The Stronghold: How Republicans Captured Congress but Surrendered the White House

The Stronghold: How Republicans Captured Congress but Surrendered the White House

by Thomas F. Schaller

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Once the party of presidents, the GOP in recent elections has failed to pull together convincing national majorities. Republicans have lost four of the last six presidential races and lost the popular vote in five of the last six. In their lone victory, the party incumbent won—during wartime—by the slimmest of margins. In this fascinating and important book, Thomas Schaller examines national Republican politics since President Ronald Reagan left office in 1989. From Newt Gingrich’s ascent to Speaker of the House through the defeat of Mitt Romney in 2012, Schaller traces the Republican Party’s institutional transformation and its broad consequences, not only for Republicans but also for America.
Gingrich’s “Contract with America” set in motion a vicious cycle, Schaller contends: as the GOP became more conservative, it became more Congress-centered, and as its congressional wing grew more powerful, the party grew more conservative. This dangerous loop, unless broken, may signal a future of increasing radicalization, dependency on a shrinking pool of voters, and less viability as a true national party. In a thought-provoking conclusion, the author discusses repercussions of the GOP decline, among them political polarization and the paralysis of the federal government.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300210774
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 01/01/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Thomas Schaller is professor of political science, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He writes a political column for the Baltimore Sun and lives in Washington, DC.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 The Path Not Taken 1

2 Creative Destruction 31

3 Reinvention 73

4 Reformulation 121

5 Paralysis 170

6 A Congress-centric Party 219

7 Recover or Retrench? 269

Notes 303

Acknowledgments 327

Index 331

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