All errors should be reported to

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Obama Herbert Hoovered the Democratic Party

Barack Obama came into the presidency as FDR. A Time magazine cover on November 24, 2008, made that clear.

He likely will leave the White House next year as Herbert Hoover. His party is shattered.

Republicans gained control of 85 of the 98 state legislative bodies, according to the Washington Post. Nebraska's legislature is nonpartisan.

"How many Democrats are we talking about? According to the NCSL data, there were 4,082 Democrats in state senates and state houses in 2009. In 2015, there were 3,163 -- a decrease of 22.5 percent," the Washington Post reported.

Liberals argue that usually a president loses support over his presidency. The big gains the president brings upon his election dwindle over time so that there is a net loss. Well, that is true to the extent that there is an ebb and a flow to politics. However, this goes beyond the ordinary and natural erosion of political power. The damage done is outside the range of normal political change.

In 2014, Obama turned the West Virginia Legislature over to the Republican Party for the first time in 82 years. Democrats had controlled the Senate for 82 years, and the lower house for 84.

Democrats received that four-generation control thanks to Herbert Hoover, whose political incompetence fundamentally transformed the state from staunch Republicanism into Wobbly World (Wobbly refers to the Industrial Workers of the World).

West Virginia was the most extreme case of Hooverism, but only because Reconstruction had already done in the 11 Confederate States, who would not begin turning Republican Red in the state legislatures until the onset of the second Bush presidency!

Despite left-wing propaganda, the fact remains that those states remained solidly Democratic for 30 years after passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (a restoration of the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional in 1883). All but one of the 22 Democratic senators from those states who voted against the law remained Democrats. And of course klansman Bob Byrd from West Virginia (which had seceded from the Confederacy) became the leader of Senate Democrats.

It was not until 1994 that Republicans took control of the House after a 40-year hiatus. Indeed, from the 1930 election (under Hoover) until the 1994 election (under Clinton) Democrats controlled the House for 60 of those 64 years.

Since then, Republicans have controlled the House for 16 of the 20 years. And that is due to Hillary Clinton. Her takeover of the health system under Hillarycare was so repugnant that voters actually found out who their congressman is and voted him out.

Because the fact is, most Americans are satisfied and do not care about politics. Re-election rates in the lower house of Congress top 90 percent, and in the statehouses, people also usually serve until they tire of it. Such low turnover does not bode well for Democrats. The same forces that created a Southern bloc for Democrats has now created a Republican one that extends beyond the 11 Confederate states and secessionist West Virginia.

Obama fundamentally transformed American politics.

So did Hoover.


  1. I don't know. There are so many things working against conservatives and Republicans, it's hard to imagine any true period of ascendancy or Democratic decline - even notwithstanding the failure of Democratic leadership. Democratic constituencies ravaged by their leadership do not magically see the light and become conservatives or Republicans.

    Perhaps because of the lower turnout that takes place in off-year elections, the Republicans will remain the legislative party for the near future, but absent a sea change, it's hard to imagine them piercing the blue Electoral College wall to capture the White House.

    Maybe Donald Trump is the sea change, but while I might vote for him, it's a mystery as to how he would govern and how well he would govern and whether he would create a revolution that lasted.

    Between the changing non-white demographics, and the liberal biases and predatory tendencies of mainstream media, academia, popular culture, and other opinion-making institutions, it's hard for me to believe that even a certified nimrod like Barack Obama is capable of wounding the Democratic Party as badly as Hoover wounded the Republicans.

    1. Yes, I guess it also would be hard for Obama to out-dumb the GOP leadership.

      I see above that I have alluded to "changing non-white demographics", but I would also suggest that white millennials are too obtuse and morally degenerate to be receptive to a conservative message.

      All of this having been said, it is in my nature to be pessimistic, and (as my father would remind me) I have been "disappointed" in my pessimism before.

      I'm old enough to remember the death knell of the GOP being sounded in the post-Watergate era.

  2. If Trump is elected and gets the increase in tariffs on foreign trade he says he'd like to impose, it will be Smoot-Hawley all over again...and we know how well that worked out for America in the 1930s. The high tariffs imposed by Smoot-Hawley under Herbert Hoover were a major cause of The Great Depression and led directly to the election of FDR. If Trump should get his way, in 2019 or 2020 you will be writing the same column but with a new heading, "Donald Trump Herbert Hoovers the Republican Party."