… but when certain politicians do favours we soon enter a phase of so called “carnal relationships”, in which what matters the most are the economic interests… and that is always against most part of the population
    Excellent post, Georgia… thanks for sharing. Aquileana 🙂

    • Thanks for updating us on political life in Argentina. Sad that democracies are being overtaken by oligarchies and so many parts of the world, Including here. 😦

  2. It would be interesting to see what would happen if this party did break apart. Would we be worse off in terms of what might arise in its place?

    • I actually think that a two party system is healthy. Preferably not when one of them is crazy, though.

      And I don’t know to what extent this will be true at the state level. A lot of people still seem to be perfectly fine with Their local member of Congress. So we’ll see.

  3. Where is your source on that? I’d like to take a look at it.

    I was during the debate last week and bernie sanders even said in response to it about how gun sellers could be sued.

    • Well, the likelihood that she would pursue and win on such a law is unlikely.

      And we do need sensible gun laws that the gun lobby is fighting. People should not be allowed to get a gun from any source if they are mentally ill, have a history of domestic violence, Or are terrorists, for instance. They may still be able to get guns on the black market, But why make it easier for them?

      And other issues are far more important to me. The GOP is working hard to

      . Keep the influence of big money in politics — moving us from democracy to plutocracy
      . Make sure workers don’t share in the profits they help to create
      . Redistribute wealth to the top
      . Get women barefoot and pregnant, ending our ability to fulfill our potential
      . Make legal abortion impossible so that many women and girls die trying to get one

  4. Trump isn’t going to help the working class by scapegoating minorities anyway, nor is going to win the general election that way. I don’t remember who said it, but long ago analysts were saying whoever wins the general election is going to need the Hispanic vote to win and Trump has already lost that vote (so has Cruz and I doubt Rubio could get it back either even if he did pull off a miracle. In short, the Democrats are a shoo-in to win no matter who gets the Democratic nomination. Personally, I’m still hoping Bernie Sanders picks up enough delegates in the west to beat Hillary Clinton but I’ll settle for Hillary if she wins (even though she’s a center to center right Democrat and not a progressive.)

    • I like both Democratic candidates. Bernie is closer to my own values and I’m glad that he is moving the conversation to focus on money in politics and these issues:

      . Workers should share in the profits they help to create.
      . The problem of redistributing wealth to the top.

      My number one priority is getting a Democrat in the White House.

      You may be right that a Democrat is a shoe-in, given the demographics. But Trump might attract some white working-class voters who might normally vote Democratic. I suspect that Bernie would be more likely to attract them than Hillary. Because it’s the “non-establishment” theme that attracts them.

      The money in politics is tricky. When you take money it disenchants the (informed) electorate.

      On the one hand, The Democratic candidate shouldn’t unilaterally disarm since so many voters (uninformed electorate) vote based on advertising. And any Democrat will appoint someone to the Supreme Court who will help to get rid of the money in politics. So they might need to take some money short-run to get money out of politics long-run.

      Otherwise, I sure would like to see a woman in the White House!

  5. I believe that this election is leading to the demise of the Republican party. Millennials are identifying as liberals at a significantly higher percentage than past generations. Democrats thus have seen a surge in support from young voters (as noted in the overwhelming millennial support of Bernie Sanders). Aside from this the GOP’s front runner, Donald Trump, is hardly a ‘conservative’ in the first place. His success demonstrates that the Republican party has been distorted and manipulated. As many have cited Ronald Reagan, who is often pictured as the poster boy of the GOP, would have a better chance of winning as a democrat then as a republican in today’s political scene. Regardless of the introspective issues that the GOP faces, there is an overwhelming swing from conservative to liberal stemming from younger generations. Who would have thought that a socialist who does not identify with any religion could have as much support and success as Bernie Sanders has received. Never have candidates as liberal and ‘to the left’ as Hilary and Bernie seen this much success. Younger people care more about the issues of civil rights, women’s rights, systemic inequality, and peaceful foreign relations which are much more in line with the left.

