Take a moment to consider what’s become fairly common in GOP circles of late. A sitting Republican congressman and governor have openly speculated about secession. A Senate candidate in Nevada has raised the specter of armed insurrection against the United States government. A Senate candidate in Kentucky has spoken out against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota believes states should be able to ignore federal laws they don’t like. None of these developments have drawn even mild rebukes from the party establishment.
Indeed, the conversations driving the GOP discourse focus around a series of stories — Cordoba House, Prop 8, New Black Panther Party, Shirley Sherrod — that have one thing in common: they’re intended to make white voters afraid of “the other,” whether that be on the basis of religion, race, or sexual orientation.
And if Republican candidates excel in the midterms, the party will believe the American electorate rewarded the GOP for its divisiveness, bigotry, and demagoguery, making it more likely these tactics will be the centerpiece of future campaigns.
The RNC has a “Political Achievements” page on its website, and oddly enough, it touts “Republicans Passed the 14th Amendment” as one of the party’s proudest accomplishments.
The party has come a long way in the last 142 years. That’s not a compliment.