Political Tectonics

Granted this survey was done by Democratic pollsters, but behold, Republicans, on the future of the GOP:

  • While a sizeable majority of voters say Republicans have lost in 2006 and 2008 because they have been “too conservative,” a sizeable plurality of Republicans say, it is because they have “not been conservative enough.”
  • Over three-quarters of Republicans say Palin was good choice, while a majority of the electorate says the opposite.
  • Two-thirds of Republicans say McCain has not been aggressive enough, but a majority of voters think they have been too aggressive.
  • Looking to the future, a large majority of Republicans say the party needs to “move more to the right and back to conservative principles,” while an even larger majority of all voters say, it should move to the “center to win over moderate and independent voters.”
  • Finally, almost 60 percent of Republicans say “if Barack Obama is elected, he will lead the country down the wrong path and Republicans should oppose his plans,” while 70 percent of all voters say they “should give him the benefit of the doubt and help him achieve his plans.”

Who knows how this will play out, but if Obama wins after receiving a number of endorsements from moderate Republicans, it seems we’ll see a schismatic shift in power away from the far-right in general, but a further consolidation of neocon power within the GOP. At least initially, Democrats will embrace traditional conservatives, especially so where ideologies are most amicable (realism/liberal internationalism vs interventionist neoconservatism, for example), but I doubt the relationship will be sustainabile insofar as it might fuel a progressive agenda. Once the honeymoon period wanes, traditional conservaties will likely begin to find much of the progressive agenda dyspeptic, and at the same time, the far right will realize it has to broaden its appeal, and the balance of power will return to something more traditional. What this means for progressives (should Obama win — knock on wood), is that capitalizing on moderate conservative support out of the gate is imperative.

As for America, I’m not sure it means anything as much is it reflects a leftward shift of the middle and the far right’s general incompatability with reality.

(Implied in my argument is that the Democrats will actually pursue a progressive legislative agenda and not merely seek to ossify power on the left by kowtowing to moderate conservatives, which I think would be bad.)


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