Off center

This week, Kevin Drum is running a series of posts from Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, authors of the new book Off Center. This seems like an interesting angle to be coming at it from and a powerful central thesis…

Our own emphasis lies on the organizational and social foundations of political power, rather than on the character of personalities or particular rhetorical moves. In particular, we think a central source of GOP success lies in the unprecedented (within the contours of modern American politics) capacity of conservative elites to coordinate their activities and operate in a unified fashion.

If this bears out, it’s excellent news, because that kind of top-down, centralized coordination is vulnerable to being overrun by a loosely coupled, distributed system like the left is building now. The right is thinking mainframes and the left is thinking PCs. It’s going to take some time for the processes that are in motion now to play out – a few election cycles, at least – but it is potentially a good sign for the long term. Anyway, it should be an interesting discussion.