A GOP “Crackup”?: No Way, Says Mr. Barone

This possibility has been aired repeatedly in the blogosphere, often by small-government libertarians who are frustrated by Bush being to willing to spend and to give the Federal Government new things to do. While this is a concern, the realistic question is always: Would the other guys be worse? I don’t think there is any reasonable basis to doubt the answer. Small-l libertarians need to sell their “small government” vision to more voters. Of course, an abstract commitment to “smaller government” is a weak force to put into play against, say, the General Mining Law of 1872, which is a gargantuan giveaway to the mining industry. They will fight to the death to preserve it. It would be literal death to many businesses if it went away. Getting people to say the words, “smaller government” is a very different thing from getting people to agree to specific cuts which will impact them, their communities, their states. Meanwhile, many on the religious right, of which I consider myself a member, have their problems with President Bush. Additionally, Jacksonian America has had just about enough of our open border with Mexico and damn well wants that problem solved. But these kinds of intra-group struggles and factional grumbling are the usual and necessary consequence of being a majority party composed of a coalition of disparate factions. A unitary mindset, meaning that there is an ideological litmus test for inclusion, is a sure sign of a party of losers, who repel potential voters.

The always brilliant Michael Barone has the hard numbers. RTWT. “[W]hen you’re talking political numbers, you should remember that some numbers are harder than others. And the hardest numbers in politics are election results.” Barone notes that Bush’s performance shows that far more Democratic Senators and Congressmen are at risk than the other way around. In other words, the Republicans are operating from a position of strength. Barone’s presentation is entirely convincing.

No crack-up is imminent.

3 thoughts on “A GOP “Crackup”?: No Way, Says Mr. Barone”

  1. It could be that part of the republicans problem is the far religious right. I know many of the religious right who are not fanatics but Delay and his ilk scare hell out of some of us small l libertarians.

    We voted for Bush not once but twice not because we liked him but because we didn’t like the alternative. And we also realize that without our vote and the votes of the non-religious swing voters Bush wouldn’t be in office. Consequently, we expect our voices to be heard both by the administration and by congress. We may be small in numbers, maybe less than ten percent but without us the party will be losers.

    The irony is that we don’t want a whole lot. Fiscal sanity, strong defense, and civil liberties doesn’t seem like a whole lot to ask for and it would appear that a majority would agree on these issues. But it is apparent that they do not.

    I do agree that taking some positive acion to cease the flow of illegal immigration would help pacify many of us. At least that is a starting point. Another place to start would be the republican majority in the house and senate banding together and stopping the pork. As the honorable Senator Dirkson said many years ago about a million here and a million there adding up to real money–

    The recent congressional and admistrative envolvement and attempts to override state and federal court decisions in the Terri Schiavo case was the last straw for a lot of us. We are going to continue to support the republican party but not the religious right wing. Our funds will go to local and state republican candidates that are not of the religious right wing. We are for the most part conservatives but we also believe in civil liberty and that the far religious right is as dangerous as the quasi socialist left wing. We will be heard, maybe not next year or even in 2008. But eventually we will be heard. Even it is when we tell the people we told you so.

  2. GUYK,

    Isn’t supportting the religious right “culturally” analogous to supportting Bush and Republicans “politcally”? In both cases we look around and see alternatives that aren’t as productive and viable.

    The religious right, to say the least for it, offers a mostly coherent, consistent plan for practical, successful, healthy life for those that choose it. They offer structure and they are civil. And, importantly, the rest of us can depend upon them. They aren’t perfect but what’s the alternative…goodtime charlies?

  3. Also, GuyK, these people are NOT going to go away. I know. I’m one of them. We members of the religious ultra-right are citizens who are free to vote and to try as best we can to influence policy in ways we think are good. This is exactly the same thing everybody else does. So even if you think Tyouth’s portrait is wrong, even if you think that people like myself who go to church and vote are a bunch of violent neanderthals, throwbacks to a more primitive time before intelligent, modern people like you came along, you have a problem. We are your neighbors. We are your fellow citizens. You have to find a way to get along with us.

    We’re here, we are the religious right, get used to it.

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