Study: Democratic polarization exceeds Republican polarization, for what it’s worth.

This is awkward for too many people, so it will be ignored:

…a paper on polarization and inequality released in August by political scientists from Princeton, Georgetown, and the University of Oregon (and highlighted this week in a Washington Post article) provides some empirical evidence that Democratic Party’s leftward drift is more pronounced than the GOP’s rightward drift, at least at the state level. The study’s overall argument is that income inequality has increased political polarization at the state level since the 1990s. But the authors find that that this happens more by moving state Democratic parties to the left than by moving state Republican parties to the right. As the Democratic Party lost power at the state level over the past 15 years, it also effectively shed its moderate wing. Centrist Democrats have increasingly lost seats to Republicans, “resulting in a more liberal Democratic party” overall. The authors find that the ideological median of Republican legislators has shifted much less.

Continue reading Study: Democratic polarization exceeds Republican polarization, for what it’s worth.

USA Today warns its readers about the Republican party.

I really wish that the Media wouldn’t write stories like these.  They’re inimical to the long-term plans of the Republican party; worse, they highlight things that we, put simply, would prefer not be mentioned in public.  Mind you, we can overcome these kinds of revelations anyway, but it’s all still a reminder that The Media Is Not Our Friend:

You would expect that a political party that recently won a majority in the U.S. Senate, gained strength in the House, captured 31 of 50 governorships and gave 24 of those governors majorities in their legislatures would be basking in predictions of future success. But rather than luxuriating in the warm glow of bright prospects, the Republican Party is, in the eyes of some experts, on track for extinction.

The reasons center on demographic forecasts showing groups likely to vote for the GOP in steep decline and Democratic-oriented voters surging. But such “in the long run” predictions resemble those fanciful 1930s prophecies that by 1970, we would be all be commuting by autogiro and living in geodesic domes.

Continue reading USA Today warns its readers about the Republican party.

Turns out donors really do notice which party doesn’t cater to anti-Semites.

(H/T Hot Air Headlines) Want to see a little panic?  The New York Times will indulge you.  Well, maybe not indulge you… or, at least, it’s not really happy about the situation. The paper is a little freaked out by the whole thing, in fact:

Republicans currently in the Senate raised more money during the 2014 election cycle in direct, federally regulated campaign contributions from individuals and political action committees deemed pro-Israel than their Democratic counterparts, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics and analyzed for The New York Times by a second nonprofit, MapLight. The Republican advantage was the first in more than a decade.

The alliances in Congress that pro-Israel donors have built will certainly be tested as they lobby lawmakers to oppose the deal with Iran and perhaps even expand sanctions against the country, despite objections from the Obama administration.

Continue reading Turns out donors really do notice which party doesn’t cater to anti-Semites.

Be wary of *any* claims of a permanent partisan majority.

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.]

National 2016 Convention dates set.

So, the convention schedule is firming up:

A few thoughts on this: first off, yes, that’s significantly earlier than from the previous two election cycles (as Dan McLaughlin is noting here). In 2008 the Democratic convention was held from August 25th to the 28th, and the Republican convention was held from September 1st to 3rd. In 2012 the GOP held ours from August 27th to the 30th, and the Democrats had theirs from September 4th to 6th. I’m noting the dates because at first I was under the very mistaken impression that the distance between the two conventions was usually longer; but it’s not, really. Presumably neither party wants to give the other one any kind of extended convention bounce.

Second: the Democrats are going to have an interesting time picking their venue.  The AP reports that the choices for them are NYC, Philadelphia, and/or Columbus.  I don’t really think that picking any of those will actually give the Democrats more votes, but I also think that the Democrats have pretty much already decided on Columbus for other reasons. It’s an open question whether NYC is going to be in any kind of shape to hold a convention after another year of Bill de Blasio – imagine how the city might look if the Mayor/NYPD feud goes on for another year – and Philadelphia is… not what it was. A very historically significant city with a proud civic history, but… well, at least they’re not Detroit*. It also is an easy train ride from NYC for any screaming protesters native to Gotham, while Columbus is not.  And yes, that’s a consideration.

Lastly: if anybody next year complains about how strange this election season feels to him or her, this would be why. It’s been a while since we had conventions this early. It may be long overdue, but it’s still out of the ordinary. I wonder how the election cycle will look with an extra month of full-bore campaigning by both candidates?

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Yes, I know that since Cleveland is where we’re having our convention, this is a somewhat ironic video to use.  However, it’s good to have a bit of a laugh, no?

There will be no place in the Republican party for Jim Webb.

I mention this solely because this article (H/T: Hot Air Headlines) seems to think that former Virginia Senator Jim Webb has any option besides running for President, and ultimately losing even the nomination, as a Democrat.  …He does not.  Either party will accept a convert, readily enough: many people have honorably switched political affiliations over the years, including myself.  But to yo-yo between the parties is pretty much considered to at least suggest a basic weakness in one’s character.  Indecision at best; opportunism at worst.  Neither is thought of as being evidence of Presidential material.

Besides, he’ll look better among the Democrats anyway.  Over there the one-term, undistinguished, nonproductive, and generally ineffectual Senators can really shine.  If Webb tried to run in our primaries all the two-term governors and firebrand Senators would eat his liver and lights – and if Jim Webb doesn’t realize that by now, then I heartily encourage him to try to run in my party’s primary.  The sight of his destruction would be pleasing unto all our eyes…

Moe Lane

This is not an actual, *official* use of the D-word.

But it could be.



Are you politically ambitious, and a minority? The GOP pays better.

Much better.

African American staffers on Democratic federal-level campaigns are paid 70 cents on the dollar compared to their white counterparts; Hispanics are paid 68 cents on the dollar.

Women on campaigns are also paid less than men, although at a rate not too far from parity: 95 cents on the dollar. Interestingly, although the proportions of staff are more skewed towards white men on Republican campaigns, the income disparities are more pronounced on Democratic campaigns.

(H/T: The Washington Free Beacon) I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing the New Organizing Institute’s numbers in this regard, because for some reason they didn’t want to put the following information into an easily-searchable form: Continue reading Are you politically ambitious, and a minority? The GOP pays better.

Why it’s a mug’s game for a minority to *run* as a Democrat.

I personally think that Sean Higgens is taking too seriously Josh Marshall’s pandering to his own side over minorities in the GOP – short version: Marshall’s assertion of increased minorities in GOP = white people fleeing GOP is mostly aimed at making white Democrats feel better at their own not-very-closeted racism* – but I’d like to note this:

[A]s any Republican fundraising consultant will tell you, there’s no better way to make Republican donors open their wallets than to send out a mailer with a black conservative asking for money. The Republican Party could use a lot more credible black and Hispanic primary candidates, perhaps. But when given the opportunity, Republican primary voters in extremely white districts do nominate conservative Black and Hispanic candidates for office.

Continue reading Why it’s a mug’s game for a minority to *run* as a Democrat.