In an otherwise good piece by a Republican insider about why a Newt Gingrich presidency would be dangerous, Mickey Edwards offers this line:
It is why they argued against creating strong political parties like the ones they had left behind in Europe.
The “it” here is the “confrontational” style of Gingrich that, Edwards says, is more responsible than anything else for the current “dysfunctional” nature of American politics. “They” are the drafters of the US constitution.
No argument here about Gingrich’s dangers, or the incompatibility of strong parties (at least when there are just two) with the US Constitution as it emerged from the Philadelphia Convention. And certainly no argument to be offered here against the dysfunction of the US political system.
I just want to know, because I am not a historian of European parties, what “strong political parties” did the early European settlers of America (neatly conflated here with the constitutional founders) leave behind?
Electoral democracy and disciplined parliamentary parties must have emerged rather earlier than I had been aware previously.