For starters, there no longer is a Republican on the menu so we're really only talking about a Democrat and a Conservative. It's been a long time since the NY 23rd has sent a Democrat to Washington. The DNC really doesn't even bother to try there.
But now, as I've been predicting for nearly a year, the Republican Party is coming unglued [Look at some of the older posts]. Just as Woodrow Wilson stole a Presidency from an otherwise tour de force (but deeply fractured) GOP in 1912, it would appear that Al Michaels could go back upstate and ask us all (or at least the Democrats among us) once again if we "believe in miracles."
I'm a registered independent and, during these most deeply divided of times, proud of it; however, if I lived in the NY 23rd I'd vote for the Conservative.
If the Conservative wins, then the GOP will hang itself. Read Frank Rich very, very carefully and then, if you're a Republican, tell me how you could possibly disagree with his assessment of where you're going? I'm serious. I'm not trying to win an argument. On the contrary, I don't see where there's an argument to win.
If the Conservative wins on Tuesday, it's over for you (Mr. and Ms. GOP). That's not hyperbole. Really, seriously . . . see you around 2016.
But what does that really mean? 2016 is seven years away. What might happen?
As a true moderate I've long been disappointed with the supposed options provided by our political party duopoly. So here's a little thought experiment. Let me know what you think:
1--The Conservative Party candidate wins the New York 23rd on Tuesday
2--The GOP's right wing faction becomes emboldened as Rich predicts it will
3--The GOP itself encounters a full blown civil war and ultimately splits. (Put another way, what has just happened in the 23rd, happens on a broad scale. By the way, when these things happen, they happen very fast. Look at the emergence of the Progressive Party in 1912 or the Reform Party in the mid-90's.)
4--This split allows the Republican Party to return to its moderate roots
5--The Conservative Party becomes the new home of the Palins, Becks, those nuts sewn up in tea bags (ahem), etc.
6--As the GOP begins to shift left, the Democratic Party does the same.
7--By 2014 or 2016, America is looking at a viable 3 party system for the first time since 1996. A genuine array of choices that speaks to a population with authentic political diversity (as opposed to the square peg-round hole slotting of our 308,000,000 on two sides of a largely contrived battle front) is in play. We all stop pretending that this current system works.
It's not that crazy. The Democrats are further right than they want to be while the GOP is a nosehair away from administering loyalty oaths. The two party system has expired its usefulness, this much is clear. We need another option---but that's not just going to happen organically. It's going to take a formed gap in need of filling. The Republican Party's version of The Real Housewives of Atlanta has done just that. We have a gap, people!
I applaud Sarah Palin for being outspoken about the 23rd. I mean it. Her 1st Amendment experience ought be no different from mine. And if she happens to have the mojo to flummox her party by being outspoken then maybe her party needs flummoxing. Maybe the right is fringe only in the context of a falsely defined method of organizing this republic. Maybe a two party system, like white male presidents, is a developing anachronism in this grand American experiment.
Lest we forget, the Founding Fathers screwed this part up. We needed a 12th Amendment to attend to the problems they failed to predict. Those problems were principally the result of an emerging two party system (If you're an opponent of the 12th Amendment, I've got two names [with attending titles] for you: President George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore . . . in the same White House! Annnnnnnnnd now you're no longer an opponent of the 12th Amendment. Very nice!)
Maybe the Framers were right after all, just a couple hundred years too late. So, of course, this all means the Civics teacher in me has to keep going with the thought experiment:
8--By 2020, it's apparent that the Electoral College, which requires 270 of the 538 electors to choose a President, is no longer suitable for America.
9--A 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified in short order. America begins to choose its Presidents as a result of popular vote
10--As has been the case for most of recent Presidential election history, winners are rarely able to secure a majority of the popular vote (Please review the data and then take note of what an electoral freak of nature Barack Obama truly was last year).
11--With no electoral college to prop up the falsely held assumption that our Chief Executives typically have the backing "of the people," the balance of power slowly shifts back to where it belongs, the legislative branch.
I'm eligible to retire from teaching at the end of the 2021-22 school year (unless Wisconsin's budget issues get so out of hand that they start incentivizing school districts to begin buying out expensive saps like me), but if the above happens, I'll follow in the footsteps of my grandfather and keep going to work on into my nineties.
Wouldn't the whole damn thing just be cooler than a cage full of albino baby tiger cubs? Be honest, you want it to happen.
On Tuesday, we're all Conservative Party members.
A blog . . . in spite of how pathetic blogging actually is.