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Friday, September 09, 2016

Whither the Democratic Party after Clinton loses

Ron Radosh at Pajamas Media asked, "Should the Republican Party be Saved if Hillary Clinton Wins?"

Under such a scenario, we should ask if the nation should be saved. But Radosh's question overlooks a key fact: the Republican Party has never been stronger in my lifetime. And I am 63.

The presidency is important to a party in that it carries a few thousand jobs that can be used to raise the next generation of partisans. Today's assistant deputy undersecretary is tomorrow's Cabinet member or judge, right?

But the presidency can be a lonely place. From Inauguration Day 1953 to Inauguration Day 1977, Republicans held the White House for 16 of 24 years. That was nice but it did little to slow the steady imposition of socialistic programs by Democrats because Republicans held the House for only two of those years and the Senate for six. Once created, these programs live in perpetuity.

Think how much worse things would have been if not for the Tea Party victory in 2010.

Obama has unwittingly seeded Statehouses across the land with Republican majorities, as voters turn their backs on Democrats.

In 2014, the West Virginia Legislature flipped Republican for the first time in 82 years. Even if Hillary wins big in November, West Virginia will go for Trump and Republicans will solidify their hold on the Legislature. Maybe they'll at the governorship as it has been 20 years since we last elected a Republican governor.

This is the case across the land.

Republicans hold both houses of the legislature and the governor's office in 23 states. Democrats control seven.

In the last gubernatorial races (covering 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, depending on when the state held its elections), Republican candidates got 56 percent of the vote, Democrats 41.

There are 31 Republican governors and 18 Democrat. Alaska's is an independent.

In the last state Senate races, 1,085 Republicans won, while 822 Democrats did. Republicans got 55 percent of the vote, Democrats 41.

In the last state House races, 3,021 Republicans won, while 2,331 Democrats did. Republicans got 56 percent of the vote, Democrats 43.

A Hillary victory is not going to reverse that polarity. At best, she will even the score.

But the question is what happens to the Democratic Party once she loses?

A Trump victory would leave the Democratic Party short of the five pickups it would need to win the Senate. They need four if Hillary wins, as the vice president casts the tie-breaking vote.

The party would be torn along two lines between those who hope to regain Congress in the mid-term election of 2018, and those who will call for retooling the the party.

Given the post-Reagan party reaction, as well as its reaction to Bush 43, I look for the former to drive the latter away from the party. Clinton in 1992 taught the party that compromise is not worth the effort, as he cost them the House and the Senate two years later.

The party will still have the media and Barack Obama, who will be the most insufferable ex-president in history -- on his way to becoming a billionaire.

The Never Trump hacks will continue harping, until their donors realize that hey, pissing Trump off will cost the donors access. Till then, Democrats will use Never Trump to drive a wedge through the opposition.

But there also are two wedges lodged in the back of Democrats. One is race, the other is sex. After her cataclysmic collapse, Democrats will blame white people and men for Hillary's failure.

In Washington, this battle within the party will be portrayed in a positive light. Socialists love purges. At the state and local level, people will wonder why they belong to a party that hates men and white people.

I agree with Radosh. Trump demolished the National Republican Party. Now his wrecking ball is swinging back to knock out the Democrats. Given their performance in the 21st century, both parties deserve it.


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  1. Read a piece in Roll Call yesterday: Two Dem-owned US House seats in California could switch to Republican.

  2. This reminds of an old story. Two farmers. One has a mule for sale, the other would like to buy it. "Is it willing?", one asks. "Yup", replies the other, and the deal is done. The buyer brings the mule back the next day. "You said this mule is willing, and it won't do a damned thing!" First farmer picks up a big stick and whacks the mule on the head. "First, ya gotta get its attention", sez he.

  3. The GOP Establishment deserved wrecking. I applaud Trump for that. As for the democrat Party, they are sliding toward the bottomless pit down the slippery slope of identity politics. Good riddance! - Elric

  4. I don't have much desire to read Radosh, or anything else at PJM these days. Big fan of his book Commies. Shows how they live act and think. Not sure he's totally cured after his savaging of Blackballed By History. The Overton Window of the Republican party is shifting to the right, which it needs to do to keep it's base. It is allowing this ever so reluctantly because the people with the money and the influence have little taste for the people who actually do the heavy lifting when it comes to the ground game. Having a wealthy Obama could be the best thing for us on the right. What product did he sell to get there? Keeping the Democrat coalition together with a Trump presidency will require piles of money to go to their various constituencies without as much input from government. The heads of corporations and foundations and Universities with Democrat ties will be asked to make up much of the difference and this will put a further strain on their ability to appeal to the working class and whites and Asians who already feel like the red-headed step kid. How many more victim groups can you create out of thin air? God did pretty well with the ex nihilo thing, but I don't think they are quite in his league.

  5. It's been said the Whigs had to content themselves with crumbs from the Democrat table, old guys like McConnell can't think of the world in any other way.

    There's a certain logic to that.

  6. If Trump is victorious in November, the Obamas and the Clintons will become the modern day Hatfield and McCoys, embroiled in a vicious battle over the money of loyal Democrat donors. That internal strife will hinder the D Party as it tries to rebuild for the next election cycle. I see a period of political fratricide in the the D party's future: point fingers to place blame for losing the election to Trump, purge, realign, rinse, repeat. And because there will be strong racial overtones to this fight over the spoils, I'm not sure the D Party will be able to keep its coalition of fiercely competing factions together. The Repukes, if they have their heads screwed on right, could gain enormous political advantage from those fractures that I see arising in the D Party.

    1. PS: Let us not forget all of Sanders' disappointed supporters. If (when) Hillary loses, they will try to force the Dem Party to take a hard left turn out of the political mainstream. If they succeed in that effort, the D Party will become a long-suffering socialist outcast of American politics.

  7. "Whither the Democratic Party..."

    Take the first "h" out of "whither", and you got a fine sentiment there, Don.

  8. I beg to differ, Don. The GOP class of '94 forced a Democrat POTUS into a balanced budget. The national GOP can't make Obama do squat.