I'm a map junkie. I'm also a U.S. Navy Viet Nam era veteran who, on this Veterans Day (observed), offers up a few thoughts on the future of party politics in America, as suggested by the five most recent Electoral College Result maps of the United States.
The maps and the thoughts are out in the tall grass.
The first map is from Bill Clinton's reelection in 1996 and shows the most blue of any map until 2012.
George Bush won in 2000 by one vote, in the Supreme Court, which put its stamp on the now much redder map.
Bush won again in 2004, this time by stealing Ohio and winning Florida. Both New Hampshire and New Mexico wobbled.
President Obama won in 2008 by pushing party strength in the Upper Midwest, expanding into the Mountain West, taking Florida out of the solid GOP South and pushing the boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic into Virginia and North Carolina.
All of this optimism assumes, however, that in the next four years the GOP never wises up and finds a way to start winning Hispanic votes or women. That would change everything. But if Republicans stay reliably loopy, Democrats can hope to continue to hold the White House and gain influence in all but the deep South and the sparsely populated zones of the interior where Republicans will crouch with their guns, their God, their hatreds, their delusions, their fears and their FOX, while the rest of the country gets on with the 21st Century.