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Is the Republican Party About to Implode?
dalecoz

In 1993, Canada's long-term Center-right Progressive-Conservative party went from 169 seats in Parliament to 2.  The party never recovered, and eventually merged as a junior partner in a group of what been third parties.  In 1997 the British Conservative party took a smaller but still enormous hit in terms of seats in the British parliament and haven't been a serious factor in British politics since, though they are slowly recovering.

In two cases, long-established governing parties became pale shadows of themselves in one election.  I think the same thing may be about to happen to the US Republican party.  I personally am an independent, but I live in a traditionally Republican area.  I've never seen long-term hard-core Republicans as disgusted with the party as they are now.  President Bush's support of the recent immigration bill was the last straw for many of these people.  Whatever the merits of that bill, and whatever the arguments for and against it, passing that bill would have probably led to a Republican wipe-out on the scale of at least the British Conservative wipeout of 1997, and if Republican leaders don't get a better understanding of their own grassroots things like this may still do that.

The Republican leadership seemed to ignore the anger, probably thinking that it would go away by November 2008.  If I were a betting man I would give you pretty good odds that they were wrong this time, and they were lucky that the bill collapsed..

As an independent I prefer having two viable parties to choose from, mainly so the two of them keep each other in check to some extent.  At the rate things are going, I'm not entirely sure I will have that for several election cycles after 2008 unless the Republican leadership starts listening to its grassroots and avoids any more self-inflicted wounds like the immigration bill.