The end of the Republican party may be all but inevitable, according to Ron Fournier of the National Journal. In his piece titled, Republican Leaders Worry Their Party Could Divide in Two, published on February 14th, he cites inside sources who believe, as they put it, the party is over.
Citing GOP consultant Scott Reed, the feeling is simple:
“The party is irrelevant.”
However, the cause of this malaise for Reed is the antics of Senator Rand Paul, who he predicts will run for president in 2016, splitting the GOP vote by mounting a third-party run. Reed’s viewpoint is incredibly simplistic, and is indicative of the true issue underlying the problem: that the party of rich white men has lost touch with the electorate. Gone is the populism of Eisenhower, the silent majority of Nixon, the new day of Reagan; replaced with funny hats, hateful rhetoric, and an unashamed grab for power.
What Reed, and other party bosses, are ignoring is that in their grab for political power, they attempted to blend together three opposing factors, and the pressure between these groups is about to blow the lid wide open.
These groups are:
- Libertarians vs. social conservatives – Social Conservatives want more government intrusion in to people’s lives, the opposite of the Libertarian government-out mentality.
- Right-wing populists vs. the pro-business crowd – Populists are against the subsidies which the pro-business groups live on, and they are at each others throats.
- Deficit reduction hawks vs. small government activists – Deficit hawks want to reduce the deficit, but a small government cannot manage its deficit due to the lack of revenue. With such opposing demands, it is only a matter of time before they come to blows.
In the recruitment of the radical fringe, what, in ages past, would be the Know-Nothings or the Dixiecrats, the GOP has sown the seeds of its own destruction. Now the party has come to accept it.
But the Democratic party may not be able to take advantage of this, Democratic consultant Doug Sosnik warns in this memo released Tuesday. In it, he points out how Obama’s election machine is not one for the general Democratic Party, although it is showing signs of transitioning, as Obama’s election machine has kept rolling even after the election. He points out how the Democrats have few opportunities to oust Republican members in both houses of congress in 2014. He takes these issues of the GOP and the Democratic Parties’ inabilities to take advantage of it, and finds that the future is incredibly unpredictable.
Will the GOP break up? With the party bosses having resigned themselves to it, seems all but inevitable. The question now is, from where will it come? Will it be the Libertarians, the Constitution, the reborn Whigs; an alliance of factions? Doubtful. Likely where it will come from will be organic, a cult of personality around a central figure, such as Rand Paul, who is charismatic and can tap the populism of his father. An anti-Obama, and the first Republican who can stand on his own without the national party since Ronald Reagan. Now all eyes are on the Senator; will he, or won’t he?
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