Rush and Steele make great water cooler gossip. What optics! Their exchange also offers a more revealing glimpse on contemporary American politics. To wit, the current health of the host-parasite dynamic between the Republican Party as organizational identity and the Movement exemplified by Rush through default.
We’ve all together here in our cozy family discussed this parasitic relationship for some time. What’s changed? All can see, even Entertainment Tonight. The Republican Party host is seen in public doing the walk of shame home. Or twitch on camera as an enfeebled desiccated husk, drained and discarded. The parasite, while chagrined and reduced, is remarkably vibrant still. Movement activists of all stripes note with wonder the new reserves of energy tapped from fury and no longer constrained destructive impulses.
Dear Readers you’ve all observed here before how the Republican Party began its eclipse as a separate and viable entity in 1994 until reaching its current nadir. So objectively one has to concede the truth of what Rush says: Steele does head the hundred plus faceless nobodies that elected him through exhaustion recently. Rush’s also correct that it’s now an almost entirely irrelevant position.
Obama in November extinguished any Republican Party hopes to exist without the Movement parasite for the foreseeable future. Moderates and independents who once might have voted Republican are so far firmly in Obama’s suprisingly centrist camp. As the NYT piece on Newt reported, Newt’s own view was that Obama’s inaugural address was the ideal Republican message and it and he should be studied and supported. As long as Obama governs in this fashion, the Republican Party — and Michael Steele – have only one option: subordination to Movement parasitism.
Eventually the Movement will find an actual political actor as its front. Defeat is too recent, anger too blinding for that process now. CPAC straw polls are meaningless. That individual will lead by default the expiring host as well. Steele is not even a footnote.
David Brooks et al. also are irrelevant. He’s largely viewed as a Neocon and effete Other – someone who pals around with Mark Shields, PBS and the NYT. That’s about the trifecta of communism right there. Movement people might now and then point to a Brooks thing for validation but if Brooks changed his last name to Gergen no one would care or notice.
Oddly, almost everyone wins in the current political alignment. Obama has an ideal foil to placate his Left. Rush keeps his demo in the current ad market collapse. Movement elected officials are amazed their base is so energized, fired up. Re-election is simple and clear cut. Career Republican Party institutionalists are the only losers. They’re a lonely bunch and Tom Davis’ fate awaits in due course. They lost the war for their future over a decade ago. The Movement just isn’t going to be down following Michael Steele bringin’ da noize, bringin’ da funk into the urban.
From a politcal science point of view, it would be interesting to see the Republican Party as an independent entity choose to reclaim itself from the Movement. A new beginning charting its own destiny, returning to liberal democracy with a constructive alternative to Obama. Derisively one could think Bob Michels. There are more dynamic, growth-oriented alternative outcomes. The enfeebled host would start from scratch. Build their own ground game. Identify and nurture cadres. Create new fund raising networks. Be on guard for infiltration. Accept initial defeats as antes in the game. And try to remember the time when the host controlled the parasite.
We don’t count on it. Neither should you.