Weatherford Democrat

Community News Network

March 19, 2013

Have political parties lost their purpose?

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

At last week's annual Conservative Political Action Conference, the tension between the GOP and movement conservatives was palpable. "The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered," declared Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who won CPAC's presidential straw poll.

With their own party in control of the White House, Democrats face a different challenge. As Messina noted, the new OFA operation's goal is something never attempted before: taking the energy generated by a presidential campaign and transferring it to issues.

Harold Ickes, a veteran Democratic operative, predicted that OFA will have its greatest success mobilizing Obama supporters to pressure lawmakers on hot-button questions, such as immigration and possibly gun control. "Whether they can get that same percentage of people to do something on minimum wage, or a fight within the Senate Finance Committee, is a different question," Ickes said.

Over the longer term, the big unknown is what happens to that organization once Obama himself has left the political scene. Will its massive infrastructure transfer somehow to benefit the Democratic Party, or simply dissipate?

Georgetown University government professor Hans Noel said that maybe the time has come to redefine the way people think of a party; not as an organization but "as an informal set of actors who try to coordinate to win office or enact policy."

Still, stronger parties might help unlock the gridlock in Washington, if only to help their candidates get reelected by an increasingly disillusioned public, Noel argued. "They might be more interested in trying to accomplish things. They would rein in their extremists."

Text Only
Community News Network
Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Poll

The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

Yes
No
Undecided
Don't care
     View Results