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View Diary: The Descent of Republicans (163 comments)

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  •  They're not really parties... (0+ / 0-)

    ...as a European or even a Canadian would understand the word "party".  The Republicans and Democrats are broad coalitions whose constituents have changed over the years. Southern whites and rural evangelicals used to be part of the Democratic coalition; northeastern liberals like Jacob Javits and Nelson Rockefeller were Republicans. During Reconstruction African-Americans were solidly Republican, as hard as that is to imagine today.

    The constraints imposed by the federal Constitution pretty much guarantee there will always be two opposing coalitions in American politics. Whether they were called Federalist and Republican, Democrat and Whig, or Democrat and Republican, they have always been there, and only a major constitutional rewrite will change that, I think. The notion that this or that faction of the Republicans will split and form a third party is unrealistic; such a new party would surely merge back into the Republican coalition  once the futility of its independent efforts became evident, or else it would bring the majority of the old party with it, becoming essentially the Republican party by any other name.

    The core of the Republican coalition has always been big money. Some of its other elements, like evangelicals and working-class whites, have nothing to gain from big money's agenda; by siding with it they are working against their own economic interests. They belong in the Democratic party, if only they understood this. We need to go after them. Think of what we could accomplish if all working-class Americans sided with us against Wall Street.

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