No Option

by digby

I don't think anybody who follows the teabaggers closely is surprised by this, but I'm guessing there will be some chatter among the gasbags about this:

On a conference call with reporters just now, Democracy Corps' James Carville, Stan Greenberg and Karl Agne went over their focus group study of Republican base voters and their worldview that President Obama is out to destroy the country -- and the pressure this puts on Republican voters to make no compromises with the Obama administration.

"I don't know if we'll say we were startled," said Carville, "but if you take the position that these Republican voters take, it's easy to see why it leads to this, but they really believe that Obama has a secret agenda here. And our view is this is a dominant view in the Republican Party."

They are truly out of their minds. From the study:

The self-identifying conservative Republicans who make up the base of the Republican Party stand a world apart from the rest of America, according to focus groups conducted by DemocracyCorps. These base Republican voters dislike Barack Obama to be sure – which is not very surprising as base Democrats had few positive things to say about George Bush – but these voters identify themselves as part of a 'mocked' minority with a set of shared beliefs and knowledge, and commitment to oppose Obama that sets them apart from the majority in the country. They believe Obama is ruthlessly advancing a ‘secret agenda’ to bankrupt the United States and dramatically expand government control to an extent nothing short of socialism. While these voters are disdainful of a Republican Party they view to have failed in its mission, they overwhelmingly view a successful Obama presidency as the destruction of this country’s founding principles and are committed to seeing the president fail.

Carville actually seems to be surprised by this which indicates to me that he's been spending too much time in the village. After all, these are supposed to be the "Real Americans," the people to whom everyone is supposed to to defer because they have "Heartland Values" and represent the backbone of Middle America. And it turns out they're a bunch of nuts. Whodda thunk?

But the truth is that counting on Obama's failure isn't just a function of the paranoid fringe (also known as the Republican base.) Just today in the NY Times the GOP poobahs were saying they think obstructing Obama's agenda entirely is good politics:

“I just don’t think that there’s a downside to voting no — I really don’t,” said Vin Weber, a former Republican congressman from Minnesota. “That’s quite aside from whether you should or shouldn’t, or whether the country needs it or doesn’t need it. The basic rule is you rarely pay a price at the polls for being against something.”

Republican incumbents “have far more to lose,” he said, “by having the Republican base conclude that they’re just throwing in the towel and compromising on a big-government agenda.”
So, they're going to do the full Gingrich and count on the country being so sour, angry and depressed that everyone but the freakshow will stay home in 2010.

From the tone of Greenberg and Carville's comments, I'm guessing they are thinking that strategy will rebound badly on the GOP. Perhaps it's because of this:

Agne said that this attitude about Obama among independent voters, especially those who might lean somewhat conservative, is very different. "They harbor doubts, there's no doubt, but they want to see the president succeed, they want to see the country move forward," said Agne.
I don't think the Republicans have much choice here to tell you the truth. Their base is batshit insane and their political establishment is completely discredited due to Bush and Cheney's incompetence. What choice do they have but hope the country is in such deep, deep trouble that they will vote out the Democrats even though they know the Republicans are ... batshit insane and incompetent. It's all they've got.