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It’s been comments like this one that have got me wondering about the fate of the republican party. With so many loser ideas (virtually on the wrong side of every issues from domestic to foreign policy) what’s it gotta take to stick a fork into this dead elephant?

We have had a political party go belly up in the past, I’m talking about the Whigs. In the early 1800’s the  ascendant political party was the Democrats. The Whigs were the ‘opposition’ party and the republicans were not on the radar. The Whigs got hammered by the democrats in the 1850s because they were wishy washy on slavery. They opposed strong support in the south which pissed off the south and drove pro-slavery folks there to the Democrats.

Although the Whigs opposed strong unilateral support for slavery they still caved into the compromise of 1850 which gave us the horrible fugitive slave law, requiring any lawman to arrest a fugitive or face a $1,000 fine. This pissed off northern whigs, which deserted into the arms of the republican party.

Some links on the whigs:

http://www.jmisc.net/...

http://ap.grolier.com/...

The current situation, I am arguing is worse for Republicans than it was for Whigs. Whigs were on the wrong side on one huge issue and got annihilated for it. Republicans are on the wrong side of every issue that matters to Americans: the economy, housing, health care, terrorism, energy issues, global warming.

Republicans, once the champion of commerce, industrial progress and emancipation, are increasingly marginalized. Their apologists in the media have become increasingly marginalized by their failed policies and autocratic behavior, as well as the ascendancy of netroots.

Blogging will continue to increase in importance as the American people have realized they do prefer to hear the truth over stupid lies. We are tired of the stupidity and wrongheadedness of the republicans and their MSM.

What’s it going to take for the elephant to finally roll over? I believe it will be a number of crises which will occur in the next ten years. As the housing and mortgage industries continue to tank financial markets, peak oil will have huge repercussions causing crises with transportation, food production, medicines and virtually every aspect of post-industrial consumer society.

Throw in a few natural disasters encouraged by global warming and a war or two over energy and we will be ripe for major political change. While we are as an American people an ideological bunch, we are at heart pragmatic and will junk conservative ideology as a completely ineffective means of solving these problems.

I believe we will go back to seeing the Democrats as the dominant party and a new party will emerge to replace republicans. The party will either be centrist or left of the current democratic party. This new party will present pragmatic solutions to real problems which will attract republicans who can’t bring themselves to vote democratic. Republicans will become synonymous with fascism and as popular as Mussolini was at the end of WWII.

Originally posted to RNinOR on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 03:00 PM PDT.

Poll

What Political Party will replace Republicans

13%11 votes
53%44 votes
12%10 votes
6%5 votes
14%12 votes

| 82 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  You have more faith in the American people than I (7+ / 0-)

    The Republican Party of the last forty years existed because it pandered to the fears and prejudices of the American people. Alas, those fears and prejudices aren't going away--they're just temporarily forgotten because the Republicans have basically screwed up everything.

    But the Republican Party, backed by corporate interests, ain't going away any time soon, unfortunately.

    Explore "Brent's Brain" at http://www.brenthartinger.com

    by BrentHartinger on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 03:04:24 PM PDT

  •  I'm not a fan (0+ / 0-)

    of the GOP,but the thought of a one major party system is too communistic for me.  Count me out.

  •  Never count your chickens before they hatch (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mbayrob

    Or, as Mark Twain once said, "The report of my death is an exaggeration."

    When and if the Republican Party in its present form dies, I'll happily dance on its grave, but now is not the time for premature boasting.

    "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars." William Jennings Bryan

    by Navy Vet Terp on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 03:08:38 PM PDT

    •  My point is that the repubs are in worse shape (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      litho

      than the Whigs were. I don't think that's boasting, just observing

    •  Better throw them another anchor (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Navy Vet Terp

      I agree that all in all, it's not that likely that the GOP is going into terminal decline.  But it is possible, depending upon how long the leadership that Gingrich and his allies brought in keep their death grip on the party.

      I'm also not buying that the Compromise of 1850 was necessarily the reason.  You can even argue that opposition of many Whigs (including a young Illinois Congressman named Lincoln) to the Mexican War weakened the party.  The war went well for the US (if not for Native Americans or the Mexicans), and Lincoln and many other Whig politicians were driven from office.

