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I have spent a lot of time reading about history, and it seems to me that we might be at a historic moment in history.  I don't mean this decade, or this year.  I mean this week, maybe this day, right now people are talking about something which is happening which will lead to the Republican party completely falling apart.

It's an unusual thing for a political party to die, but it is not impossible, nor is it unprecedented.  At one time the Federalist party was one of the two political parties that ran things in this country.  How often do you hear about them now?

Edited:  I originally tried to post this article a week ago but had issues with the Daily Kos interface.  I still find the post to be relevant.

The Federalist party swept to power in 1798.  They attained their victory because France had attacked our ships abroad while it was locked in a struggle with Britain for dominance, and they decided that we should not be allowed to trade with Britain.  The Federalists promoted conflict with France at a time when we were hardly a superpower.

Soon the Federalists had raised a provisional army as well as a heavy tax to pay for it, and then passed the Alien and Sedition acts, a law that gave jail terms to "any false, scandalous, and malicious" statement against the government or its officials. Twenty-five Republican editors of newspapers were prosecuted for disagreeing with the government.  Ten of them were convicted and received both stiff fines and jail terms.

Thomas Jefferson was enraged by the direct assaults on the Bill of Rights which this law represented.  He had previously talked of retiring to his home in Virginia, but he chose to run for President instead.  His opponent Alexander Hamilton was attacked in the press for being a monarchist who had turned his back on the republican, and Jefferson was assaulted for being an atheist.

At the time, the Federalists were dominated by a group of arch-conservatives called the "Ultras."  Today, we would likely call them neoconservatives.  Though there was little chance of France attacking us at home, nonetheless they used fears of foreign powers to assault the constitution and commence a massive military buildup.  Fascism or movement in that direction usually occurs because of fear more than a desire for conquest, at least on the part of the population at large.  The people riding the wave produced by that fear can, of course, ride that wave in any direction they choose.

Though Hamilton had campaigned on defending the United States from France, it wasn't long before he spoke in public of leading his freshly raised army on expeditions of conquest into Spanish held Florida and Louisiana, or even into Central and South America.

The nation was still young, and the ways that elections would be run hadn't been fully settled yet.  For instance, two candidates were put on the ballot, either of whom could be elected President.  The constitution held that the 138 members of the Electoral College cast two votes for President.  If the vote was tied, or no majority was held, then the House of Representatives "shall chuse by Ballot one of them for President."  

Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr each received exactly 73 votes.  This resulted in a dangerous situation as both men who ran on the same ticket for President competed with one another.  Finally James Bayard, the lone congressman from Delaware settled the matter when he abstained and gave the victory to Jefferson.

Three years later, Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel.  

In time, Federalists became totally unelectable.  After Jefferson came to power, it was possible to speak ill of them in the press and the actions taken by the Federalists came to be disfavored by the entire population to the point that they simply could not be elected any more.

This week, John Boehner attempted to retain his own power by floating a deal that he knew the President would not sign, and the Senate would not sign.  It was a proposal sent out for effect, even though the nation needed him to be realistic.  His own party refused to go along with it, which signals a challenge to Speaker Jim Boehner's position in the near future.  It also quite possibly may be one of the final events to the Republicans no longer being a viable political party.

It's been coming for awhile now, as business minded Republicans struggled with people elected by uneducated idiots who think the greatest threat today is people with dark skin, a conflict they set into motion when they courted their vote.

I don't claim to have a crystal ball that shows me the future, but I think it's possible that in the coming years, the Republican party will split apart and simply become useless.  That doesn't mean that the rich will lose power, they never do, but it may give us an opening that we need to fix what is going wrong now.

I hope that is true, because we need it.  Today we fight over scraps when what is needed is an entire meal, and two parties meeting in the middle will never arrive at it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence then knowledge. Charles Darwin

    by martianexpatriate on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:08:00 AM PST

  •  Interesting diary. Thanks. (6+ / 0-)

    Might want to change "by" to "be" in your title and "Jim" to "John" in your last but four paragraph.

