Friday, August 04, 2006

More thoughts on "nutroots"

To follow up on my previous post on the Kossacks, "netroots", and the "progressive" attempt to take over the Democratic party:

What is it with these blogger "nutroots" cranks and their lunatic ranting, with CAPITALS and rude, incoherent insults, etc., not to speak of denial-of-service attacks and personal threats? (See this important article by Lanny Davis here.) Doesn't it say something very disturbing about them that, unable to defeat any Republicans, they turn on a vulnerable Democrat like Lieberman? As Instapundit puts it, it's like seventh grade out there. Any sensible person would run away from them at this point: you're not their friend --- they have no friends. Certain Democratic politicians are now pandering to them, because of their intense activism and willingness to open their checkbooks. But that doesn't change the reality: they're a small fringe (generously, five or eight percent of voters), and handing the party over to them is total folly. The Democrats need to be rebuilding their much larger center and pick up where second-term Clintonism left off. The fringe is moving in, because the center has collapsed. It will probably be 2012 before the party can be put back on its feet.

A future post will discuss the evolution (or devolution) of American politics. But here's a preview.

The "nutroots"-Kossack episode is a harbinger of a dark future for the Democratic Party. For six years, Democrats and liberals have had a free ride attacking Bush, weak candidate and marginally competent president. (For all the talk of Bush as "cowboy," this weakness is the real reason for the impeachment talk.) After 2006, Bush will effectively be out of the picture, and Republican losses will be probably be minimal in any case. The Dems are poised to turn on each other again, this time from a much shakier position than a generation ago. OTOH, the Republicans, free of the Bush albatross, will be in a much stronger position in the presidential race and closer than ever to stable majority dominance of all branches and levels of government. The 2010 census and congressional/electoral college reapportionment loom even worse for the Dems: Texas, Florida, and other Rep-dominated states will gain share; while New York and, for the first time ever, California will lose.

The big question for Republicans is whether they can form a successful electoral and governing coalition from a party fractured into three major pieces: populists, conservatives, and liberals -- and fight off a potential Perot-style third party. Recall that Perot denied Bush Sr. reelection and made Clinton president. Of this, more anon.

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