The New Whigs

A very interesting item at MetaFilter (original article at NY Times) compares today’s Republican party with the Whig party of the early 19th century.

Is the modern GOP a repackaging of the old Whig party? The blend of businessmen’s aversion to government regulation, down-home cultural populism and Christian moralism that sustains today’s Republican Party is a venerable if loosely knit philosophy of government dating back to long before the right-wing upsurge that prepared the way for Reagan’s presidency. A few pundits and political insiders have likened the current Republicans to the formidable, corporate-financed political machine behind President William McKinley at the end of the 19th century. The admiration Karl Rove has expressed for the machine strengthens the historical connection.

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