The Future of the Republican Party


The Daily Beast has a stunning piece from this month profiling the new chairman of the Young Republicans, Audra Shay. Well, in the same week Sarah Palin takes her first stride towards the GOP nomination, the organization dedicated to maintaining the Republican Party’s future relevance has selected this woman as its leader:

Specifically, a thread where one of her friends posts that ‘Obama Bin Lauden [sic] is the new terrorist… Muslim is on there side [sic]… need to take this country back from all of these mad coons… and illegals,” and Shay responds eight minutes later with: ‘You tell em Eric! lol.’

In October 2008, in the wake of news that an effigy of Sarah Palin was being hung outside an affluent Hollywood home as an offensive Halloween decoration, Shay replied, returning to the ‘LOL’ style that she employed after the “coons” comment: ‘What no ‘Obama in a noose? Come on now, its just freedome [sic] of speech, no one in Atlanta would take that wrong! Lol.’

She picked up the thread again the next morning with a clarification and a new insight. ‘Apparently I could not spell last night. I am wondering if the guys with the Palin noose would care if we had a bunch of homosexuals in a noose.

This is an outrage and I CAN NOT believe this nation has him as our leader! It makes me sick!’ She posted a few minutes later: ‘My disdain for Obama is directly proportionate for his disdain of this country.’

I was truly at a loss after reading the entire piece. With such a large proportion of American identifying as politically independent, it’s absolutely stupefying to watch the GOP’s agenda increasingly articulated by such paranoid, angry and, frankly, hateful people with a greater interest in culture wars than policy.

There’s something truly bizarre about the insularity of this segment of the GOP and their vision for the future. 71% of first time voters supported Obama, as did 66% of voters under 30. Even 54% of white voters under 30 supported Obama. How do Shay and the YR delegates who selected her envision the future? Do they expect a wide proportion of these voters to suddenly become aware of President Obama’s distinctly treasonous attitudes? Do they anticipate patriotism, homosexuality and race to eclipse the economy, Iraq and Health Care as the major electoral issues? As Mike Murphy said in his infamous open mic incident blasting McCain’s VP choice, “It’s like how you win a Texas race—just run it up.”

Even after almost six months of an Obama presidency, the Republican base has maintained a strategy of adolescent name-calling, homophobia, and unmitigated anger in lieu of any contributions to 2009’s myriad problems. From what I can tell, this is not an organized opposition to a set of policies or ideas, per se, but a reaction to the perceived erosion of our values and the elevation of their values. In other words, this is an expression of Shay’s, and her cohorts’, demographic decline—a vacuous exhortation of anger towards the more well educated suburbanites emerging as a larger majority. If you’re wondering why nobody with an ample pedigree or a refined world view has emerged within the Republican Party, it’s because they are the enemy. Good luck in Iowa, Mitt.

And now the Young Republicans will have a chairman who seems to believe President Obama openly exhibits disdain for the United States of America; and this is after he was elected with a decidedly strong majority of Americans, especially under 30. Say what you want about the beliefs Shay and her likeminded friends espouse, but they are utterly detached from the problems and values that shape the United States today.


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