I have used this quote before, but it bares repeating:
The validity of this quote by our first President came to mind while reading the reactions from the news that Dede Scozzafava, the Republican candidate for NY-23, has suspended her campaign. The most interesting and pertinent reaction came from Newt Gingrich:
“This makes life more complicated from the standpoint of this: If we get into a cycle where every time one side loses, they run a third-party candidate, we’ll make Pelosi speaker for life and guarantee Obama’s re-election,” said Mr. Gingrich, who had endorsed Ms. Scozzafava.
“I felt very deeply that when you have all 11 county chairman voting for someone, that it wasn’t appropriate for me to come in and render my judgment,” he said. “I think we are going to get into a very difficult environment around the country if suddenly conservative leaders decide they are going to anoint people without regard to local primaries and local choices.”
What Gingrich is describing there is something becoming far to common in politics today. Instead of letting the people who would be represented by that candidate make the decision, you now got people exerting pressure from all over the country – even people who never been to a district like NY-23.
This is a major problem for the right. The far right is pushing out the moderates, effectively shrinking the size of their tent. Instead of embracing the ideals of the people, they are trying to force the people to embrace the ideals of the few. This is no recipe for success if the GOP wants to regain control.
As long as we are stuck with having parties we need more than one to maintain checks and balances within the halls of Congress. To insure that we need to break away from a two-party system. Perhaps there is a silver lining to what is happening in NY-23. Maybe we will see the start of a split that will give us a Conservative Party and a Republican Party, then that momentum could move to the left and give us a Democratic Party and a Liberal Party. While the Conservative and Liberals would not likely come up with anything together, we could quiet possibly see legislation supported by Republicans and Liberals or Democrats and Conservatives.
Having a system like this would be a big win for America. The two party monopoly we have in politics today would cease to exist and the need to try and garner support from the extreme ends of the ideological spectrum would be no more. We would have a sliding scale instead of teeter-totter when it comes to legislation. It would also keep pressure on each party to keep with their base ideals. Having equally powerful parties on each side of the more common Republican and Democratic parties would force those members to stay more within the confines of their party.
For this too work though it would have to be a consensus amongst both our current parties. If just one party splits up then their chances of ever regaining control would become extinct. Both parties would have to decide to split at the same time. Sadly that is something we won’t see without a national initiative to start it. Big donors withholding money and the grassroots joining forces to push the issue. That would choke off the current two parties and force them to listen to ‘we the people’.