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The current debate about whether or not President Obama and the Senate Democrats have won a political mandate raises an interesting - and even more profound - question: Does the 2012 election signal the beginning of a major political realignment in the U.S. ?

Although right-wing pundits have scornfully dismissed the idea of a 2012 Presidential mandate, as House Speaker Boehner has shown snide contempt for the idea, there are also strong signs of fear, confusion, and even hopelessness from major right-wing media figures such as Limbaugh and Coulter.   Their own sense of frustration and failure indicates that the 2012 election has to be considered more than just a mandate.  

What the election signals is not just 4-year mandate to Obama, but something much larger than that.  This election may signal the end of one era in American politics and the beginning of another.   Limbaugh and Coulter are not profoundly upset by the loss of one political election in itself, but rather because they sense that their movement itself may be facing a decline.  As Bill Reilly put it, hyperbolically and with sadness and near-indignation, traditional (for him, "white christian") America is no more.

Nate Silver has brought this to our attention in his early election analysis, in which he states that "As Nation and Parties Change, Republicans Are at an Electoral College Disadvantage."   Importantly, Silver states that the 2012 election suggests that a structural disadvantage may be building - indicating that the next Democratic nominee (perhaps Hillary Clinton) will start out with a large block of northeastern, pacific, mountain, midwestern, and southeastern states that lean Democratic.   Further, the trends are long-term trends.  Virginia and North Carolina are likely to be more Democratic, as are Colorado and Florida.  States such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin remain blue in presidential elections, and States such as Iowa and Nevada and New Mexico are a deep blue shade of purple, if indeed they can still be called purple.

It is generally recognized that the U.S. has gone through a number of major political realignments throughout its history.   As in the quotation below regarding words of Marjorie Hershey, there have been at least six major "party systems" in American History (the last of which is the Republican-dominated era that began with the realignment of the old southern bloc in the Nixon election of 1968).

If Hershey is correct in identifying "six party systems," then we may now be seeing evidence that a "seventh party system" is in its early stages of development.

Similarly, the historian Arthur Schlessinger Jr. wrote a well-known book "The Cycles of American History" in which he extended his Father's historical analyses indicating that there have been a series of cycles between what we have come to know as conservatism and liberalism (i.e., between capitalist focus on individual wealth vs. emphasis on caring for the needs of the community).   In the Schlessinger analysis, the average cycle of American history has lasted approximately 30 years, ranging in length from approximately 15 to 50 years.   Schlessinger notes, there are also smaller epicycles (e.g., the Eisenhower, Carter, Clinton years) that take place within the larger historical cycles.

Given that the "sixth party system" in American history began when the deep southern states began to flip to the Republicans in 1968, this system or "cycle" has been 44 years in duration, putting it at the high end of the Schlessinger range (15 to 50 years).  It has been getting long in the tooth for some time and is running on empty, ideologically, offering fewer new ideas to the nation.

So, it should not come as a surprise to us that the words of the right-wing pundits ring hollow when they deny the significance of President Obama's re-election mandate.  In this case, we may be starting to understand why it is that, to paraphrase the Bard, "(we)-thinks (they) doth protest too much."

 November 8, 2012, 4:15 pm
As Nation and Parties Change, Republicans Are at an Electoral College Disadvantage
By NATE SILVER

Two more presidential elections, 2016 and 2020, will be contested under the current Electoral College configuration, which gave Barack Obama a second term on Tuesday. This year’s results suggest that this could put Republicans at a structural disadvantage.

from Wikipedia:

"According to Marjorie Hershey, there have been at least six different party systems throughout the history of the United States:

First Party System: This system can be considered to have developed as a result of the factions in the George Washington administration. The two factions were Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists and Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republican Party. The Federalists argued for a strong national government with a national bank and a strong economic and industry system. The Democratic-Republicans argued for a limited government, with a more emphasis on farmers and states' rights. After the 1800 Presidential election, the Democratic-Republicans gained major dominance for the next twenty years, and the Federalists slowly died off.

Second Party System: This system developed as a result of the one party rule of the Democratic-Republicans not being able to contain some of the most pressing issues of the time, namely slavery. Out of this system came the Whig Party and Henry Clay's American System. Wealthier people tended to support the Whigs, and the poorer tended to support the Democrats. During the Jacksonian era, his Democrat Party evolved from Democratic-Republicans. The Whig party began to break apart into factions, mainly over the issue of slavery. This period lasted until 1860.

