Republicans Play Follow The Leader Better Than Democrats

E.J. Dionne, Jr. compares the organization and party identification of Republicans and Democrats:

“On the Republican side, everyone plays a role in supporting the party and building a party structure,” says Amy Chapman, executive director of Grassroots Democrats, which raises money for state party organizations. “It’s too big a job for one part of the party to do,” meaning that Dean and the DNC can’t do it alone.

The odd result is that Republicans, who defend individualism in theory, act like communitarians where their party is concerned. Democrats claim to be more community-minded but act like radical individualists in their penchant for candidate-centered, one-cause-at-a-time politics.

The organizational gap has spurred national Democrats to countermeasures. Emanuel has hired Michael Whouley, one of his party’s premier organizers, to create turnout programs in the 40 most contested congressional races. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s two top staffers, J.B. Poersch and Guy Cecil, have long experience in field operations. The unions are kicking up their turnout efforts. And an anti-incumbent tide against the Republicans could counter the GOP’s organizational advantages.

I find this no surprise. While Republicans use words like “individualsm” their rhetoric and their policies rarely agree. As the Republicans have become more authoritarian in nature, they find it easier to blindly follow the party and their leaders. While Repubicans have had recent victories, ultimately they will suffer the same fate as the like-minded leadership of the old Soviet Union.

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