Republican handwringing over a feared brokered convention presents a good opportunity to reflect on what brought the party to this point.
The absence of George W. Bush from the 2008 Republican Convention was an undeniable admission that the Republican Party had failed the American people. The stunning nomination of then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for vice president was an undeniable admission that the party knew the American people knew it.
Here we are in 2012 and the party is no better. Reduced to biting off its nose to spite its face against President Obama, civil war rages between the GOP’s corporate bloc and its religious contingent. Both believe the other has hurt the cause, as the moneyed camp blames fundamentalists for turning away women and independents while values voters say Wall Street scandals and bipartisan bank bailouts branded the whole party, including their agenda, corrupt.
To quote Abraham Lincoln, a famous Republican, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Yet this Republican Party cannot help but be divided. Only after sustained suffering under Democratic rule and its host of problems will the party be able to unite and compete. Until then, ongoing recrimination from the disaster of the last election will outweigh sound strategic thinking and we’ll continue to see recurring variations of 2008.
West Jefferson, Ohio