January 10, 2012

Three Kinds of Republicans

Credit: Pearson Scott Foresman
Since three of Romney's Republican rivals have criticized him for his tenure at Bain Capital (e.g. Perry has decried 'Vulture Capitalism'), this gaffe brings to a head not only his distance from the 99% (or in his case the 99.9%), but also the ideological rift in the Republican party.

There are actually three primary types of Republicans (all of whom call themselves 'Conservatives'): Libertarians, Nationalists, and Corporacrats.
  • Libertarians (e.g. Ron Paul) sincerely believe that "the government that governs best governs least." 
  • Nationalists (e.g. Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann) view 'America' (by which they mean American citizens who believe as they do) as being under siege from immigrants, Liberals, atheists, the New World Order, etc. Although they frequently decry government in broad terms, they actually have no problem with government being used ferociously to protect their 'America' (e.g. wars, indefinite detention, torture, laws against abortion and homosexuality). 
  • Corporatists (e.g. Mitt Romney) likewise decry government in broad terms, but actively seek (i.e. lobby) government for policies (e.g., tax, trade, zoning) favorable to business. 
I think the profound disarray seen in the race for the Republican nomination for President has revealed this rupture and I wouldn't be the least surprised to see a third party run -- or maybe even two of them.