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The W - Current Events & Politics - What do the Republicans have to do?
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DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.42
Not being a Republican,, I am just curious where they go. The country desperatley needs a strong loyal opposition with fresh ideas to challenge the party in power and keep it honest. They seem to be literally falling apart. The thing with Specter by itself is big but when put with everything else, it's huge.

What do they have to do to gain traction? We have kind of discussed this before but things are getting worse for them.



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Von Maestro
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Since: 6.1.04
From: New York

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.45
Doc-

I'm not sure they need to do anything. Remember, it was less than 10 years ago that the Republicans controlled both the White House & Congress. The reality is that if the Democrats falter the Republicans will regain traction, regardless of the measures they take, due to the very nature of a two party system. If the current government fails in the eyes of the people, the people will naturally turn to the main alternative.

The mistake both parties make when they get total control, is that they operate with the assumption that they received a "mandate" from all of America & ignore the reality that they only received roughly 50% of the vote. Bush & the Congressional Republicans did it, & now it seems that Obama & the Democrats are traveling down the same path. Barring a radical change in the way we elect our leaders, the cycle should continue for a long time to come.

~VM
Mr. Boffo
Scrapple








Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.24
Speaking for myself, I don't know if the party as a whole can win my support. There are individual Republicans that I have and will support, but for the entire organization, I don't know. The Republicans that I've supported have been the fiscal conservatives, whose power in the Republican party seems to have waned.

None of this paragraph is meant to be combative and is only my opinion. I don't care for the religious right's attempts to push bans of gay marriage and abortion on the nation (granted, I'm sure they don't care for what they see as liberal judges attempts to push gay marriage on people either). I don't care for the Republican Party that is in the pocket of big business, that IMO is responsible for the deregulation that has lead to the problems in the mortgage and banking industry. I don't care for what I see as the Republican Party of the rich and of companies, whose answer for any problem is more tax cuts and less government regulation. Tax cuts without a matching decrease in spending only worsen the budget deficit, and I think government regulation is needed to prevent inappropriate business behavior.

So in short, all that needs to change ;-).

But seriously, I'm looking for answers to the problems that people face. If some one can find a way for my mother's M-S drugs to cost less than $10K a month, that would be great. She doesn't pay that, of course, it's paid by the insurance offered by the company my father works for. The company has changed their insurance provider for three consecutive years in an attempt to cut costs. We fear it's only a matter of time until the insurance companies find a way to deny her coverage.

Therefore changes in the insurance industry would be nice, when you all consider that as a self-employed single person, I threw almost 10% of my gross pay down the drain for insurance last year, even though I didn't use it once. But what other option do I have? Going without health insurance means you're going to have to declare bankruptcy should you ever have something major that requires, say, a week in the hospital.

An insurance plan that actually encourages preventative care would be great. Studies have shown that spending $10 per person on preventing disease (which I guess is about $3 billion?) would save the nation $16 billion a year in health costs.

All in all, I'm justing looking for potential solutions to problems. I voted Obama because I liked the sound of his solutions more than McCain's. If the Republican Party wants my vote they need to do a better job with coming up with plans that at least sound like they'll actually solve the problems people are dealing with.



TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.23
    Originally posted by Von Maestro
    Doc-

    I'm not sure they need to do anything. Remember, it was less than 10 years ago that the Republicans controlled both the White House & Congress. The reality is that if the Democrats falter the Republicans will regain traction, regardless of the measures they take, due to the very nature of a two party system. If the current government fails in the eyes of the people, the people will naturally turn to the main alternative.

    The mistake both parties make when they get total control, is that they operate with the assumption that they received a "mandate" from all of America & ignore the reality that they only received roughly 50% of the vote. Bush & the Congressional Republicans did it, & now it seems that Obama & the Democrats are traveling down the same path. Barring a radical change in the way we elect our leaders, the cycle should continue for a long time to come.

    ~VM


I agree with the gist of this. The Republicans recovered from Watergate fairly quickly, I'm sure Bush won't be enough to get rid of them either.
DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.42
Bucs, did they recover from Wtaergate quickly or was Carter just that bad? And with the funk they're in, it's more than Bush.

Von Maestro, that's what we need to avoid, these bipolar swings. That's why we need a strong loyal opposition. The Reps need new ideas while maintaining their principles. Recycling the old ideas just wont work IMO.