      • There needs to be a party that is for people’s rights and not corporations without stepping onto the toes of the hard working middle people. Both sides seem to hurt us in different ways. The republicans help the rich and help them first and foremost, but sometimes liberals and democrats in trying to help the poor and minorities it causes the middle class or regular person. For example, of liberal things that bother me and why I’m just as skeptical as democrats. I showed you about forcing women to have to deal with transgendered allowed in their bathrooms because well let’s be pc and help people oppressed, the lbgt community.

        Ok that’s fine and dandy but apparently it’s too hard to give them rights without stepping on the toes of women who are an oppressed group and well women just have to deal with it even if they don’t want to because we gotta put them first. It goes from the most oppressed helped out but in a way that hurts the decent average person without compromise. They could have a women/T bathroom including women and Trans, and anotherjust saying woemn for women who want to be not bothed by transmen. Another example. by dbag governor thinks it’s cute to have us, hard working, students trying to work hard, who are burdened by loans and parents spending enough to pay taxes.

        Now it used to be paid by state, but now tax payers have to pay so get this…inmates can get free college/education. Let me get this straight, good people, doing things the right way, not doing crime, students pay a ton of $ for college, let alone loans, but inmates are getting it free? Sure maybe it will help they rehabilitate and get back into society and less overall with tax paying. But the fact of the matter is that something is very backwards. So when I have a kid maybe I should tell my daughter or song who are trying to pay for college, maybe they should throw a way being a hard working, law abiding, decent person and tell them to rob a bank and go to jail and then they can have a free college education right? That’s the liberal, democrat way right? gtfoh. Sorry but screw that shit, it pissed me off, being a former college student, non criminal and thinking of all the other guys I know with student loans and not the career they were hoping to get from degree or not getting it. Sure steps have been made, but until we see the results and things are fixed, that inmate shit needs to be halted. In a perfect world you can try all things at once, but politicans take forever just to handle one thing let alone many. So to me it’s prioritizing, and I’m sorry but good decent people are and should be a priority to fucking rapists, murderers and pedophiles and evil men. I mean I shouldn’t have to reiterate this.

      • Well, I think that Scandinavia is a great role model. The happiest people on earth!

  6. I won’t comment at length here because I dealt with an aspect of the same subject in my post yesterday, but if you want a little comic relief to balance the dead seriousness of the GOP “Cracking Up,” you might want to check out the Stephen Colbert clip in my post:

  7. I do think this is an incredible moment in the political history of the USA. It may be a third party forming and holding a much more conservative (rightist) view, which may allow for the Republican party moving towards the center and attracting Democrats who are logical as well.

    I hate extremism, and wish we had three parties because I am human… I want to belong 🙂

    • Interestingly, the Trump voters are both further left and right.

      He attracts more racists and sexists on the right. But he’s also attracting people who think the government should do more to help average citizens — which is to the left of the Republican Party.

      Interesting times! And a bit frightening, since it’s not clear how this goes.

  8. Actually,if Hillary Clinton gets elected my guess is you will probably see this country burned to the ground and witness the second American revolution of the nation.She would end up putting 2 more liberal judges on the supreme court (which im sure is your wet dream) and then that same liberal activist court would attempt to violate/destroy the 2nd ammendment and eternal hell will break loose…does that scare you ? It should because just as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west this will happen if she/or anyone else tries to restrict guns and thus void the constitution…theres a saying that every so often the tree of freedom needs to be sprinkled with the blood of tyrants and patriots…that day many fear is coming soon although I (like any peace-loving individual) hopes it does not.

    • There is a lot of fear mongering among the right wing.

      I was just listening to young man who has always voted Republican, And hated Obama — and Obamacare — until it saved his life. When he was interviewed about how he understood Obamacare before he needed it he said that he now realizes that he hadn’t thought that deeply about it: Republicans = Good / Democrats = Bad.

      I actually grew up Republican and once had that mentality, myself, so I get it.

      But after reading newspapers and seeing how both sides vote, I started to notice that the Republicans were intent on comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted.

      At first I couldn’t bring myself to register as a Democrat, So I registered as an Independent, But voted Democratic.

      I’ll be writing more on why I’m a Democrat next Friday. But you can take a look at this story of my change:

      No Longer Blinded by the Right

      Here is another person, a former GOP strategist, With a similar story:

      Democrats don’t want to take your guns — the gun industry (which makes money off of gun sales) wants you to think so.