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:13:07 AM PST

  •  Your title needs to be changed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, Wendys Wink, notrouble

    from "by dying" to 'be dying." and the speaker's name is John Boehner not Jim.

    Otherwise thoughtful diary!

    In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

    by vcmvo2 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:13:25 AM PST

    •  And if it is, it probably could be rejuvenated (5+ / 0-)

      by a good dose of stem cell therapy.

      Except they don't believe in that, oops!!

      •  They do believe in it. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Smoh, radarlady, mookins

        They believe in it as much as they believe in a woman's right to decide the course of her life; as much as they believe in rational rules and limitations over Wall Street; as much as they believe in working for the best interests of this country.

        Honesty, integrity, veracity - they know these things well - as things to avoid and ignore, lest they be forced to change their ideas and ideals.

        Rampant, uncontrolled TeaBuggerism is merely a symptom. The Joe Walshes, Steve Kings, and Michele Bachmanns are symptomatic of a deep, troubling rift within the GOP. Since the selection of Newt the Grinch, the GOP has systematically removed moderates and free thinkers from its ranks. Sometimes with threats, more often with subterfuge and deceit, backstabbing and sabotage. What they have remaining is the distilled essence of idiocy trumping rational thought.

        TeaBuggers are not merely the artificial creation of Koch & Company, sowing great riches in an effort  to create  a (ahem) groundswell movement. There is a segment of the population that admires willful ignorance, disdains education or excellence in one's field (unless it is corporate rape-based financing like Bain's), and would rather rely on 1800 year old fairy tales, which themselves were stolen, then mistranslated from ancient tribes long gone, and often forgotten.

        Teabuggers are like a canker sore on the face of politics. The more clearly wrong they are, the louder they shout and demand that their, and only their position is correct. Their lack of knowledge about history, economics, science in general, even the social sciences (or arts) is celebrated and admired from within. I know that America had its Know Nothing party during Lincoln's era, but I had no clue that our own version would come along and take the GOP hostage.  

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:58:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Excellent comment. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus

          I am uncomfortable with the word "teabuggers".  It seems to demean more than one group.

          Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

          by Smoh on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:26:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  here is the platform from 1855 (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            radarlady, mookins

            Severe limits on immigration, especially from Catholic countries.
            Restricting political office to native-born Americans of English and/or Scottish lineage and Protestant persuasion.
            Mandating a wait of 21 years before an immigrant could gain citizenship.
            Restricting public school teacher positions to Protestants.
            Mandating daily Bible readings in public schools.
            Restricting the sale of liquor.
            Restricting the use of languages other than English.

            Heck, most of that could be part of today's TeaBuggered idiots.

            as for your contention that more than one group could be offended, my intention is deliberate. The Tea (fill in the blank) are dangerous, willfully ignorant, historically unread, economically unsound, politically naive and idiotic, and did I mention dangerous?

            What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

            by agnostic on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:01:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Won't happen. The Republicans are like proverbial (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheGreatLeapForward, mightymouse

    cockroaches. For every one you see, thousands are hiding. Now, if you say that the Republican party will become a minute party, instead of a minor party, that I will believe.

    So, there you have it, but whadda ya got?

    by Wendys Wink on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:15:07 AM PST

    •  Policy drift or political realignment? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      agnostic

      Eliminating the Department of Education used to be a Republican party platform plank.  They don't say that that openly anymore, only the Libertarians do.

      I truly do think that the Republican coalition (Rich + Religious + Racist) is breaking up.  What replaces it is an interesting question.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:54:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They chain their minds to each other. All we have (0+ / 0-)

      to do is change the mind of the line leader, the rest will follow.

      They are not like cockroaches, they are like dominoes.  Take out the tipping domino.

      Best to find out where their ideas come from, rather than try to reason with them.

