Republicans today are held hostage

January 24, 2013

In recent posts (here and here), I have written about the serious political dilemma facing today's Republican Party. The party's soul has been hijacked by radicals that if unchecked will lead it into the political wilderness for a generation. As I wrote earlier, Republicans are now where Democrats were in the late 1970s, out of synch with the issues and burdened by a shrinking base. In fact, these are the twin demons dragging the party down. Just as Democrats once clung to a narrow issue set that appealed to its shrinking base but had outlived its usefulness for recruiting new voters, Republicans today are held hostage by a diminished conservative, white and male minority.

My musings on the Republican condition are supported by new data. A review of the article confirms just how dire the current political landscape is for the Grand Old Party.

There seem to be three responses to this Republican political trauma. First, some want to simply suppress the Democratic vote or rig the electoral college to off-set Democratic advantages. Second, others want to pursue business-as-usual with small tactical tweaks. Thus, some believe that the Republicans' recent temporary approval of a debt ceiling hike is clever and will put Democrats on the defensive. I doubt that. The Republicans are still in the posture of playing Russian roulette with our national credit rating and economic recovery by continuing to threaten a government shutdown. Third, and most promising one, is hardest to predict. Republicans, as Thomas Edsall points out, need their version of Bill Clinton, a transformational figure who creates a new Republican majority out of the current fractured, bitter and frightened remnant.  

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