For about the first time ever, I have encountered an article on Huffington Post which is actually intelligent and informative. Among the ranting and propaganda, Ryan Grim offers a very interesting report on a study by Democratic Party researchers led by party strategist Stan Greenberg which has discovered that the GOP Base is driven by "bizarre ideology, not racism."
The researchers went into the in-depth phone survey of Republican voters expecting to document a deep undercurrent of racism among tea party protesters and anti-Obama activists. Instead, they were shocked to find that even among Republican voters in the Deep South race was apparently not an issue in their opposition to the administration. What they found instead was dissatisfaction with the failures of their own party and a strong conviction that the Obama administration is rapidly taking America down the road to socialism.
On a conference call about the survey James Carville pointed out that the Republican base is not interested in compromise, saying "They want more opposition. If you don't wanna get primary-ed, there's nothing in this that tells [GOP politicians] to go compromise on anything. Quite the contrary." He also pointed out "If there was any kind of a racial element, we thought we'd pick it up. We didn't." The report concluded:
"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."
These partisan researchers were clearly not only surprised by the results, but didn't entirely understand them. What Grim describes as a "bizarre ideology," and the Democrats dismiss as obstructionism driven by Fox News, should be taken much more seriously. The resurgence of the Republican base and opposition to current Democratic policies is about much more than partisanship. There is a deep-seated dissatisfaction with the direction in which the country has been going for decades, and Obama just happens to be in office at the time when people have finally gotten fed up and decided to take the future of the country back into their own hands.