A Wisconsin Political Fix
not just another blog
November 1, 2009
By Bill Kraus
The Republican death spiral started with the unintended consequences of the Watergate reforms. The party went from the main slater and funder of the campaigns of Republican candidates to a sideshow. The money got loose from what Ody Fish described as “the kinder mistress” and campaigns became entrepreneurial. The new sources of money came with strings and went directly to the more beholden candidates and the professionals who ran their campaigns.
The game of keeping the party centrist and fighting off the anarchists and one-issue people who were always there but were kept on the margin by the moderate, mostly business people, who were in charge, was no longer worth the candle.
The spin accelerated when the professionals who replaced the moderate, volunteer, amateurs (in quotes) introduced a segmentation-marketing strategy: the wedges.
They started with the anarchists who had always been there, had always had an insatiable appetite for reducing the size and power of the public sector, and had been barking up a tree that had long ago grown to Sequoia size in this country.
The professionals added the one-issue zealots to this base and partisanized the goals of repealing Roe v Wade, protecting a religious rite, and putting AK47 weapons in every closet.
These objectives wholly contradicted the anarchists’ view of the world and should have been anathema to them. But they accepted these strange bedfellows as co-conspirators for reasons to which I am not privy.
What was soon evident is that this new coalition was composed of people who dominate instead of assimilating. The moderates who didn’t leave of their own volition because of their distaste for this distortion of the party’s agenda were pushed out because they didn’t conform. True believers do this.
This coalition, which is more notable for its volubility than its volume, starting losing elections.
But they persist. As recently as last week the unholy combination got rid of a moderate who was running for an open congressional seat because she would split the Republican vote in this once-safe district and cost the coalition’s troglodytic candidate a special election.
Will this radical revisionist lose this safe seat?
Will that register on the wedgers if he does?
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