[Republicans]made it harder on themselves because the party leadership can't control the base's tactical radicalism. Of course, the flip side of this strategy is that, by nominating extremely conservative candidates, Republicans maintain very tight party discipline among the members they do elect. Democrats are much more prone to nominate moderates in swing districts or states. This means Democrats have more seats than they "should" have, but they also have a more fractious caucus.OK, the question, or rather questions. First: do you think Chait's description is correct -- that Republicans have become "tactical radicals"? Second: do you agree with Chait that the likely results are fewer GOP seats, but a more unified Republican conference in Congress? Third: how do you feel about the trade-off?
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Jonathan Chait (smart guy, but certainly a liberal, and highly partisan) has been talking lately about "tactical radicalism," which he defines as "a belief that ideological purity carries no electoral cost whatsoever." He elaborated yesterday: