29 August 2007

The Lieberman Effect

Well ... Since it doesn't look like Cheney is going to step-down any time soon, I'm going to go out on a limb a little early and predict that the 2008 elections will see the first stage collapse of America's two-party system. And here's how I think it will happen:

In a fashion similar to Senator Joe Lieberman's 2006 re-election (but writ large), both sides will cleave into a "party faction" and a "base faction".

On the Democrat side, for example, I predict Hillary will control the "party faction" (and the traditional party apparatus). She will be opposed; however, by the "base faction" of the left (epitomized by the MoveOns) -- who will have their own nominee and fancy themselves as in control.

For the Republicans, I suspect Mitt will lead the "party faction" -but- the primary will actually be won by an independent who wins hearts of "the base". That is, unless there's a major terrorist attack.

I think this dynamic is exacerbated by the complete breakdown of the parties' convention mechanism. No longer are the political conventions a mechanism for hashing-out intra-party differences (in order to select the best representative). They're now simply big commercial events -- Superbowls of politics where the outcome is known well in advance of the closing gavel. Because of this, I predict, the real vetting process moves to the net -and- folks begin to realize it's turning into a 4-way race.

Enter the Libertarians, Greens, Reforms, et al.

Everyone decides they have a shot at the brass ring and will attempt to muscle into the final debates (a move both encouraged and facilitated by the internet) -- then -- Katie bar the doors -- we'll have a 5-way, 6-way race?

Where do we end up? In a spot where the next President of the United States is likely to win with less than 40% of the vote.

Mark my words!


J.T. said...

and so MANY words at that! Very unlike you for the blog.

Once again, however, I find myself nodding my head and agreeing..

Anonymous said...

I think you are just a tad behind the curve. The two party system has been in a slow death spiral for years now.

We have entered into the "cult of the personality" as far as politics goes. It started with Kennedy who was a master of the entertainment arts (TV "News). After that, it was all about the charisma thing. Substance, the Constitution and The Bill of Rights no longer mattered.

That said, I did enjoy your views and will stop back from time to time.


Ozprey said...

Agreed all around. I see this "Lieberman Effect" as being another revolutionary form of media to present the political view. In it's day, train tours were a way reaching out to more of the masses. Then radio, another leap forward, and as groucho points out, television. With the internet and You Tube now, that dynamic seems to be taking another leap forward. The internet tho is not controlled by special interest interested in especially two parties. And an 'Allegory of The Cave' moment begins to occur where people slowly stop staring at the shadows on the walls, and get up and go outside to see what's creating them. The Lieberman election showed us that that source can be tapped. Fred Thompson campaign has embraced it. MSM created the "cult of personality". Hopefully it will be the internet that destroys it. And all the while the Dem's and Rep's membership(s) slowly trickle off to other parties. The real fun up to 08 will be watching both parties attempt to define themselves between old school and new school. I will be eating popcorn and laughing at them all....