>In message <19981221.154155.3366.0.farmelantj at juno.com>, James Farmelant
><farmelantj at juno.com> writes
>>But Doug, you don't see the big picture. The Republicans in my judgement
>>are in danger of imploding the way that the Canadian Tories, the
>>British Tories, and the French right have all done in recent years.
>This seems all too plausible to me. One of the most destructive things
>that happened to critical opinion in Britain is that everyone continued
>to concentrate their fire on the Tories even at the point when they were
>dead in the water ...and turned a blind eye to what was happening in the
A problem with comparing U.S. political parties to their foreign counterparts is that U.S. political parties are little more than marketing operations, shell corporations who franchise their name. There's no base, no membership. Tony Mazzocchi, founder of the Labor Party (US, not UK), said they had someone call the Republican and Democratic Party HQ asking how many members they had, and how to join. They have no members, and there's no way to join. You can contribute money and get a cute little donor card, but nothing else. Clinton's 72% approval rating has done nothing for Congressional, state, or local Democratic candidates, and he's spent the last 6 years distancing himself from his party.
Remember that lots of folks pronounced the Dems dead after 1994.