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April 28, 2009

Scott Rasmussen: Future of GOP Lies Beyond the Beltway

I hope so.

To be relevant in politics, you need either formal power or a lot of people willing to follow your lead. The governing Republicans in the nation's capital have lost both on their continuing path to irrelevance.

The disconnect between D.C. Republicans and Republicans throughout the country has been growing for nearly 20 years, but it became more intense and noticeable during the waning years of the Bush administration.

Perhaps the final straw was the $700 billion bank bailout plan pushed through Congress last fall despite strong voter opposition. For all the furor unleashed this spring by congressional Republicans about President Obama's $787 billion stimulus plan, the Bush-era bailouts last fall were approved with virtually no advance notice and no guidelines as to how the money would be spent. Looking back, most voters and nearly eight-out-of-10 Republicans now believe the bailouts were a bad idea .

...

The gap between Beltway Republicans and the Republican base is part of a wider gap between the Mainstream and the Political Class. On many issues, the gap between Mainstream Americans and the Political Class is bigger than the gap between Mainstream Republicans and Mainstream Democrats.

But Political Class Democrats control Congress and the White House while their GOP counterparts have little in the way of power and influence to overcome the disconnect with their base. One immediate result of this is that senior senators like Arlen Specter and John McCain now are facing primary challenges. Other challenges may follow. It used to be possible for Republicans in Washington to argue that they needed someone like Specter or McCain to hang on to the majority but no longer.

Look for the Republican Party to sink further into irrelevancy as long as its key players insist on hanging around Congress or K Street for their ideas. The future for the GOP is beyond the Beltway.

But if that's true, we're looking at a 20 year cycle of minorty-party rebuilding. Who knows what America might look like after we've had our time in the wilderness.



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posted by Ace at 02:53 PM

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