Commentary From the Mile High City

"Star of the conservative blogosphere" Denver Post

"The Rocky Mountain Alliance offers the best of what the blogosphere has to offer." -David Harsanyi, Denver Post
Joshua Sharf

 notify list
to receive email when this site is updated, enter your email address:
 recent posts
24 (2 entries)
Anglosphere (1 entries)
Biking (1 entries)
Blogging (35 entries)
Business (173 entries)
CFA (3 entries)
China (5 entries)
Climate Change (3 entries)
Colorado (20 entries)
Denver (12 entries)
Design (4 entries)
Economics (39 entries)
Education (6 entries)
Electoral College (1 entries)
Environmentalism (3 entries)
Europe (0 entries)
Flying (2 entries)
Foreign Affairs (1 entries)
General (89 entries)
Gun Control (2 entries)
Health Care (7 entries)
Higher Ed (7 entries)
History (8 entries)
Home Improvement (1 entries)
Illegal Immigration (35 entries)
Internet (4 entries)
Israel (57 entries)
Jewish (49 entries)
Judicial Nominations (12 entries)
Katrina (0 entries)
Literature (1 entries)
Media (37 entries)
Music (3 entries)
Photoblogging (32 entries)
Politics (152 entries)
Porkbusters (5 entries)
Radio (16 entries)
Religion (1 entries)
Reviews (8 entries)
Robed Masters (4 entries)
Science (1 entries)
Sports (9 entries)
Taxes (2 entries)
Transportation (6 entries)
Unions (1 entries)
War on Terror (180 entries)
my other blogs
Three-Letter Monte

Rocky Mtn. Alliance
Best Destiny
Daily Blogster
Geezerville USA
Mount Virtus
Night Twister
Rocky Mountain Right
Slapstick Politics
The New Conservative
Thinking Right
View from a Height

other blogs
One Big Swede
American Thinker
Meryl Yourish
NRO Corner
Little Green Footballs
No Left Turns
A Constrained Vision

business blogs
Accidental Verbosity
Assymetrical Information
Carnival of the Capitalists
Cold Springs Shops
Commodity Trader
Coyote Blog
Different River
Everyone's Illusion
Fast Company Blog
Financial Rounds
Freakonomics Blog
Management Craft
Trader Mike
Carnival of the Capitalists Submission

business data
Inst. Supply Mgmt.
St. Louis Fed Economic Data
Nat'l Bureau of Economic Research
Economic Calendar
Stock Charts

colorado blogs
Pirate Ballerina
Pagan Capitalist
Boker Tov, Boulder
Colorado Pols
Jeff Sherman

<-?Colorado BlogRing#->

sites, not blogs
Thinking Rock Press
 help israel
Israel Travel Ministry
Friends of the IDF
Volunteers for Israel
Magen David Adom
 1939 World's Fair
1939: The Lost World of the Fair
The New York World's Fair: 1939-1940
The Last Great Fair by Jeffrey Hart
Iconography of Hope (U.Va.)
Images From the '39 Fair
Tour the 1939 New York Fair
Powered by
Movable Type 3.2

« Will the Bauhaus Never End? | Main | Urban Planning Blogging »

The Life Cycle of a Political Party

Why does a political party exist? To win elections? Or to promote ideas?

The fact is, the Republican party has ceased to do the second because it has effectively abandoned its efforts to do the third.

The question is, therefore, should it continue to do the first?

A fair number of Republicans, some of them recent candidates traumatized by public disaffection for the Iraq War during the last election cycle, believe that the party is dead, and should be put out of its misery as quickly as possible.

Others believe that, since the party has basically abandoned efforts to hold the government to its limitations under that obscure statute known as The Constitution, it can no longer address the critical issues of the day, and deserves the same fate as the Whig Party. The Whigs, incapable of producing a coherent philosophical position about slavery, found itself quickly put out of business, replaced by the Republicans, who knew exactly where they stood on the issue.

Statewide, the party leadership made a number of catastrophic mistakes, practically scripted to damage the brand, split the membership, and leave it in minority status. Aside from Ref C, which cost the party is claim to be the low-tax party, it also failed to confront campaign finance "reform," which created loopholes big enough to drive a truck through - loopholes all of which were conveniently located on the left-hand side of the road.

These mistakes left the party defenseless against attacks it was practically begging the Left to launch.

Some commentators are taking the "worse is better" approach to electoral politics. This has a soft form - lose an election badly enough to shake up the membership - and a hard form: lose badly enough to collapse the party entirely and leave room for a more principled replacement. The first is a reckless gamble, the latter a childish approach to politics that would throw away the eminently salvageable political machinery of generations.

The problem is, either one of these alternatives will leave a vacuum (which nature and justice abhor) giving over massive majorities to the Democrats. We've subjected the country to the tender mercies of the Democrats a few times in history, and the results haven't been stellar. In reverse chronological order, they've resulted in an intractable welfare state (LBJ and the Great Society), massive economic mismanagement (FDR and the Great Depression), temporary abandonment of the rule of law (Woodrow Wilson and WWI), and the dismemberment of the country (Buchanan and the Civil War).

The election laws aren't favorable to third parties, and it could take several election cycles before a new party established itself. And crushing electoral defeats can lead to decades of self-doubt and disintegration (see Democrats 1972 to 1992). In fact, the party could simply limp along in minority status for decades, decades that the country simply no longer has the luxury of. It's done so before.

The fact is, instead of cynically rooting for disaster, we would be better served to begin rebuilding the party brand now. We should be looking for candidates who stand for something, rather than being happy with the, "well, we're better than them" line, which has been played out for several elections.

We should be looking for candidates who can begin pushing the Constitutionalist ideals which the rank-and-file expect it to. We should be supporting those candidates.


Anti Planner is another one that covers the subject.

The republicans were quite successful with the "Contract with America" concept which laid out basic principles, and required signatory candidates to promise to abide by them. Good idea then, good idea now. Produce a very basic (KISS principle) document outlining very basic principles, stating that the undersigned candidates will abide by them.

Make sure this document is widely circulated. As time passes, make REAL sure the signatories stick with the contract.

Signatories will be known as the Contract Coalition, which can, in time, morph into a real party in and of itself.

Vote CC.
Get what you pay for.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Power, Faith, and Fantasy

Six Days of War

An Army of Davids

Learning to Read Midrash

Size Matters

Deals From Hell

A War Like No Other


A Civil War

Supreme Command

The (Mis)Behavior of Markets

The Wisdom of Crowds

Inventing Money

When Genius Failed

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Back in Action : An American Soldier's Story of Courage, Faith and Fortitude

How Would You Move Mt. Fuji?

Good to Great

Built to Last

Financial Fine Print

The Day the Universe Changed


The Multiple Identities of the Middle-East

The Case for Democracy

A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam

The Italians

Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory

Beyond the Verse: Talmudic Readings and Lectures

Reading Levinas/Reading Talmud