I sent this to my liberal friends mostly because I was bored and I sometimes find pleasure in making them miserable. That does not make me a good person, but on the list of things I have to answer for, it is far down the list. I was also curious to see if they would repeat the same lines they always do when someone points out that their cult is not about to reach the promised land.
Sure enough, the old chestnuts came out right away. “The GOP is in worse shape” was the universal response. “The demographics are on our side so it is just a matter of time” was a close second. Both of those may be true, but it is a strange response when you think about it. A story about the problems with Democrats and the response is to change the subject. Cults are funny like that.
Anyway, Matthew Yglesias, no relation to Julio, is sort of a silly person, but he is worth paying attention to if you follow politics. His analysis is nothing much, but he is a useful indicator of what is being discussed in the fever swamps, away from the public. He and his site are messengers, of sorts, spreading whatever is this the official position at the moment. At least that’s what the Vox boys are hoping.
There’s little doubt that the Democratic Party is shriveling up to be simply the Progressive White People Party with blacks attached to it. The map in the story show just how marginalized the party has become over the last decade. It’s not that the GOP suddenly has a monopoly on commonsense, it’s just that the Democrats have become an ideological party that appeals to about 20% of white people.
What I found hilariously telling is this bit:
In what Democrats should take as a further bleak sign, four of the 11 states where they control both houses of the state legislature — Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Illinois — have a Republican governor. This leaves just seven states under unified Democratic Party control.
Republicans have unified control of 25 states. Along with the usual set of tax cuts for high-income individuals and business-friendly regulations, the result has been:
- An unprecedented wave of restrictions on abortion rights
- The spread of union-hostile “right to work” laws into the Great Lakes states
- New curbs on voting rights, to further tilt the electorate in a richer, whiter, older direction
- Large-scale layoffs of teachers and other public sector workers who are likely to support Democrats
You could be forgiven for wondering what in the hell he is talking about with regards to curbs on voting rights and large scale layoffs of teachers. The real howler is the “richer, whiter older” stuff. Pretty much the only white people voting for Democrats these days are old and well off. Normal people can’t afford to be progressive. That’s a rich man’s hobby.
This is the money graph:
Winning a presidential election would give Republicans the overwhelming preponderance of political power in the United States — a level of dominance not achieved since the Democrats during the Great Depression, but with a much more ideologically coherent coalition. Nothing lasts forever in American politics, but a hyper-empowered conservative movement would have a significant ability to entrench its position by passing a national right-to-work law and further altering campaign finance rules beyond the Citizens United status quo.
An essential element of the progressive faith is they believe they are in a war with a superior enemy and only through a total commitment to the One True Faith will they defeat Grendel and achieve grace. When no such enemy exist, they invent one. Their claim that the GOP is a “ideologically coherent coalition” sounds insane to normal people, but Progressives believe it, they have to believe it. Otherwise they are just a bunch of meddling weirdos harassing normal people for no reason.
Even so, we live in an interesting time. The GOP is a party of men with the imagination of mid-level bureaucrats at the department of motor vehicles. The Democrats are a bunch of geriatric hippies and radicals that sound like extras from a documentary on the 60’s. The hard part about watching Sanders and Clinton go at it is not laughing. It’s two old farts arguing over bingo at the retirement home, but instead of bingo, they think they will get the chance to rule over the rest of us.
The funny thing about this Vox piece is that Progressives are correct about the condition of their movement. It’s exhausted. They are running around trying to champion trannies and deviants because they have run out victims to exploit. Similarly, the alt-right is correct about the condition of the Conventional Right. It’s a racket for moving books and merchandise to well intentioned Americans thinking they are doing the right thing.
Something is going to fill the void. Donald Trump did not stroll in and become the front runner by accident. When given the choice between something and nothing, people will always pick something, even if it not all that much. At some point, something better than Trump is going to come along. What that is, I don’t know.