Signs point to a GOP Majority ending in 2016 and not returning anytime soon.
“Republicans in 2014 were the most popular girl at a party no one attended. Voter turnout was awful.” ~ Chris Ladd
Enjoy your majority while you can, Republicans, the future isn’t so bright that you need to wear shades. Indeed, signs are pointing to these next two years as being the last gasp of the GOP for a long time. This could have been a grand opportunity for Republicans to show America that they could govern in a rational way. That would have gained them some longevity.
There was even a brief moment, directly after the Midterms concluded, when it seemed sanity might prevail from the right wing. But it was not to last. Mitch McConnell went from talking about reaching across the aisle and making a broken government work to repealing Obamacare the very next day.
Republicans then appointed the author of a book about climate change being a hoax to head their environmental committee; fast forwarded the Keystone XL; and approved a bill for financial deregulation, which would put the country right back into the same danger zone that led to the 2008 economic crisis. Same old same old from them.
Fast forward a few months, and the Affordable Care Act has been upheld by the Supreme Court after multiple attacks upon it. The Confederate flag is coming down everywhere and the Rainbow flag is going up. Gun law reform is remaining in the national conversation. The Democrats are fielding not just one but two very strong candidates, while Republicans have expanded their 2016 clown car to a clown train. There are roughly 50 conservative candidates at last count.
And what do they campaign with? Traditional Republican go-to talking points, repealing Obamacare, opposing Marriage Equality, and various dog whistles for riling up a hateful base, are now all off the table if they hope to win a General Election. That stuff works with the right wing fringe, but doesn’t fly nation-wide. Americans do not really align with the GOP on very much.
Meanwhile the Democrats have learned their lesson from the Midterms. Blue Dog Democrats are out of work. Whoever chose to run away from Obama’s legacy and policies is mostly out of office. In short, the weak links of the chain are now gone.
Democrats appointed Senator Elizabeth Warren to a higher position in the party. Warren will not only keep progressive ideals at the forefront of future policies, she will have no problem facing down anyone. Ted Cruz, Joni Ernst, even McConnell himself will have to think twice before crossing her.
The President meanwhile, seems to be ignoring any claims that he’s a “lame duck,” and instead has cut a huge deal with China regarding the environment, surprising nearly everyone. He has appeared victorious in the Rose Garden two days in one week after massive wins handed to his Administration by the SCOTUS. Obama has also made it clear that his Executive Powers will be exercised; Action will be taken and Vetoes will be issued.
Yeah, the GOP is bitching about him doing that, but as they were going to do that anyway, what’s the difference? Nothing. Next, we can expect the President to cement his legacy with Immigration Reform after a staunch and successful defense of the ACA. We’re also going to continue to see more Republican legislation shot down.
Certainly the Democrats have a ways to go before they are all on the same page. Nancy Pelosi blamed an absence of Democrat voters for November’s losses, refusing to admit her party’s failure to inspire them in the first place.
Other Dems have already said they won’t participate in obstructing GOP bills, meaning they would rather allow Republicans to just roll over them. Not sure where their heads are at. Republicans wouldn’t reach across the aisle when they were the minority, they’re certainly not going to start now.
How do we know that? Besides the fact that they’re admitting it, you mean? Or that they’ve proven historically that they can’t? We know that because the GOP is a hot mess right now. They’re being pulled in many more directions than the Dems are. All they are capable of doing is shutting down Reproductive Health facilities and fast-tracking the NRA’s pet legislation. And they’re facing increasing pushback from the Electorate on that.
Where Obama’s party mostly shed dissenting voices in their losses, the Republicans took on more. With the addition of the hog-castrating Joni “Bread Bags” Ernst and “Yeah, I’m lying, but it’s working so I’m sticking with it” Tom “Leader of the 47 Traitors” Cotton, the nuts have grown even heavier on the right wing.
