Can we talk? *Really* talk? Talk the real? Dying Parties? edition
....the report of my death was an exaggeration.1
Duuuuuude! Ours, too!
Pundits have also tread on our grave!"
Every now and again, some political author or another writes an article about the death throes or rigor mortis of the Republican Party2 (or its Tea Party wing3) or of the Democratic Party.4 Don't hold your breath.
After the 2012 general election, even the RNC conducted an "autopsy" on its own party. Yet, Congressional Republicans had done better than Democrats in the 2010 midterms and Republican President Bush the Lesser had left office only four years earlier. When I read the findings of the "autopsy,"5 I concluded that it was even more bogus than I had suspected.
Supposedly, all the "conservative" policies of the GOP were just tickety boo: Only tone, messaging, campaign strategy, etc. needed work. Oh, and Republicans wanted to let everyone know that they are ever so much more inclusive than people may think, particularly as to women (the largest voting group) and maybe even of members of the LGBTQ community (name-checking, but declining comment on, Senator Portman's endorsement of same gender marriage, other than his having a right to make the statement--duh). Problem: GOP policies are exclusionary because the religious right is a critical part of their base and Republican and Libertarian politicians fan xenophobia (because tax dollars); and the trademark tone of Republicans is unpleasant, at best, to all but hard-core Republicans and Libertarians. Amirite, Messrs. Trump and Pence?
Other than as a p.r. move, the "autopsy" seems irrelevant. As noted above, Republicans began taking back Congressional seats pre-autopsy. Despite President Obama's re-election, they did all right in 2012, too. After the 2014 midterms, members of the allegedly deceased GOP held more elected offices in state houses, Governors' mansions6 and Congress than they had held since the New Deal. (To avoid crediting liberal policies, which supposedly make candidates unelectable, both Demlicans and Repubicrats say "since Hoover.")
As of January 2017, members of the Republican Party all but controlled all three branches of federal government, subject only to the late Justice Scalia's replacement being nuked, without precedent, onto the bench Supreme Court of the United States.7 That's one hell of a lively, effective cadaver. (When was the last time Democrats controlled all three, not to mention so many state and local seats?)
I don't see Democrats "demising" any time soon, either. Among many other things, plutocrats will not allow the U.S. become a one-Party nation, which would blow the calming illusion of "democracy;" and no other existing Party can compete with the Republican Party convincingly. Also, Democrats still lead Republicans in the number of registered voters8 and Hillary did (allegedly) win the popular vote in the 2017 Presidential election.
My take: Trump's insanity, the constant drumming from Democrats and the neo-establishment propaganda machine will drive centrists and LOTE voters to the polls, at least until another New Democrat President greatly disappoints.9 Additionally, as "hippies" of all ages have less and less say in the Democratic Party and younger voters become more sane about religion, race and LGBTQ issues, those who once may have voted Republican will vote Democratic (aka, neoliberal-neocon). Meanwhile, some Democrats in power, like the ever-"flexible" Senator Chuck Schumer, will feint left whenever so doing seems expedient, but continue to legislate and campaign neoliberal-neocon.
The Tea Party, of course, is not (yet) actually a political Party. Rather, it's an insidiously-named group within the Republican Party that the Koch brothers astroturfed with the help of Dick Armey,10 well after astro-turning the Democratic Leadership Council. Nonetheless, as stated above, so-called pundits have also predicted or announced the demise of the Tea "Party" prematurely. The Tea Party-ish caucus in Congress, the Freedom Caucus, recently joined Democrats to defeat Ryancare as--believe it or not--the Koch brothers wished.11 So, while Teabaggers are not (yet) able to compete on their own with either the Demlican Party or the Republicrat Party, they can still be effective.
Next in this series: Can we talk? *Really* talk? Talk the real? New Party? edition __________________________________________________________________________________________
1 According to wikiquote, whose version seems credible, Samuel Clemens wrote those words and all other versions misquote him. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mark_Twain
2https://www.noozhawk.com/article/1109_mark_shields_the_republican_party_... (2008); https://www.forbes.com/sites/lawrencehunter/2012/11/12/the-grand-old-rep... (2012); https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnzogby/2016/03/16/rest-in-peace-to-the-r... (March 2016); https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/the-day-the-republi... (May 4, 2016)
Oddly, I found reports of the death of the Republican Party faster than reports of the death of the Democratic Party, even though the Republican Party has been growing stronger since 2009. Whether or not this means Democrats whistle in the dark more, I don't know.
4http://theweek.com/articles/661871/2009-year-democratic-party-died; http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2010/11/why_the_democratic_party... (2010); https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/11/vote-n04.html (2010); https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/11/can-the-democratic-... (2106) https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/bare-ruined-choirs/ (death of the Democratic Party under Obama occurred in three stages); http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-01/how-george-soros-destroyed-demo... (2017)
6 Why do we let anyone live in mansions on our dime, anyway? Or do or have anything, courtesy of our tax dollars, that most taxpayers cannot afford? Just how flocking sheepled and/or idolatrous are we?
7 Justice Gorsuch began hearing cases yesterday (April 17, 2017, coincidentally also Patriots Day 2017). As fate would have it, the author, at the level of the U.S, Court of Appeals (en banc) of the controversial Holly Hobby opinion, which the SCOTUS upheld, heard a church-state case on his first day on the SCOTUS bench. Yippee!/sarcasm The overwhelming presence on the Court of of Justices who implicitly blur the distinction between church and state (Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch) is another reason not to impeach Trump, only to replace him with Pastor Pence. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/gorsuchs-confirmation-impact-supreme-cour... http://www.businessinsider.com/r-gorsuch-era-on-us-high-court-begins-wit... https://caucus99percent.com/content/patriots-day-and-day-boston-marathon); https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/national/gorsuch-explains-hobby-lob... https://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/01/us/hobby-lobby-case-supreme-court-con... https://caucus99percent.com/content/frigate-ship-happens https://caucus99percent.com/content/table-being-set-impeach-trump; https://caucus99percent.com/content/impeach-impeach-part-1; https://caucus99percent.com/content/impeach-impeach-part-2
9 IMO, the results of the historic midterms of 1992 suggest that the first New Democrat President. Bill Clinton, finally snipped the incredibly long coattails of Franklin D. Roosevelt (which, perhaps, were also those of John F. Kennedy and Lydon B. Johnson). Also IMO, the results of the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections and the 2017 general election speak for themselves as to the New Democrat Congress and perhaps also of Obamacare, although President Obama continued to be popular.