Perception is reality
Von Maestro
Boudin rouge








Since: 6.1.04
From: New York

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.45
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    did they recover from Watergate quickly or was Carter just that bad?


Yes. :-)

The perfect storm of Carter's awfulness & the strength of Reagan allowed for the Republican recovery in the 80s.

    Originally posted by DrDirt
    Von Maestro, that's what we need to avoid, these bipolar swings. That's why we need a strong loyal opposition. The Reps need new ideas while maintaining their principles. Recycling the old ideas just wont work IMO.


See I think there is a strong & loyal opposition for both sides. Republicans have their solid base & the Democrats have their's, but it is the middle that vacillates and assumes the role of political king-maker.

The ideas of both parties will pretty much always remain the same, yet recent history has shown that it is the face of the party that often determines where the balance of power lies, specifically when it comes to the presidency. If you look at the our recent presidents, it has basically been the party with the more charismatic and/or relateable candidate that has their party to power.

Reagan over Carter/Mondale
Bush over Dukakis (although, to be fair that was more following Reagan's coattails than Bush's "charisma :-)
Clinton over Bush/Dole
Bush over Gore/Kerry
Obama over McCain

While the focal issue of the day may have changed for each election cycle, the core values of each party has mostly stayed the same on the major issues. It has basically been a combination of the mood of the country, the direction of the country, the current success of the country, and which party was in power at the time of those factors that determined the ruling party. To write off the entire Republican party & assume they need to redefine themselves seems as knee-jerk a reaction as expecting the Democrats to do the same thing 10 years ago.
DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.42
Von Maestro, not totally redefine but figure out how to achieve their goals in a new way.

And the Dem's, at least outwardly redefined what they wanted to do and headed more toward the middle (at least outwardly. The Republicans appear to be veering as hard right as possible and it is losing them their traditional base, upper middle class families and older white males.



Perception is reality
Lise
Mrs. Guru








Since: 11.12.01

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.60
    Originally posted by Mr. Boffo
    But seriously, I'm looking for answers to the problems that people face. If some one can find a way for my mother's M-S drugs to cost less than $10K a month, that would be great. She doesn't pay that, of course, it's paid by the insurance offered by the company my father works for. The company has changed their insurance provider for three consecutive years in an attempt to cut costs. We fear it's only a matter of time until the insurance companies find a way to deny her coverage.

    Therefore changes in the insurance industry would be nice, when you all consider that as a self-employed single person, I threw almost 10% of my gross pay down the drain for insurance last year, even though I didn't use it once. But what other option do I have? Going without health insurance means you're going to have to declare bankruptcy should you ever have something major that requires, say, a week in the hospital.

    An insurance plan that actually encourages preventative care would be great. Studies have shown that spending $10 per person on preventing disease (which I guess is about $3 billion?) would save the nation $16 billion a year in health costs.



This! The Republican Party needs to focus more attention on topics that affect people's day to day lives. People aren't getting abortions or getting married every day. They ARE trying to navigate insurance company procedures and make sure their health is taken care of. They are trying to figure out how they will pay for retirement, and how to keep their houses. The Democratic Party is gaining ground because it is focusing on day to day things. Sure people still have deeply held beliefs, but you can't run a party on them when people are struggling with food/shelter/health.
CRZ
Big Brother
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Since: 9.12.01
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.51
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    And the Dem's, at least outwardly redefined what they wanted to do and headed more toward the middle (at least outwardly. The Republicans appear to be veering as hard right as possible...
Please elaborate. Are these two impressions left upon you by your media consumption of choice, or has it been something you've really seen/experienced?

I have to be honest, it appears to me that both parties have been and are relying on similar same strategies - it's just that "we're not Bush" played and plays a hell of a lot better than "we're not Obama." Part of this comes from the past several cycles of the majority party opting to casually wave off ANY ideas coming from the minority party simply on the basis of "well, you're not in power, dude." Bipartisanship is always promised but never delivered by EITHER side. I don't think the positions of either party have changed much; it's just that they look vastly different depending on which is in power and how it gets reported on the news.



spf
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Since: 2.1.02
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
    Originally posted by CRZ
      Originally posted by DrDirt
      And the Dem's, at least outwardly redefined what they wanted to do and headed more toward the middle (at least outwardly. The Republicans appear to be veering as hard right as possible...
    Please elaborate. Are these two impressions left upon you by your media consumption of choice, or has it been something you've really seen/experienced?

