After all, who would want to be a Democrat as we go into 2013?
Don't be fooled by that tough-guy act.
Yes, yes, we know that the Democrats own the future with the educated, the young, the black, and the Hispanic. And Republicans have just got to learn to speak Hispanic. Even Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan seem to agree.
But my suspicion is that the old song had it right. The new Democratic majority has gone about as far as it can go. You can tell that in the subtext of Democratic policy this holiday season, which seems to be: entitlements today, entitlements tomorrow, entitlements forever.
There is something vaguely familiar about that catchphrase.
Here is how I explain it.
Back in 1989, the Democrats panicked. They had just lost three presidential elections in a row, first to an amiable dunce and finally to a New England blue-blood. How bad can it get?
The new strategy, we can now see, was fiendishly clever. Democrats would feint towards the middle, as in New Democrats, while playing race politics with blacks and Hispanics. And they would use their cultural power to put the mark of Cain on the religious right and social conservatism. Remember how they demonized Pat Buchanan's speech at the 1992 National Republican Convention?
On winning the 1992 election by splitting the Republicans with Ross Perot and demonizing the Bush economy with "worst economy in the last 50 years," the Democrats gave it all back in 1994 with the first Republican Congress elected in 40 years.
The Dems kept the ship afloat in 1996 with the help of Dick Morris and welfare reform, but they failed to extinguish the Republican Congress. In 2000 they almost kept the presidency with an October Surprise on W's DUI.
Fortunately, the razor-thin loss in 2000 gave the Dems an opportunity. They decided not to concede the election but instead keep their partisans at white heat for the next eight years, railing against anything that would stick on the wall. It all finally came together in the 2006 and 2008 elections, with big Democratic majorities in Congress and America's first black president.
This is where things start to go wrong.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment