Seriously, this is important. This is how we – and by ‘we’ I mean ‘all political partisans,’ for once – get in trouble: we decide that every new election means a straight-line advance from that moment. Case in point: “THE EMERGING REPUBLICAN ADVANTAGE.” Written by John B. Judis, it is not actually a horrible article. I even agree with its central thesis that the middle class is moving to the Republican column again, and that this is going to cause massive headaches to Democrats. I just don’t think that it’s going to last as long as Mr. Judis does.
Why? John Judis – who, by the way, never mentions in this article that he co-wrote a certain book called The Emerging Democratic Majority[***] – is a fairly hardcore liberal, if not progressive. And he’s got a problem, which is that while the Democratic party’s leadership is very acceptable to liberal think tanks and orgs, it’s increasingly becoming less popular among actual Democratic voters. To someone like Mr. Judis, it is apparently inconceivable that in any fight between the two groups the think tanks might actually lose. Which is, of course, nonsense on stilts. To give just one example: when Nancy Pelosi fails to deliver the House again four times running in 2016 she’ll be removed from leadership even if it means holding her down and filling her suit jacket pockets with sea salt. I know that the Democratic party looks like a monolithic juggernaut from the outside, but from the inside it’s a deeply dysfunctional hot mess of competing interest groups and institutionalized incompetence, partially offset by the driving need of many people to just simply win at all costs*.
So what will happen? Well, what will happen is that (barring an asteroid strike or something**) the Republican candidate will win in 2016 – and never mind John Judis’s recommendations about what kind of Republican that candidate should be; The Emerging Democratic Majority, remember? – and a lot of people in the Democratic party will freak out. And then there will be a combination of events, mistakes, movements, and incidents that will – roughly six years or so down the road – convince the middle and working classes to give that nice Democrat a chance. This sounds bleak, but it really isn’t: the Democratic party is long overdue for a New Left enema, and 2017 will be seen by many as an excellent chance to send the hippies packing. And, frankly, the GOP would be better off if the Democrats stopped looking like Abbie Hoffman and started looking more like Harry Truman. If for no other reason than we’d all breathe a little easier on foreign policy issues if the idea of letting the Democratic party run things for a while on that front wasn’t quite so much an imminent threat to the well-being of the Republic…
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Yeah, just like the Republican party. That’s kind of the point. I hate to break it to people, but most of our enemies are fundamentally unworthy of us, too.
**We will now pause while various folks on the Right pound the table and shout that of course the GOP will lose the next Presidential election, because [INSERT REASON HERE]. Look, I’m conceding that an asteroid strike might do the trick, OK? – And I shouldn’t. Natural disasters and calamities are not the Democrats’ friend. Ask the Democratic party of Louisiana if you don’t believe me, assuming of course you can still find a member of that party at this point.
[***Clarification on this: Judis sidles around on the topic, but he doesn’t come out and actually say You know that book that I wrote, that made my career, and that you can still get on Kindle for more than five bucks? Yeah, that book was absolute nonsense and you should never, ever read it. It’s useless as a predictive model, so nobody take it seriously. I mean, I understand why he didn’t put it quite that way, but still.]