      I am for background checks for terrorists, mental illness, people with a history of domestic violence. And there should be no loopholes — the background checks should hold for all points of sale.

      Of course, the gun industry would lose a lot of sales if they could no longer sell guns to terrorists, the mentally ill, and people with a history of domestic violence.

  9. Democrats are part of the money too. Both political parties are greedy. I think the system is broke, so it’s not tweaking but seems to need an overhaul, of neither democrats or republicans are all in power. I mean the electoral college shows what a sham things are.

    • We must change the system of money in politics. Because if someone stands up and refuses to take money, they will usually get beaten since most people get their political news from campaign ads. And it won’t help to simply change parties because the money interests will still fund them.

      You have to get rid of the money. And a Democratic president is much more likely to make that happen. If you look at Supreme Court rulings, those who were appointed by a Democrat vote for clean elections and those appointed by Republicans vote to increase the power of money in politics — like the Robert’s Court decision on Citizens United.

      • No, both parties are set up for greed. There needs to be something different. Democrat or republican. I feel both want control and to keep status quo. The only difference is the republican party is more upfront with their wants and views or you can see it for what it is better. Whereas, democrats pretend to be more of the regular man and woman, when it’s pandering but not doing any better or more. I was seeing analysts talk about how Clinton and Sanders at debate tonight were “pandering” to black community and flint, and institutional racism, but weren’t really giving any solutions to the problem. Especially hillary clinton.

      • Historically Republicans were the party of the business and wealthy classes while Democrats were the party for the more powerless parts of society. The Democrats have done much more to promote women’s rights, civil rights, LGBTQ Rights, and to support unions. When I work with my Democratic and Republican members of Congress it is much easier to get the Democrats to get on board with things that alleviate poverty and bolster the middle class. It’s like pulling teeth to do the same thing with Republicans.

        I used to be Republican until I started reading the newspaper and seeing how Democrats and Republicans voted. Republicans pretty much always vote in the interests of those who are already doing well, where as Democrats have historically supported The more powerless parts of Society. After seeing how people voted I change from republican to Democrat.

        But monied interests are becoming much more powerful and if you refuse to take money the other side wins. So Democrats are increasingly taking money and increasingly voting in the interest of the more powerful.

        If we get a Republican president, he will appoint people to the Supreme Court who will make money in politics more of a problem. You can tell by the vote on “citizens United.” The Democrats voted for cleaner campaigns whereas the Republicans voted to bolster the power of money in politics. Because that aids the powerful.

  10. Marco had to resort to that, because Jeb Bush took the high road with Trump while he got verbal assaulted by trump the whole way and look where that got him. Rubio held off the whole time until recently, because he probably feels he needs to. People saw Jeb as weak, because he didn’t have comebacks for trump and it hurt him. We need to shake things up, because democrats are tied to wall street just as much. If you have conservatives helpiing the wealthy, you have liberals and democrates wither using helping the poor and non working as a scape goat to tax middle class, when democrats don’t give a shit anymore for the poor either, they just pretend too unlike conservatives. I’m suprised there aren’t more people in between, but maybe polticians or system that’s balanced where the wealthy aren’t helped or helped too much and there’s a good set up for the people who are trying to work hard and help them, but not others who don’t want to work. Because both sides squeeze the middle class and it’s shrinking.

    • I know that Rubio felt like he had to do that. But it didn’t help him much. It might even hurt him because one of his problems is kind of superficial — he looks young, Like a little boy. And the food fight Will not help with that image.

      And while Rubio felt like he had to act like a bully to compete with Trump, it seems to have been a misdiagnosis of the problem.(Since it didn’t help him.) The Republican establishment doesn’t want to admit that if they want to keep working class voters they’re going to have to do something that helps working class voters — stop ignoring and distracting them. The distractions largely aren’t working anymore.

      We need to get money out of politics because it has such a big influence on both Republicans and Democrats. Which is partly why we need a Democrat to change the Supreme Court. The current Supreme Court — when they had a five member majority — voted to keep the moneyed interests intact.

      I meet with members of Congress to talk about things like the earned income tax credit, and the Democrats always get on board but it’s really hard to get Republicans — although they did finally last December. But it’s like pulling teeth with the GOP. I’ve been trying to get the Republican Congress members I work with to see that what’s good for the working class is good for America, And even good for Republicans. Like I brought up the draw Trump holds, and why.

