It would seem that Republicans are locked in the past, in the glory days of John Boehner and Paul Ryan, when they were winning big, important elections. It's the same past that Democrats were locked in circa 1983 during the glory days of Carl Albert and Tip O’Neill . If the 40-year pattern continues, just how well will the very weak candidate the Republicans put forward when he (or she) tries to make an issue of the incumbent's age? It seems to me that Joe Biden should cruise to an easy victory, given everything that’s happening.
I’ve been writing about the 40-year pattern since 2012 (here and elsewhere):
- ”Rope-a-dope, I hope” (here on Daily Kos) — I guess I was merely hoping for the pattern back then rather than “saying it aloud”, so to speak. I was starting to get scared that Obama wasn’t fighting the way that he needed to, but Mohammad Ali’s famous “rope-a-dope” strategy came to mind (i.e. keep taking blows to the head, and hope that one outlasts one’s opponent).
- ”What Donald Trump and Jimmy Carter have in common” (here on Daily Kos) — In January 2016, I was starting to get scared. Almost everyone who was paying attention thought “Donald Trump??!?! Are you kidding?!?!?!?!! HAHAAHAHAHAHA!!!!” Some of my punditry was not quite accurate (e.g. I thought Jimmy Carter was more liberal than he was back in the 1970s), but I became very uneasy.
- I was a basketcase in the months after the 2016 election. I spent a lot of time in 2017 and 2018 going to meetings of IndivisibleSF, Swing Left, and Sister District, trying to be helpful (e.g. knocking on many doors in California’s Central Valley). I also posted a couple of very long essays that I think have held up pretty well:
- Jimmy Carter, populism and Donald Trump (2017 edition) (here on Daily Kos) — Jimmy Carter, populism and Donald Trump (2017 edition). I knew we had to cope with Trump for four years, but I asked “What year will Trump's presidency end?” Only 20% of readers agreed with me that 2021 would be when his presidency would end. 40% of readers thought he’d be gone in 2018 (as if Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would lead impeachment hearings). I was hopeful in 2019 when Nancy Pelosi took back the Speaker’s gavel, but it didn’t seem likely that the U.S. Senate would vote to convict in 2019 or 2020 (or even 2021)
- Jimmy Carter, populism and Donald Trump (@robla on Medium) — this was a stupidly long essay that I forced some of my friends to read. I still think it holds up well.
- You’re soaking in it. I think 40-year pattern will hold up through the 2024 POTUS election. I’m not sure that Biden will last the until 2029 before his second term ends (because he's getting pretty old), but he has a capable administration, and a capable Vice President. Perhaps by 2028, the two-party system will disintegrate as folks learn about alternative voting systems. I doubt it. We’ll see if “No Labels” and “FWD Party” make more progress than they have, but they still arguing about election methods, and somehow, some of them think that “blockchain” and “RCV” can/should be compared.
I didn’t take the 40-year pattern TOO seriously back when I first started paying attention to it, but (as you can see from my stupidly long 2017 essay), I really NEEDED it to be true. Like I said, I was a basket case in 2017 and 2018. I’m doin’ better now, but please check in with me if the pattern doesn’t hold, and the Republicans win the White House in 2024 and/or 2028. How y’all doin’?