Republicans and Democrats are dying brands. Evidence? They both could end up with non-members as nominees. On the eve of the first votes in the process they no longer control, here's why they're fading away.
The nation's founders hated political parties, or so they said. It took about a New York minute for the Federalists and Jeffersonians to square off, and the parties descended from them have run things ever since -- or at least until television took over when Jack Kennedy arrived. As real people have become evermore involved in the process, leaders have lost power. Now the phrase "party leader" has become a full-out oxymoron.
Establishments in both parties mistakenly thought that Big Money from the Big Boys would sustain them, as would eschewing practical new policies in favor of increasingly atavistic attacks on the other side.
It could all come down to the 'in case of emergency, break glass' option of Michael Bloomberg -- the only billionaire who wants to give up a life of leisure to run America, in the service of the gated-community voting bloc's desire to keep the riff-raff out of their politics.
The result: Real people, even those about to vote in the caucuses and primaries, don't want to be labeled Republican or Democrat. Here's a more specific account of each party's bonehead plays: