Mickey Kaus is pushing this phony meme again. Just say no!
As I wrote before, this is all sorts of nonsense - a repackaged version of the Internet bubble. It's very, very hard to dislodge a major party. Can anyone imagine all the Democratic elected officials nationwide and all the members of the party in the electorate switching to the MoveOn party en masse? That's a massive coordination problem. And given the winner-take-all nature of our political system, there's virtually no incentive to abandon a major party that already commands the allegiance of a third of the electorate and roughly half the elected officials nationwide.
I suspect that, in the future, millions of potential dollars will be sloshing around with no place to go--at least no place within the existing two party structure. Isn't it logical that these easily-raisable millions will instead go to create organizations that serve the new hybrid communities that are now able to form: Anti-war Republicans or culturally permissive free-marketers; Giuliani-McCainiacs; anti-Union Democrats; an anti-immigration party drawing from both Dems and GOPS, etc. Some of these groups will last several election cycles. Some may form and dissolve in a single campaign. One of them may eventually supplant the weaker of the two majors--a revival of the "party in a laptop" notion that was dashed when Howard Dean declined to mount a third-party run. Who needs Terry McAuliffe to raise your money when you have the Web? It's very, very easy to start an organization of national scope these days
That said, the Internet does change the equation, and it appears that the party coalitions will be increasingly made up of a network of partially coordinating groups like America Coming Together and MoveOn, which reinvigorate the grassroots at the expense of a less coherent and unified party structure. Maybe this was inevitable, but the parties' inability to raise soft money has drastically accelerated it. Thanks campaign finance reform!