Meridian Star

New Today

March 19, 2013

Have political parties lost their purpose?

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

At last week's annual Conservative Political Action Conference, the tension between the GOP and movement conservatives was palpable. "The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered," declared Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who won CPAC's presidential straw poll.

With their own party in control of the White House, Democrats face a different challenge. As Messina noted, the new OFA operation's goal is something never attempted before: taking the energy generated by a presidential campaign and transferring it to issues.

Harold Ickes, a veteran Democratic operative, predicted that OFA will have its greatest success mobilizing Obama supporters to pressure lawmakers on hot-button questions, such as immigration and possibly gun control. "Whether they can get that same percentage of people to do something on minimum wage, or a fight within the Senate Finance Committee, is a different question," Ickes said.

Over the longer term, the big unknown is what happens to that organization once Obama himself has left the political scene. Will its massive infrastructure transfer somehow to benefit the Democratic Party, or simply dissipate?

Georgetown University government professor Hans Noel said that maybe the time has come to redefine the way people think of a party; not as an organization but "as an informal set of actors who try to coordinate to win office or enact policy."

Still, stronger parties might help unlock the gridlock in Washington, if only to help their candidates get reelected by an increasingly disillusioned public, Noel argued. "They might be more interested in trying to accomplish things. They would rein in their extremists."

Text Only
New Today
Biz Marquee
New Today
Poll

Do you think people should be allowed to carry firearms into government buildings?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide