Beginning of a New Democratic Era? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Beginning of a New Democratic Era?

After every big election victory of either Republicans or Democrats, analysts, columnists, and just plain folks have a tendency to dance on the grave the loser, proclaiming the permanent ascendency of the other party.  And it never lasts.  Indeed, sometimes the turnarounds are incredibly swift–Richard Nixon resigning just a couple years after his massive reelection victory, for instance.  And the Bush debacle instead of the supposed permanent majority.

Nevertheless, the GOP appears to be in quite a hole.  Next year should be good for Republicans on Capitol Hill as a mid-term election, but the Senate math looks bad and the numbers are being compounded by a rash of retirements.  And the electoral college has gone from the supposed Republican “lock” to a Democratic one.  Patrick Buchanan writes:

As President Barack Obama delivers his inaugural address to a nation filled with anticipation and hope, the vital signs of the loyal opposition appear worse than worrisome.

The new majority of 49 states and 60 percent of the nation Nixon cobbled together in 1972, that became the Reagan coalition of 49 states and 60 percent of the nation in 1984, is a faded memory. Demographically, philosophically and culturally, the party base has been shrinking since Bush I won his 40-state triumph over Michael Dukakis. Indeed, the Republican base is rapidly becoming a redoubt, a Fort Apache in Indian country.

There’s no doubt that the GOP can rebound.  But it would help to have quality national leadership.  Mitch McConnell is the highest ranking elected Republican in the country and he ain’t a winning public face for the party, whatever you think of his tactical legislative abilities.  It appears the GOP is living out that ancient Chinese curse:  may you live in interesting times.

Doug Bandow
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Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute.
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