Third Party System: Beginning around the time of the start of the Civil War, this system was defined by bitter conflict and striking party differences and coalitions. These coalitions were most evidently defined by geography. The South was dominated by the Democrats who opposed the ending of slavery, and the North, with the exception of some major political machines, was dominated by the Republicans, who supported ending slavery. This era was a time of extreme industrial and economic expansion. The Third Party System lasted until 1896.

Fourth Party System: This era was defined by Progressivism and immigration, as well as the political aftermath of the American Civil War. Northeastern business supported the Republicans while the South and West supported the Democrats. Immigrant groups were courted by both parties. The Fourth Party System came to an end around 1932.[14]

Fifth Party System: This system was defined by the creation of the New Deal Coalition by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. This coalition supporting new social welfare programs brought together many under-privileged, working class, and minority groups including unions, Catholics, and Jews. It also attracted African-Americans, who had previously largely supported the Republican Party due to Lincoln's freeing of the slaves. This era lasted approximately until 1968.[15]

Sixth Party System: This system is currently developing. It appears to have begun with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 the Democrat's subsequently losing their long dominance of the South in the late 1960s, leading to a Republican dominance as evidenced by election results.[16]"

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Comment Preferences

  •  What I found (19+ / 0-)

    amazing by nate's last posting, was that Obama could have lost Florida, Ohio, and Virgina and still won.

    Think about that???

    Ezra Kline said election night that this was a paradigm shift, another talked about the Reagan era is now over, and the Obama era has begun.

    With demographics it is easy to agree, but to me the key is cohort advantages. * years of Clinton and Obama created large groups of new voters with positive democratic appeal, and George Bush's 8 years created a large group of voters with disgust for the GOP. The three combined makes for a very hard GOP future.

    GOP- Fact Free since 1981!

    by KingGeorgetheTurd on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:05:55 PM PST

  •  Long wait for right-wing cycle to end (12+ / 0-)

    We had reason to hope it would end with Clinton, but the off-year election in 1994 and the pursuit of impeachment dashed those hopes, as did the rise of the right-wing radio/Fox media strategy, leading to the Bush-Cheney era.

    2008 gave us new hope, which seemed to be dashed in 2010, but now the demographic trends suggest that although gerrymandering and right-wing dominance of the higher court will leave lingering traces of the "sixth party system," we may now be entering the transition to what will be called the seventh party system.

    •  Clinton went a long way in solidifying the (0+ / 0-)

      rightward shift, passing many measures the repubs couldn't gat passed: getting rid of Glass Stegal, deregulating futures trading, NAFTA, etc.

      Presiding over a time of wage suppression and unprecedented piling up of private debt.

      If his liberalism is what we're after then we're in big trouble.

      And oh, remember his famous quote?  "The era of big government is over".

      Was he the potential beginning of a new liberal era?  Really?

  •  It's a matter of liberalism vs. conservatism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GAS, elwior

    Conservative attitudes aren't as popular nowadays as they used to be earlier in the 20th century, although for a number of people it's still important to have good morals and class.  However, as far as being conservative on social issues, that's a whole different story.

    •  It's not a matter of conservatism dying (10+ / 0-)

      It's the fact that the definition and character of conservatism naturally changes over time.

      When the dominant demographic of the country:

      - doesn't remember segregation, much less slavery
      - takes integrated schools and mixed marriages for granted
      - is almost half non-white
      - thinks of Martin Luther King as practically a saint and martyr

      ...racist arguments don't appeal even to those who have a naturally-conservative temperament. They don't make sense, because we have no memory of the 'good old days' of overt white supremacy. It's something we learned about in school...and not in a complimentary way.

      When the dominant demographic:

      - grew up with working mothers
      - always took for granted that women could, would, and should have independent careers
      - can't even conceive of a world in which most families don't need two incomes to get by
      - can't conceive of a world in which women have to get their husband's signature to apply for a loan
      - simply assumes that they can buy condoms in every pharmacy and that any doctor will prescribe one of a dozen forms of contraception
      - simply assumes that we will study, live, and work with members of both sexes

      ...sexist arguments go absolutely nowhere. We don't have any nostalgia for the days of Leave it to Beaver, because we weren't even alive for it...and our parents were typically damned proud of having left it behind. Even temperementally-conservative young people are more inclined to 'conserve' Title 9 than June Cleaver.