      And you can’t unilaterally disarm. People who don’t take any money tend to end up losing. You really have to work with the system. By which I mean you have to change the system: get big money out of politics!

  11. And what else would they do? Given the economic tensions and demographics with which they are presented, I don’t see what choice they have had. I am always leery of any entrenched establishment whose ideals are at odds with its actions. Speaking of which, the Dems have their own problems this elections cycle, with the establishment “smoke-filled room” candidate duking it out with the integrity platform. This, too, is a kind of schism, threatening to undermine the existing status quo. It’s time for a paradigm shift; hang on folks, things are going to change, though I cannot predict if it’s for the better.

    • I understand the antiestablishment appeal. On both sides I believe it is due to the pull of the legalized Bribery of money in politics which has our leaders aligning more with wealthy interests. But much more so for Republicans than Democrats.

      I work with members of Congress on poverty issues and the Democrats almost always are on our side, but it’s like pulling teeth with the Republicans.

      The Democratic establishment worries that a Republican is more likely to win if a democratic socialist is the nominee. I don’t know whether it would be easier to attack someone with the word “socialist” in his title.

      With so much hanging in the balance — climate change, the Supreme Court and much that Obama has accomplished — I just hope that a Democrat wins. I like both Hillary and Bernie, but Hillary has more experience and I think that she is the most qualified candidate of everyone. Plus, I would love to see a woman in the White House!

      • For me, Hillary is too corporate. Ties to Wall Street, to Big Oil, to Monsanto. I just cannot go there. I’m feeling the Bern.

      • I like them both. And I will work hard for whoever is the nominee.

        We have to get rid of the money in politics problem. If candidates don’t take money they often lose because they don’t get their message out to an electorate that is most likely to get their political news from campaign ads. When people refuse to take the money they tend to get beat. That’s less of a problem with the primaries because it’s the most engaged Who are part of that process.

        When people take the high road and don’t take the money they tend to lose.

        That said people can take money and go against the interests. Teddy Roosevelt took plenty of money and went against the moneyed interests. Barack Obama also took Wall Street money but created laws that went against Wall Street interests, too.

        I just hope that the Democrats don’t divide, leaving us with a GOP president and a conservative Supreme Court that blocks climate change legislation and women’s rights and minority rights and gets rid of the affordable care act, etc. etc.

      • I think you hit on the heart of the problem in this reply. “…an electorate that is most likely to get their political news from campaign ads.” Regardless of what side you are on and regardless of who is right or wrong in these debates we have a disengaged public that makes decisions with their most basic impulses. Campaign ads and sounds bites on both sides are designed to illicit responses from these base emotions like anger or envy. in the end we get the government we deserve.

      • Pretty sad that the American electorate is not better informed.

      • Socialism is not the boogeyman it used to be, especially among people too young to remember the Soviet Union or smart enough to know better. Most people today associate it with Denmark, not the Soviet Union, which doesn’t even exist anymore.

      • Yeah, I know that younger people don’t fear socialism, But they historically have been less likely to vote then older people who were raised during the Cold War.

        I’m actually going to talk about democratic socialism (in part) in Friday’s post. It’s already scheduled.

  12. For the world outside America, it appears very much of an aberration for the GOP to be throwing up a candidate like Trump. The latest media intelligence indicates that a powerful section of the Republicans are ranging against him to scuttle his nomination, indicating possibility of a last-minute surprise. Setting aside these distractions, the only bright aspect in the horizon is that it looks like Hillary is firmly set to etch her place in history as the first lady US President.

    • I am hopeful about Hillary.

      And I think that if the establishment uses a brokered convention to nominate someone other than Trump that so long as his popularity stays high the GOP will alienate many of their voters. So I don’t think it will work for them.

  13. happyfreeconfusedlonelyatthesametime

    I think they all suck 😀

    • I am a Democrat, myself. And maybe you don’t like them either. But I like both Hillary and Bernie – and I’ll be writing more about that later. But a lot of the problems of our political system, left and right, stems from the legalized bribery of big money in politics, which leaves our government representatives aligning more with the interests of the wealthy – just less so for the Democrats.

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