The Republicans’ Strategery

Paul Waldman, Republicans have a strategy to take back power. Here’s why it could fail.

The author maintains that the strategy has three components:

  • “Step 1: Obstruct the Biden agenda”
  • “Step 2: Suppress the vote” and
  • “Step 3: Motivate the GOP base by going full Trumpist”

and writes several paragraphs on each of the three topics, illustrating his thesis that the said tactic “could fail.” I will not comment further on his reasoning—please read his piece yourself, if you are interested—but will instead make some related points.

Who are these “Republicans” of Whom Mr. Waldman Speaks?

In essence, they are Mitch McConnell and his dozen closest friends. As distinguished from Republican donors or Republican Party officials or Republican voters in general.

What Does “Take Back Power” Mean in this Context?

It means “restore the old Republican coalition.” It means turning back the clock to those golden days of yesteryear, when plutocrat-supported candidates won elections, in many parts of the country, by dog whistling subtle racist messages for the Good Old Boys. 

Are These Three Tactics, Considered Together, Best Described as a “Strategy”?

No, they are not. They are best described as a course of action dictated by desperation.

Will the Three-Part Plan Work Without Support from the Republican Business Donor Class?

I very much doubt it. Consider this. There will be Republican primaries for the Senate in 2022 in Arizona, Georgia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. In each and every one of those states, the almost certain result of the primary will be the nomination of a candidate who is, number one, a lunatic; and number two, a guaranteed loser in a statewide race.

Will the Republican business donor class cheerfully get on those four bandwagons?

I think not.

Two Conclusions

  1. It is important to call things by their right names. A course of conduct motivated by desperation is a course of conduct motivated by desperation, not the strategy of a reasonable person.
  2. If a thing cannot be done, then that thing will not be done. If no one can put Humpty Dumpty back together again, then it follows that Mitch McConnell is not going to be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.