Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
 I really want to thank you for that interesting comment!  It changes my perspective and in an unexpected way lends some support to a basic assumption in my view.  It's always interesting to find that a different point of view can support a conception which was formerly based on a belief that the fresh point of view undermines.

  I'm more than a little curious about what (reading or other sources) has informed the outline you present above--because I'd like to investigate that reading as well.

  So, to push the analysis ahead a bit, with your added insights, what I now perceive is that, while, formerly, some much broader ideological consensus-- among the professional political  élite rather than among the farmer, yeoman, artisan, tradesman, and one which was really a working consensus which bridged the more subtle philosophical distinctions between these elites, worked roughly well until a first upheaval brought about by the committee chairs' ( and Speaker Cannon's  House rule).

  Once the dust settled and the power distributions among the committee chairs had become rather routinized, there was again, for a period, this general "working together" across nominal party and ideological lines--again, by the Congressional heavy-weights and their allies in the White House (depending on the party at any given time).

  There was, as I understand it, another House revolt --this time, as you might guess, against the systemic power of the House Committee Chairs, who were then a power-sharing factor with whoever happened to be Speaker.  That occurred, if I recall correctly, after Speaker Rayburn left the House control.

 "Rayburn's successor, Democrat John William McCormack (served 1962-1971), was a somewhat less influential Speaker, particularly due to dissent from younger members of the Democratic Party."

 note: see wikipedia here for more


 In that revolt, it was the hidebound seniority system which was attacked and the reforms which followed made serious inroads into the parties ability to enforce discipline on their members.

  With other developments in mass media based campaigning and huge influxes of money into the campaign and election cycle, we come closer to the system now in effect.

  Through it all, then, there is a background assumption which remains more or less valid: namely, that the political system went through changes--although in a different locus and among different principal actors than I originally indicated--which had for a central effect, the loss of a previous and general working consensus which made ideological differences less apparent and less important.

  Once these changes had worked their influences, we had, in the first instance, a break-down in political consensus among the professional political elites in elective office, and, then, in the second place, a corresponding break-down in consensus among part of, though not all of, the general public which is politically aware and active--voters, and others more involved than merely voting.

   Let that be, then, the updated picture which, again, is to serve just to introduce other notions to be developed in this diary's "program".

  What I want to get to eventually is the state of a deeply and ideologically divided public--such as I see there existing today, and how that happened and what it means for us in the present and in the near-term future both for Americans AND for Europeans and how, by understanding this political background, we can try and look for the places in which influence and change for the better might take place.

  You see?

  Comments, again, are invited.

  And, I couldn't be happier with the help offered so far!  In general, Gary J, you have a lot of interesting things to contribute.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Thu Jun 1st, 2006 at 11:54:21 AM EST
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