    I have to be honest, it appears to me that both parties have been and are relying on similar same strategies - it's just that "we're not Bush" played and plays a hell of a lot better than "we're not Obama." Part of this comes from the past several cycles of the majority party opting to casually wave off ANY ideas coming from the minority party simply on the basis of "well, you're not in power, dude." Bipartisanship is always promised but never delivered by EITHER side. I don't think the positions of either party have changed much; it's just that they look vastly different depending on which is in power and how it gets reported on the news.

I think some of this is simply that we're seeing the final stages of a realignment that has been taking place for 20-30 years now. It started when the "Reagan Democrats" in the south started to migrate to the GOP. Think Phil Gramm and his switch. All the people who had been Democrats forever, even though they had little in common with the party were moving to where they were more ideologically comfortable. This is why the GOP made such gains in the 80's and 90's.

Now the inverse is happening. The last holdouts of the "Rockefeller Republicans", the GOP'ers who were similar in many ways to Bush 41, are either retiring or deciding to move to the other side of the aisle.

The core positions of the two parties haven't changed all that much since Reagan. However, the ability for people to exist inside a party despite disagreeing with these positions has grown much smaller. Right now the GOP is going to come out on the bad end of that simply due to the fact the other side is in power, so there is benefit to jumping all the way in if you already have your feet wet.

That said, just from reading places like Freep and Townhall and discussions with other GOP'ers, there does seem to be a sense in the party that they need to re-embrace very traditional conservative values. That Bush 43 did them a disservice by being so willing to run up deficits. The Tea Party movement has certainly had an impact on this. I think the GOP feels like they need to go back to their roots, purify the party a bit. And there might not be a whole lot of room for the remaining New England GOP or other such folks in that.

I don't know that the Democrats had all that coherent a message beyond "We're not Bush" and "We like Obama too." I don't think the GOP loses as many seats in 2008 if Clinton is the nominee. Obama's personal magnetism I feel dragged more than a few close races over the finish line.



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bash91
Merguez








Since: 2.1.02
From: Plain Dealing, LA

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.78
    Originally posted by spf
      Originally posted by CRZ
        Originally posted by DrDirt
        And the Dem's, at least outwardly redefined what they wanted to do and headed more toward the middle (at least outwardly. The Republicans appear to be veering as hard right as possible...
      Please elaborate. Are these two impressions left upon you by your media consumption of choice, or has it been something you've really seen/experienced?

      I have to be honest, it appears to me that both parties have been and are relying on similar same strategies - it's just that "we're not Bush" played and plays a hell of a lot better than "we're not Obama." Part of this comes from the past several cycles of the majority party opting to casually wave off ANY ideas coming from the minority party simply on the basis of "well, you're not in power, dude." Bipartisanship is always promised but never delivered by EITHER side. I don't think the positions of either party have changed much; it's just that they look vastly different depending on which is in power and how it gets reported on the news.

    I think some of this is simply that we're seeing the final stages of a realignment that has been taking place for 20-30 years now. It started when the "Reagan Democrats" in the south started to migrate to the GOP. Think Phil Gramm and his switch. All the people who had been Democrats forever, even though they had little in common with the party were moving to where they were more ideologically comfortable. This is why the GOP made such gains in the 80's and 90's.

    Now the inverse is happening. The last holdouts of the "Rockefeller Republicans", the GOP'ers who were similar in many ways to Bush 41, are either retiring or deciding to move to the other side of the aisle.

    The core positions of the two parties haven't changed all that much since Reagan. However, the ability for people to exist inside a party despite disagreeing with these positions has grown much smaller. Right now the GOP is going to come out on the bad end of that simply due to the fact the other side is in power, so there is benefit to jumping all the way in if you already have your feet wet.

    That said, just from reading places like Freep and Townhall and discussions with other GOP'ers, there does seem to be a sense in the party that they need to re-embrace very traditional conservative values. That Bush 43 did them a disservice by being so willing to run up deficits. The Tea Party movement has certainly had an impact on this. I think the GOP feels like they need to go back to their roots, purify the party a bit. And there might not be a whole lot of room for the remaining New England GOP or other such folks in that.

