David Frum

09.20.12

Is a Civil War Looming for the GOP?

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Rod Dreher responds with skepticism to David's prediction of a coming "civil war" within the GOP.

If there were a GOP civil war, who would the opposing sides be? The Democratic Leadership Council came into being after the Mondale defeat in 1984, offering new ideas and cultivating new talent for the intellectually moribund Democrats. By the time the Democrats went down to a third straight presidential defeat in 1988, the demoralized party turned to the DLC types … which gave them Bill Clinton. Where is the Republican version of the DLC? Will it be formed after Romney’s loss (assuming Romney loses)? What will it stand for? What will it stand against? The Republicans have done such an effective job of purifying the party and maintaining party discipline that it’s hard to find sources of renewal within the party structure or ancillary organizations.

Unlike in 2008, this election has showcased a schism between Randians and everyone else within the GOP. Romney's 47% comments merely moved that conflict from within the party tent to the harsh limelight of the public's eye. It wasn't a pretty sight, nor was it well received. But it just might have sped up the process for the party to realize how far -- and how quickly -- it has strayed from its roots.