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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 08:35 pm (UTC)
The demographics several years ago worked for Democrats: the new generation was more liberal than the old one. Does it work for Republicans now? I do not think so.

Republicans bet their farm on the old constipated white males listening to Rush. It is an excellent choice if you want to sell Viagra; less so if you want to sell ideas.

I could see the new voters going to change the balance then. I do not see the new generation voting Republican any time soon.
May. 7th, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
What do you think of McCain's daughter? (Megan?) From recent public GOP speakers she seemed to be the only one not afraid to butt heads with Rush...
May. 8th, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)
I am not sure I should think anything about her (yet?).
May. 7th, 2009 11:48 pm (UTC)
Ron Paul?
May. 8th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC)
I do not think John Birch society can attract any young people. Ron Paul was a keynote speaker at their 50 anniversary and stated that he had no disagreements with them on major issues (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/22/magazine/22Paul-t.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print)

It is not just that Ron's friends are repulsive; they are ultimately uncool. I see no future for him in the emergent demographics.

Edited at 2009-05-08 01:59 am (UTC)
May. 8th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC)
I'm fairly certain that's exactly what was being said back then with parties reversed: that the new generation is growing to be more conservative than the previous one, that now with more blogs, etc., the liberal media doesn't have an advantage and more and more people are getting "fair" information and are turning to republican party, etc.

I vividly remember arbat explaining to me exactly why the democrat party is dead :)
May. 8th, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC)
I have no idea where does arbat takes his data from. Here is the data about young voters preferences from Pew: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/813/gen-dems. Look at the chart: in 2004 Dems had 51:40 advantage in party identification. What "conservative generation" we are talking about?! Right now the split is 58:33. The last time Republicans got such advantage among young voters was Reagan's election. Let us face it: since George H. W. Bush Dems consistently overpoll GOP in this demographics.

There was an interesting article about young voters here: http://www.pollster.com/blogs/young_voters_gop_and_race.php. It discusses a number of bad choices made by Republicans in last years. Basically they sacrificed long term strategy for short term advantages.

I would be happy if this proves to be wrong: we need a viable conservative option for the health of the country. However right now I do not see how GOP can overcome several decades of stupid tricks.
May. 8th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
we need a viable conservative option for the health of the country

Absolutely! И я уверена, что оно есть (типа, у Давида Брукса) и оно проявится, когда пройдёт истерика. Вот окончится история с Алом Франкеном, они оплачут свои потери и вернутся к реальности. И с тем же Спектором наладят контакты, и к синим псам начнут подъезжать, а в итоге сыграют свою жизненноважную роль тормозов.



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