The Republican Party currently enjoys an edge. The advantage can be seen in Congress, state politics, judicial rulings, foreign and domestic policy, party finances, the media, public attitudes, and economic and demographic developments. Yet the Republicans do not seem capable of translating this into a durable electoral majority.
Conditions now exist within American politics that will facilitate the establishment of Republican rule. Many of these conditions have ripened during the past decade. They include rules governing elections and campaign finance, shifts in core political values among the public that are consistent with Republican philosophy, and fundamental social and economic changes in American society that are likely to increase the ranks of Republican voters. The author explains in lucid, engaging terms how Republicans have taken control of both houses of Congress and experienced a remarkable resurgence at the state level. He explores how conservatives are utilizing the courts to simultaneously move policy rightward and mobilize sympathetic parts of the electorate. He also examines social and economic changes to show how racial politics, religiosity, and the nature of work and wealth benefit today's Republican Party.
Republican rule should not be confused with Republican realignment. These conditions will advantage Republicans in future elections and bring about consistent Republican control of government at all levelsfederal, state, and local, executive, legislative, and judicial. However, current conditions do not guarantee the kind of enduring Republican majority many journalists and strategists have predicted. Taylor explains the factors that will prohibit the Republicans from fully exploiting their advantages and dominating American politics the way the Democrats did in the 30 years following the New Deal. These factors include internal and intractable tensions within the Republican Party, the parties' sophisticated political information gathering strategies, and the innate risk aversion of the campaign industry.
|Publisher:||Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.42(w) x 9.42(h) x 1.22(d)|
About the Author
Andrew J. Taylor is Associate Professor at North Carolina State University. He has contributed frequently to scholarly journals, has made over 200 appearances on television, been interviewed over 100 times for radio, and has been quoted regularly in national and local newspapers.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Norman Ornstein
American Party Politics
Uneven Playing Field: The Constitutional and Geographical Origins of the Republican Advantage
Elephants in the House: After Forty Years in the Wilderness, Playing the Democrats at their Own Game
Governing Stealthily: Republicans in the States and the Courts
Trapping the Donkey: Foreign Policy as Republican Advantage
Trapping the Donkey Again: Domestic Policy as Republican Advantage
The Well-Oiled Machine: The Republican Party Organization, Allied Interests, and Political Money
Winning Hearts and Minds: The Media and the Republican Ideas Industry
Social, Economic, and Attitudinal Change as Republican Advantage: Public Opinion and the Politics of Wealth, Work, Faith, and Race
The Republicans as a Ruling (not Majority) Party
What People are Saying About This
"Taylor has written an exceptionally lively and insightful analysis of how the Republicans came to be the ruling party in contemporary American politics but why they are unlikely to emerge as an enduring majority party. Elephant's Edge chronicles the many forces-constitutional, statutory, geographical, institutional, jurisprudential, foreign and domestic policy, organizational, media, economic and demographic- that give the GOP a decided advantage….A productive and enjoyable read for any student of American politics."
"Elephant's Edge makes an important point about American politics. The title gets it just right. While the partisan balance is not quite even, Republicans do not have a commanding lead. What they have is an edge. Writing with style and political savvy, Andrew Taylor explains how the structures of campaign politics and public policy give the GOP a small but crucial advantage. Scholars and political activists should give a careful read to this timely book."
"This is a nuanced and quite convincing approach to the realities of modern American politics. The tendency of journalists and analysts is to reach for the grand theory and big conclusion about change. Yet life, including politics, is lived not in black and white but in the gray zone. Taylor's book is a welcome antidote to the screeds of left and right that thunder certainty for an uncertain future."