Bipartisanship Part Deux

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader happened to read the Niall Ferguson piece to which the Minister of Agriculture linked in the post below this one.

First of all, your Maximum Leader wouldn’t categorize it as a man-crush. He would categorize it as a mind-crush. Your Maximum Leader is drawn (like Oprah) to fascinating people. Ferguson is an original thinker and writer. That is why your Maximum Leader likes him. Which leads your Maximum Leader to his second point.

Secondly, Ferguson is completely wrong on this count. People (both sharp intellectuals like Ferguson, and dull cretins like many of the protestors of the Republican Convention interviewed on TV) have been predicting how the re-election of president so-and-so or prime minister whats-his-name will spell certain doom for their party.

Your Maximum Leader remembers how many commentators in 1984 were predicting that the Republican Party had hit its high water mark. Re-electing Reagan would break apart the party along social issues that split the so-called “economic conservatives” and the so-called “social conservatives.”

In 1996 it was the tension in the Democratic party between the Clintonista “New Democrats” and the “Democrats” that would rend the party to peices.

Ferguson’s WSJ peice is one of those great examples of making a historical analogy that really isn’t analogous. But as your Maximum Leader has said before, sometimes you try to draw together a set of historical circumstances, show their congruity to the present, and predict future activity from how the past and present appear to coalesce.

Sometimes the analogy works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Alas people have been making the “The-best-thing-that-can-happen-to-the-Republican/Democratic-party-is-X-loosing-this-election” argument for so long that it is like a clanging cymbal that you learn to ignore.

Parties survive because they are inherently flexible and pragmatic. They also survive the internal pressures of conflicting ideology because they are, at best, loose confederations of more-or-less like-minded people who like to win more than they like to loose. American politicians are not party creatures like politicans are in other countries. They affiliate with parties because that is where the money is. Both parties are “big tents” and contain mulititudes and contradictions. People like (and vote for) politicians who are “their own man” and not craven to party interests. Politicians like being thought of as being “independent” and not beholden to anyone. So the parties just deal with it as best they can.

They aren’t going to split up any time soon.

Carry on.

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