    •  please: not cockroaches (0+ / 0-)

      I'm all for hurling insults at the Republicans, but to use the term "cockroaches" is to recall the Rwanda genocide, when the Hutus prepped their vigilantes to murder Tutsis by calling them "cockroaches." We should never go there.

  •  Federalists to power in 1798? (6+ / 0-)

    Two years after John Adams was elected president in 1796?

    Jefferson against Hamilton in 1800?  That's funny, because the election of 1800 between Adams and Jefferson is widely considered one of the most vituperative in history.

    And an essay purportedly about the Federalist collapse that doesn't even mention the Hartford Convention of 1814?

    You may have an interesting argument about parallels between the current GOP and the old Federalist party, but the glaring errors of fact up front in your essay made it virtually impossible to read.  I'd recommend a little more time with those history books you like to read.

    When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

    by litho on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:24:25 AM PST

  •  Pound a stake in their hearts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aseth

    Maybe then I'll believe it.

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:28:11 AM PST

  •  if in fact the R party is dying (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dogs are fuzzy

    and does split in two withe business minded portion becoming essentially neutered from power, they will just move over and buy willing Democrats and then we'll have a new dynamic.  That part of the Democratic Party already exists, but if the R party splits apart or in fact no longer can be a national power, then we'll see essentially the same thing happen in the Democratic Party, if we're not already seeing it.  The power-hungry willing prostitutes of the rich and powerful (Occupy's 1%) vs the progressive-values New Deal adherents.  People who value progressive policies will be left behind by that Democratic Party if/when that happens and will need to be willing to support a new party that will arise.

  •  The Republican Party, especially the TP wing, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, aseth, mathGuyNTulsa

    still has a strong grip on local and state power and large amounts of money from rich assholes. The resulting gerrymandering by Republican state legislatures is why there will continue to be a Rethug majority in the House for at least a couple of more cycles. We have to work twice as hard as we did this year to turn some of the upcoming races to Dem victories. First up is making sure Cuccinelli and his associated thugs get  nowhere near executive power in Virginia in the 2013 race for governor. And that will just be a warm-up for 2014.

    You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

    by yellowdog on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:42:41 AM PST

    •  Both My Parents Are Republicans (0+ / 0-)

      and on a national level they don't vote that way anymore. Last two elections they've come to us!!!!!!

      But locally not so much. However I voted for a Republican the other election where I live, cause well the guy just rocks and get things done.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:49:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  John Boehner has one of the (0+ / 0-)

    safest seats in the country, except when he actually is in the House of Representatives, where it feels like Eric Cantor wants to be Speaker.

    The GOP controls the House but Boehner, well, not so much.  Boehner is predictably conservative but the Bagger group in the House are off the wall.  It doesn't look to me as if Boehner is quite at the control panel.  The whiff of mutiny wafts from the starboard side.  

    I don't know if Cantor (or someone else) has the votes to depose Boehner.  Maybe those votes are there.  Dumping Boehner will intensify opposition to the President's initiatives on all fronts, but it may also clarify the danger the extremist Republicans actually represent to the republic.  

    It would be a fine thing if voters in red districts would accept responsibility for sending representatives to Washington who want to dismantle the federal government.

  •  It's probably dying, but, like the president, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bisbonian

    the democrats are working on filling the void.  Thus leaving the left with nothing in a two party system except for a handful of politicians in government and a whole lot of lipservice.

    Obama: self-described moderate Republican

    by The Dead Man on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:52:21 AM PST

  •  HA! Not until they go nova. Just wait and see. (0+ / 0-)

    We'll see violence and murder in the streets by conservatives before the Republican party "goes down" for the last time. That will be it's undoing - at the hands of fanatic tea bagger extremists. Then we can mop up the whole bunch of them for once and for all.

