John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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Four Parties

Posted on August 8, 2012


Although the media didn’t cover it, because it doesn’t further the meme that the Republican Party is being taken over by the Tea Party, the GOP had some big victories last night.

Fred Upton beat back an opponent that had been funded by outside groups aligned with the Tea Party.

Todd Akin, the Congressman from Missouri, beat back two Tea Party challengers.

Pete Hoekstra, the former Congressman, beat back another challenge from Tea Party favorite Will Durant.

Of course, had the so-called Tea Party backed candidates won, we wouldn’t have heard the end of it.

There are four major parties in America today.

  1. There is the Conservative Party, which is known now by its moniker The Tea Party.

  2. There is the Liberal Party, led by Rachel Maddow and Nancy Pelosi.

  3. Then there is the Republican Party

  4. and the Democratic Party.


The Conservative Party is distinct from the Republican Party, just as the Democratic Party is distinct from the Liberal Party.

The Conservative and Liberal Parties care more about ideological purity than they do control of the Congress.

The Republican and Democratic Parties care more about winning than they do about ideological purity.

Conservatives root for moderate Republicans to lose, especially but not exclusively in Republican primaries.   Liberals would rather see Blue Dogs lose than have the Democrats regain control of the House.

Republicans and Democrats want to run the country through compromise.  They believe in the institutions of government .  They understand that they can’t always get what they want.

Conservatives and Liberals would rather see a deal fail if they can’t get all they want.  They don’t believe in the institutions of government.  They may say that they adore the Constitution, but they don’t really understand the philosophy behind it.  For Conservatives and Liberals, the word compromise is a dirty word.

If you aren’t conservative enough for the conservatives, they try to drive you out of the Republican Party.   They call you a RINO.

If you aren’t liberal enough for the liberals, they primary you until you lose.  Liberals are relentless in driving for intellectual purity.

The American people are not necessarily an ideological group.  Sure, some have conservative values and others have more liberal values, but by an large, most Americans want their government to work.

For Conservatives and Liberals, ideas matter more than results.  They are more Plato than Aristotle.

Republicans and Democrats align on certain issues, mostly having to do with inside baseball.  They support Congressional pensions, for example.  They want to give incumbents an advantage in their re-election.  They are the ones that draw the legislative maps during redistricting.

Conservatives and Liberals align on certain issues as well.  Both groups distrust political insiders.  Both have populist impulses.

Republicans and Democrats tend to me more than willing to accept anybody into the party that gives them a majority, because with a majority you have power.

Conservatives and Liberals have a hard time accepting anybody into their movement that they don’t agree with on just about every issue

Conservatives and Liberals can’t run the government without Republicans and Democrats, and Republicans and Democrats can’t get any enthusiasm for their party without the conservatives and liberals.

These four parties are stuck together, whether they like it or not.