Meanwhile the Religious Right still has a death grip on directing GOP policies. Their zealotry and disconnect from the real world makes them wildly unattractive to the average American. Expect them to push for outlawing abortion even though Personhood Amendments were all defeated soundly. That sort of lobbying will appeal only to their hard line (and shrinking) base.
There is no compromise with the Religious Right. They are impossible to motivate without Scriptural fear-mongering. While a powerful political force on their own, they are traditionally more influential during the Midterms, when nobody else shows up.
Republicans are incapable of reining in the Christian Conservative faction of the party. Were they to try, they would be labeled RINOS and eliminated in their very next primary. Looking at you, Eric Cantor. Oh sure, he’ll be back, but he’s still enough of a warning sign to intimidate the rest of the GOP.
Oh, the NRA? Yeah, they got a huge wake up call from voters. After years of owning politicians and legislature, gun control measures were heavily supported when put directly on the ballot. November was a huge blow to gun lobby rhetoric, as Americans showed the NRA does not represent them. The 2016 campaign will certainly build upon that, and a staunch Republican ally could get removed from the board entirely.
In his piece, The Missing Story of the 2014 Election, Chris Ladd, a lifelong Republican, discusses the upcoming crash back to Earth that Republicans are facing in two years. Ladd points out how statistically the GOP, without a rapid and radical realignment of ideology, are out the door in two years.
How will that happen? Like this:
“The Blue Wall is a block of states that no Republican Presidential candidate can realistically hope to win. Tuesday that block finally extended to New Hampshire, meaning that at the outset of any Presidential campaign, a minimally effective Democratic candidate can expect to win 257 electoral votes without even trying. That’s 257 out of the 270 needed to win.“
“Republican Senate candidates lost every single race behind the Blue Wall. Every one.”
“Democrats in 2014 were up against a particularly tough climate because they had to defend 13 Senate seats in red or purple states. In 2016 Republicans will be defending 24 Senate seats and at least 18 of them are likely to be competitive.“
“Democrats will be defending precisely one seat that could possibly be competitive. One.”
Were the Midterms disappointing for the Democrats? Absolutely. But it’s the Dems buying shades for the future, not the GOP. Republicans have all the pressure on them now, and Obama has already proven he’s not afraid of them.
“If you thought Benghazi was a legitimate scandal that reveals Obama’s real plans for America then you’re an idiot, but these next two years will be a (briefly) happy period for you.”
Shoe’s on the other foot now, GOP. There’s about to be some serious payback coming to you for four years of obstruction. To top it off, barring major misstep, Obama will lead a streamlined Democratic Party into 2016 to maintain the Presidency and regain the Senate.
And you’ll have built that, Republicans.
It’s the same as ever. Get enough voters to the polls in Ohio and Florida and the GOP loses.
I would paint Ga. Red on your map and Pa. tan. Still looks good for Dems. The gerrymandering affecting the house is the real issue here. That and state governments.
I think any time you try to predict political trends two years out you’re asking for bad results.
Having said that – trends definitely agree – most pundits (even on the democrat side) predicted a GOP turnover on this one due to which districts were up, and it’s true that the exact same problem (defending territory that isn’t traditionally yours) is going to be the reverse issue in 2016 (pretty sure dems will retake the senate, but there’s very little chance of them getting the house).
Is this the doom of the republican party? Maybe, maybe not. They’ve been able to bounce back after being classified as dead a few times (as have the dems..). Too early to tell. I’d put a (very) small amount of money on Dems retaking the senate and maintaining the presidency in 2016, but I wouldn’t want to be placing bets any more than that.
I am far from certain that “the Democrats seem to be learning their lesson from the Midterms.” If we want to see this Democratic dominance happen, we need to work now to make sure that it will actually mean something to working families and younger Americans, and to run on a vision of an American economy that leaves no one behind. not the failed paradigm of neoliberalism.
