« Life imitates parody | Main | Crap! »

Why I don't fear the Democrats

I've been saying for some time now that I hope the GOP loses at least one chamber of Congress in the upcoming midterms. Now, however, some other conservatives who actually matter are beginning to say the same thing.

My party has simply lost its way, and I believe it's going to take an electoral spanking for them to find their path out of the wilderness. Sadly, political defeat will not guarantee a Republican rebirth, but it is a necessary if not sufficient condition. I take no joy in hoping for their defeat. It's a bit like putting down the family cat -- unpleasant but necessary.

Some of my Republican friends have tried to dissuade me. Unable to defend the current Congress, they try to frighten me with the specter of House Speaker Pelosi. But guess what? I'm not afraid of the Democrats anymore.

I'm not afraid because the Democrats are no longer the watered-down, quasi-socialist party of my youth. Hell, they're not even a liberal party anymore. In case you haven't noticed, the Democratic Party is being taken over by affluent white people -- affluent white people with substantial exposure in the equities market, no less.

It's no longer the party of George McGovern and Walter Mondale. The days of pre-Reagan, 70% tax brackets are gone, and the modern Democratic Party knows it. The days of Jesse Jackson calling all the shots are history as well, and those days aren't coming back. The days of gun control as a serious issue? Over. Done.

The animating force behind the Democrats' nascent resurgence comprises educated, upper income white people who voted for Reagan in the 80's because they didn't want their kids bussed to crappy schools. In 2004, this same demographic voted for Kerry in large numbers. They disdain Wal-Mart (another true sign that they're no longer the party of the underclass), send money to Howard Dean and drive their hybrids to Ned Lamont rallies.

These are hardly the class warriors of years gone by. They are the post-Clinton Democratic Party, and I see little there to fear. I'll certainly disagree with them on many issues, but so what? I could say the same about the Republicans (and increasingly I do.)

Yes, there's always the risk that the Democrats, emboldened by new-found power, will overreach and lapse back into the same old patterns. Should that happen, they'll be tossed back out on their ears, because at the end of the day, the American public is simply not liberal, no matter how disgusted they may be with Bush and this Congress.

So what will I miss about the current GOP leadership? Damn little. I'll have more thoughts to post on this topic later, but this post is already too long. For now, suffice it to say that I agree with Christopher Buckley: “Hand over the tiller of governance, that others may fuck things up for a change.”


I think your post is fairly accurate, although I view things from a different angle. You are right, the democratic party has degenerated to "republican-light" over the last few years. And thats why democrats have hard time winning elections, although in your case they win your tolerance and "silent" acceptance.

Anyway, I hope the opposite. That we will push out of the democratic party the "centrists" and that (as JMK would say) the "Kos-MoveOn" faction will take control of it. I think there is a good chance that this will happen in the future. And if you dont believe we can win elections by being a real liberal democratic party, wait and watch.

My sentiments as well, B. Posted on another site.

Blue, you're sadly mistaken.

Conservatives outnumber Liberals by better than two to one in this country...and that's not changing.

The last true Liberal "shit the bed" big time.

Jimmy Carter presided over the implosion of Keynesianism - LBJ, Nixon and Ford all adhered to Keyneisian "economics" - "government spending is good for the economy."

The reslts of that near two decade run of unabashed Keynesianism was Stagflation; double digit unemployment, double digit inflation and double digit interest rates - by far "the worst economy since the Great Depression."

Carter did America a great service by brining on the age of the Supply-Siders.

Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore and Kerry have all lost by running Left of the opposition.

Clinton, the only Democrat to win the WH over the past thirty years, did so by running to the Right of two "Moderate"/socially Liberal Republicans - Georege Bush Sr. & Bob Dole.

If the Dems plan on running Left, they'd also better plan on lots of disappointments.

Conservatives outnumber Liberals by better than two to one in this country...and that's not changing.

I dont think that's true. Mots people are socially LIBERAL and "fiscally conservative". The only reason republicans win elections is taxes (and these days also fear and threats from Cheney). If the democrats find an antidote to the tax issue, the republican party will be marginalized to the 25% of the population that is real conservative.

