Re­fusal to adapt dooms GOP to join Mayans in ex­tinc­tion

Austin American-Statesman - - BALANCED VIEWS - From the left Mon­day Tues­day Wed­nes­day Thurs­day Dowd writes forthe New York Times. Fri­day Satur­day Sun­day


col­lege room­mates and I used to gro­cery shop and cook to­gether. The only food we seemed to agree on was corn, so we ate a lot of corn.

My mom would pe­ri­od­i­cally call to warn me in a dire tone, “Do you know why the In­cas are ex­tinct?”

Her maize haz­ing left me with a deeply in­grained fear of be­ing part of a civ­i­liza­tion that was obliv­i­ously en­gag­ing in be­hav­ior that would lead to its ex­tinc­tion.

Too bad the Repub­li­can Party didn’t have my mom to keep it on its toes. Then it might not have gone all Apoca­lypto on us — be­com­ing the first civ­i­liza­tion in mod­ern his­tory to spi­ral the way of the In­cas, Aztecs and Mayans.

The Mayans were right, as it turns out, when they pre­dicted the world would end in 2012. It was just a se­lect world: the GOP uni­verse of ar­ro­gant, up­tight, en­ti­tled, bossy, ret­ro­gres­sive white guys.

Just an­other van­ish­ing tribe that fought the cul­tural and de­mo­graphic tides of his­tory.

Some­day, it will be the sub­ject of a Na­tional Ge­o­graphic spe­cial, or a Mel Gib­son movie, where ar­chae­ol­o­gists piece to­gether who the lost tribe was, where it came from and what hap­pened to it. The ex­perts will sift through the ru­ins of the Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary, Dick Cheney’s shot­gun cas­ings, Orca poll mon­i­tor­ing hi­ero­glyph­ics, rem­nants of tri­umphal rants by Dick Mor­ris on Fox News, faded pho­tos of Clint East­wood and an empty chair and scraps of an­cient tape in which a tall, stiff man gnashes his teeth about the 47 per­cent of moochers and the “gifts” they got.

In­stead of small­pox, plagues, drought and con­quis­ta­dors, the Repub­li­can de­cline will be traced to a stub­born re­fusal to adapt to a world where poor peo­ple and sick peo­ple and black peo­ple and brown peo­ple and fe­male peo­ple and gay peo­ple count.

As his­to­rian Will Du­rant ob­served, “A great civ­i­liza­tion is not con­quered from with­out un­til it has de­stroyed it­self from within.”

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s vic­tory mar­gin is ex­pand­ing, as more votes are counted. He didn’t just beat Mitt Rom­ney; he’s still beat­ing him. But an­other sign of the old guard’s de­nial came Fri­day, a month af­ter the elec­tion, when the Rom­ney cam­paign ebul­liently an­nounced that it raised $85.9 mil­lion in the fi­nal weeks of the cam­paign, mak­ing its fundrais­ing ef­fort “the most suc­cess­ful in Repub­li­can Party his­tory.”

Scot Le­high

Paul Krug­man

Dana Milbank

Mau­reen Dowd

Why is the Rom­ney cam­paign still boast­ing? You can’t cel­e­brate at a funeral. Go away and learn how to crunch data on the In­ter­net.

Out­side the Repub­li­can walled king­dom of de­nial and delu­sion, ev­ery­one else could see that the once clever and ruth­less party was be­hav­ing in an ob­tuse and out­moded way that spelled doom.

The GOP put up a can­di­date that no one liked or un­der­stood and ran a cam­paign that no one liked or un­der­stood — a cam­paign an­i­mated by the idea that in­do­lent, grasp­ing serfs must be kept down, even if it meant cre­at­ing bar­ri­ers to let­ting them vote.

Although Stu­art Stevens, the Rom­ney strate­gist, now claims that Mitt “cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion of mil­lions” and ran “with a nat­u­ral grace,” there was very lit­tle chance that the awk­ward gazil­lion­aire was ever go­ing to be pres­i­dent. Yet Repub­li­cans are gob­s­macked by their loss, grasp­ing at straws like Hur­ri­cane Sandy as an ex­cuse.

Some GOP House mem­bers con­tinue to try to wres­tle the pres­i­dent over the fis­cal cliff. Rom­ney wan­ders in a daze. And his cam­paign ad­vis­ers con­tinue to ex­press as­ton­ish­ment that a dis­as­trous cam­paign, con­ven­tion and can­di­date, as well as a lack of fa­mil­iar­ity with what Stevens dis­mis­sively calls “whiz-bang turnout tech­nolo­gies,” could pos­si­bly lead to de­feat.

Who would ever have thought blacks would get out and sup­port the first black pres­i­dent? Who would ever have thought women would shy away from the party of transvagi­nal probes? Who would ever have thought gays would work against a party that treated them as im­moral and sub­hu­man? Who would have ever thought young peo­ple would desert a party that ig­nored sci­ence and hec­tored on so­cial is­sues? Who would ever have thought Lati­nos would scorn a party that ex­pected them to fin­ish up their chores and self-de­port?

Repub­li­cans know they’re in trou­ble when W. emerges as the mo­ral voice of the party. The former pres­i­dent lec­tured the GOP about be­ing more “benev­o­lent” to­ward im­mi­grants.

Repub­li­cans act as shell-shocked as the South­ern gen­try over­run by Yan­kee car­pet­bag­gers in “Gone with the Wind.” His­tory will no doubt record that Repub­li­cans were fi­nally wiped from the earth in 2016 when the re­lent­less, rested Con­quis­ta­dora Hil­lary marched in, Gen­eral Bill on a horse be­hind her, and fin­ished them off.

Gail Collins

John Young

Leonard Pitts

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