I don't know how much support Gov Cristie will get after his comments towards the President and Congress. The GOP is very dogmatic, or at least the leadership of certain factions. I wouldn't consider him too centrist by his actions but he has moved up a few points for his showing more concern about his electorate than the party.
I have noticed a very telling change in GOP doctrine and outlook starting with the 'take over' by Newt Gingrich in 1995 or so. A strong cadre of double high authoritarians took hold of the party, particularly in the House. You see a concrete change in the rules of order in the House with the rules of seniority for committees getting tossed out along with several other traditional standards of behavior. Committee leadership was now given to 'loyal' party members and the rules for presentation, debate and discussion on the proposed rules before those committees and the House being streamlined for 'faster' approval but with little to no chance for revision or fixing.
I'm not a political historian but I have been reading and looking a lot more over the last 2 years and it's a steady trend of change that was occurring since the early 80s but only around 1995 with Newt's group moving into majority in the House did the rules and outlook of the modern conservatives coming out hard. With the backing of more socially conservative groups such as fundamentalist Christians and later on groups like the Tea Party, they have maintained a very strong hold on the House as can be seen in the last election.
Don't get me wrong.. not all modern conservatives/The Religious Right are double high authoritarians and not all double highs are modern-conservatives or even Republicans. I've seen what I consider double-high personality/behavior in democrats but not to the same extent. You see a lot though on the lower levels, I personally think that Nancy Pelosi's behavior during her tenure as Speaker of the House as an indicator of her own double-high personality. She has used her position to her benefit in ways that her rivals in the GOP did before (and after) her.
John Dean has written a LOT on the trends of the last 30 years.. heck since Watergate after the publication of Silent Coup
which accused him of engineering Watergate to hide evidence of his wife being part of a prostitution ring. Among the reasons for it was G. Gordon Liddy's promotion of the book by giving out Dean's home number over the radio during one of his show broadcasts. Word is Dean and his wife took a big bite out off a LOT of people in the ten years worth of lawsuits, Liddy's wife being the person who 'owned' his assets being the only reason he didn't lose everything.
He's not the only person I've read but his books tend to provide the best references for his claims so far.
I think the conflict between the pro-business conservatives and the Religious Right won't build for a while yet but it is coming. The loss of the last presidential election is a surety of that, the fact that among a pool of something like a dozen candidates for president only one or two could be seen as reasonable 'mainstream choices' with a few others being regarded as marginal at best. Add in a mix of extreme candidates like Herman Cain, Michelle Bachman and so on.
This isn't to say, like I pointed out before, that there aren't problems building within the Democratic party. Since the 'intellectual' take over in the late 60s early 70s, there has been a disconnect between the blue collar conservatives of the party and the more liberal elements that now lead the party. This schism is what allowed Ronald Reagan to win over organized labor during the early 80s to ride the way into the White House. Without the party to protect organized labor, there have been steady reductions on what the unions can and cannot do. Witness the loss of collective bargaining today.
The Democratic party isn't too healthy as it stands today.. but when you compare it to the GOP, it's downright vibrant in outlook and health. I expect that without a very potent centrist leader stepping up and wooing the business conservatives away from their alliance with the Tea Party and Religious Right, that they will continue to shrink to a more ultra conseravtive party with a much smaller population. Without tangible reforms on their stance towards taxes, privatization of public assets (by this I mean everything from the selling off of utilities by states to the push to privatize medicare/social security despite a public lack of trust of such moves), and a much less stringent social conservative agenda and their dogmatically rigid stance on their issues (that is to say the wililngness to say and USE the words 'compromise' and 'debate') the GOP will split. Or at least hemorrhage their more socially moderate/centrist elements.
I imagine, from what I've seen and read, a lot of these people will be unaffiliated/independent rather than rushing to the Democratic party.. at least on the national level. On the state level, I can see them staying with the GOP in some areas while in others they MIGHT slip over to the Democratic party. On the local level, it will be pretty much the same as the state level.
If a good strong leader, or better yet a cadre of of them, step up to be a more socially moderate core for the centrist and socially moderate elements of the party to gather around the issues of the last 30 years can start to be fixed.
There are issues that need to be address, by both parties, to get them back to a more healthy outlook and condition.
To me, these include:
-A return to a more polite less dogmatic approach to policies.. more debate and discussion.
-MASSIVE reforms in campaign finance. Citizen United enabled this election cycle to be the most expensive in US History.
-Term limits in Congress. Not a 'two and done' but maybe a 'number of terms then sit out a cycle'.
-More transparency on the national/state levels by the parties.
-Some sort of reform to the Electoral College system. Personally I would say freeing the blocs of states to something more proportionate to the votes. IE.. no more 'block states'. You win in proportion to your votes in that state.
-Reform the voter registration laws and address the recent trend towards 'voter suppression'.
That is on the party/government side.
We have MANY more problems on the voter side. A lack of willingness to educate themselves, an 'I don't make an effect' outlook and a sluggishness to participate in Primary/Off year elections. These aren't new problems.. these have been steadily building since Watergate. We are the LEAST participatory citizenry in the world. If we saw turn outs like we get in other countries..we'd be screaming 'voter suppression' in nothing flat. At BEST our people are only voting 30% of the actual voting population most elections. If that.
We, the people, need to get angry and hold our elected reps to the standards they purport to follow. We have 'socially conservative' Republicans who see nothing wrong with serving their dying wives with papers for divorce. Who marry a new wife every 10 to 15 years and yet continue to purport to support the family values.. yet do little or nothing for their ex-spouses and children.
Mostly.. the majority of us..the moderates on both sides of the aisle need to be like the guy in the video below.. and get ANGRY and look at what we have lost. The Newsroom "America is not the greatest country in the world anymore" 2012 TV series
We need to discuss things as a people and accept that no one person or party is completely right. It's somewhere in the middle. Waiting for us to debate and discuss and compromise to it.
We need Leaders.. not Parties.. we need to look to liberty not be ruled by fear. Since 9/11 fear has been used more than anything else to get men and women elected. Fear not facts.
We are in an era where the facts and truth should be most easily accessible than in any time that has come before. We need to separate business, the journalists and politicians and put them in their own separate corners again.
Lasty.. everyone who is an American needs to WAKE UP and start learning OUR duties as voters are. I'm a voter.. It's my duty to choose a party, participate and speak up and be heard. It's my duty to hold those I vote for (and don't vote for but who represent me) accountable for their promises and actions. I do a bit of that. I know my congressmen and senators, not without some work I'll admit, how to contact them.. and to on occasion play the 'disabled vet' card to get a response and justification for their actions.
Here is something to think on. Something like 90 MILLION potential voters in the US DID NOT
vote. That isn't a small number given that the total turn out for the presidential election was somewhere around 121 Million voters.
Now this is a (to me) a major tanget change from the OP.. but it does explain some of the symptoms of WHY the GOP is ignoring the minorities more and more.
Rant done.. too depressing to follow up.. I think I'll go out and watching folks get around.