Quote of the Day 2

“Both Rick Santorum and James Dobson, the former deity of Focus on the Family, had endorsed Sanford’s opponent. If the religious right can’t beat Mark Sanford in a Republican primary in South Carolina, can it win anywhere?”

Frank Rich on former SC Gov. Mark Sanford’s primary run-off victory Tuesday night for his old House seat.

Frank Rich on the Right’s Move to the Right

Frank Rich, in an interview with David Daley at Salon.com:

“Whether he’s reelected or not, I think the party, the radical, conservative, right-wing party, is going to keep moving to the right.  Keep getting rid of dissidents, purging dissidents.  To liberals, something like the Richard Mourdock thing is, “Oh my god, this is the end of the Republican Party,’ but, no.  A lot of Republican powers that be circled back to Todd Akin once the spotlight was off of him.  That is the party.  For liberals to have the illusion that it’s going to change, or that they’re going to learn a lesson if Romney loses, is to make the same mistake liberals always make.

“If Obama wins, they’re going to say — I can already read the stories — ‘If only we had found a true conservative.’  Now they couldn’t find a true conservative who wouldn’t frighten children.  All they could come up with was Michele Bachmann, Santorum, Herman Cain, Gingrich, but the next go-round they’ll have Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan and others.  That’s the way the party is going to go.  They’ll say as much as they said of McCain, ‘He didn’t really represent us.’

“The other thing that’s going to happen is:  unbelievable rage at Obama.  We’re going to see the rage of fanatics and spin keep ratcheting it up.  The position has been — and this even by relatively establishment people like Peggy Noonan, George Will — ‘He’s an incompetent.  Americans can’t stand him.  They think he’s a nice guy but he’s in over his head.  This is an historic chance to end this collectivist presidency.’  Because underlying so much of this, in my view, is race, they’re going to be furious.  They really felt they could knock him off easily.

“So when that fails, they’re going to be very angry.  They’ll be angry at Romney, but they’ll forget about Romney in two minutes.  They’re really going to be angry at Obama because they can’t believe that this collectivist black man has, in their view, bamboozled the American public once again.”

Must Read from Frank Rich on the GOP and Women

Frank Rich has an excellent article, “Stag Party,” in New York Magazine, available at nymag.com.  He writes about not only the GOP’s current war on women, but also the history going back to the Nixon Administration, after years of Republicans supporting women’s rights.   Some excerpts:

“At the very top of the Washington GOP Establishment, however, there was a dawning recognition that a grave danger had arisen — not to women, but to their own brand.  A month of noisy Republican intrusion into women’s health and sex organs, amplified by the megaphone of Limbaugh’s aria, was a potentially apocalyptic combination for an election year.  No one expressed this fear more nakedly than Peggy Noonan …on ABC’s This Week.  After duly calling out Rush for being ‘crude, rude, even piggish,’ she added:  ‘But what he said was also destructive.  It confused the issue.  It played into this trope that the Republicans have a war on women.  No, they don’t, but he made it look that way.’

“Note that she found Limbaugh ‘destructive’ not because he was harming women but because he was harming her party.  But the problem wasn’t that Limbaugh confused the issue.  His real transgression was that he had given away the GOP game….  That’s why his behavior resonated with and angered so many Americans who otherwise might have tuned out his rant as just another sloppy helping of his aging shtick.  It’s precisely because there is a Republican war on women that he hit a nerve.  And surely no one knows that better than Noonan, a foot soldier in some of the war’s early battles well before Rush became a phenomenon.

“GOP apologists like Noonan are hoping now that Limbaugh and Limbaugh alone will remain the issue — a useful big fat idiot whom Republicans can scapegoat for all the right’s misogynistic sins and use as a club to smack down piggish liberal media stars.  The hope is that he will change the subject of the conversation altogether, from a Republican war on  women to, as Noonan now frames it, the bipartisan ‘coarsening of discourse in public life.’  That’s a side issue, if not a red herring.  Coarse and destructive as sexist invective is — whether deployed by Limbaugh or liberals — it is nonetheless policies and laws that inflict the most insidious and serious casualties in the war on women.  It’s Republicans in power, not radio talk-show hosts or comedians or cable-news anchors, who try and too often succeed at enacting punitive measured aimed at more than half the population.  The war on women is rightly named because those who are waging it do real harm to real women with their actions, not words.”