Will the GOP Implode in November?
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As I listened to former President Bill Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention I agreed with almost everything he said. I had to remind myself that this was the guy whose corrupt regime gutted the old banking laws (like Glass-Steagall). That act led directly to the financial markets implosion of 2007-2008. Sure, if Clinton had not done it, President W. Bush would have anyway, but the point is that for all his rhetoric, it was Clinton who deregulated the banks, not a Republican president.
Still, I am an it-takes-a-village guy more than an I-created-myself-out-of-nothing guy. I'll vote for the Green Party candidate, Doctor Jill Stein, in November. I will be voting in California, which the Romney-Ryan (RR) team is not even contesting. The only way President Obama won't win California is if it (or at least the coastal cities) sinks into the sea before election day.
I think there is a good chance the GOP (Grand Old Party) of Lincoln will implode in November despite polls showing RR still in the race. I base that on talking to business people, the usual Republican Party leaders, and observing their comments in the media.
Business people, like wage workers and even like welfare bums, come in a vast array of flavors. Some work on their own without employees, some manage vast global organizations. In addition to owners, many managers consider themselves business people, not just employees. Many are Democrats, some are apolitical, but a majority are Republicans. The question I have to raise here is, what type of Republican are they?
The national Chamber of Commerce seems to have been sipping too much Tea lately, resulting in numerous news stories quoting businessmen quoting the Chamber party line with the fervor of a Stalinist tarred by a rival as a Trotskyite being walked to the bloody wall. They aren't hiring, and it's because of President Obama. They don't like ObamaCare with its provisions for employee healthcare. They don't like regulations. They actually could hire people, may even need to hire people, but not unless the nation has the good sense to elect RR. They are not using the term, but they are on an employer strike. They are not kidding. It is one of the main reasons hiring has been slow this year.
On the other hand, many businesses have been hiring. Which means a lot of businessmen are not participating in this (illegal conspiracy of a) strike. It is not just Democrats who run businesses who are hiring.
Some business people actually put profits above partisan politics. If hiring someone before November is going to enable them to serve more customers, and make more money, they are going to do it. They are not against RR. They might even think they will do better under an RR regime. But they are not going to pass up a dollar in the meanwhile.
Then there are the smarter, more complex business people. They know that not everyone can run their business serving the rich and famous. Most business in America serves the middle class of better-paid wage workers, lower-level management, and smaller, marginal business owners. Given the vast numbers of minimum-wage, part-time, and unemployed workers as well as the seniors living on Social Security and, yes, about 4 million welfare bums (more if you include SSI), there are even a lot of businesses that get most or a substantial part of their revenues and profits from serving the lower class.
These business people know through experience that the world is a complex place. They are often moderate Republicans, and they know that destroying the safety net means a hard landing for their businesses. They see the food stamps come into there stores every day. They are landlords who see rent from seniors and welfare mothers and the unemployed. They may even be government contractors.
They are scared of RR and the faction of ideological Republicans RR represents, but they do not want to talk about it, at least not at Chamber of Commerce meetings. They just went through a recession, and they understand all too well how Wall Street screwed them. They may not like regulations, but ask them and you will find that federal regulations don't affect many of them very much, it is local regulations like building codes and health and safety codes that drive them crazy.
Many of them are politically astute, too. They have seen the Tea Party ravage the older, willing to compromise to get things done Republican politicians. They suspect this ultra-ideological victory within the Republican Party could just be setting up a big Democratic Party victory in November. If there is a Republican Party victory, they are worried, really worried, that it could be: BAD FOR BUSINESS.
The fact is that while the Republicans had a good run in the 1920's, the world has changed. Dialing back the clock will probably be an economic disaster. The Democrats have done a much better job handling the economy for the last century. Republicans are the party of microeconomics, but they (the ideological free market, Ayn Rand guys) fail to see that macroeconomics is a whole different game, as different as checkers and chess. Bill Clinton, for all his faults, is a macroeconomics type of guy. RR are microeconomics guys.
If I were hiring someone to manage my scant investments, I'd hire RR. But to run a national, indeed a global economy, the Clinton-Obama team is the clear choice. Not just for me, but for all of us business people. We could do better, but only by stepping outside the current two-party system.
Hopefully, after an Obama victory in 2012, moderates will fight to regain control of the Republican Party by 2014. If they don't, the Republican Party will just get smaller and purer. When it gets too small and too pure it will lose its gravy train, and then it will disappear like the Whig Party before it.
Disclaimer: William P. Meyers is a self-employed consultant and analyst.
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