The Olde Middle

"On everything but the size of government, Tea Party supporters are increasingly out of step with most Americans, even many Republicans. Indeed, at the opposite end of the ideological spectrum, today’s Tea Party parallels the anti-Vietnam War movement which rallied behind George S. McGovern in 1972. The McGovernite activists brought energy, but also stridency, to the Democratic Party — repelling moderate voters and damaging the Democratic brand for a generation. By embracing the Tea Party, Republicans risk repeating history." 
-David E. Campbell & Robert N. Putnam          
NYTimes Commentary Aug. 2011

I've been saving that quotation in my blog queue since last August. Campbell & Putnam wrote a book - American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, the New York Times commentary piece was the beginning of their promotional tour. I considered reading the book after running into a number of other promo lectures and appearances last fall but the quote above kept bothering me.

I have thought about what it was exactly and today I hit on it. They have managed in a few sentences to insult and condemn anyone who seeks to stand against the status quo of the two party system. Too far right or too far left and you just repel the moderates and damage the party for years. 

Well boys you are talking about the "moderate middle" that doesn't exist anymore. As the "middle class" fell, so did the "political middle" and the "olde middle" ain't coming back, at least not quietly and not in the hip pocket of republicrats. About the only thing "the middle" is good for anymore is for finding political apologists like Campbell & Putnam and tossing them on the scrap heap of olde political wisdom.

The game has changed gentlemen and you are still reading from the rule book of the "olde middle."