Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Republican base lurches further to the right

With Islamophobia as their current national mobilising tool, the billionaire-funded 'Tea Party' movement has scored a victory, though potentially a pyrrhic victory, in Delaware primaries. The candidate is a genuine loony-tune - the masturbation is a sin, guns are holy sort, my opponents are hiding in my bushes sort of loony-tune.

As Gary Younge reports, the Republican establishment did not want her as the candidate, because the Democrats can beat her. You can see the line coming: Republicans have been taken over by extremists, this is not what America is about. I don't think this is an electoral threat for the time being. I expect that the Democrats will probably win Delaware, and anywhere else that the Tea Partiers claim the Republican nomination. The Democratic base that has been demoralised and insulted by the Obama camp for the last couple of years will probably turn out if there is any chance of some of these racist lunatics taking power.

But it does show how a capitalism in crisis, without a rational alternative clearly available, backed by substantial social forces rooted in the working class, unleashes and amplifies all of the most reactionary and socially regressive elements in society. As Gary Younge puts it, people can't eat hope. With unemployment at historic highs, investment low, banks refusing to lend, foreclosures proceeding apace, the insecurity of the middle classes - for I think you'd find the Tea Partiers are largely middle class white Americans - is becoming poisonous.