Friday, March 25, 2005

Wishful thinking.

How many times have you read that the latest Republican outrage threatens to rend the Republican Party in twain?

How many times has it been true?

Terri Schiavo will not divide the Republican Party; or, at least, it won't divide them enough for Democrats to win any advantage.

The Republican fundamentalists will soon be given an outlet for their anger, and it will not be the Republican Party; it will be the courts, or a Republican who has been insufficiently loyal to the party, or a Democrat of any kind. They aren't bright; these Morlocks have served the Eloi for years, and they've yet to eat one. They'll soon send money to whichever Republican organization sounds most earnest in its desire to force medicine on unwilling patients.

The Republican moderates will remain in the party. They know that this is pandering, and they take comfort in that; it's the cost of power, and they're willing to pay. Besides, why shouldn't the federal courts hear the case, and isn't it honorable of Jeb Bush to refuse the most outrageous demands of the fundamentalists, and so on. They're as good at excuses and rationalizations as their fundamentalist comrades; whatever they have to think to justify lower taxes, they'll think it.

If the Demcorats want to take Republican moderates from the Republican Party, they'll have to render those rationalizations and excuses far more difficult to accept. To do that, they'll have to drive this wedge into the heart of the Republican Party: force elected Republicans to take stands that alienate their constituents, broadcast which side they took, and ensure they are held accountable for it. The Republican use of same-sex marriage provides a model for Democrats to follow; the Democrats would be wise to employ it now, while the issue is fresh in the public mind.