September 26, 2006 — Tom Edsall, reporter for the National Journal and the New Republic, and author of Building Red America: The New Conservative Coalition and the Drive for Permanent Power, presented an overview of the Republican Party’s dominance in American government at the Shorenstein Center’s brown-bag lunch.
Edsall argued that in spite of the country’s current state of extreme political polarization, Republicans are likely to maintain political control in the long term. Edsall noted that a major key to the party’s success has been its ability to unite two seemingly contradictory coalitions: the business sector and conservative Christians.
By the same token, Democrats will continue to struggle unless they can consolidate their constituency and establish a clear agenda for voters to identify with. Until then, Edsall said, Republicans will remain in power because “you can’t beat something with nothing.”