The decline of the Grand Old Party

Could 2012 mark the final throw of the dice for the Republican Party?

 

Tea Party tax day protest 2010 © Fibonacci Blue

 

The current race to be the Republican US Presidential nominee has been seen by many as a ‘race to the Right’. More than perhaps any other time in the history of the GOP, those on the right of the party have managed to control the narrative, forcing the hand of ‘moderates’ such as Mitt Romney.

  • In the past decade there has been a ten percent increase in the number of Republicans declaring themselves as conservative, up to 71%. Moderates fell from 31% to 23% in the same time.
  • This shift however has brought it’s own problems, as seen by the dismal performance of some candidates pushed by the Tea Party, widely seen as having prevented the Republicans from gaining control of the Senate in 2010
  • This year the ever increasing push to right has seen Republican presidential candidates forced out to the extremes, characterised by harsh language on subjects such as immigration and religion
  • The nature of the race has drawn criticism from senior Republicans such as Rudy Giuliani and Jeb Bush, with Giuliani saying some positions taken on social issues “make the Party look like it isn’t a modern party.”
  • A 2002 book by John Judis and Ruy Teixeira, The Emerging Democratic Majority, predicted that demographic and political trends would lead eventually to a natural majority for the Democrats in US politics
  • With the Republican party increasingly confined to a specific demographic of white voters, could such a prediction eventually become the defining reality?

Geoffrey Kabaservice, Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, from Eisenhower to the Tea Party:

The appearance of a Republican Party almost entirely composed of ideological conservatives is a new and historically unprecedented development. It is only in the last decade or so that movement conservatism finally succeeded in silencing, co-opting, repelling, or expelling nearly every competing strain of Republicanism from the party.

Read more:-

Life of the Party – The New Yorker

2012 or Never – New York Magazine

The missing middle in American politics – Foreign Affairs