The conventional criticism of Republican infighting coming from the left is that they are promoting ideological purity at the expense of numbers. That is, by purging those deemed not socially conservative enough, they are guaranteeing that they will end up as a small, weak party that only has influence in the South. By alienating the "moderates," they are assuring that their candidates will never win general elections. Even some Republicans agree with this analysis.
I believe that this criticism glosses over some important facts:
- The recent election of President Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress had far more to do with Bush's colossal failures and multiple Republican scandals than it did with any disagreement with the Republican platform.
- President Obama is no progressive and his election does not represent any sort of meaningful shift to the left. Most of the Democrats elected in the last election were to the right of center.
- Progressives certainly helped to elect Obama, but their agenda has largely been ignored by this president.
As someone commenting from the left side of the spectrum, I envy what the Republicans are doing. I wish that we on the left were following suit, forming a progressive party far to the left of where the Democratic Party has drifted. What is the point of working to win elections when one's elected officials do not represent the base who worked so hard to elect them?
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