September 29, 2010
MICHAEL BARONE: America In An Age Of Open-Field Politics.
As I have indicated, I expect a rebound in Republican percentages in 2010 that will make the current period of open field politics look as volatile as the previous 1967–1983 and 1991–1995 periods. But I think it’s possible that this year’s Republican percentages will prove to be no more permanent than I believe the 2006–2008 Democratic percentages will have been proven to be. You don’t know a period of open field politics has been transformed into a period of trench warfare politics until several years after it has happened—or at least so has been my experience.
Well, if the Republicans make the mistake of interpreting a rebuke to the Democrats as an endorsement of the GOP establishment, they won’t last long.
UPDATE: Reader Gregory Hill writes:
In response to Mr. Barone, you say:
“Well, if the Republicans make the mistake of interpreting a rebuke to the Democrats as an endorsement of the GOP establishment, they won’t last long.”
My response? Don’t worry. They will. That’s why the grassroots take-over of the Republican party from within by the Tea Party needs to proceed post-haste. If we are successful in that endeavor, then the damage wrought upon our beloved country by the Ds and Rs will be minimized. Tragic and enormous, but minimized. But if the GOP establishment fights us to the end, then it will take an actual third-party to engage the public in transforming our political system. That will take much more time, and much more effort. And it will be a bloody mess (hopefully only figuratively! my biggest fear is otherwise) for years as we clean up the pieces of the train wreck they have driven us into.
Indeed. As I’ve warned before, if the GOP retakes Congress and then blows it, we’re likely to see not only a third-party Presidential challenge, but a lot of third-party challengers for Congressional seats.