HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Politics 2014 (Forum) » Republican Leaders Worry ...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:58 AM

Republican Leaders Worry Their Party Could Divide in Two


As Rand Paul mulls a presidential campaign, GOP frets over impact of disaffected voters and shifting coalitions. Democrats should worry, too.

By Ron Fournier

Inside the cozy enclaves of GOP bonhomie—hunkered at the tables of see-and-be-seen Washington restaurants—Republican leaders are sourly predicting a party-busting independent presidential bid by a tea-party challenger, like Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in 2016.

To them, the GOP apocalypse looms larger than most realize. Dueling State of the Union rebuttals and Karl Rove’s assault on right-wing candidates are mere symptoms of an existential crisis that is giving the sturdiest Republicans heartburn. And yet, the heart of the matter extends beyond the GOP. My conversations this week with two Republican officials, along with a Democratic strategist's timely memo, reflect a growing school of thought in Washington that social change and a disillusioned electorate threaten the entire two-party system.

Seem like a lot to swallow? Allow me to describe my last few days at work.

Between bites of an $18.95 SteakBurger at the Palm, one of Washington’s premier expense-account restaurants, Republican consultant Scott Reed summed up the state of politics and his beloved GOP. “The party,” he told me, “is irrelevant.” He cited the familiar litany of problems: demographic change, poor candidates, ideological rigidity, deplorable approval ratings, and a rift between social and economic conservatives.

more
http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/republican-leaders-worry-their-party-could-divide-in-two-20130214

12 replies, 1786 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:21 AM

1. ... even though the Republican Party is in free fall

the Democratic Party’s position among the electorate has only marginally benefited from its misfortune,” Sosnik wrote. “The broad sense of alienation leaves a very wide door open for a third party presidential candidate in the future.”.....voters are wary of the leadership pool in U.S. politics. Business or even religious leaders could find traction in future presidential races

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:10 PM

2. That' really sad

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:17 PM

3. They created the tea party monster

Now the monster is going to eat them alive!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 01:36 PM

4. I wish someone could bring down the Koch brothers and their empire.

Them, along with a few just like them, we might be able to start getting some semblance of sanity going.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 01:53 PM

5. Wait a minute. I'm confused about this article.

I don't understand how the Democrats would also be in trouble if the GOP continues to lose support.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jamaal510 (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:03 PM

6. They're implying that this new 3rd party could draw support from Dems, too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pnwmom (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:21 PM

7. I believe we may end up with a 4th party if that happens.

Not just a 3rd. Possibly ending up with a parliamentary type system.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JRLeft (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:07 PM

9. A parliamentary type system would require a radical change in the Constitution.

Possible, but unlikely.

Until then, multiple parties would increase the risk of a small group like the tea baggers leading the country.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jamaal510 (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:55 PM

10. Because it would confirm the GOP message that government can't solve problems?

It seems to be a heads-I-win-tails-you-lose situation. Whether the GOP flourishes or sinks, it still confirms the fundamental GOP talking points. And it leaves the Democrats having to argue that government can solve the country's problems, but only if they get to run it.

That's a tough position to be in.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:39 PM

8. One party for Tweedle Dumb and another for Tweedle Dumber. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:16 PM

11. If this really happens

The question is this: Should liberals like me take advantage of the split and agitate for a fourth party to fill the current vacancy? Or try to move the Democratic Party to the left?

I'm inclined towards the first option, considering the corruption that has taken over in Washington. I'd choose Howard Dean to lead the new party.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:50 PM

12. Any such split would be transient, because of the institutionalized two-party system.

Political commentators love to talk about such high-drama possibilities. It's unrealistic, though. There are two things they never want to talk about:
* primaries
* single-member districts, plurality election

The latter point means that a separate party and candidate in the general election may well pull votes that would otherwise have gone to one of the major-party candidates. The result is that the third party succeeds only in handing the election to the major party that is MORE distasteful to the supporters of the third party.

The first point means that the dissidents, aware of the problems of a third party, have a readily available alternative. They can run in the primary of the major party that is less distasteful to them. If they actually have the widespread popular support that they invariably claim, they'll win many of those primary battles and move the major party in the direction they want.

There were no primaries in the 1850s. Antislavery Whigs, like Abraham Lincoln, had no easy way of influencing their party's ossified leadership, which was treading very lightly on the issue. They broke off and formed the Republican Party.

If the same situation occurred today, they would run in the Whig primaries. There would be a brawl at the Whig National Convention. Lincoln, Fremont, and their allies might be beaten once, but at some point (sooner rather than later) the growing strength of the antislavery forces would overcome the old guard. There would be no new party.

If, by 2016, the Tea Party has the votes to elect Rand Paul or Sarah Palin or someone else on a third-party ticket, then they'll have the votes to get that person the Republican nomination.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread