The blogosphere seems to be abuzz with the "conservative crack-up". Pundits such as Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Reynolds are observing that the Republican party is a marriage between conservatives and libertarians, and that the marriage is fraying at the seams. The federal over-reaction to the Terri Schiavo case has laid bare the contradictions in the party. Meanwhile, Arianna Huffington diagnoses the Democrats as being in a "persistent vegetative state". Chuck Muth opines that all the worthwhile policy debates are among conservatives, concluding that "the left, intellectually speaking, are brain-dead. Maybe it's time to pull the plug on them."
At Tech Central Station, James Glassman wants to know where is the real "liberal" party. He notes that the term "liberal" has been misappropriated to those who should be called "socialists". He sees Democrats pushing policies of social liberty but economic intervention, and the Republicans pushing policies of economic liberty but social intervention. (Actually, Republicans are morphing into the party of social and economic intervention.) So where is the party for social and economic liberty? Glassman proposes that we need a new party he would call the Responsibility party.
I say the Republicans and Democrats are obsolete. The Republicans ought to "crack up", and the best way to accelerate that would be to "pull the plug" on the Democrats. Dissolve the Democratic Party immediately, and have all members of Congress join the Republican Party. With no opposition, the fault lines within the Republicans would soon split. With those stale parties out of the way, new alignments could be formed crossing old lines based on actual common interests. Fiscal restraint, for example, has proponents (and opponents) on both sides of the aisle. I say don't nuke the filibuster -- nuke the aisle!