The Case of Howard Ahmanson

More

Rod Dreher took note of this a little while ago, and over the weekend Kathleen Parker based a column around an interview with Ahmanson, a big-time GOP fundraiser and social conservative who's decided to re-register as a Democrat out of frustration with the California GOP. Ahmanson is a quirky figure, to put it mildly, and you don't want to read too much into his registration flip. But like Obama's surprising gains among traditionalist Catholics, it suggests that my anxieties about our potential Californian future - with a bloated, largely-unbeatable Democratic Party facing off against an anti-intellectual GOP rump - should be extended beyond the possibility of "liberaltarian" voters and thinkers moving into the Democratic column. There are plenty of economically-moderate religious conservatives (pro-life Rawlsekians, if you will) who could say to hell with the GOP too - and the more out-of-touch the Republicans look, the more plausible it becomes for people with views like Howard Ahmanson's to decide that they might as well join the liberaltarians in trying to get whatever they can from the Democrats and let the GOP go hang. (California, you'll recall, is the home of Doug Kmiec as well.)

You could argue that this is just what the Republican Party deserves, but I can't see how it would be good for the country.

Jump to comments

Ross Douthat is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down