The Future of the Republican Party

January 14, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Posted in politics straight up | Leave a comment
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Robert M. LaFollette (R), Representative from Wisconsin, 1885-1891; Governor, 1901-1906; Senator, 1906-1925.  (Circa 1912)

Robert M. LaFollette (R), Representative from Wisconsin, 1885-1891; Governor, 1901-1906; Senator, 1906-1925. (Circa 1912)

Steve Benen has a post up about changing demographics in the United States and the political ramifications, some of which are already being experienced.

Essentially, the demographic which is the largest piece of the Republican base is shrinking — and has shrunk already. The GOP has painted itself into a corner that is only getting smaller.

Unfortunately for all of us, the people running the Republican party refuse to acknowledge the history of real change in their own past. They cling to the current incarnation of their platform like boat-wreck survivors.

Back at the beginning of the 20th century Republicans knew a much better way forward.

Progressive Republicans, in contrast, believed that the business of government was to serve the people. They sought to restrict the power of corporations when it interfered with the needs of individual citizens. The Progressive Movement appealed to citizens who wanted honest government and moderate economic reforms that would expand democracy and improve public morality. In their crusade for reform on a state and national level, Progressive Republicans were led by Robert La Follette, Wisconsin’s governor from 1901 to 1906, and U.S. Senator from 1906 to 1925.

They have carried the “public morality” schtick forward but have woefully forgotten the point of all this — “we, the people.”

I doubt there are many who do not wish for fewer like Palin and Wurzelbacher.

From a comment thread:

Joe the Plumber and Sarah (ya’betcha) Palin. …

A guy who didn’t pay his taxes and isn’t even a licensed plumber, and a right-wing Christian whose 17-year-old daughter failed to keep her “abstinence” vow, is a high-school dropout, and whose future mother-in-law (if that ever happens) is a drug dealer.

I would like to see the Republicans revisit their 1912 platform.

Here is a post I did recently that has more links to information on the Progressive Republican party.


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