Although it will not be an overnight shift, there seems to be a movement to more Democratic values as they are currently constituted and recently updated (?), and a move away from the demonstrated values that seem to be part of the Republican platform, (which seem old, outdated, and basically ignored by those holding office under that party's banner). Consider: There seems to be more acceptance of democrats in races currently under way, with several platforms sounding VERY familiar to most self-badged conservatives. I believe a guy like Pete Ashdown is a good example of this, as many have stated here and other places before.
The Holly Mullen column focuses on Steve Olsen, the challenger for Republican Rob Bishop's seat in House District 1 here in Utah. He states that many people who SAY they are republicans have not paid attention to their party's newer platform planks, and may in fact relate more closely to the Democratic platform, without even knowing it. Olsen wrote a pamphlet with an eye toward helping people identify with what he thinks are the distinguishing features between the two parties today. Excerpts are here:
If you truly believe in the principle of limited government, rather than secretly wanting government to promote things you agree with and outlawing those you don't, you may be a Democrat.
If you distrust big corporations as much as you distrust big government, you may be a Democrat.
If you believe that religion fills a critical role in American society, but see proof in modern America of JeffersonÂs doctrine that direct involvement in politics corrupts and weakens religion, you may be a Democrat.
If the strident tone of conservative talk show hosts is starting to get on your nerves, you may be a Democrat.
If you believe that frugality in government is best promoted by giving the American people an honest account of what new initiatives will cost and how we're going to pay for it, rather than promoting a fantasy world of increased spending, tax cuts for the wealthy, and increasing debt for our children, you may be a Democrat.
If you believe devoutly in the sanctity of human life, but respect that good people may differ on how to best protect it, and would rather reach out and actively work to find solutions to the root causes of abortion rather than stand idly behind a line and shout slogans at the opposing side, you may be a Democrat.
If you believe it's unfair to shift the tax burden from extreme inherited and investment wealth to wage earners, you may be a Democrat.
If you believe the large and expanding poverty gap is a real problem that requires real solutions, you may be a Democrat.
If you believe our foreign policy should consist of cooperation with other nations and diplomacy to solve problems, with war being used as a last resort, rather than an arrogant and isolationist "go it alone" policy, you may be a Democrat.
If you are a person who considers that talents of extraordinary intelligence or ambition are gifts from God, and feel that average Americans deserve a piece of the American dream just as much as gifted Americans, you may be a Democrat.
Anyway, it shall indeed be interesting to note some of these races in light of the current deficit trouble - and it IS trouble, with a capital "T", and that rhymes with "P", and that stands for POOL, right here in River City - along with the idea of tax and spend and spend some more, as well as perceived intervention, and some say hijacking, of the political process by zealous and well-funded religious groups and politicallitcal action committees, etc. The republican party is broken down by the side of the road right now, and the occupants of that vehicle (an H2, symbolically appropriate) are waving cash around in hopes somebody will stop by the side of the road and put more gas in the car.
As I said, it will be interesting to witness. The possible shift here in Utah would signal a change that has not taken place in decades, and it's high time. Fire Orrin. And speaking of that, check out the "Spirit of '76" series over at Bob's Place, here, here, here, and here. Good stuff. It's high time.