Nov 04 2009
NY-23 illustrated an interesting decision path for the GOP. There are two paths available, and the decision on which path to take is up to the far right ‘true’ conservatives who spout such bonding terms as RINO.
If the far right can respectfully align with the centrists, the first path forward was illustrated in VA and NJ. A coalition of a center to far right can easily win big as centrists and ‘true’ conservatives come together to oppose the liberal democrats.
But if the far right is still stuck on purity and want to start a 3rd party then we have the second path. There are plenty of left of center democrats and independents who are fed up with the hyper partisan fringe wars. One party will disintegrate into two camps – the fringe and the centrists. Whichever party does break up will be perfectly positioned to beat both fringes.
Liberals are the smallest political group in America. If they take over the Democrat Party they will drop down to 20% of the vote in most areas. If the far right goes 3rd party they will drop down to 20% of the vote in most areas. That leaves 60% of the voters in the center for a center right GOP to sweep elections. Again, you can see this in the voting trends where centrists went to the GOP who ran as moderates and not fire breathing conservatives (and yes, I still count myself as a conservative).
It is all up to the Hannity wing of the conservative movement. They either work within a broad coalition and participate in leading this nation or they become pure and marginal. It is their call, the voters have made it clear which way they prefer to go.
Update: Michael Barone breaks down the advantage of a broad centrist to far right coalition in reviewing the numbers. McDonnell and the other candidates in VA ran as small government conservatives, shunning the social conservative image. And it worked with beyond expectations with historic landslides and a broad political realignment. I know which path I prefer, but as a centrist conservative I must admit either path is a path out of the current mess. I suspect a lot of the Tea Partiers are with me in that they want to throw the hyper partisans out.
Update: Another good analysis of why it is the centrists that control the destiny of any party and this country. Anyone still trying to purge the centrists from their party should be put on a political suicide watch.