June 30, 2005

GAS, THE NEW BREAD (via Luciferous):

Democrats' own mood poll scares them (UPI, Jun. 29, 2005)

A poll on the political mood in the United States conducted by the Democratic Party has alarmed the party at its own loss of popularity.

Conducted by the party-affiliated Democracy Corps, the poll indicated 43 percent of voters favored the Republican Party, while 38 percent had positive feelings about Democrats.

"Republicans weakened in this poll ... but it shows Democrats weakening more," said Stanley Greenberg, who served as President Clinton's pollster.

Greenberg told the Christian Science Monitor he attributes the slippage to voters' perceptions that Democrats have "no core set of convictions or point of view."

We've got a book for the first reference to the predictable "this is the moment for a third party" essay.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 30, 2005 2:43 PM

Nihilism is a core conviction, people see it and reject it.

Posted by: Luciferous at June 30, 2005 3:15 PM

Political approval ratings fluctuate in inverse proportion to the cost of gasoline. That's David's Rule.

Posted by: Ed Bush at June 30, 2005 3:18 PM

Ed - That would explain the GOP down (since they run both houses of Congress and the Presidency) but not the steeper decline for the Dems. Something else is pushing the Dem approval down.

Posted by: AWW at June 30, 2005 3:49 PM

"Something else is pushing the Dem approval down."

It's Darth Rove at work again!

Posted by: Governor Breck at June 30, 2005 4:05 PM

The Republicans: You have to pay more for gas.

The Democrats: You Nazis have to pay more for gas.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 30, 2005 4:09 PM

The first reference by whom?

Posted by: erp at June 30, 2005 4:35 PM

The first reference by whom?

Posted by: erp at June 30, 2005 4:37 PM


The best bet is the progressive press or libertarians, who will see it as "the public finally being tired of business as usual and crying out for more (or no) government."

Posted by: oj at June 30, 2005 4:41 PM


Main Entry: essay [...]

3 a : an analytic or interpretative literary composition usually dealing with its subject from a limited or personal point of view

b : something resembling such a composition

Note the lack of reference to length or coherence. Okay...

The recent poll results from Stanley Greenberg just show we need a third (or even fourth or fifth) party in America. Having only two is an abomination. Parties are what America is all about. Besides, having only two means there are never any parties on my block. If you let me form a party myself, that will soon change.

Furthermore, note that neither party is addressing the real concerns of America. I understand that both parties say they want a drug-free America, but like P.J. O'Rourke said, if that's the case then I want my free drugs now. And don't tell me I'm confusing two different kinds of parties. Have you ever seen a political convention or a candidate addressing his supporters on election night? Streamers, confetti, balloons, alcohol. Count me in. We need as much of that as possible.

Where's my book?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 30, 2005 5:23 PM

What book are you giving away?

Posted by: Bret at June 30, 2005 5:24 PM

Wait!!! Matt's doesn't count because one can't refer to it. I'm going to post an essay to my blog in the next five minutes that you can refer to (depending on what the book is).

Posted by: Bret at June 30, 2005 5:27 PM

Bret: I think Matt is refering to a book he won a few weeks ago.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 30, 2005 5:57 PM

"this is the moment for a third party"

We already have a third party -- the Democrats. The question is where is the second party.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 30, 2005 6:00 PM


Sorry. Everyone can read my essay referenced here (first entry).

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 30, 2005 6:11 PM

Or, to be really exact, here.

I would welcome your comments on my blog except my comments section has been obliterated and I have no idea why. I guess that's what happens when you let almost an entire year go by without posting anything.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 30, 2005 6:14 PM

Robert Schwartz:

Nah, OJ already sent me The Roots of American Order for an earlier contest (the book is excellent, BTW). It took a few weeks, but it got here.

As requested, I have just referenced an essay on why we need a third party, written in response to the poll from Democracy Corps (I know I said Stanley Greenberg in my post above, but I corrected that in the essay I linked to). Book me!

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 30, 2005 6:24 PM

And, for some reason, my comments section is back up. Fire away.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 30, 2005 6:25 PM


Posted by: Bret at June 30, 2005 6:38 PM


Hey, if you don't mind me asking, what is the line of code for that crazy left-wing robot thing? I clicked on the right button but I got some kind of error message.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 30, 2005 6:44 PM

Matt, try the following:

<iframe src="http://blog.gleeson.us/avm/avm_sidebar" width="150" height="240" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe>

Posted by: Bret at June 30, 2005 6:55 PM


I just put it up. Thanks!!!

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 30, 2005 7:28 PM

43 + 38 is 81. That leaves 19% to form this 'third' party. Ross Perot, where are you?

