Thoughts on the Republican Party: Is it against college? Does it move the center? Is this the end of the modern GOP?


As the Romney vs. Santorum primary plays out – and to the lowest common denominator – there is a lot of soul searching underway within and about the GOP.

Some thoughts:

Are Republicans against college? Jill Lawrence thinks so. “First came Mitt Romney’s dismissive remarks about President Obama’s ‘faculty lounge’ pals. Now Rick Santorum is calling Obama snobby for urging people to go to college — and defending that view in a series of TV appearances.”

Are Republicans moving the center? Rick Pearlstein argues that Republicans “plant their flag in an uncompromising position, and wait for the world to come around – which, quite often, it eventually does. This is because in a media environment based on the ideology of ‘balance,’ in which anything one of the parties insists upon must be given equal weight to whatever the other party says back, the party that plants its ideological flag further from the center makes the center move. And that is how America changes. You set the stage for future changes by shifting the rhetoric of the present.”

Is this the end of the modern Republican party? Jonathan Chait: “The modern GOP — the party of Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes — is staring down its own demographic extinction. Right-wing warnings of impending tyranny express, in hyperbolic form, well-grounded dread: that conservative America will soon come to be dominated, in a semi-permanent fashion, by an ascendant Democratic coalition hostile to its outlook and interests. And this impending doom has colored the party’s frantic, fearful response to the Obama presidency.”