Saturday, November 13, 2004

Isaac Can't Read*

Henry surmises that the Republican party is destined to fracture after 2008 in a pool of cross-cutting interests. For example, the socially conservative and the fiscally conservative (libertarian) wings will have trouble finding common ground. This is a nice story to tell, and I'd certainly like to agree. But it is unclear how this argument can be supported. Yes we can play the historical analogy game and compare this moment to the Democrats in 1964, but beside the surface similarites, the underlying historical forces which caused the Democrats to self-destruct do not seem in evidence today.

More broadly, there is an argument around that the Republican Party is too incoherent to survive a loss in its current form. That somehow it is held together by power and that it would fall apart without it. But it is unclear if the Republican Party of the 1990s was any more coherent than the one today. And that Party managed to unite behind a candidate not because he was so inspiring but just because he was, well, someone. While it is pleasant to imagine that a party must maintain ideological consistency and in-touchness with masses, and that the Republicans are doomed because they lack it, this seems too happy of a scenario. Certainly things that can't last won't, but they might last a hell of a lot longer than we want. Drawing a parallel with 1964 puts a far too optimistic spin on the Democrat's current position.

*For maybe I misread Henry's post.

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