Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.

  • Mood:

Bowling with Nixon

Lost in the noise and fireworks last night, was this small news item:
CNN calls CT-4 for Democrat James Himes. Republican Christopher Shays represented the Connecticut suburbs of New York City as New England's lone Republican congressman.
Northeast liberal Republicans, who once roamed the land in great herds, are today in danger of extinction. Several were knocked off in 2006, including some in my own Pennsylvania, and it appears that after tonight, no Republican congressmen are left in the entire New England area. An era that started during the Civil War, has now passed into history.

The geographical center of the Republican Party has been shifting south and west, closer to the geographic center of the country, and away from the coastal population centers. Likewise, its base has been drifting, too. Once that base was small businessmen and farmers. They wanted limited government, fiscal responsibility, and non-interventionist foreign policy.

Nowadays, the Republican base seems driven more by religious and cultural issues -- abortion, creationism/intelligent design, resistance to gun control. Its economics is often suspiciously populist. See: Huckabee, Pawlenty, and even (gulp!) Palin. Even McCain. To have a Republican presidential candidate who talks about 'obscene profits' and a vice-presidential candidate who condemns 'greed' is eerie.

The Republican party, from around 1970 through 1990, was a coalition of economic libertarians, religious values conservatives, budget hawks, and foreign policy hawks. They were held together by a fervent opposition to Communism. With the fall of Russian communism around 1990, that bond ruptured, and centrifugal force is tearing the Grand Old Party apart.

The part with the most energy seems to be the religious conservatives. I don't think there are enough of them to win national elections, but they are the core of what's left of my party. I have little in common with them.

I'm not seeing any place for me, in either party.

My guy lost yesterday. My party's womp rat got bullseye'ed. I care less than you might think, because I've never been much of a McCain fan, and as I've said, the core of the GOP has drifted away from me, and I find it increasingly difficult to defend their positions or their candidates. The Democrats are in complete control of both executive and legislative branches. Although I don't think their theories of economic or foreign policy are likely to work, I still wish them well, and hope I'm wrong, and that they succeed.

Politically, I don't have anywhere to go. I plan to keep my head down, my nose clean, and drive my tractor in Manchuria without complaint. This will probably be my last post about current US politics for a while, maybe until after the next election.

I still want to work up those Nixon mood icons, though.

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