I'll have a lot to say on the book when I'm finished, but for now, I wanted to share these excerpts from Geoffrey Kabaservice's Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, which stands as a treasure trove of information on an earlier, less ideologically rigid iteration of the GOP.
Here's the first, from George Romney in response to Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater's drive to purge moderates from the party:
“Dogmatic ideological parties tend to splinter the political and social fabric of a nation, lead to governmental crises and deadlocks, and stymie the compromises so often necessary to preserve freedom and achieve progress.”
It's fair to say that, in the Republican Party at least, this has come to fruition.
The second comes from a Republican judge unconvinced the party should spend time appealing to black Americans:
An Indianapolis judge spoke for many conservative Republicans who believed that it would be impossible to “out-promise” Democrats on rights and benefits for minorities, and that therefore “the more of these people who are pressured into registering and voting, the greater our party will suffer.”
Change a few words, and you have a version of Mitt Romney's statement after his presidential loss, which he blamed on "extraordinary gifts" from President Obama to his "key supporters."
The more things change, and all of that.