Tuesday, May 31, 2005

How We Got Here

Townhall has an interesting article by Bruce Bartlett up today. In it he traces how the switch to Direct Election of Senators lead directly to the current climate in which parties are tied up with ideologies. This is largely the story of the transition of Southern Conservatives from the Democratic party to the Republican Party, which he covers well enough, from a conservative perspective. You can't really expect a conservative to cover the racism that infused Southern Conservatism in much of the 1900s.

He ends with these worrisome paragraphs.
As a consequence, ideology and partisanship have become merged together in the 21st century in a way that was not the case in the 20th. Liberals mostly were liberals first and Democrats second, and conservatives were conservatives first and Republicans second. Now, it is much harder to maintain those distinctions. There is tremendous pressure on ideologues of both parties to be partisans first and support the party, even if it means compromising their principles.

This, I believe, is at the root of the current impasse. Purely partisan fights have been suffused with ideological fervor, thus making deals impossible for now.
I don't know if impossible is the right word, but certainly deals are more difficult to come by than they have been in the past.

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