      "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

      by mbayrob on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 04:51:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I diaried on this already; thanks for bring it up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RNinOR

    I didn't get many comments on this, maybe you'll do better.

    here

    Election 2008: YouTube versus feeding tube

    by SeattleDanny on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 03:09:50 PM PDT

  •  RIP - GOP!!! (3+ / 0-)

    There will eventually be another second party, coming out of the ashes that the Republicans are doing their damn best to turn their party into.  We will just have to wait to see what it is.

  •  If the GOP does die off... (5+ / 0-)

    ... it will give rise to at least two parties -- one of the moneyed class, and the other of nativists and fundamentalist paleoconservatives.

    Bush and McCain are suffering from a pre-1215 mindset.

    by droogie6655321 on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 03:12:08 PM PDT

  •  The Libertarian party (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    litho, rmx2630

    is best poised right now to become a major party if the GOP dies, imho.

    The Libs have seen Bush destroy all that is libertarian in their party, and the Dems haven't always shown leadership on those issues with which they can peel off some Libs (FISA, e.g.).

  •  depends on the position of the democratic party (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RNinOR

    if the democratic part moves left, that may provide for the creation of a "center" party and a "far right" party.

    Of course, state laws in the US play a big role in perpetuating two parties, rather than the multiple parties with electoral significance as in a number of other democracies.

  •  I'll play... (3+ / 0-)

    The Republican Party will be replaced by a more socially and fiscally conservative party that will never win elections.  The monied interests will gravitate to the Democratic Party and their uber-capatalist corruption will eventually split the party in the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party and the Plutocratic wing of the Democratic Party.

    It's happening now.

    But the Whigs wre not on the wrong side of the slavery issue, they nominally opposed it which is why they didn't do well in the slave states.  The sellout compromise of 1850 disaffected their base which is why the more appropriate parallel is the Democratic 110th Congress.

  •  when another party emerges (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RNinOR

    I've been saying for a while now that the GOP will die if it doesn't reform.  But the structure of the Constitution inclines us to a two-party system.  These days, to be a Republican, you must believe too many things that are obviously not true.  The cognitive dissonance is making their dwindling numbers crazier and crazier, which is driving more and more folks away.

    Maybe we should call it the "Straight Face Express"...

    by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 03:16:45 PM PDT

  •  It's difficult to muster much enthusiasm (0+ / 0-)

    you know, like in the Soviet Union, where the communists re-emerged as reformers/democrats, etc these scumbags will just repackage themselves.

    A meet the new boss, it's the old boss scenario.

    Unless they get thrown in prison for a good long time (i.e., not slap on the wrist, Liddy-like sentences).

    Somehow, don't see that happening with the Dems still around protecting Republican ass left, right, and center.

  •  The Republican party will come back (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texas Revolutionary

    but it will do so with a new agenda based on a new set of fears. That is the basis of Republicanism. Fear. It is fear of terrorism now but it was fear of communism when I was growing up. It was also fear of others with an emphasis on people of color. The younger generation finds little to attract them in the racial fearmongering. And very little in the fearmongering with regard to gays.

    Abortion is an issue that even diehard republicans recognize is going nowhere.

    But trust the Republican fear machine. They will find a new entity to fear. They will be able to get a new group of small minded people to flock to them.

    Sharing, generosity and caring about others is not the natural state of human beings. That is why the messages of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount is one of the most ignored parts of fundamentalism today. That is why liberalism and the generous impulses behind it are a hard sell to so many. Most are looking for reason why they don't need to be concerned about the plight of those less fortunate. Republicanism and the selfish impulses that guide it will thrive.  

  •  Premature to say they're dead... (0+ / 0-)

    and history doesn't always repeat itself.  

    I think it's way too soon to think that the Republican Party is dying.  Remember, it wasn't all that long ago that the Democratic Party was considered a relic, dying, on its way out the door, pick a euphemism.  The evidence was pretty strong in favor of that viewpoint too.  

    I think the Republicans are going to be a weak party for the next decade, but will be back.  The American public has a habit of yanking the government back to the center, and this is happening now.  Yes, more left of center, but if it goes too "left" and for too long, you'll see happening to the Democrats just what's happening to the Republicans now.

  •  Gave you a rec (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RNinOR

    for the historical reference.  As I recall, it was the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) that finally killed the Whigs.  The Republicans got off the ground at about the same time, becoming the umbrella party for all the anti-slavery factions in the country -- including barnburner Democrats, the more sane Know Nothings, the Free Soilers, and Whigs looking for a new home.

