There is a lot of tension between the two wings of the Republican party. The social conservatives are in power right now and the fiscal conservatives are not liking it one bit. And they have reasons which are both good and obvious.
But will this result in the immanent fracture of the party? It could but I doubt it. The reason I doubt it is that the party isn't going to fracture until one of the wings realizes that it isn't getting anything out of the coalition. And both wings realize that if the coalition fractures, Democrats will be running things. And the Democrats are the enemy to both wings. Which means that even if one wing is really unhappy, it will still grouse and complain and whine, but in the end the enemy of my enemy will still be my friend.
Which brings me to my thesis. The fracture isn't going to happen until one of two things happens:
- One wing thinks it can come out ahead in a three way race.
- The Democrats are capable of running a real candidate that can strip off the voters from one wing of Republican party.
The second is more likely but still not looking promising from a practical standpoint. Lets face it, John Kerry was a joke. He is a New England liberal. I'm not really happy with George Bush. He spends too much and seems to like growing government beyond reasonable bounds. And I'm a social conservative. But John Kerry was worse in every respect. I'm not going to vote for Satan just because I disagree with the Pope.
If the Democrats were wise, they would be stripping the fiscal conservative wing off the party right now. But they can't because that would mean committing to a small government they don't really want. Being out of power is really teaching them the merits of limited government though, so perhaps they will come around eventually. But honestly, it is probably going to require completing the mid-nineties generational change to do it. We got rid of the old guard southern Democrats. Now we need to get rid of the old guard Northern Democrats. I think we'll be waiting a while.
UPDATE: Hello Instalanchers. If you want some highlights, here is a post that contains some.