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> Collapse of Big Tents?, Should Political Parties Be ideologically Pure or Represent Diversity?
post Nov 29 2009, 10:50 PM
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An article in this morningís Fort Worth Star Telegram brings up an interesting question for the upcoming 2010 elections.

"Both parties in the last 25 to 30 years included liberals, moderates and conservatives," said Jim Riddlesperger, a political science professor at Texas Christian University. "But both are moving away from the diversity. Members of the party who donít fit the stereotypes are being driven out.

"This is creating conflict for conflictís sake. Itís a result of moving toward ideological purity in both parties."


One example is the Texas governorís race; some say the GOP primary, pitting conservative Gov. Rick Perry and moderate U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, will be a bellwether indicating how "pure" Texas Republicans want their governor to be.


U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco ó a moderate who has held his House seat for years, despite a Republican-led redrawing of his district ó may be targeted by his own party because he didnít support the healthcare overhaul.

And at least four strong Republican incumbents ó including U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, state Reps. Charlie Geren and Vicki Truitt and Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley ó face primary challenges from participants in grassroots "tea parties" or conservative talk show host Glenn Beckís 912 Project.


Former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Denton County was among those opposing a Republican seeking a vacant New York congressional seat, saying that Dede Scozzafava isnít a true Republican.

Question for Debate:

Is public policy best served when political parties are ideologically pure or represent diverse points of view?

This post has been edited by BoF: Nov 29 2009, 10:51 PM
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post Dec 1 2009, 11:03 PM
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As a note, the only reason I'm not bothering to refute the latest pack of lies and distortions (with one or two nuggets of fact) presented by aevans176 is because it's all off-topic.

But I do think it lends to the points that AuthorMusician and CruisingRam are making - that part of the ideological polarization in this country is borne of a willingness to believe so much that isn't so in a partisan context, and the majority of that belief constitutes a demonization of the other side of the partisan divide in general and their leaders in particular.

It's the logic that lends right-wing pundits to claim with no sense of irony that 9/11 was Clinton's fault and that the recession is Obama's -- though both occurred on Bush's watch.
It's the logic that lends the same to claim that the messes that are Iraq and Afghanistan are also Obama's fault (rather than accurately saying that from 12pm on January 20, 2009, they were his responsibility.

It's about blame because without that blame, there need be no self-reflection on the failures of one's own party when it had twelve years of Congressional control and six years of control of the Presidency with it.

It is my hope that, for however long the Democrats hold control, if it happens to be two, four, six or eight years, or more, that we look at our successes and failures more realistically. But... well, honestly, I don't think it's likely.
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post Jan 18 2011, 12:05 AM
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For all the talk of hyper-partisanship in the media, it seems like there's just as much hyper-partisanship within the parties themselves. There's definitely a real divide between pro- and ant-Obama factions on the Democrat side ("Obamabots and Firebaggers," if you will). There's something of a three-way split between the "country club" Republicans, Tea Partiers, and old-school Republicans that fit better into the Goldwater conservative category. Of course, uniformity of opinion is never desirable and there should always be a devil's advocate in any party. But I see a lot of internal sniping going on over things that people nominally agree on or just because x legislation "didn't go far enough" so anyone who supported it should be tossed out. How long can this go on before something gives?
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post Jan 18 2011, 02:44 AM
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CLOSED. This is an old topic. Please feel free to start something fresh if you are so inclined. Thanks!
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