    For my money, though, the Republicans by the end of Reconstruction were really nothing more than a reconstitution of the Whig party.

    If you go a little further back, there was another major party that had self-destructed in American politics, and that would be the Federalists.  They were done in by the Hartford Convention during the War of 1812, when they took a "peace, now" stand at the exact time Democratic politicians were inking a peace treaty on favorable terms and just before Andy Jackson got his big victory over the Brits at the Battle of New Orleans.  Jingoistic politicians played the meme of "who cares if the Brits burned down the White House -- we killed their tails at a frontier outpost in a battle that didn't matter!"

    Ex-Federalists reconstituted as the Whigs around 1832, when they got fed up with Jackson's economic policies -- especially his abolition of paper money and the destruction of the national bank.

    The point is that there is deep historical precedent for party instability on the Republican side of the two-party divide.  The Democrats, on the other hand, are the picture of stability, as our party is the direct institutional descendant of the party founded by Jefferson and Madison in the 1790s.

    Like you, I don't expect the GOP to survive much beyond the next elections.  Depending on how Bob Barr does in November, the Libertarians may wind up well positioned to replace them.

    •  So we have federalists (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Texas Revolutionary

      reincarnated as whigs
      reincarnated as republicans
      to be reincarnated as ? libertarians?

      •  Yep, that's the way I see it n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Texas Revolutionary
      •  Took a while. But if Obama is a Whig... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RNinOR

        In the case of the decline of the Federalists (a better analogy that the Whigs IMNSHO), it took a while.

        The scenario most likely to kill the GOP might look like this: * The GOP becomes a largely regional party (limited mostly the South, as the Federalist were mostly limited to New England). * Obama is elected, and is able both to move the country back to the center, and greatly reduce the hyper-partisanship of the last 30 years. * The Left stays organized and challenges the Obama Democrats from the Social Democratic, pro-Labor left (i.e., the New Left of the 1960s stays good and dead).

        The Whigs were not the direct replacement of the Federalists.  They were Jeffersonians who split from the Democrats 15 or so years later as Jackson made the party more populist.

        So to replace the GOP, essentially Obama would have to take away their political oxygen, and we would have to split off from the Left, leaving the Democrats as a moderately conservative, pro-corporate party.

        "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

        by mbayrob on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 04:59:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  significant difference (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RNinOR

    It think it is important to note the unlike the republicans the whigs were never the party in power (for more than short periods of time anyhow). The republicans of the past few decades best parallel the democrats in the period leading up to the civil war. In the years just prior to 1860 the whigs disintegrated and reformed as the republican party that was able to quickly gain power. The democrats have been able to move into the majority it appears without destroying themselves and reincarnating as a different new party but it does seem as if party is expanding in size and including new demographics that were historically not part of the democratic party.

    Perhaps a better parallel would be the period leading up to 1932. The minority democrats were able to form a new coalition forcing the republicans into the opposition. These new republicans were more moderate in nature and sought more to improve the new deal rather than strongly oppose it. The party later became more conservative in nature from Nixon through Reagan to the present. I suspect a more moderate centrist opposition party will exist in the near future.  Whether this party is called "republican" or something else entirely seems largely unimportant.  I'm not sure that it is important whether a party realignment involves existing parties changing their internal demographics and focus or involves the creation of a new party with a different demographic and focus; the end result seems to be the same.

    •  We're already seeing repubs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scotths

      taking up demo talking points 'change..." Gordon Smith in OR poses as a democrat for 6 months. The difference between now and 1932 is that those repubs were actually moderate and now they are just posing. They will fail because people will eventually call their bullshit.

      •  perhaps they will be forced to become (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RNinOR

        more moderate? If not, perhaps actual moderates will run to replace them? I suspect in many places that will be the only hope they would have of winning an election. If the democrats had a strong majority people might be willing to vote for a good republican as control wouldn't be at stake.

        •  We've been here before. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          scotths

          During the FDR era ('32 to '68), the Republicans were forced to shift leftward if they had any hope of competing on the national stage.  They won exactly two presidential elections during that period, with a candidate (Eisenhower) whose policies would be considered quite liberal by today's standards.  But they didn't disappear.

          The pendulum swings back and forth.  The Republicans may be heading to the political wilderness for a generation -- which, in my opinion, is a well-deserved punishment for their willingness to traffic shamelessly in fear, xenophobia, militarism and greed for political gain.  

