Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Meghan McCain vs. The Far Right

Meghan McCain is feuding with Coulter and Malkin.

Malkin said that Meghan McCain should just get it over with and leave the Republican party.

Ordinarily, I wouldn't think anyone would care. But this raises an interesting question. What would a split in the Republican Party look like?

The first view that springs to mind is that a moderate Republican party would just split the base of the right, leaving it powerless, giving total control to the Democrats.

I don't think this is accurate.

A moderate Republican party (or moderate Democratic party) would pull some people from the original party, but would also pull a number of people across the aisle from the other party. It would become very attractive to those sick of political hyperboles, and it would be very attractive to the conflicted moderates who make up the bulk of the electorate.

The moderate party might gain immense power in its ability to exchange votes on key issues with either other party. They could temporarily trade factional alliance at any time to give either party the majority, becoming the all important swing vote in US politics.

There would be obstacles, sure. New parties are magnets for fail. But if a few high profile individuals made the move, it might gain credibility and momentum.

Another worry is that the right-left axis isn't really a linear spectrum. Meghan McCain's position on homosexuality is in some ways more liberal than Obama's. Once you stake out your moderate viewpoint by hammering out specifics issue by issue, you probably no longer look moderate, but look like a hodgepodge of positions that give everyone something to be upset about. But hey, that's how the two parties we have work now, I think that limitation could be overcome.

At the end of the day, I think Malkin's correct. Meghan McCain should leave the party to support a small government party that's socially liberal and fiscally restrained. Only then would Coulter and Malkin realize how isolated and extreme their views have become.