Friday, January 06, 2006

The Impending GOP Split

I haven't written anything political in a while, and I'm pretty ok with that. The next couple years might get pretty interesting though—the most interesting part to watch will be how divisively the Republicans split. The primary decisive factor will be the 2008 presidential nominee. There are some folks for whom the cultural right just will not vote, even against Hillary Clinton. The other factor is the undeniably hypocritical coziness of many Republicans with the insider D.C. power/money elites, which could devastatingly deflate and drive away the idealistic segment of the base. The WSJ is hitting the rampage on the current Abramoff scandal, and I applaud them.

Today's "Review and Outlook" is great, including the following:
More broadly, however, the Abramoff scandal wouldn't resonate nearly as much with the public if it didn't fit a GOP pattern of becoming cozy with Beltway mores. The party that swept to power on term limits, spending restraint and reform has become the party of incumbency, 6,371 highway-bill "earmarks," and K Street. And it's no defense to say that Democrats would do the same. Of course Democrats would, but then they've always claimed to be the party of government. If that's what voters want, they'll choose the real thing.
. . .
Republicans won't escape voter anger by writing new rules but only by returning to their self-professed principles. Gradually since 1994 they've decided they want to reform and limit government less than they want to use government to entrench their own power, and in the case of the Abramoffs to get rich doing so. If Speaker Dennis Hastert, interim Majority Leader Roy Blunt and other GOP leaders are too insulated to realize this, then Republicans need new leaders, and right away.
Peggy Noonan was also pretty good yesterday.

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