Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Democratic Party Is Crashing

I do not find Robert Draper’s extensive analysis of Maryland politics in the New York Times Magazine to be especially compelling. And yet, within it he offers a fascinating analysis of the current state of the Democratic Party.

Consider the source. Normally, left-leaning commentators put a positive spin on things. They explain how the Democrats can win. Republicans generally do the same.

And yet, here, in the New York Times Magazine, Draper explains that the Democratic Party has suffered grievously for the sin of having foisted Barack Obama on America.

Read Draper on the problem Democrats face:

For all the much-discussed ailments of the Republican Party — its failure to win the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections; the corrosive bickering between its mainstream and its Tea Party stalwarts; and the plummeting number of Americans who identify themselves as Republicans — the inescapable reality is that the Democrats have fallen into a ditch arguably as deep and dismal as the one Republicans have dug for themselves. “It isn’t that the Democratic Party is struggling,” says Jonathan Cowan, the president of the centrist policy center Third Way. “It’s that at the subpresidential level, it’s in a free fall.” The Democrats lost their majority in the Senate last November; to regain it, they will need to pick up five additional seats (or four if there’s a Democratic vice president who can cast the tiebreaking vote), and nonpartisan analysts do not rate their chances as good. The party’s situation in the House is far more dire. Only 188 of the lower chamber’s 435 seats are held by Democrats. Owing in part to the aggressiveness of Republican-controlled State Legislatures that redrew numerous congressional districts following the 2010 census, few believe that the Democratic Party is likely to retake power until after the next census in 2020, and even then, the respected political analyst Charles Cook rates the chances of the Democrats’ winning the House majority by 2022 as a long shot at best.

Things get even worse for the Democrats further down the political totem pole. Only 18 of the country’s 50 governors are Democrats. The party controls both houses in only 11 State Legislatures. Not since the Hoover Administration has the Democratic Party’s overall power been so low. A rousing victory by Hillary Rodham Clinton might boost other Democratic aspirants in 2016; then again, in 2012 Obama won 62 percent of Electoral College votes yet carried 48 percent of Congressional districts and a mere 22 percent of the nation’s 3,114 counties. Through a billion dollars of campaign wizardry, the president did not lift up but only managed to escape a party brand that has come to be viewed in much of America with abiding disfavor.

For a giddy moment seven years ago, Democrats dared to believe that Barack Obama’s election would significantly reconfigure partisan alliances. Instead, his presidency has only calcified them. “When Obama swept the 2008 primary and general elections, Democrats’ image suddenly came to be defined by a city-dwelling law-school professor whose life experiences had been far different from those of most working-class whites,” said David Wasserman, a congressional analyst for The Cook Political Report. “It was the culminating moment of a half-century of realignment. Democrats had already ceded Southern whites, but in the last few years they have lost droves of Midwestern, small-town and working-class whites who feel like they have little in common with the party anymore.”

To me this is solid analysis. It is well worth a read.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

We have not heard a cogent answer to an important question: Who is Barack Obama?

Obama perpetually campaigns, so we hear a lot of words. But when we examine his actions, choices and deeds, we see a definitive ideology at work that betrays his many words.

Obama is not a traditional Democrat. He is a man of the Left. All words aside, he takes Leftist positions. Not left-of-center, which is traditionally Democratic Party territory... he's Left.

He is the President of the United States of America -- the most powerful man in the world, and twice democratically elected -- yet he and the First Lady view themselves as deeply aggrieved people. This makes absolutely no sense unless we recognize their ideology. They are victims. That's their worldview. That's what Leftism is about: the powerful against the victimized, with all virtue assigned to the powerless. Yet he has shown that his tactics are pure Chicago politics: thuggery, using naked power to amass power. Where are the checks on Federal power now, particularly Executive power? Would anyone be surprised by any Executive Order Obama chose to issue today, no matter how bizarre?

Obama has a black-and-white, Manichean worldview, from a man who won the majority of white vote in 2008 to heal black and white race relations. After Henry Louis Gates v. Cambridge, Trayvom v. Zimmerman, Brown v. Ferguson and Gray v. Baltimore, where do we stand? What was Obama's response to each and all?

We lament polarizing politics, yet we've twice elected Obama -- a deeply polarizing figure who solidifies core support through polarization and through polarizing surrogates (Andy Stern, Al Sharpton, et al). He has used the Internal Revenue Service to silence political opponents.

His agenda is about redistributing wealth. This includes weath we don't have, so he's also distributing future wealth. This threatens our power as the world's reserve currency. But that makes sense, because a Leftist doesn't think we should be the world's reserve currency.

What nations have benefitted from Obama's foreign policy? Who have we bettered our relations with? Certainly not poor countries. Like America's poor, our artificially low interest rates have been a disaster for real economic development and upward mobility. Certainly not our traditional allies, as we've largely abandoned our leadership position because our leader doesn't see us as an exceptional nation or a force for good in the world. As far as I can see, only Russia, China, Iran and Cuba have benefitted from our recent foreign policy. What column would you put them in?

What percentage of the country is working after this robust "recovery?" I could go on, but I have to go work.

Who is Barack Obama?

Anonymous said...

Hope and change on the move:

Sam L. said...

We are told again and again how smart he is, yet it seems like only one person remembers him from college (and badly), and his grades are considered Top Secret/Absolutely Need To Know Only. Then Michelle goes off again and again on how rotten her life was and continues to be.

This is "not encouraging".

Ares Olympus said...

I was surprised in the last election that almost everything turned against the Democrats, except Minnesota for some reason.

It almost looks like Obama is the Republican savior, especially for the next 2 years, because they can say and pass anything they like, knowing Obama will veto it.

But all the other democrats are in some shadow land of near irrelevance. So maybe that's why they finally took a symbolic stand and stopped the trade agreement?

So now its Obama and the GOP against the Democrats, what do you know?

It is strange to me that Romney still looks like the most credible GOP candidate for president in 2016, and he's not even running. It's probably a smart move for Romney. He can save tens of millions of dollars in 2015, and offer his free neutral point of view analyses (spin free) on the news, and when January 2016 comes along, suddenly all the other clowns will have demolished each other and King Romney will ride into town to save the day.

I just don't see a future for our country unless one party is allowed complete control (and complete responsibility) for sinking it. I wonder how many wars President Romney will start by borrowing more money from China?

But when survival is at stake, a president has to do things he hates, to save what he loves.