    I don't know that the Democrats had all that coherent a message beyond "We're not Bush" and "We like Obama too." I don't think the GOP loses as many seats in 2008 if Clinton is the nominee. Obama's personal magnetism I feel dragged more than a few close races over the finish line.


I think spf has pretty much hit the nail on the head here. The GOP ran arguably their worst nominee since WWII and that cost them in a number of close races. In addition, they pretty much ran away from the fiscally conservative libertarians like me who usually vote for them in favor of trying to outbribe the Democrats by sucking up to every special interest group possible. Bush 43 made a mockery of any GOP claims to fiscal conservatism and heard about it from an awful lot of conservatives, but McCain somehow decided that his best strategy was to spend like a drunken sailor.

I think there are also a couple of other factors in play that the GOP hasn't yet figured out. In particular, the GOP, when compared to the Democrats, has done a horrible job of figuring out what their real core issues are and then moving towards those issues and away from non-core issues that alienate voters. For example, the Democratic party has effectively abandoned their late 80's/early 90's position of massively restricting or eliminating 2nd Amendment rights. Certainly, there are still those who believe that the Democrats are going to grab every gun, but that's not the party line anymore because it was and is a losing position. On the other hand, the GOP leadership has actively fought against the party rank and file who want to emphasize things like earmarks and corruption in government because that might mean that the leadership would have to stand for something other than their own reelection.

Another area in which the GOP drastically needs to improve is in their organizational structure. Structurally, it seems as though the Republicans have decided to employ a top-down approach that doesn't really allow for more independent or dissenting voices. In fact, I think that a lot of bandwidth and time is used to stifle or mute those who disagree with party orthodoxy. On the other hand, the liberal side - and I use liberal here rather than Democrat because the Republican side seems to emphasize party identification far more than does the liberal sphere - seems to tolerate dissension far more readily than do the Republicans. Both groups argue, but the GOP seems to have more voices who argue from an "I'm taking my ball and going home" than do the liberals. Why this is is a topic for a different discussion.

I think the one thing that the Republicans now have going for them is that they will be able to convincingly argue in 2 and 4 years that the problems facing the country are owned by the Democrats. Whether or not they can mount a rhetorically convincing campaign and field an actual competent candidate both remain to be seen, but they've at least got an easier sell than they did in the last election.

Tim



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All others things being equal, the simplest solution is usually stupidity. -- Darwin Minor
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Scrapple








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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.06
(deleted by CRZ on 1.5.09 0225)
AWArulz
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.86
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Peter The Hegemon
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03
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TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








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DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.42
    Originally posted by CRZ
      Originally posted by DrDirt
      And the Dem's, at least outwardly redefined what they wanted to do and headed more toward the middle (at least outwardly. The Republicans appear to be veering as hard right as possible...
    Please elaborate. Are these two impressions left upon you by your media consumption of choice, or has it been something you've really seen/experienced?

    I have to be honest, it appears to me that both parties have been and are relying on similar same strategies - it's just that "we're not Bush" played and plays a hell of a lot better than "we're not Obama." Part of this comes from the past several cycles of the majority party opting to casually wave off ANY ideas coming from the minority party simply on the basis of "well, you're not in power, dude." Bipartisanship is always promised but never delivered by EITHER side. I don't think the positions of either party have changed much; it's just that they look vastly different depending on which is in power and how it gets reported on the news.


Your second paragraph pretty much sums it up. I'll use Kansas as an example. The ex-gov, now HHS secretary, was able to position herself as a centrist, especially as compared to the two Reps she ran against. On a national level, over the last two elections, I paid attention to newspapers (local and national), radio (from NPR to Rush and O'Reilly), and TV (MSNBC, FOX, CNN). The Dems were able to co-opt the everyman, Joe middle class banner from the opposition. Part of it was simply the fact that as the situation got worse in Iraq and the economy, the Reps dug in and veered hard right as a party. This was topped off with the Palin nomination.

The classic example of positioning vs. reality is Clinton. After a rough start and losses in 1994, he was able, thanks in large part to Newt and the boys, to overhaul his image from liberal to moderate centrist and survive impeachment. Meanwhile the Dems in Congress refused to follow the model and it took until 2006.

Hope this helps but I don't want to write a treatise. Short answer is it is both. I study all sides and media regardless of my personal leanings. As a liberal libertarian (I know) no group or network really fits my political belief system.




