we think a central source of GOP success lies in the unprecedented (within the contours of modern American politics) capacity of conservative elites to coordinate their activities and operate in a unified fashion.Check back with them later in the week too.
In a political system that was specifically designed to prevent unified action, coordination is an enormous political advantage, helping the GOP to get the maximum value out of many of the advantages mentioned in Friday’s discussion. It makes it far easier to control the agenda (which is crucial in politics), to stay on message, to use legislative procedure (as well as even more obscure elements of policymaking) to pursue off-center goals while presenting a more moderate face to the public, to divide opponents, and to protect potentially vulnerable Republicans from exposure—as well as shower them with cash if all else fails. The capacity to work in an unusually unified way allows GOP elites to provide what we call backlash insurance—a variety of protections to politicians who might otherwise feel a need to be more responsive to public opinion.
Monday, October 10, 2005
GOP Successes Explained
There's a great discussion at Washington Monthly started by Kevin. It features a pair of guest bloggers who wrote Off Center. From the initial post: