May 10, 2012
BARRY GOLDWATER VINDICATED: At the Daily Caller, Steve Hayward of Power Line writes:
The view that Republicans are an out-of-the-mainstream party would make sense if we still lived in the world of 1950 described in the classic Samuel Lubell book The Future of American Politics, which offered the analogy of the “sun party” (Democrats) and the “moon party” (Republicans), that is, a majority party that held the initiative because it could win durable electoral majorities, and requiring the minority “moon party,” if it is to survive, to accommodate the sun party. A correlate of the Lubell hypothesis, though, is that the parties would switch places over long epicycles — a process known in political science literature as “realignment,” such as we saw with the coming of the New Deal in 1932.
Democrats assume that their New Deal realignment was eternal, and have never gotten over the fact that their status as the “sun party” ended sometime around the arrival of Ronald Reagan. At best for Democrats, the closely contested elections and large swings of the last three House elections suggest that today we have two moon parties vying to become the sun party (my pal Ornstein might say “two full moon parties” — hah, hah, we get it). But with a stack of surveys showing that conservatives and conservative opinion outnumbering liberals and liberal opinion by a margin of about two to one, you can’t make the argument that Republicans are extremists without confronting its implication that the real problem is the American people, who, after all, voted for the GOP House majority, and have installed the highest number of Republicans in state legislatures around the nation in 75 years. Who among the critics will step up and say openly that the American people are the extremists? Any takers?
Actually, there were plenty in the late summer and fall of 2010, climaxing in a hilarious compendium of quotes titled “Paradise Lost — America was great, once (in November 2008),” by the Weekly Standard’s Jonathan Last, who juxtaposed Obama’s biggest boosters in the MSM praising the country in November of 2008, and bitterly condemning the same Americans in 2010 for the Tea Party and the return of the GOP majority in one house of Congress that year. Another round of condemnation has started already this year; if such oikophobia builds to a similar or even larger crescendo by this coming fall, we’ll have a pretty good pulse on where the two candidates, and the majorities in both houses of Congress stand in the weeks before November arrives.