      Gay rights are a bit newer, but we adopted them as a signature generational issue way before they became mainstream among older liberals (it was a byproduct of the way we learned to think about civil rights), so homophobia doesn't get you very far with most of us either.

      We're still going to have our conservatives. But our conservatives are going to look unbelievably liberal to older folks.

      You changed the world in the '60s, and we grew up in that new world just as surely as the children of the American Revolution grew up in a different world from the one their parents knew. (I bet you'd have had a hard time selling absolute-monarchism to a kid born in Boston in 1790.)

      "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

      by kyril on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 01:27:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  and what will they want to conserve? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, elwior

        Will they pine for the old days when straight was straight and gay was gay?

        Or when the TV ads for soap products and home laundry cleansers still targeted the happy floor-cleaning housewife (no TV commercials advertising kitchen cleaners to men)?

        Or when digital devices could be put in a drawer and unplugged, as opposed to having wires and outlets and jacks with fixtures permanently plugged in to the perpetually twittering human skull?

        •  The first and the third, for sure (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nycvisionary

          We already have Atari/SNS nostalgia going strong, and I have to admit my technological evolution hit a brick wall at the iPad. (Just don't get it. Real keyboard and mouse, please and thank you.)

          And my generation (I'm on the tail end of X) thinks genderqueer and pansexual identifications are...a little strange. (I'm trans, and I like to think I'm tolerant, but...I don't know, why can't you just call yourself a bisexual tomboy?)

          "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

          by kyril on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 01:51:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  great comment, just want to add (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        i watch the tv only for old movies

        one of the channels i look at has a filler in which there's a beautiful black woman looking at the sunset (or something lovely) who is then approached by a person with white hands, which then reach out and caress her shoulders

        the mass audience sees this and the effect is to make such unions unremarkable

        i've been waiting for this to happen all my long life

  •  I still contend that the Republicans maintain an (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GAS, nirbama, elwior, MrSpock, erush1345

    historical advantage in the EC. Mainly because it remains to be seen what happens when we run a candidate that isn't as likely to maintain the same type of enthusiasm and appeal amongst certain demographics as Obama has.

    Now, of course, that doesn't mean that Nate and others are not correct in their assessment of a major shift in EC advantage moving forward. I'll be very interested to see how this works out in the next cycle with a new slate of candidates.

    •  Yes, it may or may not be transitional (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      deepeco, Bob Duck, elwior, MrSpock

      and if they nominate another Reagan, while we nominate a Mondale or Dukakis, there could be another right-wing dominant epicycle.

      Hillary seems to have widespread support among Democratic constituencies, and she could probably carry the 2016 election with a solid electoral base of at least 230 EV, with 9 or 10 purple States.   Any Republican would have to appeal to more socially moderate voters than Romney did, and to ethnic minorities.  The question is this:  could such a moderate nominee win the Republican nomination and avoid alienating women in the party platform - - would that not cause a fundamental split among Republican factions?  One can envision another Bob Barr type of 3rd party candidacy in that event.

      The young cohort and the minority cohort will be larger in 2016, as well.  Will an older white Male, such as the increasingly rotund and puffy-faced Jed be able to appeal to young voters (by then, voters below age 40) who have seen the Republican follies and been sickened by the Bush dynasty?

      It will also be interesting to see how the recent advances in electoral technology and media on the Democratic side may help Democrats overcome the right-wing media and fund-raising machine.   2012, at least, shows that it is possible to do so.

      •  But will those young voters vote 4 Hilary? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wu ming

        She's a great politician but a Hilary presidency would feel like a step back. IMO.

        "No clear mandate" is the new "It's tied"

        by jazzence on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:28:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hilary has really impressed a lot of people (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jeremimi, Check077, elwior

          And Bill is honored and loved.   It would be a Hilary presidency, but all of Bill's gifts would contribute to it.  Vote for Hilary, ad in a way you're also voting to bring Bill back into the White House.

          Honestly, I think Bill was the best President we've had since FDR.  I like Obama, but he's not as good at handling the opposition - not even close when it comes to bamboozling Republican leaders.  

          Hillary's experience in foreign policy will give her many advantages.  The one thing a lot of people felt uneasy about was her sharp edged tongue, but serving as a diplomat has taught her how to speak in measured tones, never crossing the line.

          There is no better team out there than Hillary and Bill Clinton, hands-down.  If young people are given the choice between her and Paul Ryan, forget about it!

