Thursday, January 22, 2009

Useless Flailing

Oliver Willis:

Right now, at this moment, those of us on the left should enjoy the complete and utter impotence of the conservative right in America. The White House, House, and Senate are all Democratic. The Republican party doesn’t even have a leader as a victorious Howard Dean passed the torch to Tim Kaine (remember when they told us Dean would be a disaster?). The conservative media - Rush, Hannity, Fox, Wall Street Journal, and of course Drudge - are utterly unable to do anything more damaging than useless flailing.

It’s not going to last long. Unlike the premature triumphalism of the right after 2004, you don’t hear much talk of historical realignment in favor of the Democrats. Now, demographically it’s possible - the Republican party seems intent on keeping itself the party of white southern males, which is their perogative but as our current president shows that group is now a part of the American coalition and no longer its leader by default. In all likelihood the Republicans will find their voice again and win elections once more. I hope it isn’t any time soon, but I’m not going to pretend it ain’t happening.

In a broader scheme of "what's good for the country," it probably should happen. And I wouldn't rule out an ideological realignment of voters either. But two parties checking the power of the opposition through elections and partisan policy battles promotes progress much more than one without a challenge (Utah being the best example right now). But when a party loses it's voice, part of the penance is a few years in the woods. If I were a Republican activist right now, I would accept the reality rather than belligerently claim the opposite is true, and I would do what I could to help my party reclaim a direction that actually speaks to people and their needs, rather than cling to a dying ideology.

We'll see if it happens.

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