It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Peggy Noonans. Shes a beautiful and witty writer. Shes smart, funny, and intelligent. I think she has deep insights into the political soul of the nation and into the souls of the regular people who made the nation great. But sometimes she doesnt seem to put her insights to the best use. Put another way, her prescriptions arent always the best medicines for the diseases she diagnoses. This is one of those times. While she may be right about the problems boiling beneath the surface of the Republican party--is the election of more Democrats a solution? Because I know she cant be delusional enough to think that a third party would take off and win big. And I know that she is sensible enough to know that the time it would take to build such a third party as she describes is more time than we have to trust our security to Democrats (who would be what we got in the absence of a united Republican party).
America has a two party system for very good and very legitimate CONSTITUTIONAL reasons--even though the parties might be said to be "extra-Constitutional." The two parties still perform a constitutional function in focusing our minds on the issues of that Constitution. Thats why wierd parties (like the Greens, for example) never do well in America--they seem to be out to lunch because they disregard our system in favor of some other ideology. If an American party wants to do something that is outside of the bounds of our Constitution--they at least have to wear the window dressing of constitutionality. They have to stretch the bounds of credibility by employing the talents of "constitutional scholars" who can find "legitimacy" for their arguments in that venerable document. Fortunately for our republic, the great thing about stretching is that even if the thing stretched gets alittle mishapen, it still retains its form. We can deal with stretch marks if we keep our soul.