    Send conservatives to FilthyLiberal.com for re-education.

    by filthyLiberalDOTcom on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:07:57 AM PST

  •  Indeed, the Republicans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    can only get less powerful, due to changing demographics and their own extremism. They may become a regional party. But I don't see them "dying," or ceasing to be an influence on national politics.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:22:11 AM PST

  •  If the Republicanparty is dying, then (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    perhaps they had better do so and decrease the surplus population of obstructive wingnut politicians!

    Private health insurance: a protection racket without the protection.

    by rustypatina on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:22:30 AM PST

  •  Suggestion: 'historic moment in history.' (0+ / 0-)

    perhaps...

    a pivotal moment in history
    a turning point in history

    History may be replete with turning points, but all of history is full of historic moments whether they are critical or not and whether they are import enough to remember.

    :)

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:41:31 AM PST

  •  Not creating enough angry white men (0+ / 0-)

    Demographics mean they will keep losing elections. This won't bother the fanatics with Alamo fantasies.

    It will, however, change the thinking of any rich donor who cares about getting value for his money.

    The result will be a GOP without either wide electoral support or money.

  •  unfortunately...they're like cockroaches... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the Republican Party is abjectly corrupt, incompetent and anti-democratic. Their policies are despised by most Americans on most issues. Their methods are even more repulsive to most Americans.

    And yet...like cockroaches...they just seem to be everywhere...and when you start stomping them out...they crop up elsewhere...in new forms.

    Republicans have guaranteed that they will be competitive in national elections for the foreseeable future...by ensuring they have access to massive quantities of money.
    They have completely prostituted themselves to the filthy rich elites--from big business to big oil...to the point that they know that, no matter what they do or say, those elites will continue to keep them alive by funneling massive quantities of money to them. And...thanks to five of the most corrupt Supreme Court Injustices in American history (Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Sam Alito, William Kennedy & John Roberts, in their Citizens United ruling/abomination/in-kind-contribution to the Republican Party), Republicans now have it better than ever before---financially speaking---being able to count on unlimited amounts of secret corporate cash in order to continue to perform their political acts of prostitution on behalf of the filthy rich elites.

    Yours is a nice theory; and, if it weren't for the money, Republicans would have ceased to exist as a political party a long time ago. Unfortunately, my guess is that they can count on enough money going forward to simply purchase their way into contention (you know...much like Mittch-A-Sketch Romney, one of the most incompetent, least likeable candidates (even to Republicans)...who was simply able to purchase himself to the nomination and then purchase himself into contention...with massive quantities of money.)) (Just imagine what a half-way competent Republican might be able to achieve with access to the same amount of money...under the right circumstances they could...literally...simply purchase their way to office; in fact...that appears to be the Republicans' strategy for every office...to simply purchase the office whenever possible.)

  •  Sands are shifting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    Whether or not you believe that the Republican Party is literally dying, the public opinion sand does seem to be shifting rapidly under the party's feet.

    Opinion has shifted dramatically on marriage equality and immigration, republicans are on the defensive on taxes and guns, and--he says hopefully--there are some signs of life on climate policy in the after math of Sandy.

    The political apparatus that they've erected for themselves--well-fundred pressure groups and a power base centered in the extreme right--put them in a policy box from which Houdini would have trouble escaping.

  •  If it is, it's taking longer at it than (0+ / 0-)

    Eisenstein's Ivan...

    The last time the Republicans were this radical, they were working to elect former slaves to Congress. What a difference a century and a half makes!

    by jayjaybear on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:31:45 AM PST

  •  The Texas Republican Party Platform (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevanlove

    Have you read it?  It runs to 21 pages and is a very scary document.  Google it.  It explains why the Republican Party is in its final days (can't happen soon enough for me).

  •  Probably not. (0+ / 0-)

    The current GOP is like a bunch of Zombies - even dead, they would still rampage around destroying things, not realizing how dead they are.

    And we were talking 4 years about how the GOP was dying, and look what happened in 2010.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:28:17 PM PST

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