For an excellent assessment of where American politics have come from in the last few years, and where they might be going in 2008, check out Michael Barone’s Open-Field Politics. Barone begins:
We seem to be entering a new period in American politics. We have come through a period of trench warfare, in which two armies of approximately equal size faced each other across the battlefield and tried to rally their sides to achieve the incremental gains that would make the difference between victory or defeat. There were few defections from either army in this culture war, and almost no one crossing the lines. Like the trench warfare of World War I, our politics in this period, which stretched from 1995 to 2005, was a conflict of many bitter battles and no final victories.
Now we seem to be entering a new period, a period of open-field politics.
Barone offers several possible scenarios for 2008, based on historical analogies, but it is not clear that any such precedent is especially compelling.
To comment on Barone’s article, go here.