In a curious piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, they argue “The political order as we know it is deteriorating and disintegrating…” That’s a fair point. For far too long, Republicans as well as Democrats, once in power, have spent other people’s money like drunken sailors on liberty.
When the Dems held both houses of Congress and the presidency, it was drunken sailors on steroids. Contrary to Caddell and Schoen’s pleas for a third (or fourth!) political party, we’ve already seen the makings of a “third” party: the tea party, which is not a party as such but a large grouping of citizens who are yelling, “Enough! Stop spending us into debtor’s prison!”
The tea party philosophy resulted in the GOP taking over the House of Representatives last year. Note that well: it is only the Republicans who benefited from the tea party votes. For all the lame claims that the tea party somehow involves Democrats, suffice to say that none have been elected because of their fiscal conservatism.
What has happened is that it is Republican candidates who have tended to be more in tune with the tea partiers. This is true in dozens of House races, and also for a few freshman senators such as Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ron Johnson (R-WI).
Note especially the “Rs” after their names; the only “D” who might conceivably claim to be in sync with the tea party is Joe Manchin (D-WV). But he’s simply a Big Coal pro-union guy who seems not to understand why his chosen party hates his favored industry. He’s hardly a tea party man, though I wish he would see the light and change parties. Better to have someone who votes with you six out of ten times than zero out of ten.
There is no “third party” here, nor does there need to be. What is happening is that the Republicans are finding, or re-discovering, that they are supposed to be the party of limited government. The “third party” is thus almost certainly going to be a chastened and fiscally conservative Republican Party.
Talk of a “third party” is just wishful thinking, because any third party candidate would, to a virtual certainty, be a fiscal conservative. And thus split votes with the Republican, virtually guaranteeing the election of the Spendthrift-in-Chief.