Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Obsolete republicans

So says Jack Cafferty.

In a post on CNN, he writes:

Republican Congressman Tom Davis of Virginia said it best: "The Republican brand is in the trash can. If we were dog food, they would take us off the shelf."

It is so bad that more than 10 percent of the Republican members of the United States Senate aren't even bothering to attend their own party's convention. They recognize dog food when they see it.

Could this be "the beginning of the end of the Republican Party as we know it"?

And if so, why?

Some reasons:

It's more than symbolic that when a million Americans are losing their homes to foreclosure, the Republican candidate for president has lost track of his holdings.

That's the same problem the Republican Party has. It has lost track of what it used to stand for: small government, a disciplined fiscal policy, integrity.

In a way, the perfect storm of a rapidly changing population -- old white people aren't going to be in the majority very much longer (and isn't that who most of the Republicans are?) -- has combined with the total abdication of principles, Republican or otherwise, of arguably the worst president in the nation's history

And it almost doesn't matter who the next president is. We are witnessing the beginnings of a sea change in this country.

A wakeup call has sounded for young people who are suddenly interested enough in politics to make a difference. New voter registrations across the country are making a mockery of the old polling models.

Voter turnout in the primaries was staggering. Blacks and Hispanics feel they have a real stake in things -- and as their numbers continue to grow as a percentage of the population, their voice will only get louder. The march of the next generation is underway and the older generation has no choice but to eventually get out of the way.

Could this be a moment of significant change? The US has had a two party system for basically its entire existence (Washington was the only president elected as an independent, though he seemed to agree with the Federalist party). Curiously, many of the founding fathers were opposed to political parties, including Washington and Jefferson themselves (Jefferson supported the Democratic-Republican Party in an effort to counteract the potential influence of the Federalists, whose positions he opposed). The system has been transformed several times, giving us Republicans and Democrats in the 1850s. Reagan swept the country to the right in the 1980s after it was swept to the left in the 1960s. And if it does change, will the Republicans go away? Or will they refashion themselves? How? Their principles of small government and fiscal responsibility generally sound nice, though they haven't been practiced since...........
As I wrote earlier, the federal debt has grown astronomically under Republican administrations. The government may not have grown, but the scope of what the government can do seems to have done so. Its influence in the economy is still large, even if it's not directly involved in it (spending provided to contractors, etc.).

It'll be interesting to see if Cafferty is right. Maybe the US will even wind up with a true left wing party.

Another advantage: if the Republican brand disappears, so do Rush and Ann Coulter.

No comments: