Fox News is finally beginning to pay a price for its intentional misinformation, perpetual outrage, and polarizing rhetoric. Fox's ratings are down significantly, according to Reed Richardson in the 4/26/13 Nation.
Fox still has the best ratings in the cable news biz, but compare its surge to 539,000 prime-time viewers following Obama's 2009 inauguration with its drop to 267,000 average nightly viewers in January 2013. That's a 50% drop in viewers. Viewership is dropping as fast as assault weapons and ammunition are flying off the shelves in gun stores.
Did the drop have anything to do with Fox's rosy pre-election predictions of victory for the GOP? Karl Rove was clearly flabbergasted that Obama won Ohio on the night of the election.
Did Rove know something we didn't know? Was he planning to pull a switcheroo with votes in key Ohio counties? Has he done it before? I read that one of Gov. Mitt Romney's sons bought thousands of voting machines in Ohio. If Rove did intend to steal another election, I read that there are at least strong rumors that Anonymous stopped Rove's computer corrupters cold and kept the ballot count results as they were.
Speaking of Karl Rove, supposedly Karl Rove is trying to rid the Republican Party of whack-jobs like Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, who ran against Sen. Claire McCaskill and lost. Akin's ignorant remarks about how women's reproductive systems "shut down" during and after a "legitimate rape," whatever that means, made him infamous. Women were not amused. Akin lost an election that was his to lose, given McCaskill's ethical problems, just like Mitt Romney.
Karl Rove's antipathy concerning Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King's unfortunate similarities to loser Todd Akin is supposedly motivating King to run against Iowa's 1st District Rep. Bruce Braley for retiring Sen. Tom Harkin's seat. So far, King hasn't had the money or the guts to announce that he's running, but he still could.
Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana said, "We've got to stop being the stupid party."
The GOP had no problem being the stupid party as long as Republicans voted for them. J. David Kuo, a religious fundamentalist who worked in George W. Bush's White House, quickly learned that Bush administration insiders had something less than the deepest respect for the religious right, but they didn't mind using the religious right for political gain.
Disenchanted, David Kuo, the religious fundamentalist who directed an office so close to the center of power, wrote a book about his disillusionment with how Bush/Cheney et al. really felt about folks like him. Certainly, his presence in the White House was obligatory, but insiders not only kept him at a distance but made fun of evangelicals.
I don't think Karl Rove minded the right-wing whack-jobs until they started costing the Republicans elections that were theirs to lose. Rove prefers to win, and he doesn't mind what he has to do to get there.
Can the Republicans, and by extension, Fox News, stop being the stupid party without antagonizing their base? The test case will be immigration reform. Republicans know they lost Latino voters in the last election by huge margins, so they'd like to make a gesture by taking up immigration reform.
Immigration reform is a test case. If the Republicans can't reach out to Latinos on immigration, they may not be flexible enough to attract enough voters beyond the elderly white males they already have.
And why would that be a problem? Because their elderly white male base is literally dying.