The Decline of Political Party Power; the Campaigns Will Be Eager to Tell You the Meaning of Ted Cruz's Victory and the Virtual Tie between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in Iowa Last Week. but the Larger Significance of This Election Has Been Clear for Months: The Two Major Parties Are Paper Tigers. [Derived Headline]

By Goldberg, Jonah | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 7, 2016 | Go to article overview

The Decline of Political Party Power; the Campaigns Will Be Eager to Tell You the Meaning of Ted Cruz's Victory and the Virtual Tie between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in Iowa Last Week. but the Larger Significance of This Election Has Been Clear for Months: The Two Major Parties Are Paper Tigers. [Derived Headline]


Goldberg, Jonah, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


The campaigns will be eager to tell you the meaning of Ted Cruz's victory and the virtual tie between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in Iowa last week. But the larger significance of this election has been clear for months: The two major parties are paper tigers.

My old boss, the late Ben Wattenberg, was a conservative Democrat who worked for decades to keep his party from drifting leftward. In the end, he failed. I remember asking Ben on more than one occasion why the Democratic Party would allow this or that thing to happen. He'd always respond pretty much the same way. "What Democratic Party? The Democratic Party is a dozen people with fax machines."

I think about my conversations with Ben a lot these days. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist, who isn't even a member of the Democratic Party, is the runaway favorite of the party's liberal base. Donald Trump, an ideologically unmoored billionaire who has changed his party registration five times since 1987 and donated substantial sums to Democrats, has been the Republican front- runner since this summer.

When the leading Republican is arguably a more loyal Democrat than the Democrat sweetheart, it certainly seems silly to talk about either party as particularly powerful organizations.

Politics, the saying goes, is downstream of culture. Well, our culture has been losing faith in large institutions for a very long time. …

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The Decline of Political Party Power; the Campaigns Will Be Eager to Tell You the Meaning of Ted Cruz's Victory and the Virtual Tie between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in Iowa Last Week. but the Larger Significance of This Election Has Been Clear for Months: The Two Major Parties Are Paper Tigers. [Derived Headline]
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