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View Diary: The Descent of Republicans (163 comments)

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  •  Parties evolve ( or devolve) (0+ / 0-)

    There was a time when the Democratic Party supported southern conservatism and segregation and republicans were the progressive party.   The solid south was once democratic and just as conservative.  

    Dustbin of history?  Perhaps.
    But only and always perhaps.

    What I find just as disturbing is how my party has changed over the same time period.   But then I care more about this party than the GOP.

    "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

    by Rikon Snow on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:50:03 AM PST

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    •  The GOP is not evolving, it's devolving (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rikon Snow, JerryNA

      If you look at US history we don't see two parties evolving along separate tracks, influencing and being influencing each other but remaining separate. Rather, we see two parties in competition, one of which evolves and the other not, with the latter party splitting or fading away, and its former members forming a new party or joining the other party, which itself eventually splits, to form a new two party system. The Federalists disappeared, its former members either dying of old age, leaving politics, or joining the Jeffersonian Republicans, the latter party eventually splitting over ideology, one part taken over by Jacksonians to become the nucleus of the modern Democratic party, the other to become the Whig party, which itself split over slavery, as did the Democratic party, the pro-slavery part of the Whig party joining the pro-slavery part of Democratic party to remain the Democratic party, and the anti-slavery parts of both forming the Republican party. And so on.

      The modern GOP as currently constructed is politically untenable. It will either disappear, splitting into two new parties, or it will cast off its far-right wing, which will form its own party, doomed to oblivion (unless some massive economic or other catastrophe launches it into power a la Weimar Germany), and remain as a much smaller and less powerful minority party, more moderate than the current GOP, gradually absorbing more conservative elements of the Democratic party as that party become more liberal again, until both parties are on some sort of parity again. But that will likely take a generation or longer.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:02:05 AM PST

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      •  I dunno. We've had " these" two parties (0+ / 0-)

        For the last 150 years thereabouts.   More stability with rapid communications and transport.    Think it very unlikely that either will disappear.   Both parties evolve.  The idea that only one evolves seems shortsighted.

        "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

        by Rikon Snow on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:11:48 AM PST

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        •  How has the GOP evolved since the 50's? (0+ / 0-)

          I see no evidence of such. None. Sure, Nixon did some progressive things like the EPA but that was because he had no choice, and it was just a continuation of Eisenhower's moderate policies. The GOP reached its most evolved state in the 50's and has been going downhill ever since.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:24:05 AM PST

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          •  I just use evolution in the sense of "adaptive (0+ / 0-)

            change."  I don't put a value on the changes.  They are either adaptive or not, successful or not.

            "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

            by Rikon Snow on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:53:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  They're not really parties... (0+ / 0-)

          ...as a European or even a Canadian would understand the word "party".  The Republicans and Democrats are broad coalitions whose constituents have changed over the years. Southern whites and rural evangelicals used to be part of the Democratic coalition; northeastern liberals like Jacob Javits and Nelson Rockefeller were Republicans. During Reconstruction African-Americans were solidly Republican, as hard as that is to imagine today.

          The constraints imposed by the federal Constitution pretty much guarantee there will always be two opposing coalitions in American politics. Whether they were called Federalist and Republican, Democrat and Whig, or Democrat and Republican, they have always been there, and only a major constitutional rewrite will change that, I think. The notion that this or that faction of the Republicans will split and form a third party is unrealistic; such a new party would surely merge back into the Republican coalition  once the futility of its independent efforts became evident, or else it would bring the majority of the old party with it, becoming essentially the Republican party by any other name.

          The core of the Republican coalition has always been big money. Some of its other elements, like evangelicals and working-class whites, have nothing to gain from big money's agenda; by siding with it they are working against their own economic interests. They belong in the Democratic party, if only they understood this. We need to go after them. Think of what we could accomplish if all working-class Americans sided with us against Wall Street.

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