'How the Republican Party Turned Into the Democratic Party?'
Reader No. 1 gently rejects my clever one-word answer to the question that he posed yesterday.
From Reader No. 1:
"Dixiecrat" is part of the answer/puzzle... but let's not also forget a partial list of these puzzle pieces:
- 'Reagan Democrats'
- Grover Norville
- Karl Rove
- 'Silent Scream'
No editorial judgment inferred or implied!
Damn. I was hoping to steamroll my way to the prize before someone else came up with a better answer -- and Peter S. Canellos sure looks like he's come up with a better answer in this excellent piece today
on what has happened to the Republican Party. Peter's general theory: The GOP has become more of a working-class party -- and those working-class voters delivered Thursday for Huck. No argument here on that point. But I think he misdefines and then blurs the line too much between 'Reagan Democrats' and white conservative evangelicals. I can accept the argument that some Reagan Democrats (who really don't exist anymore) may have morphed into conservative evangelicals. But many Reagan Democrats, if not most (depending on how you defined them), were also Northeast blue-collar Catholics who, last time I checked, didn't convert to Protestantism and move to rural Iowa. I still think Dixiecrats (former Southern Dems turned Republicans - i.e., Huck) have played a larger and more lasting role in transforming the GOP into a more religious and big-government party. Two final points (which don't necessarily apply to Peter's argument about what happened in Iowa): 1.) The evangelical conservative movement is not entirely comprised of working-class people. The movement also includes many middle-class and even upper-middle-class members. 2.) Neocons (former 'liberals mugged by reality') are associated today with their hawkish foreign policy. But they also have faint Dem instincts when it comes to the role of government in domestic matters. ... P.S. - I don't have a clue why Reader No. 1 listed 'Whitewater.' He'll hopefully get back to me on that. I suspect it might have something to do with blaming Clinton. ...Update
-- Actually, he makes a good point
about Whitewater. ...