The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, May 09, 2005

The sane Republican's predicament: the Democratic analogy

Cliff Notes version: the old line Republicans, of whatever persuasion, are to the Christian Right what Northern Democrats were to their Southern colleagues in the Jim Crow era.

That is, their association is a necessary evil: without the Christian Right, they have no chance of power, however circumscribed. And what's the point of being a politician if you have no chance of power?

One might even argue that the sane wing of the GOP is in a worse position than, say, Hubert Humphrey arriving in the Senate in 1949, or, after re-election, in 1955: at least, from his viewpoint, there was a measure of sanity to be found in the elected branches as a whole (with Truman and Eisenhower in the top job and a substantial number of moderate Republicans in Congress).

These days, between the filibuster-obsessed Dems and the the Christian Right's Congressional machine, there's not much sanity around!


Previous Republican strains I can identify are:
  1. Western insurgents (of the LaFollette-Hiram Johnson stripe) - now almost wholly subsumed in the Democratic Party;

  2. Taft wing - hardly distinguishable once their USPs disappeared: their isolationism became moot and their anti-Communism embraced to the voters' satisfaction by the Democrats under Kennedy and Johnson;

  3. Yankees (who were Republican for the same reason that Southerners were Democrats: history) are still identifiable, but represent a dying breed.

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