• He seems to see two Republican divisions, where I see three:

    The traditionalists (so-called moderate Republicans) have already latched onto Romney, and aren’t likely to move, which is why his numbers have been relatively steady.

    The (right) libertarians, who latched onto Paul, and aren’t likely to move, which is why his numbers have been steady, even after the letters were brought up repeatedly. These are the newcomers, who aren’t as loyal to the party as the other groups.

    And finally, the so-cons (neocons), who had several candidates to choose from, and are very much aware that they need a front-runner. Because the field was split, they have been jumping from one to the other, and the front runners kept getting shot down under scrutiny. Perry might have been able to fit both bills (so-con and traditionalist), but Gingrich wouldn’t have.

    I wouldn’t count Perry out just yet, regardless of his results. There’s a good chance Santorum won’t survive the media scrutiny, and Perry’s biggest problem was his debate performances.

    The party is changing, and Simon seems to be behind the times.

  • merkin

    It is amazing how far we have come in such a short time. An entire article on the future of the Republican party without a single mention of the last great future of the Republican party, the Tea Party. Can anyone here at least write a short eulogy for the Tea Parties to explain why they are no longer the future of the party? Could it have anything to do with their disastrous performance in Congress where their fixation on the debt severely limited the party’s negotiating room to obtain the most for the 1% and Wall Street?

  • sheisaspy

    Don’t expect democracy in this next election. It’s already decided.

    Our next election could be as big of a sham as the last. Do you know why Sarah Palin’s bus tour was really canceled? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate and chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she’s not running? Know what leaked out? She’s dodging the media now because of this
    http://PalinsDirtyLittleSecret.blogspot.com

  • roro80

    Hmmm, from the perspective of someone who will definitely vote for Obama in November (or, more specifically, will vote emphatically against whatever truly awful candidate is chosen by the Republican primary process), I have to balance my own needs against the overall need of not electing any of the clowns up for the nom. On the one hand, if the caucuses today effectively finish the race, I won’t have to listen to CNN talking about this large group of buffoons as much for the next few months. On the other hand, a few more months of intense primary racing will be further chance for the Republicans to knock each other out with negative campaigning and attack ads, and not waste the time and money of Democrats, who might then be able to give more money to the absolutely crucial smaller races all over the country.

    Also, sheisaspy — that is one hilarious article you posted. Wow!

  • slamfu

    I don’t think the GOP is done with the circus. I mean, the voting isn’t that far away and I can’t think of who they would get for it, but at this point I won’t give up on the GOP. They’ve got one more in them I just know it!

  • merkin

    And no Prof Elwood, Ron Paul and the libertarians don’t have a future in the party. Ron Paul’s anti-war views would be enough to guarantee that. There is little obvious profit in peace.

    And that isn’t even getting into his other positions that are totally toxic to the powers that be. Suppose that the myth of a organic, self-regulating free market was actually true and not just a useful fiction to get rid of the taxes, regulations and laws that big business doesn’t like. I know this is totally improbable but it is what the libertarians believe so bear with me. If there was such a thing then who would be the losers if the free market was to take hold? That’s right, it would be the corporations and the wealthy who have adapted to the current system and who are the winners under it. The corporations and the wealthy who currently establish the zeitgeist of the right.

    I don’t think that currently the libertarians have enough support, especially down the road, for anyone to waste their free market Citizens United money on. But if they did they could inflect major damage on Paul in a very short time. The Republicans embrace the extremists in their midst and welcome their votes but don’t really like them in the public’s eye where they tend to scare the independents.

    As one wag said, Ron Paul is a reactionary with imagination, he wants to return us to a past that never existed.

  • @Merkin
    I think you’d find that the free market was a lot more self-sufficient if legal cartels (particularly the Fed), monopolies/oligopolies/GSEs, manipulations (like the mortgage deduction and tax-free employer insurance exemptions), legal protections (like lawsuit exemptions and liability limits) and subsidies were removed. Put another way, if the government puts certain players at an advantage, then it shouldn’t be called free.

    Also, most libertarians would also accept reasonable limits like anti-trust regulations and information requirements like nutrition labels and loan disclosures.

    However, I’m perfectly aware that the corporatocracy is threatened by libertarian ideas, which is no small part of the attractiveness of those ideas. It also explains the screaming (however subdued at this time) from their apologists. We’ve been looking forward to this fight for a long time.

    Bring it on!