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An interesting article in "Time"

An one party rule is bad: it corrupts the country and the party in power. The quesiton is, can the current Republican party be an effective check on Democrats? The recent Time article by Michael Grunwald seems to answer this question negatively.

The article refutes the Democratic canard that Republicans have no ideas. Republicans actually have plenty of ideas. The problem is, these ideas cannot win a majority. An important example is the GOP alternative budget. Besides being a p.r. disaster (setting the release of numbers on April 1 was a real gaffe), it was too radical for the huge majority of Ameircans: It's a radical document, making Bush's tax cuts permanent while adding about $3 trillion in new tax cuts skewed toward the rich. It would replace almost all the stimulus — including tax cuts for workers as well as spending on schools, infrastructure and clean energy — with a capital gains–tax holiday for investors. Oh, and it would shrink the budget by replacing Medicare with vouchers, turning Medicaid into block grants, means-testing Social Security and freezing everything else except defense and veterans' spending for five years, putting programs for food safety, financial regulation, flu vaccines and every other sacred government cow on the potential chopping block.

The author describes the "death spiral", known in the control theory as positive feedback: when GOP becomes more radical, centrists like 200,000 PA voters including Sen. Specter leave the party. The remaining true believers make the party even more radical, causing even more moderates flee. This might be ok of Rush Limbaugh: he is here for money, and his audience pays. However, party is different from a sect, and wacos never have a chance to become a political force. Rush would be happy to become a clone of Rev. Moon; is this a palatable future for other GOP leaders?

It seems GOP might be on the verge of extinction. Maybe a schism in the Democratic party is the way to return to a two-party system.


May. 7th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)

4-5 years ago many thought that the Democratic party was on the verge of extinction and look where we are now.
May. 7th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
I do not remeber positive feedback like the one described above.
May. 7th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
Easy: people who depend on governmental spending tend to vote for Dem => more votes for Dem => they feel the country supports even more governmental spending, and create more dependants => more votes for Dem
May. 7th, 2009 05:23 pm (UTC)

Positive feedback is merely a theory (interesting one, though). The republicans' problem now is that they are too far to the right, while the problem with the democrats a few years ago was that they lacked coherency. In that sense it is different, I agree.
May. 7th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
Exactly. It all depends on how their internal squabbles resolve in the next year or so. If "Rush and Co." win, then GOP will indeed go into the death spiral for at least another election or two. If some new faces/ideas win (say that daughter of McCain, what's her name), then they may easily come back.
May. 7th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
момент после выборов -
естественный для отхода партии от центра.
Как только замаячит шанс на власть, самые разультраправые республиканцы
задрейфуют к центру.
Вопрос к знатокам: центральная печать типа Тайма в обозримом прошлом
тоже предрекала радикализацию проигравшей партии вплоть до полной маргинализации?
May. 11th, 2009 06:00 am (UTC)
Brought to you by the Iraq debacle and the economy debacle.

Dems did not win - Repubs lost.



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