          But it would be a mistake to think they're on the verge of extinction.  They will reinvent themselves and remain a loyal opposition (hopefully, a more rational one) capable of competing on a national stage.  And truth be told, that's a healthy outcome for our democracy.  

          Walnuts McSame -- Just like Bush. Only a lot older.

          by That Anonymous Guy on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 04:25:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  People Were Lamenting.... (0+ / 0-)

    the Demise of the Deomcratic Party just four years ago.  Let's not get carried away.

  •  I expect the GOP to come roaring back in 2012 (0+ / 0-)

    Obama is not Jimmy Carter; his successes and failures will be his own. But Obama can't help but preside over 4 years of economic malaise that will make the Carter years seem like a golden age in retrospect.

    The scapegoating of undocumented immigrants is just getting warmed up, my friends. Here in Utah, a 6-term Republican congressman was just trounced in a primary challenge in large part for being only McCain-level nuts on the issue. He was beaten by a noob with little more going for him than being Tancredo-level nuts on the issue.

  •  A real split in the Republican Party (0+ / 0-)

    might prompt a similar split in the Democratic Party. Both parties have populist wings and corporate wings. If the Republican populists split and formed their own party (probably where most of the fundamentalist and anti-immigrant ones would end up) and were competitive with the old Wall Street GOP, the Democratic populists might be emboldened to try the same shtick.

    I expect a lot will depend on how the next 4 years go. If whoever is President (which we're mostly betting will be Obama) proves ineffective and the nation descends into economic chaos, oil shortages and major social unrest, then that type of split is more likely. If Obama becomes the next incarnation of FDR then both parties will probably stay put—the Huckabee Republicans will try to take over their party from within rather than bolting, the Democrats will stand pat with winning hand.

    •  But if Obama is the next Eisenhower (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bablhous

      i.e., governs as moderately conservative (by historical, if not current standards), then the process is:

      * Obama takes off the moderate, and moderate corporate wing out of the GOP, leaving the wingnuts and the Christian Nationalists as the hard kernel of the GOP. * The pro-labor, pro-populist portion of the Democrats work to strengthen themselves (or more exactly, our selves, and * Found a moderate social democratic party, forcing the old Democratic Party to the right

      This is a bit counter intuitive, but I actually think it's fairly likely. Obama is not that far to the left even now, and US politics have a long way to go before the so-called political center catches up with where opinion of the country is.  By historical standards, the Democrats are already a conservative party.

      "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

      by mbayrob on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 05:07:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Eisenhower in his time (0+ / 0-)

        could govern like that because he inherited the edifice of the New Deal and a world where all competing economies were laid to waste by World War II. The Unites States now is reeling from 30-35 years of right wing war on the working person and a situation where it has thrown away much of its manufacturing base and technological leadership chasing after short term profits and unreal financial speculation to fatten the already wealthy, while the rest of the world has been pulling even (or ahead) in the "real economy" sweepstakes.

        Trying to be Eisenhower now would be like being Chernenko in the former Soviet Union: if you're lucky you die before the system completely collapses and you get blamed for hastening its end. The future will be no country for old moderates.

        •  Obama's moderate style may mean he's... moderate (0+ / 0-)

          Beyond the predictable "Obama's the most liberal senator" taunts, I think it's worth asking: would Obama be an activist president, and given the choice between governing in post-partisan fashion and taking on the largely corporate interests he'd need to fight for pushing for the agenda many of us want...

          I'm not sure what he's going to do.  And if the FISA business is any indication, you shouldn't be either.

          And in praise of Eisenhower: he had fairly liberal instincts, and continued the New Deal.

          You're right in saying that the current situation requires radical change.  But you're talking about a very cautious politician who says he doesn't like partisanship, who is surrounded by a very conventional foreign policy shop, and a lot of U of Chicago economists who like Robert Rubin.

          I think he's a centrist, and if he isn't faced with a real crisis that forces his hand (as Lincoln and FDR -- two other very moderate politicans -- did face) he will govern that way.

          "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

          by mbayrob on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 06:06:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Chomsky argued something similar (0+ / 0-)

      That both parties are simply the right and left wings of the 'Money Party', with the Democratic Party aware of the need for bread and circuses in a way the Republican Party is not, but ultimately answering to the same international corporatist masters.

  •  We need a 'Peak Oil Party' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RNinOR

    The American people need to be scared of something real for once.

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