America Needs (at least) Two Parties

We can all see it happening before our eyes: the Nixon-Reagan-Bush GOP coalition is falling apart. The over-reach of the Bush II presidency and its legacy of fiscal irresponsibility juxtaposed by a surplus from a recent Democratic president, adventurous foreign policy failing before our eyes, and ever-escalating attempts that go nowhere to theocratize the country are all contributing to the fracture of the GOP.

The best case scenario for the Democrats is something of a Clinton restoration. The Democrats could regain control of the House and Senate in 2006, and the White House in 2008. The new president could then appoint enough moderate or liberal Supreme Court justices to maintain the present balance, or, with luck, increase it. If this happens, the GOP as we know it now will disintegrate. It could be worse if McCain begins his oft-speculated third party run (assuming he loses the GOP primary).

I’m not saying this because of how badly I want it to happen. It might be nice for a while to dance on the carcass of the oppresor, but to what end?

The Democratic Party, frankly, is not ready to reassume power in the context of a realignment. It’s equally possible that in 2012, we could be right back where we are now. It needs leadership that doesn’t flinch at the first sign of trouble. I’m not sure I’m fully on board with the Kosish ape everything the Republicans have done to win program, but, it might be nice for a start if we had some leaders with balls.

If the country is governed by a fractured GOP and a spineless, shell-shocked post-minority Democratic party, we’re in even bigger trouble than we are now regardless of who has control of what branch.

The fact is right now we need the GOP to fix itself. We need the Republican party to mean something, something like it did before it was hijacked by theocrats. This was, the party after all, which, despite its efforts to compare the Iraq war to WW2, that had the only vote against declaring war on Japan.

We need the Democrats to whip themselves into shape too. Their problem is getting behind the policies that they want without shame. The Republicans, on the other hand, need to find policies without shame.