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Republicans divided over direction of party

Let's face it-America looks like it's a one-party politcial system today. Even in little ol' Vermont, the Democrats are ruling the roost; the Republicans have been fading away here, like the ephemeral fog of autumn, since the 1950s.

The recent Democrat-led veto of Gov. Jim Douglas' own state budget veto-for good or bad-shows that the GOP (Grand Old Party) is a party that has fallen from a '50s pinnacle to a 2009 nadir. Someday, perhaps, the danger of one-party rule will sink in with Green Mountain State voters and beyond, but for now there's lots of work to be done by Vermont's-and America's-faltering party, the Republicans.

Now, two of the GOP's most controversial young thinkers-New York Times columnist Ross Douthat and the Atlantic Monthly's Reihan Salam-have presented a workable plan to save the future of the Republican Party.

On the heels of U.S. Sen. John McCain's failed presidential campaign comes a revised edition of the duo's 2008 book, titled "Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream".

This new edition-with a seering analysis of the 2008 campaign-was just published last week by Anchor Books. But enough hand wringing and self flagellation-the new edition offers serious ways the GOP can return to glory and even clinch the elections of 2010 and 2012.

Arguing that it's time to move past the party's fixation on Reagan, Douthat and Salam present a provocative challenge to the Republican leadership on both national and state levels.

Based on their Weekly Standard article that caused a sensation when published (Rush Limbaugh blasted the authors as being evil RINOS, Republicans In Name Only), the authors call upon Republicans to win the loyalty of working-class voters in an effort to solidify not only an election-winning majority, but a party based on policy-not identity.

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