Perception is reality
SKLOKAZOID
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Since: 20.3.02
From: California

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#17 Posted on
I think it's all about the economy no matter who is in power. If we're doing shitty, we're going with the other guy.

Democrats won because Republicans failed to live up to their promise to reign in spending and be, you know, conservative.

Democrats, who were branded for the last 20-30 years by the republicans as "tax and spenders" were able to toss that label when the Republicans continued to spend and spend and rack up debt. They did so poorly with our money that they made the Democrats look good to the majority of voters.

So, what has to happen now for the Republicans to win again is the Democrats have to fail economically. All of these stimulus bills and money going to the banks may not help Obama and the Democrats, but if it winds up working out for them, they get re-elected.

The Republicans dropped the ball in the 6 years they had control. The Democrats have it and it's theirs to drop now.
redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.72
In regards to the northeast, the Republican Party is, if not dead, on life support. The term is toxic. It is actually worse than being a Democrat when the Republicans had virtual control of the Solid South, as there were minority districts that would elect Democrats. In New England, you can write 65% in blood for virtually any Congressional race for a Democrat, and that is if the Republicans actually run a half way decent sacrificial lamb. A weak Governor can get elected, but that is more as a check on local power than anything else.
Are the Democrats eminently capable of pulling a Terry Schiavo moment where they waste time and capital on an issue that shouldn't even be a subject? Definitely. But, there needs to be a Republican leader who can galvanize the party, and I don't think Newt can pull the trick off twice.
On the Republicans having total control recently: Whigs had the White House and within 5 years were non-existent. Doubt that happens with the GOP, but it could come to the point where they have to splinter in order to become a viable option in some areas, and form an anti-Democratic coalition Party, whichis how the National Republicans became the Whigs originally.
With the 2010 Census, it will be more and more difficult for the Republicans to gain 270 in the future. Demographic change are going to states that are tilting Democrat, and the loss of California since '94 coupled with New York being impossible for the Republicans to win means the perfect combination of states are necessary for the Republicans to win in the best of circumstances. Combine California, Illinois and New York with DC, Vermont, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and it appears now New Hampshire , the Democrats are at 166 without even breaking a sweat.

(edited by redsoxnation on 1.5.09 2141)
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.23
    Originally posted by redsoxnation
    In regards to the northeast, the Republican Party is, if not dead, on life support. The term is toxic. It is actually worse than being a Democrat when the Republicans had virtual control of the Solid South, as there were minority districts that would elect Democrats.


"Solid South" refers to the Democrats' century-long stranglehold on the southern states. The Republicans are nowhere near as dominant in the south today as the Democrats were at the peak of their control there, in terms of local-level control and length of dominance.

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OndaGrande
Kolbasz








Since: 1.5.03
From: California, Home of THE LAKERS!

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.25
The domination of our government by only 2 parties leads to the above mentioned "bipolarism". The linking of 3 overall criteria as party platform (Financial policy, government authoritarianism, and morality) has only furthered the issue. The politicians in power have essentially structured the constituent litmus test into a personality test where there are only 2 answers for each of 3 questions. the answer key is then structured to produce only 2 possible results.

Republicans,fiscally "conservative" capitalists (1's),have tied themselves to Authorian methods (A's),and the moral values typical of fundamental christianity (c's). Democrats support more government involvmemt in the adminstration of social programs (2's),less authoritarianism (B's) and therefore attract voters of more varied moral beliefs (v's). Neither party allows for the inclusion of any other combination of the criteria.

You are either a (1Ac) or (2Bv).The "3rd" parties that represent (1Bv)'s and others have been marginalized by the "machines" of the major parites.
It will take more of the general public embracing other parties or independant status in numbers that put people in office to stop the swing from "far left" to "far right".
The 180 degree shifts in policy implementation are the base of the unbalances that accompany any given political climate.

Our constitutional structure should in theory prevent the "collapse of goverments" syndrome that happens in parliamentary systems, but I would defer that argument to political scientists.

(edited by OndaGrande on 2.5.09 1259)

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(edited by OndaGrande on 2.5.09 1305)

(edited by OndaGrande on 2.5.09 1309)

(edited by OndaGrande on 2.5.09 1311)

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From the way that article phrases things, I don't see what the problem is. It looks like Dean's group led to a lot of positives in Vermont, whereas Bush's group....well, we have no idea what they did.
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