Thursday, July 01, 2004

Politics: Republican Civil War (a.k.a. wishful thinking)

Andrew Sullivan (who can, at times, be reasonable and even enjoyable since he lost patience with Bush on few issues) has some interesting thoughts on the future of the Republican Party, win or lose this fall:
"THE LOOMING REPUBLICAN WAR: The current tussle in the Congress over the budget is just a precursor to what I think will be outright Republican civil war after this election. If Bush wins, it will cripple his ability to get anything done. If he loses, the recriminations will get vicious. The fiscal conservatives will be fighting the "deficits-don't-matter" crowd. The realists will be out to topple the neocons. The Santorum-Ashcroft axis will continue to wage war on any Republicans not interested in legislating either the Old Testament or the dictates of the Vatican. (The FMA battle now looks more and more like an attempt by Santorum to identify Republican social moderates so he can use primary hardliners to challenge them in the future.) The battle lines are deep and sharp - and the future of American conservatism is at stake. Bush has proven himself unable to unite a party that includes Tom DeLay as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger, John McCain and Bill Frist. Whether the coming civil war is about who lost the election, or who will exploit the victory, it's going to be nasty and enduring. No single party can be both for individual liberty and for theologically-based social policy; both for fiscal balance and drunken-sailor spending; both for interventionism abroad and against moralism in foreign policy. The incoherence is just too deep, the tensions too strained. And with the war on terror itself a point of contention among conservatives, geo-politics will not be able to keep the coalition in one piece.

Interesting. I'm happy to see some disarray on the other side for a change, but for some reason, I think, if they win, they will resolve just enough of the differences to really screw everybody on plenty of fronts...

UPDATE: Matthew Yglesias agrees with me. Or, rather, since he certainly didn't read my measly post and say "Wow, Mr Furious has it all figured out!", we both reach the same conclusion: Republicans suck, and they will patch things up enough to keep the shitty end of the stick pointed at the rest of us.

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