          •  Yeah, that's what I was thinking... (0+ / 0-)

            the sharp-edged tongue is what mostly concerned me.

            I think if she comports herself in the manner that she did when Secretary of State minus her going off on the misogynist guy from an African nation. While it was the right response, I think the tone could have been a bit more measured, yet still strongly rebuking him.

            But I'm hoping she's better in those circumstances...now...

          •  Glass Stegal anyone? He bamboozled who? (0+ / 0-)
    •  I think the problem is more at the state level. (10+ / 0-)

      Until Dems work as hard at the local & state levels and in the mid-terms as Reps do, we'll still have gerrymandering leaving us with 50+ percent of the vote but only 40% of the seats in the U.S. House.  

      •  True & some States now have blue legislatures (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GAS, Bob Duck, elwior

        such as NY, which now has Dem Senate and House, which will overcome legislative logjams that go back 25 or 30 years, having bolloxed up NY Government for decades.

        So a few legislatures did turn blue this year, but gerrymandering makes the task very difficult.

        Wondering if there could be a judicial means of seeking to overturn some of the most egregious gerrymandering, based on the principle of no taxation without representation, or based on methods used to exclude parties from drawing legislative boundaries.   Or there could be a political-social movement to change the way that legislative district boundaries are drawn using a set of basic principles.

        For example, if there are 8 million people in a State, and if there are 8 congressional districts, with a nearly 50/50 split between the two major parties, there could be a Constitutional Amendment that would require districts to be drawn in such a way that neither Democrats nor Republicans are systematically disenfranchised (as in Michigan, with majority of Democratic voters, but only holding 3 out of 11 House seats in 2011 and 4 in 2012.  Same situation in PA now.   It is wrong, and it violates our most basic constitutional principles, and there needs to be a national movement to keep either party from gerrymandering abuses.

  •  Rght Now They're Busy Blaming The Hurricane... (5+ / 0-)

    Some blame Romney for not bringing up Benghazi enough.  Some blame Chris Christie.  They're also talking about trotting out Marco Rubio.  Maybe they'll find an Asian American & some Latinos too.  

    That's their answer so far.....send some token people out there.  They're also planning on not really changing anything, but just not talking about rape or abortion or access to contraception for a while.  Let the talk fade away, then bring it up after another election.  

  •  Technically and by design (9+ / 0-)

    the small and sparsely populated states have an advantage in the Electoral College.  MT, for example, barely rates one House member by dint of population, but it gets 2 senators, same as CA with more than 38 times the population.  Those 3 votes in the EC vastly overstate MT and WY and many other small state's strength, and systematically undercut NY, CA, TX, FL and large population states.  But, the interesting thing about the Latino minority growth and the traditional areas of settlement in the South of African Americans is that they are in rural areas.  The small towns have the white population dominating, but the rural surroundings and the major urban centers are increasingly minority dominated.  The Democratic dominance among those under age 40 will also have some small effect even in the small population states, but the Latino influx into farming regions and their legalization as immigrants (if it passes like it should) could begin to really shift some of the small states with oversized impact on the EC.  Then the Republicans will have some real headaches.  I expect GA to go first, but I bet TX will not be that far behind, with a combination of the big cities and Latino rural growth pushing TX toward Blue.

    America needs a UNION NEWS channel. We (unions) have the money, we have the talent. Don't buy 30 second time slots on corporate media, union leaders; fund your own cable news channel and tell the real story 24/7/365

    by monkeybrainpolitics on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:00:40 AM PST

    •  That would be an interesting set of graphics (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      monkeybrainpolitics, kyril, elwior

      To illustrate the discrepancies between population size and Congressional Districts (EC votes), showing how changes in both population size and population ethnic diversity are projected to change these.

      The whole relationship between the disconnect in representation in the House district boundary drawing process and the Electoral College by States, with demographics included in the analyses would be complicated enough topic for a good book to be written.

      Whether or not the EC can be replaced by the methods underway, without being gamed ruthlessly by the right-wing is another topic with multiple scenarios that can be examined and compared.  How does demographic change affect the debate over the EC, and difficulties in computing the popular vote in a multi-ethnic and fragmented society with many pockets having racist dominated control (e.g., Sheriff Arpaio's district in AZ, where a fair vote count is nearly impossible).