Perhaps Warren Buffett will run. He's only a little bit older than McCain.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 30, 2005 7:29 PM

I suppose a serious camment is out of place in this thread. A two-party system is organic to the American system. Yes, political realignment is inevitable, as the economic and demographic conditions which had supported the Democrat party have changed. In will be neither a misnamed "progressive" party, which would be a kind of Marxist old-folks home, nor a "Libertarian" party, libertarians being unable to form coalition with most of the ex-Democrat fragments.

I won't attempt to predict what the new two-party will look like, but I may suggest a possible fault line. If the preppy plutocrat wing of the Republican party sufficiently alienates the rest of us, a cleavage may develop along social/religious/national defense lines.

It is quite possible that our present system may sputter along for a while, with a rump Democrat party being kept alive and manipulated by the Republicans. It all depends of the maturity and discipline of the components of the Republican coalition. As things are going along now, social/religious/defense Republicans, the "Red state voters," get along with the economic right. They can have their money if we can keep our guns and save some babies. Whatever happens the resulting system will settle down to two parties, not three, not many.

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 30, 2005 8:03 PM

The Republican Party incorporates the entire spectrum of British politics at the turn of the last century. Once the left implodes, we can go back to fighting amongst ourselves.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 30, 2005 8:36 PM


Get it published.

Posted by: oj at June 30, 2005 8:55 PM


It so happens that, in deference to the wishes of trees as expressed through their elected representatives in the environmental movement, Murphy Publishing has become an industry leader in online "paperless" reading material. Follow the link above for a free sample.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 30, 2005 10:04 PM

There's gold in every post; couldn't agree more!

I was thinking just yesterday how would I respond if a pollster called asking about the President's job performance. Right now, I'm the most disillusioned I've ever been, and we took vacation time and put in MANY hours on the campaign trail. In other words, I'm a true believer. It's Bush and McCain, not most Republicans.
I hear:
Bush, McCain- We don't care what you want in regards to immigration we'll do whatever we want and don't care if your lower class relatives can't find any construction, lawn service jobs, etc.
Democrats- Shut the f*** up, you fascist mother*******! Also, we hate Jesus.

Posted by: Emily B. at June 30, 2005 10:20 PM

Once the left implodes

Hasten the day...

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 30, 2005 10:37 PM

Dangerous, though; a third party might actually take away that 20% in the middle the Democrats are so busy alienating. No Democratic Presidential candidate has won a majority of the popular vote since LBJ.

Posted by: Mike Earl at June 30, 2005 11:33 PM

I never received my book for my fish story.

Good essay Matt.

Posted by: Dave W. at July 1, 2005 12:03 AM

O Lord, haste the day when the left implodes,
and their moonbats return to their caves!

Posted by: Dave W. at July 1, 2005 12:09 AM

Any talk probably will form within the media along the lines of "John McCain is such a great guy/the religous conservatives and tax cutters in the Republican Party will never nominate him/It's time for a third party." But I wouldn't expect that to make it to the forefront until sometime next year, when the 2006 election cycle heats up.

Posted by: John at July 1, 2005 12:20 AM

I'm completely happy with Bush.

In a perfect world, he would do more, and do it better, but given reality, no person that I can name is more closely aligned with my views and interests. If I cannot be President, (and I never shall be), Bush is a very good surrogate, despite a few areas where we sharply disagree.

Perhaps I should say that I'm very happy with the Bush administration, since some would claim that what I'm really seeing is the influence of Rove, Cheney, Rice, and Rumsfeld.
If so, so be it.

As for a third party, last year at this site it was all the rage to speculate that the Greens would swallow up most of the Dems, reversing their respective positions of influence on the American political landscape.

Is that still predicted by those here, or no ?

Will the Republican party simply fracture, with the Dems taking in some current GOP members and jettisoning some fringe-left members of their own, leaving us with the familiar Big Two parties, but with both being slightly right of where they are now ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 1, 2005 1:09 AM

The Democratic party won't split until there is a divergence of its money supply and its party professionals (and the voting base). Viewed from 2005, there was more divergence in 2000, no?

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 1, 2005 1:13 AM

I think the split is far more likely to happen in the Republican Party than the Democratic Party, at least at first. We could see a Bull Moose or Perot like effort that actually beats the Democratic Party rump by peeling off the coots (socially liberal, economically conservative) from the GOP and the DLC types from the Democratic Party. If that happens, then it's truly over for the Democratic Party, which will turn in to Green Party and become irrelevant nationally.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at July 1, 2005 1:59 AM


E-mail me your address again--it doesn't appear to be in my queue of owed books.

Posted by: oj at July 1, 2005 8:11 AM