I once answered that question with "Their problems started when Reagan invited the religious right to join the Party and they were numerous enough to make "compromise" a dirty word."

I've since read some of the Party's history and now wonder if their problems began:

1. In 1948 when Dem Harry Truman defeated Eastern Repub Tom Dewey for the presidency,

2. In the 1950s when Birchers called President Eisenhower a communist because he was too liberal, or

3. In 1964 when they nominated Barry Goldwater and tossed moderates from the Party.

It's certainly no longer the Repub Party of Lincoln that freed the slaves.

How long before the Party splits or dies, or the Red States secede?

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Much of the change in the Republican party is not necessarily due to what the they themselves did. Looking a bit back in time it used to be the Democrats which was the war party, presiding over WW2, the Cuba missile crisis, and the Vietnam War, compared to Ike which warned against the military-industrial complex. In addition, it was as well the favored party of the racist south, i.e. Strom Thurmond. When the Dems embraced the civil rights movement of the 60s, the south pivoted towards the GOP, though the GOP did not exactly reciprocate at the time.

The last of what can be said to be the "traditional" GOP presidents was Ford, and after his defeat the party turned quite hard right and populist in both social and economical issues, which culminated in the rather shameful choice of 1980 between a peanut farmer and a movie star. In the 80s the GOP honed it's southern/religious/monetarist stances into what became the more or less reactionary neo-conservative movement it has become today.

The electoral system in the US pretty much guarantees that there will be no third party, and barring some cataclysmic event secession is unlikely in the foreseeable future.

Arcus - agreed, the big changeover from a solid Democratic South to a totally Republican South came with Democrat Lyndon Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act of 1965.

Ironically, it's the Republican financial base that's robbing the Middle and Lower Classes blind, but because the educational level average is much lower for these classes, especially in the South, by throwing emotionally charged catch-phrases into election campaigns, such as, "No Gun Control!" and "No Abortions!" and now the Evangelical Movement, the poor in this country have been manipulated into voting for the party that's robbing them.

The solution, of course, is more education for these classes, which is why Santorum is telling them that higher education can be a bad thing - he's right, it can, for the Republican Party!

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx
www.in-His-own-image.com

Arcus, the peanut farmer and the movie star had each been his state's chief executive. I agree though that neither was the best available.

Carter's engineering education had contributed to his seeing trees and not knowing he was in a forest. Reagan's limited intelligence had led him to say he didn't understand a bill but supported it anyway. I was working in Anderson's campaign.

   In 1932, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt betrayed his privileged roots and began creating America's first robust middle class, which the party of the rich has been working feverishly to destroy ever since.

there would be no specific time that this polarizing, short sighted, petty political strife started. this has always been the case. whats new is the decreasing news cycles to less than 7 minutes...and simply the increasing amount of money required to become president, or any other elected official. when campaigns need 10 figures to launch a man or women into the white house. you have this sporadic contradictory appeasement to anyone with any money. ideologically there is no specific point in time that this shift to the extreme right with a fixation on social issues that dont matter (thats right they dont, diversionary). its a mutation to attract as much money as possible.

so 4. piles of money by any means necessary.

its a mutation to attract as much money as possible.

Spot on.

Like!

both parties are very plastic and corprate, they both propose things they have no intention on doing, and do things they have no intention on proposing. Neither are interested in individual freedom or makeing life beter for people.

I think the trouble for the republicans started back with Nixon, the father of neo-conservatism. His ideas are still very prevalent among people like bush, santorum, and probably romney as well.

@shabaka: You'll have to support your "fact" that the south wanted to overthrow the north. Everything I have read indicates that the south just wanted out. In fact, the confederate government tried several times to negotiate wiyh the US to pay for US properties lost to the confederacy. The Lincoln administration wouldn't talk to them because they feared that would constitute recognizing the confederate government. Something Lincoln wasn't about to do.

As to your comment about the Emancipation Proclamation, you are absolutely right. But, this begs the question: why did Lincoln issue a decree he had no power to enforce? I have a couple of thoughts, but i'd like to hear others' first.

@Tom: no spoof. In my opinion, the war was started primarily by two opportunist, the govenor of South Carolina and the president.

The govenor, who was spoiling for a war, acted on a rumor that the US had violated an agreement concerning supplies for Ft. Sumter and ordered his state malitia to fire on the fort.

Lincoln used the firing on Sumter to whip up natioanistic sentiment and call up 75000 troops to "put down the rebellion".

Something most people don't realize is that half of the states that made up the confederacy did not secede until Lincoln's call up because they realized that he would have to violate their sovereignty to do so.

Question: which is the only illegal state in the union?

The south wanted out because they did not want to pay taxes. Particularly taxes on slaves and imports. Their was more money allocated to the south than they were paying in taxes, due to the 3/5 compromise. 

What makes the shit even more funny is the confederacies inablitity to collect taxes greatly contributed to them loosing the war. . 

Scott: the only illegal state in the union?

Ohio was illegal until the 1970s (approx), when a flaw was found in the 1803(?) statehood papers. Politicos fixed the flaw, backdated their fix so no one would get a refund of taxes paid. I don't know of another state.

Going further off topic. Re the CW. Historians have a variety of opinions. Does your opinion identify the governor's and the president's motives?

A recent TV history says there were two forts in the harbor, and Anderson on Sumter agreed to abandon the smaller of the two. I saw no mention of another agreement.

Lincoln's abandoning Sumter would have recognized the seceding states as a government. The South's allowing the North to resupply Sumter would have recognized a "foreign" fortification in the seceding state. Ergo, ego.

Politicians usually act for economic reasons they then conceal, which supports the claim (by a source whose identity I did not record) that the war was between Northern and Southern conservatives. To get cannon fodder, politicians appeal to emotion; to get business backing they appeal to greed.

Do you see a contradiction between the above and your opinion?

Tom,

Without doing some re-research. There were two forts and part of the agreement between the US and South Carolina was a "stand fast" order to all US military personnel. SC held that the US commander (who's name escapes me at the moment) violated that agreement by moving his men from the other fort to Sumter. SC's governor used that and the rumors of a military resupply ship carrying more than humanitarian supplies as his justification for ordering the firing on Ft. Sumter. Was it justified? Probably not since the Lincoln administration had barely taken office and there hadn't been any real time to try to negotiate. I don't know that there would have been any negotiating done, but it seems to me that the governor was quick to jump on a rather small infraction.

However, the same can be said about Lincoln. While the firing on Sumter would have been unacceptable from the US point of view, I don't accept that it justified all out war. His actions too, seem to indicate that he wasn't willing to talk. I just don't know. 

I'm not sure I agree that if Lincoln pulled US troops out of SC, that would have constituted recognizing the Confederacy. It WOULD have constituted recognizing that favorite southern  phrase "states rights" or, closer to the truth in those days, "state sovereignty". Confederate union or not, Lincoln maintained that once a state joined the union, it did not have the right to withdraw from it. While that may seem apparent to us (and it is so because of the civil war), it was a very big deal in the mid 1800s. The issue had in no way been settled.

As to my illegal state question, the answer is West Virginia. It is the only state (that I'm aware of) created in direct contradiction to the US Constitution. This case makes for some interesting reading if anyone enjoys this kind of thing. 

Now, before I go any further down the civil war path, let me say this: the reason I originally said that I lay all of our problems as a constitutional republic at Lincoln's feet is that because of the civil war, the Federal government has been firmly established as supreme. Prior to the war there was a by design tension between the federal government and the states because there was a constitutional restriction on the power of the federal government. That restriction has been gone since the war. The federal government reigns supreme and no entity has the power to seriously challenge it. 

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