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The End Of America As We Know It?

Republican candidates on the stump are saying the America they love is on the line. Writer Jonathan Chait says they might be right.

A county-level breakdown of the 2008 presidential election. (Masebrock at the wikipedia project)

A county-level breakdown of the 2008 presidential election. (Masebrock at the wikipedia project)

Politicians often say its now or never, “do or die” time when they’re looking for votes.  “This is the most important vote of your lifetime!”  But this year that message is especially loud and dire on the Republican primary campaign trail.

Rick Santorum tells his crowds the America they love will be gone, finished, if the GOP doesn’t take the White House this fall.  Newt Gingrich warns of political end times.  Even Mitt Romney is talking “last chance”.  What’s going on?

This hour, On Point:  we’re exploring the “2012 or bust!” message of the GOP campaigns.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jonathan Chait, a writer for New York magazine. You can read his article “2012 or Never” here.

Sean Trende, senior elections analyst for RealClearPolitics, and author of “The Lost Majority: Why the Future of Government Is Up for Grabs – and Who Will Take It.” Read his rebuttal to Chait’s piece here.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York “The GOP has reason to be scared. Obama’s election was the vindication of a prediction made several years before by journalist John Judis and political scientist Ruy Teixeira in their 2002 book, The Emerging Democratic Majority. Despite the fact that George W. Bush then occupied the White House, Judis and Teixeira argued that demographic and political trends were converging in such a way as to form a ­natural-majority coalition for Democrats. ”

Wall Street Journal “It’s now or never for Republicans, or at least for conservatives, claims the nasty liberal writer Jonathan Chait of New York magazine. “The modern GOP–the party of Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes–is staring down its own demographic extinction,” Chait claims. Republicans, in his view, are right to worry “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.””

The Weekly Standard “The battlefield of political prognostication is littered with the remains of once-bold, but quickly forgotten, theories of partisan realignment. No sooner is a “permanent Republican majority” proposed than the predicted majority is overtaken by events, thereby laying the foundation for an “emerging Democratic majority.” The impregnable majority grows bloated and finds itself unable to reconcile its competing internal forces, thus providing the opposition party the means, motive, and opportunity to swipe one or more of the majority’s constituencies and cobble together its own governing coalition.”

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