Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Interesting Point

Ed notes that throughout our Republic, parties have used various incentives to keep their fellow Congresscritters in line.  But post-Citizens United, a lot of those levers of power are gone.

I ask my students what is the one reason political parties exist, and very few come to the answer I hope they will: To win elections.  Everything else follows off of that.  The reason a party embraces an ideological position is simply to win elections, to clarify the choice for the electorate.

But if members of Congress are legitimately more beholden to/threatened by some Koch Brothers-funded whack-a-loon primarying them, then what does the GOP even mean as a party right now?

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