      •  Yeah, it's always been a source of (5+ / 0-)

        amusement to me that the city is traditionally regarded as the source of corruption in a lot of literature (the whole genre of pastoral literature contrasts rural life to urban along that theme) when in reality it is most often the rural areas that have been the most cruel, backward, and corrupt.  And of course, the US system was designed to give rural areas the edge, in the mistaken "Jeffersonian" belief that the independent small farmer was the backbone of freedom.  (Jefferson was smart for his day, but you have to read him critically nowadays.)  The Democratic Party mule is the symbol of those kind of Jeffersonian farmers.  Ironic, isn't it, that the farming and rural regions are now the backbone of corrupt, ignorant Republican bigotry.

        America needs a UNION NEWS channel. We (unions) have the money, we have the talent. Don't buy 30 second time slots on corporate media, union leaders; fund your own cable news channel and tell the real story 24/7/365

        by monkeybrainpolitics on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:38:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The realignment since Jefferson is so bizarre (6+ / 0-)

          Jeff would of course be a Democrat (he favored the French Revolution - no doubt, a true liberal - but with his many contradictions).

          Back in his day, the large industrial and mercantile forces of the northeast were aligned with Great Britain, and they had Monarchist tendencies.  John Adams sought the power of a Despot, and New England Federalists came close to attempting to secede over the War of 1812.   Hamilton, a Federalist, supported John Adams' Alien and Sedition Acts, which put liberal newspaper men in prison and squashed all dissent.

          Adams and Hamilton and other Federalists opposed the Bill of Rights, and Jefferson worked with Madison to require Bill of Rights, also sought to limit the tyranny of the Federalist semi-dictatorship with their Tennessee and Kentucky Resolutions.

          Yes, it is totally ironic that, in trying to throw off the Federalist dictatorship that almost succeeded, Jefferson's work to preserve local freedom in the various States went so far that it preserved institutions of slavery that he himself wished to end asap.   So the party of Jefferson became the party of the south, and racism became endemic among the very people who were themselves most guilty of bringing slavery to America.

          It is also extremely odd to realize that the Democrats of the south were responsible for electing and re-electing the most liberal and socially-progressive President in American history, Franklin D. Roosevelt.   So there, too, among Democrats, the old antipathy toward the excesses of the industrial and mercantile State was so strong that it created the American labor movement and social security, and too many agencies and programs to mention.

          Overall, you have to give credit to Jefferson, in the long term for making possible a Franklin Roosevelt 130 years later, even while recognizing that his battles with Adams and Hamilton and their near-dictatorship and Monarchical sentiments caused him to overlook the tragedy and evil of slavery as he battled to maintain the autonomy of the rights of the people in the various States.   A bizarrely paradoxical history, it is.

  •  The problem for the republican is the same (15+ / 0-)

    as it has ever been.  It is the party of the elite and powerful, and they lack sufficient numbers in a democratic nation to win elections.

    So they began, with Reagan to nurture the nascent religious right indignation at abortion, and moved on to the worst nontroversy of the century with evolution  They spent millions if not billions to counter the science and data based analysis of think tanks they perceived as biased with their own biased think tanks.  They seized the media, which they also perceived as biased, and biased it into ridicule.  They began the propaganda drum and sought to increase their voter base with those who would fall for their propaganda, and many did.

    They went too far.  They had preyed upon the most vulnerable of our citizens - the least educated, most frustrated, and even intelligent, informed conservatives were surrounded by their bubble of disinformation and hysteria.  These are people who are today declaring that civil war is now in effect in America.  Who knows how many nutcases they have unleashed?

    But the majority of us watched all this with increasing horror.  They never did really grab more than 23% or 25% fully into their sociopathic path.  I don't believe for a minute that the margins were as close as they say in the election.  Between voter suppression and electronic shennanigans, their problem was that there were simply too many people saying NO to election purchases by the privileged, NO to continued plunder of the public treasury, NO to the poorly concealed racism, sexism and elitism, NO to the prospect of even more war profiteering at the cost of our sons and daughters, NO to selfishness as a virtue, as the primary driver of our economic system, as a driving principle behind our nation.

    So they are back where they started.  They need to build a base.  They tried doing it by pouring billions of dollars into the effort, starting with think tanks, media conglomerates, dirty tricks and Karl Rove.

    We the people?  We said NO.

    Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

    by Gustogirl on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:03:32 AM PST

    •  yes, and their attack on secular humanism (12+ / 0-)

      was designed to undo not only the FDR cycle, but to undo all of the previous liberal cycles going back to the American and French Revolutions.  They attacked the European Enlightenment itself, and even the Renaissance!   And they are still blasting away in this yearning for what amounts to the return of feudal era medievalism.

    •  Wow! What a comment (5+ / 0-)

      Truer words...

      But the majority of us watched all this with increasing horror.  They never did really grab more than 23% or 25% fully into their sociopathic path.  I don't believe for a minute that the margins were as close as they say in the election.  Between voter suppression and electronic shennanigans, their problem was that there were simply too many people saying NO to election purchases by the privileged, NO to continued plunder of the public treasury, NO to the poorly concealed racism, sexism and elitism, NO to the prospect of even more war profiteering at the cost of our sons and daughters, NO to selfishness as a virtue, as the primary driver of our economic system, as a driving principle behind our nation.

      Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

      by reflectionsv37 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:13:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  evocative of the horror movie that it really is (6+ / 0-)

        into their sociopathic claws, as it were, and it was as if we lived through something approaching a real-life version of The Alien.

        It began with Nixon's "Moral Majority," a gigantically cynical effort to win office for a paranoid and socio-pathological Nixon, who used his dirty tricks to give Karl Rove's career a running start, who committed genocidal atrocities in southeast asia, killing several million civilians only to result in utter humiliation to the nation and himself.  In the Reagan Administration, the horror continued with the first labor unions being destroyed, with the rise of a new generation of secret government activities and covert operations that eventually ended with Reagan's decline into irreversible amnesia.  GHW Bush's guilty involvement in numerous covert operations and cover-ups never being fully uncovered.   The rise of Newt Gingrich and an entire generation of right wing Republicans.   The return of 1950s paranoia and persecution of liberal ideas and organizations.  Then, with GW Bush, torture and the return of Reagan era double-speak, the actualization of a nightmarish dystopia that George Orwell only began to contemplate.

        And the nightmare had an earlier chapter - phase 1 - which began with the extreme right wing activity in the 1950s, which continued through a wave of political assassinations and covert domestic activities (COINTELPRO, MKULTRA, MOCKINGBIRD) that violated American constitutional rights, as outlined by the Church Committee and the HSCA hearings in the 1970s.

        The horrors that have been committed, the millions of civilians killed in collateral damage, the constitutional liberties denied, the millions of people imprisoned for minor offenses.  The hundreds of billions stolen in acts of corporate theft.   Looking back upon it, the list of horrors experienced in the past 50 years is truly shocking.

  •  Republicans still control the House. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nycvisionary

    Democrats still need to flip about 20 votes/seats to get a majority.  Even worse, democrats don't turnout in the off years so it could get worse in 2014.

     Democrats also just got gerrymandered out of a bunch of seats.  That takes a decade to correct.

    Republicans won't go quietly.  They still have the votes in the House to obstruct.  Time is on our side but it will still be a long struggle.

    •  I don't see gerrymandering as an obstacle... (0+ / 0-)

      Dems can run on women's issues -- tea partiers have lousy voting records on jobs and women's issues.  And districts are changing along with the rest of the population.  We just need to GOTV in our districts.

    •  and the radio airwaves (0+ / 0-)

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:35:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dems will fall about 16-18 seats short (0+ / 0-)

      There were a slew of seats that they lost by less than 10,000 votes.  IN NY alone there were 3 or 4 seats the Dems could have won.  There were a few in Florida and California as well.  In NJ just about every GOP help seat with the exception of Chris Smith was at or near 55%-45% or 57%-43%..  

      It'll be very difficult due to the ridiculous gerrymandering by the GOP in 2010 and it would buck history but the Dems can pick  a bunch off in 2014.  We did it in the off year of 2006, granted we were the out party.  Demographics will help in a few areas.  

      The one think that will help most is to get the economy going.  If things start turning for the better people won't be so against Obama and the Democrats.  

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:17:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  not forever with our demographics growing & theirs (0+ / 0-)

      shrinking

  •  If GOP can't compete for Prez, all bets are off (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DEMonrat ankle biter

    We are coming close to the Democratic Party having an electoral 'lock' on the Presidency. Now, the Republicans had one, and it was eventually broken, but if we can maintain our advantage for a few more Presidential elections, it will really stress the Republican party.

    I think the tipping point is Texas; once the Democrats win Texas in a Presidential election, even if only once, it will be the final straw that breaks the Republican Party. At that point, they will have to radically change their party.

