It wasn’t a dream

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  December 28, 2006

By calling for the mass deportation of Latinos and the building of a wall to keep them out, “The Republicans may have made a decision not to be a political party of the 21st century,” Rosenberg says.

And it’s hard not to notice that the Republican Party looks like it’s from another century. Of 251 Republican members of the upcoming Congress, all but four are non-Hispanic whites. Just 12 percent are women. That’s true, too, on the state level, where a mere 15 percent of Republican state legislators nationwide are women — and declining in numbers.

The fact that every Republican face on TV looks like Archie Bunker makes it all the more damaging when a Trent Lott pines for the glory days of an overtly racist presidential candidate, when a George Allen calls a dark-skinned person “macaca” and assumes he’s an immigrant, when a Rick Santorum equates homosexuality with bestiality, or when, just last week, Congressman Virgil Goode warned that America is in danger because a Muslim is entering Congress.

This is an especially vulnerable time for the Republican Party, and a unique opportunity for the Democrats. For the first time in ages, both parties will have wide-open, hotly contested, multi-candidate presidential nomination battles. The side-by-side process is sure to shape Americans’ views of the two parties.

From the looks of it, the Democrats will offer a youthful, energetic, diverse group of centrist candidates, while the Republican debates will feature what looks like a roomful of cantankerous uncles who shout “Turn down that rock-and-roll garbage!” when you play Kanye West too loud. Which one looks like the party of the future to you?

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  Topics: Talking Politics , Deval Patrick, Mitt Romney, George Allen,  More more >
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