Obama is very clearly a member of the Democratic right. On every single issue in which he has to choose between moving left and moving right, he has moved right. The left wing of the Democratic party has put up with him only because there is fear that the Republicans are worse. If it becomes obvious that the Republicans are not going to be in power, then there is no reason for the Democratic Left to support Obama or his ideological successors, and they probably will start their own party. Alternatively if the Democratic Left gets in control of the party and it’s clear that the Republicans won’t play ball, the the Democratic Right will bolt and start their own party.
Alternatively, the Republicans could come up with a political genius like Reagan to reconstitute some sort of coalition, but it’s really, really hard for me to imagine Sarah Palin saying good things about big corporations, thereby gaining access to corporate and lobbyist money. The thing about Reagan is that he could combine different Republican factions because he wasn’t one of them. He wasn’t a member of the religious right, the economic right, or the Cold War hawks. Right now, there isn’t any major political figure that I can see that appeals to the remaining factions within the Republicans, but aren’t one of them.
One thing about Democrats is that they are willing to make tactical compromises. I’m sure that Michael Moore dislikes me and everything that I stand for (corporate America good!!!!!), but he is willing to put up with me as long as it means keeping someone worse out of power, and no one is under any illusions that this is anything other than a marriage of convenience.
The problem is that I don’t see this sort of willingness to tactically compromise among the Republicans.
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