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@Slate Chief Political Correspondent. @CBSNews Political Analyst. jamelle.bouie@slate.com Instagram: jbouie. VSCO: http://jamelle.vsco.co

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I wrote about this exact thing! https://t.co/isW8iLqlvF
And that fear of permanent lock out is producing responses—like the call to pack the Supreme Court—that goes to the heart of the legitimacy of the whole system.
That’s what recent GOP governance looks like from the perspective of many liberals: rejection of the legitimacy of the opposition—including refusal to consider anything outside of the narrowest factional concerns—coupled with efforts to lock in partisan advantage.
...and are acting on one major political party to behave in ways that destabilize the system, mainly by rejecting the legitimacy of opponents & the groups they represent, and codifying that with governing choices that attempt to lock in permanent partisan & ideological advantage.
I don’t think there’s an issue like slavery at work today. And I don’t think the electorate is so polarized as to threaten permanent majority or minority coalitions. But I do think particular groups in society do fear permanent minority status...
The best example of an issue the system couldn’t accomodate is slavery, a binary dispute that divided politics at all levels, and eventually polarized the parties and the electorate itself. At the moment it looked like the Slave South might be a permanent loser, it bolted.
Likewise (& relatedly), it cannot accomodate a political party that rejects the legitimacy of its opposition and the groups it represents. Such a party vastly heightens the stakes of any given election, since it might act to permanently lock its opponents out of political power.
And it can’t accomodate the hyper-polarization of the entire electorate along partisan and ideological lines, especially if one side has an enduring demographic majority. Again, this threatens to lock the losing side out of power indefinitely.
Under those conditions, there is a single permanent loser and a single permanent winner. And the loser might decide that democracy isn’t worth the trouble.
But there are things the Madisonian system cannot accommodate. It cannot accommodate a situation where local, state, and national politics converge on a single concern with binary choices.
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