Yes, Civil war in both parties seems likely to me.
The usual suspects are already complaining about civil war happening in the Democratic Party…. Frank Rich, at the New York Times , for example, perhaps without intending to, marks the revolution on the Democrat side as one being fought by the press:
The same news media that constantly revisited the Oprah-Caroline-Maria rally in California ignored “Voices Across America: A National Town Hall.” The Clinton campaign would no doubt attribute this to press bias, but it scrupulously designed the event to avoid making news. Like the scripted “Ask President Bush” sessions during the 2004 campaign, this town hall seemed to unfold in Stepford. The anodyne questions (“What else would you do to help take care of our veterans?”) merely cued up laundry lists of talking points. Some in attendance appeared to trance out.
But I’m glad I watched every minute, right up until Mrs. Clinton was abruptly cut off in midsentence so Hallmark could resume its previously scheduled programming (a movie promising “A Season for Miracles,” aptly enough). However boring, this show was a dramatic encapsulation of how a once-invincible candidate ended up in a dead heat, crippled by poll-tested corporate packaging that markets her as a synthetic product leeched of most human qualities. What’s more, it offered a naked preview of how nastily the Clintons will fight, whatever the collateral damage to the Democratic Party, in the endgame to come.
Thomas Edsall, meanwhile points to the Civil war happening under the Republican banner, posting last month:
As the pared-down field of presidential candidates returns to battle today in preparation for next Tuesday’s primary, the GOP faces the prospect of two struggles: one, an intra-party conflict to determine who is going to be the Wall Street/national defense establishment candidate; and, two, a civil war in which the winner of the first conflict takes on Mike Huckabee, the Iowa victor who is leading a right-populist/evangelical insurgency.
The initial GOP contest is to determine whether John McCain, leader of the national defense wing, will defeat Mitt Romney, who now carries the mantle of anti-tax, economic conservatives, to become the overall choice of the party’s mainstream – or whether Rudy Giuliani will stage an improbable comeback.
Whoever takes the New Hampshire Republican contest on January 8 will face what is likely to be a far more divisive challenge from Huckabee in the next round of primary and caucus states. This fight threatens to fracture the Republican party – recalling the schism engendered by the 1964 Rockefeller-Goldwater battle.
The elephant in the room, for both parties, is the long-standing push by both parties toward the ‘center’. The more both parties move away from their base and toward “the center”… .the more pronounced that war will be. This is more of a problem for grass-roots Republicans who have seen the perception of what constitutes that ‘center’, since to get to their goals, all leftists really need do to see their socialist dreams enacted, if the baseline drift left last twenty years are any guide, is to sit back and watch it happen.
Thus we have the more overt objection to John McCain from the conservative end of the Republican party …a base that has been all too often ignored in recent times, …. than we see objection from the far left over Hillary Clinton.
But make no mistake, the Democrat split from their base is nearly equal to that of the split among Republicans from theirs. Thus do we see, for example, someone who was being called the presumptive Democrat party nominee being forced to very publicly loan herself five million dollars. (By the way, where did that money come from? Dubai, per chance?) Thus do we see the race coming down to a major fight over “Super Delegates”… in itself amusing since the original purpose of the “Super Delegates” was for the party of equality, the Democrats fight off a primary run from Jesse Jackson.
Both conventions are going to be rather like a train wreck; Fascinating to watch, a lotta people are going to get hurt, and it’ll take years to clean up the mess.
And here’s something I don’t know as anyone has made note of as yet; The congressional Races. How will these convention floor fights play on the congressional races?
The sad part here is that in both cases, what we have here is the result of both parties holding victory at the ballot box over principle.