I think he's half right

The Great Disentangling Has Begun: What Bob Bennett’s Defeat Means and Does Not
It is not, as some like to say, a purge. It never has been. It is an insurrection and a necessary fight. For too long conservatives have given their money and votes to Republicans who, every election year, whip out a red cloth with the word “judges” written on one side and “abortion” written on the other and wave it in front of the grassroots.

But the grassroots have realized they’ve been had. They were disappointed in Harriet Miers. They were disappointed in immigration. But the handling of the financial mess in 2008 broke their hearts. Compounding that is the Senate Republicans going around the country defending the status quo and choosing sides with a bunch of moderates.

He's right that both parties are seeing a reboot. Democrats had theirs when they defeated Hillary in favor of Obama. She was the favored DLC candidate. She had put in the years and patiently waited for her turn. The netroots (or nutroots if you prefer) had other ideas. They out maneuvered her. She was reading from the old playbook. They wrote a new one. She was seen as Old Guard and insufficiently liberal. The double edged sword of forever using the word "change" is that Hillary was insufficiently "changey". Obama was new and shiny. Hillary was past her sell-by date.

On the Republican side people realize that the GOP has been more interested in protecting it's incumbents than either accomplishing anything or finding the best candidates. If the GOP were true to its principles we'd be electing business owners and private sector people to come in, take two terms and go home. They aren't. They're doing the same thing as always. They have a permanent political class that has candidates drudging their way up the election ladder. Full time Assemblyman/State Rep. Then full time Statewide office. Then Junior US office or appointed position, then full time US senior/elected office. These guys have been professional politicians for 20 years by the time they head to the US Senate or House. That is not how it's supposed to go.

The GOP base, I think, is realizing that focusing on social issues above financial has brought them to near ruin. They are out of the White House and minorities in both houses. The most staggering win for the GOP in recent days was in New Jersey. The solidly blue state for my entire lifetime ushered in a fiscal hawk who is taking on the impossible, the teacher's unions. To me, that is an omen of what is to come. The Tea Party is bucking the establishment. Not the Democrat establishment, the GOP establishment. They know they're more likely to make gains against big spending GOP members in "safe" seats rather than take on Barbara Boxer in California. They are getting smart and using the template that the Netroots developed to organize and win. They are wresting control of the GOP from the leadership committee which is probably causing more than a few sleepless nights.

I believe this is going to make the GOP more centrist and ultimately, more popular. There will be strains of the GOP that are in favor of the social issues but your average person thinks they are over taxed, the government spends too much on the wrong things and pretty much everyone has been in Washington too long. I don't believe any one of those things is necessarily conservative. I think if you asked most voters they'd agree with all of them. The wise politician will seize upon this and make it their campaign for 2012. I think they'd also be wise to punt on the social issues by citing federalism. Let California be California and let Utah be Utah.

We shall see but one thing I'm certain of is that this is going to be interesting.


Most of the people I know involved with the Tea Parties are multipoint conservatives. Fiscal, social, and foreign policy. Right now fiscal conservatism is seen as being most important of the three. We have to get control over ballooning government spending. I think you can build a consensus even among the social conservatives that social problems ought to be solved socially not politically by government intervention.

The current GOP establishment is not fiscally conservative. Nor is particularly effective at being socially conservative. Frankly it's not good at anything. Let's kick them the hell out.
Duffy said…
"Social change is autonomous" - George Will

That is, trying to hold back the tide of social change is pointless. Let people freely associate and move to where they find like minded people.

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