Monday, March 22, 2010

The End of Rockefeller Republicanism

When Barack Obama has the nice Rose Garden ceremony and gives the pens away to John Dingell, Harry Truman's children, and so forth, a bill that is quite similar in character to the 1993 Chafee-Durenberger-Danforth alternative to Clintoncare will have become law solely on the strength of Democratic votes. In fact, former Senator Durenberger (R-MN) has said that the Senate bill ought to pass. But even the most moderate of Republican Senators, Olympia Snowe (R-ME) voted against the bill in the Senate. Likewise a number of modestly pro-labor House Republicans such as Frank Lobiondo, Jim Gerlach, Peter King, etc., could not be convinced to vote for this bill despite the fact it was a top labor priority.

All of which is another way of saying that the Era of Rockefeller Republicanism is officially over. There are zero federally elected Republicans who accept the progressive goals of the welfare state while attempting to produce a more pro-business implementation of those goals. Teddy Roosevelt and Thomas Dewey would be Democrats today.


ikl said...

Being a Rockefeller Republican doesn't have anything to do with supporting labor. As the name "Rockefeller Republican" would suggest, this wing of the party tended to represent middle to upper-middle class folks. Mostly Protestants. Peter King would not fit in at all.

Andy said...

Hell Richard Nixon would practically be a democrat today.