Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Obama: Great for Liberalism, Bad for Democrats
There have been two remarkable, countervailing, trends since Barack Obama was first elected. The first is that the cause of liberalism has been advanced at a breathtaking rate. Obamacare, higher taxes, open borders, gay marriage...hell, the mere fact we just voted on transgender bathrooms is proof enough (see: Houston). These have been salad days for liberals.
But very bad days for Democrats. With the loss of another governor's mansion yesterday - Kentucky - ponder the shift in the political landscape since Obama was elected:
2008 Now Difference
Governorships 29 17 -12
Senate seats 58 44 -14
House seats 257 188 -69
State House seats 4082 3172 -910
These numbers are breathtaking. Democrats are being eviscerated up and down the ballot. This will have implications that last a generation as the party will have no bench - in particular, no bench from moderate precincts - to elevate to higher races. Who's in line to run at the top of their next ticket, assuming Hillary loses? Have you even heard of Amy Klobuchar? Julian Castro? Consider yourself very informed if you have.
And yet, with a Constitution-ignoring president, a compliant GOP establishment, and left-leaning courts, liberalism marches on. It's no wonder the Republican base is on fire, and is expressing itself with a months long primal scream that takes the form of Donald Trump.
Presumably, these two trends can't go in opposite directions forever, but given the pusillanimous nature of the GOP leadership, it will surely go on for another two years. Should the GOP take the White House, they will have, I think, one last chance to keep conservatives in the fold. When you consider that there are actually more self-identified conservatives in the U.S, than there are registered Republicans, that might seem like a good idea, but the GOP establishment hates conservatives more than they hate Democrats, so don't count on it.