Much has been made about the in-fighting and feuding within the Republican Party, and not only is it accurate but if anything it’s probably under-reported by the mainstream media. Should Mitt Romney lose in November, you will see the political equivalent to Antietam within the GOP leading up to 2016.
But the same carnage will occur within the Democrat Party if Obama loses this fall, and it might actually be worse. It’s just you wouldn’t know it, because the internal problems among the Democrats are not as widely exposed by the fourth estate.
To understand why the Democrats are at the same crossroads as are the Republicans, you must first understand the differences in structure and methodology between America’s two major parties.
For all its talk of local control, the Republican Party is ironically a very top-down organization with most of the power concentrated inside the Beltway. Many state and county Republican Parties in this country are little more than glorified bridge or rotary clubs, where who’s bringing what for the potluck (and who’s responsible for the clean up afterwards) is the most hotly debated topic. That’s because most Republicans do not view participation in politics to be among their top priorities. They’re often more focused on their careers, businesses, churches and families. Government for most of them is a necessary evil at best.
Furthermore, it is ideology that drives most Republicans to become Republicans. When someone thinks Republican the brands they think of first are issue-based: small government, less taxes, pro-life, pro-family values, strong national defense, etc. At its core the GOP is an ideologically-driven party. Unfortunately, running that ideologically-driven party is a ruling class atop that top-down organization that is not as ideologically-driven, which leads to the much-publicized in-fighting within the GOP. There is constant tension between conservatives and the Republican establishment, and that tension will come to a head if Romney (the establishment candidate) fails to beat Obama as his establishment predecessor John McCain did.