Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Sunday | December 08, 2002

GOP moderates should start regional party

Matthew Yglesias is one of the consistently best bloggers, but every so often he's simply inspired. Case in point is this post today, where he argues that Northeast Republicans should break away from the GOP and form a new regional party.

I do wonder, though, what keeps northern moderates like Collins, Snowe, Chafee, Pataki, Giuliani, Romney, etc. in the southern-fried GOP. I can see why they don't want to cross the aisle and become Democrats, but why not just, well, pull a Strom Thurmond and start a regional party that would compete in the Northeast. It would hardly be worth it for the GOP to mount candidates against them, and America's single-member constituencies are ideal for this sort of regionalist appeal. Of course, anyone joining such a party would never get elected President, but none of these people are ever going to get elected president anyway. And they'd hold the balance-of-power in the House and Senate and be able to steer a course between both the Confederate nostalgia of the Republicans and the union-backed governmentophilia of the Democrats.
Yglesias confines this new party to the Northeast, and that's where it would have to start. But this party could do well in places like the great lakes states and even the Pacific Northwest.

The GOP would thus be relegated to the deep South and perhaps the Mountain States. We'd have the far right GOP, the right-of-center New Party, and the left-of-center Democrats. The GOP and Dems would still battle it out for the presidency, but the legislature would be a force for moderation.

Not only would this new GOP splinter party moderate the southern GOP's policies, but it would make politics a hell of a lot more interesting. Good for the nation, and good for entertainment value.

There's lots more to this idea than I feel like exploring, especially since it won't happen. But in the wake of the Lott comments, it is a compelling issue, and one that Northeastern Republicans will have to confront soon. In California and the midwest, voters are abandoning the increasingly Southern-dominated GOP. Northeastern voters will not vote for the party of Lott, and the local GOPs will have to adjust accordingly.

Posted December 08, 2002 11:37 AM | Comments (36)


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