The other wing in the Republican party is the more moderate wing, populated by folks like Chuck Hagel, Colin Powell and Mike Simpson. Lately, pundits from this wing, such as Peggy Noonan and George Will, have broken ranks with John McCain because of his choice for Vice President. The moderate wing realizes that government has an essential role to play, and that Palin is not ready for the job.
The reactionary wing has veered so far right, and has flogged its anti-government horse so mercilessly, that moderates are finally speaking up. The reactionary wing happily supports torture as state policy. It hates government, so spares no effort to weaken government and make it ineffective. “Heck of a job, Brownie.”
The reactionary wing happily went along with idiotic tax cuts for the very rich, a disastrously expensive war, a whopping expansion of government (Dept. of Homeland Security), tax breaks for oil companies enjoying the highest profits of any entity in human history, and on and on, all because these things played well politically. That the politics resulted in ruinous policies did not matter to them. They were in power, and giddily contemplating Rove’s Permanent Republican Majority.
These destructive policies are now playing out, “with the most cruel vigor.”* And the moderate Republicans are suffering the repercussions along with their reactionary wing. Democrats are poised to possibly enjoy a realigning election, and possibly to have a veto-proof majority. At the least, Democrats will have a political mandate to make sweeping changes.
Moderate Republicans are still for limited government and low taxes, but realize that good government is important, that they must compromise and cooperate with Democrats in order to achieve important goals for the country, and that Americans are sick of divisive politics that result in bad policy.
The reactionary wing is happily veering its red corvette off to the right, over the cliff, tossing out whisky bottles and shouting “socialized medicine” as it plunges to its inevitable doom. Its supporters will be left on the cliff, looking down into the abyss, and bemoaning the loss for years. In the meantime, moderate republicans will be slowly rebuilding the party, and Democrats will be rebuilding the country.
Next: how the Internet brought this about. In a word, communication.
* Guy de Maupassant