Friday, December 10, 2004

Democrats imploding not good for Conservatives

I plan to write more on this topic in the coming weeks but here is just an initial thought. There are two types of approaches to politics: partisanship and ideology. I am in the latter camp and so the crackup of the Democrats is not a good omen for me as a conservative. If you are a partisan, the self-destruction of the opposing party is a Good Thing. It strengthens one's own party as the more sane in the opposition abandon the doomed party and switch to yours. In our current situation, the Dems are moving ever more left, which everyone knows is a path to destruction for them. But they just can't seem to help themselves. As they slowly slip into the quicksand of their own making, Conservatives should not celebrate.

Zell may be the most high profile to do so but there are other prominent Dems who are becoming more openly critical of their own party. Furthermore, many longtime Democrat voters chose Bush this last time around and one has to wonder how far behind it can be before they simply make the move and join the Grand Old Party. Already registered independents outnumber registered Democrats. So this is a good thing for Republican partisans.

But here's the rub for Conservatives. As more and more "moderate" Democrats abandon their party, the GOP leadership feels it must accommodate them to help them make the leap. The Karl Roves of the world, for all their political genius, are not interested in the Conservative ideology but in enlarging the GOP base. This is not a totally Bad Thing except that it is unprincipled (okay, so it is a Bad Thing -ed.). This explains, in part, the leftward migration of the GOP.

One can imagine a day when the Democrat party is entirely controlled by the MoveOn.org types. They already think they own the party and maybe they do. As a result, the rank and file Dems are further alienated from their party and Rove knows this. Rove's goal: bring them in for good by making the tent even bigger.

Any objective observer has to admit that today's Republican party is very close, ideologically, to JFK's Democrat party of 40 years ago. Certainly the GOP has abandoned classic Jeffersonian liberalism that modern Conservatives love so much. Where then, is the conservative party in America of tomorrow? What happens if Rudy or (God forbid) Ahnold is nominated for our party's candidate? My hope is that the GOP will hold to its principles as we need at least one major party in this country that does. However, as the Democrat party goes the way of the Whigs, one has to wonder if we now are seeing the beginning of the end of a conservative leaning GOP.

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