It will take more than the climate deal with China, belated executive action on immigration, and Warren’s appointment to Senate leadership. For instance, if Hines is appointed head of the DCCC, it will mean precisely that we haven’t learned our lesson. We’ll see if Dems in the Senate stand up and stop KXL or the gutting of already too weak Dodd-Frank, or if Obama vetoes it if they don’t. Without a positive vision — which we somehow manage to convince them we will pursue despite a recent track record of empty promises on hope and change — the 2016 elections may see the beginning of that political realignment Ladd mentions. Without stepped up support for populist economics and abandonment of neoliberalism from our party, Ladd’s vision of a more socially just, but economically libertarian (and unjust) future may ultimately prevail in that realignment. Everyone will be able to look at the ruling class and see someone like themselves. The odds that they will join them will be astronomical, however. More likely they will be joining the growing underclass as the middle class will continue to shrivel. A neoliberal POTUS candidacy will inspire a third party candidate(s) from the left that could make us wish for Nader and 2000 results, and will put some of our “fortress” in play.
Erm, yeah. But it’s going to take some genuine hard labor on the part of the Democrats, take it from me. Elections don’t win themselves and the Democrats need to do some internal (re-)alignment. Candidates that feel they’re free to distance themselves from the leader of their party, the incumbent President FGS, and his policies must be made to see reason. And the party as a whole must be taught to campaign on the issues and the party policies. The lesson of the Mid-terms is that the voters may not like the Democrats much, but they do like their policies. Follow the road-signs, people!
Well, time will tell, won’t it? Predicting the future is always such a tricky thing. I do think that in a Presidential election year, Democrats will tend to do better, in general – everyone seems to agree that in Presidential years, general voter turnout is better, and when general voter turnout is better, demographics and recent history suggest it tends to go better for Dems, because more young people, minorities, and women voting usually is good for them.
Republican voters tend to show up at the polls every election, but Dems like to sit out the mid-terms.
I hope you are correct. But, have you forgotten how the districts have been drawn in a favor to lock in republican wins. And talk of states splitting their electoral votes. The electoral thing probably won’t happen. But the gerrymandering is all too real.
The gerrymandering is real, but only affects the House of Representatives. The GOP has secured itself a majority there until the next census in 2020, but everything else (Senate, White House) is on a relatively level playing field.
I have reached the point where I don’t really care. The Retards are going to eliminate all social programs, cut more taxes for the rich, cut farm aid, and start WWIII. So what’s left for us? I am 78 and am tired of this shit. If people want to live like pigs then let them. If I was younger, I would lead a march to Washington and take care of business.
The South is trying to kick start the Civil War again and with the present dimwits in Congress they could win a second Civil War.
Our only hope is to prosecute all governors and election officials who commit election fraud, but I don’t see this happening. The retards in Congress will not approve a Democrat Attorney General so I see no attorney general until we kick their asses in 2016.
I read where boner lives in a largely Democrat district and won the election by a margin of 72%. If this doesn’t smell like election fraud I don’t know what does. These people don’t give a shit about America or Americans. All they wait for is their check from the Cock Brothers and Adelson.
What a great comment, and I commend you for it. The American Public is so blind that it is almost scary, and they are so stupid.
Love your reply if only more would understand.
Wishful thinking. Most Americans are low-information voters (read: not very bright), and if the Republicans promise to give them more money in their wallets, they’ll get those people’s votes. Such voters never vote with the “big picture” in mind. Their mantra is simple “me and mine.”
One can only hope, but I have heard this promise so many times, not to mention the times the obituary of the Democrats has been written.
Interesting take. I hope you’re right.
You may be right about the wish list , but conservatism isn’t going away the republicans are running away from being conservative. They have embraced the radical right wing extremists. So while the Democrats still are liberal they are far more middle of the road then the Republican party. Supporting a platform that only benefits a tiny percentage of americans is not conservative.
This is a Democratic wish list. Whether it’s a realistic one or not remains to be seen. Dems have been talking confidently for over a decade now about the demise of conservatism and losing handily anyway.