Will the GOP sink now?

Two recent articles about the state of the GOP worth reading.

High noon for the Republican Party: Why the G.O.P. must die
This is the cover story in Harper's. you 'prolly got to subscribe.

LUKE MITCHELL: We seem today to be involved in a kind of trench war, in which the two sides battle in election after election over just a few inches of ground-say, Ohio and Florida with no real long-term results other than the further degradation of democracy. How did we reach this impasse?

KEVIN BAKER: Well, obviously the two-party system has always had problems. The founders thought the entire notion of having political parties was a bad idea, at least at first. They worried that parties would come to care more about themselves than the state, maybe even invite other countries in, other kings in.

MCCONNELL: Unfortunately, it's not easy to run a republic without some kind of party system. It's inevitable that a nation is going to have different class and sectional interests, and parties allow those factions to channel their disagreements relatively peacefully. This is especially true in a democracy that is, at least in theory, answerable to large groups of people.

KEVIN PHILLIPS: The problem today, though, is entrenchment and atrophy. The Democrats and the Republicans are now among the oldest parties in the world. Their origins bear no relation to much of anything today, and as a result they are mostly interested in the people who give them money.


FOCUS | The Fall of Conservatism
George Packer writes for The New Yorker: "The era of American politics that has been dying before our eyes was born in 1966. That January, a twenty-seven-year-old editorial writer for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat named Patrick Buchanan went to work for Richard Nixon, who was just beginning the most improbable political comeback in American history. Having served as Vice-President in the Eisenhower Administration, Nixon had lost the Presidency by a whisker to John F. Kennedy, in 1960, and had been humiliated in a 1962 bid for the California governorship. But he saw that he could propel himself back to power on the strength of a new feeling among Americans who, appalled by the chaos of the cities, the moral heedlessness of the young, and the insults to national pride in Vietnam, were ready to blame it all on the liberalism of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Right-wing populism was bubbling up from below; it needed to be guided by a leader who understood its resentments because he felt them, too."

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