Remember when the Democrats were flailing about, looking for leadership and attacking each other in nasty infighting? Well, it looks like the Republicans are the new Democrats.
While I am often accused of being a Democrat and a liberal, I am actually worried about the Republican party-for the same reasons I was worried about the Democrats when they were adrift and rudderless. The reason is that America has only two viable parties and if one party is in shambles, then the other party is free to do almost as it pleases. Such unchecked power generally leads to serious problems, as we saw during the Bush administration.
Of course, a party can provide its own opposition via internal dissent-we saw this when Carter ran afoul of the Democrats in Congress. However, such dissent is not a substitute for proper opposition.
The odds are that the Republicans will get out of this mess; primarily because the Democrats will slide into the usual swamp of corruption and complacency (just as the Republicans did). Then the country will turn to the Republicans.
However, political parties have died in America and there is always that slim chance that the Republicans will self destruct. Rush Limbaugh seems to be intent to doing this. Some might say that in his selfish desire to keep his ratings high and to puff up his ego, he is damaging the party. Dick Cheney is also contributing to this by his shot at Colin Powell and his other remarks. Some of the more moderate Republicans are trying to save the party and bring in more people; but they must contend against those who wish to purify the party. Perhaps there will be split in the party-the moderates forming their own party and the purists creating a rather small (but pure) party. Actually, it would be nice if that happened. As the old joke said, the difference between the US and the Soviet Union was one political party (that is, the Soviets had one party and we have two). Of course, we’d probably want to avoid splintering too much-the Italian model is not an ideal model. But, more viable options would be an improvement.