    Unfortunately, the 1% aren't going away any time soon, but I think they can no longer rely on white religious conservatives; even though they voted for Romney (!) in higher % than McCain, it wasn't enough. Furthermore, they're becoming electoral poison: blacks, Hispanics, Asians, secular whites, single women in general, all of these groups are repelled by RR social conservatism. Finally, they're being hit with a double-whammy: not only are whites declining as a % of the population, religious belief is declining even faster.

    My prediction is, after 2016 or 2020 at the latest, the GOP transforms itself into a libertarian party: think Ross Perot. Strict fiscal conservatism, limited government not only in economics but social issues, radical decrease in religious emphasis. That's the only configuration that will be competitive with Obama's current electoral majority.

    •  That would be AWESOME (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DEMonrat ankle biter
      My prediction is, after 2016 or 2020 at the latest, the GOP transforms itself into a libertarian party: think Ross Perot. Strict fiscal conservatism, limited government not only in economics but social issues, radical decrease in religious emphasis. That's the only configuration that will be competitive with Obama's current electoral majority.
      I have a friend who is die hard right wing libertarian.  We joke with one another than while I'm to the left of Che Guevara he's to the right of Ghengis Khan we're so far in the opposite directions that we meet in the middle.  Libertarians at least ideologically pure ones are infuriating to me in that I can whole heartedly agree with them on 50% of the issues and on the other 50% I couldn't disagree more if I tried.  Gary Johnson was one such guy.  I looked at his playform and half I was YES!!! while on the other half I was NOOOOO!!!!

      I just don't see the GOP going that route though.  Libertarians are ideologically opposite from social cons.  Abortion, gay rights, marijuana legalization are BIG no nos with the social cons but are ok with libertarians who don't believe in gov't regulating those issues.  Neocons are war hawks, libertarians are not.  I can find middle ground with libertarians on those issues but not with the other factions of the GOP.  

      If the GOP did become libertarian and shed itself of the social and neo cons we could finally take care of issues that divide us like women rights and gay rights and then we would only have to haggle over voting rights and economic issues.  It would be a HUGE improvement over the gridlock and bitter ideological partisanship we have  now.

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:27:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  without a decline in RW radio monster, adjustment (0+ / 0-)

    will continue at snails pace, with little change.

    it's the math-  the entire country blanketed with the same coordinated pounding message reaching tens of millions who have no free choice for politics and current events while driving and working.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:34:48 AM PST

  •  From the perspective of a red state (WV) this (0+ / 0-)

    feels like a transformational election. People here don't understand what happened. They think that there is no way that anyone could vote for Obama.

    It wasn't like that when Clinton won. They thought that he was a slick used-car salesman who sold a gullible electorate a pseudo-conservative line. They could appreciate his political genius and hope that as soon as he was gone they would be back in control.  (This is the mirror image of how I felt about Reagan)

    Obama is different. There is no way to think of him as a slick good old boy who is trying to put one over on the conservatives. If anything, the opposite is true- he is more conservative than his image suggests. This is terrifying for them.

  •  Audacity of Hope (0+ / 0-)

    One of the most striking passages in Audacity to Hope to me was when Obama wrote admiringly of Clinton's political acumen but noted that Clinton "never built a coalition." This was the capstone to previous chapters in which he analyzed the breakdown of the New Deal coalition and clued me in to what I've since seen as Obama's long term goal: to build a durable coalition with the potential to supplant the Reagan coalition of the 3 decades starting 1980. Looking at the election results, there is absolutely no question that Obama's genius was in full display as he and his campaign managed to cobble together a broad coalition with long-term demographic trends on its side. I fully believe this coalition will be durable and I'm quite certain that Obama will be a major figure post-presidency nurturing, growing and continuing to organize this coalition, and I'm positive it will be quite durable.

    A major short-term hurdle will be the breathtaking gerrymandering that puts the House at a real disadvantaged position for Dems, and the widespread GOP takeover of state govs 2010. Obama, through the mechanism of OFA, must, must, MUST fight hard, hard HARD to make progress at the state level, and to mobilize for midterms going forward with the same gusto as presidential elections. I'm quite confident Team Obama is fully aware of this and will proceed accordingly.

    I think the future is bright for the Democratic party. Going forward, more elections than not, it will be the Republicans in disarray, for many elections to come.

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