> If the democrats find an antidote to the tax issue, the republican party will be marginalized to the 25% of the population that is real conservative.

Perhaps... but that's a big "if." It's sort of like Marion Barry saying that D.C. doesn't really have a high crime rate if you factor out the murders.

yeah, I'd put the ratio at 1/3-1/3-1/3 roughly.

A 'better than two to one' majority??? Then why aren't the GOPers controlling Congress, the state houses and legislatures way more than at present? Unless JMK meant 2% conservative, 1% liberal and 97% reasonable.

I know I've posted this before, but for your edification Blue;

“A 2005 nationwide survey by pollsters Penn, Schoen, and Berland -- who represent Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, among other clients -- found that self-described liberals make up only 16 percent of the population, compared with 36 percent who call themselves conservatives and 47 percent who say they are moderates.”

THAT is the leading reason why most businesses have not created as many jobs as their profit margins would normally dictate - the compliance with "Sarb-Ox" has been incredibly expensive (tens of billions more in compliance costs that didn't exist before, that would've equalled hundreds of thousands of new jobs).

Democrats could easily win with a more Liberatrian agenda, abandoning the "Nanny State," abandoning their reflexive and irrational high tax policy...but their new albatross is "terrorism."

Most people don't trust Democrats to do as good a job with terrorism - probably because so many Dems appear to fail to take it seriously.

not to be argumentative, but Barry, why would you want the same group of people that wanted a government sanction against an ABC movie? A group that you have said are "broke and stupid" and could put the US into more debt through pork?

I think a lot of people who dream of a Democratic takeover are going to have the same "buyers' remorse" as those who re-elected W have. I don't think the Dems will be able to withdraw from Iraq: any negative consequence from that would put the spotlight on them rather than W. And I don't think they will be able to push for a lot of domestic issues either without people calling it pork.

Good questions as always, Rachel. Bear in mind that what I'm hoping for is *not* Democratic hegemony, but rather a divided government.

Believe me, I'm not excited about this, but how much more pork can Robert Byrd dole out than Ted Stevens? Seriously?

Right now there's no one standing opposed to this spending orgy other than Coburn, McCain, Flake and maybe a handful of others. They're getting steamrolled.

At least with a divided government, the two parties might block each others' pet spending projects out of spite, if nothing else.

As a strategy, that's aiming pretty low, I'll grant you. But what else can I do?

I agree with Barry. What is killing the Democratic party is that they still don't get it. America is not liberal. The most liberal group, the Baby Boomers, has aged. With age comes conservatism -- it's genetic.

Liberals don't understand that the country, really and truly, doesn't want gay marraige, doesn't want affirmative action (racial discrimination), and doesn't want to be gagged by political correctness and thought crime laws (hate crimes).

In my hatred of Bush, I went to a Move-On party with my wife. We were simply horrified. Those people were as divorced from reality as JMK talking about Bush.

Some were militant Animal Rights activists who wanted to push Pets Rights (no kidding). There was a bitter lesbian couple with cropped hair and fanatical expressions, talking about how they were being oppressed (they drove an expensive luxury car and lived in a very rich area). Another guy was a professor and just quite openly a complete Socialist, and I mean a Socialist in the true sense, not the Roved meaning of today that just means "not a neocon".

These people were extremists. I did not agree with anything they said, and we left.

I just wanted Bush out, like I do now.

That's America. We want the criminals like Bush out of power. We don't want a bunch of looney left New Age crazies running the country.

That is what the Democratic Party doesn't get -- you have to divorce the party from the loud lunatic extremists. The Republican Party couldn't win if there were KKK meetings all over the country raising money for them. We know the KKK supports Republicans, but the party doesn't take their money or support publicly.

Race-baiters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, militant gays, militant tree huggers, militant animal rights nuts ... they can't be on stage, or you lose.

If, to remove the criminal neocons, I had to vote Democrats into the kind of absolute power Republicans have now ... I don't know. I probably wouldn't vote.

BNJ: "At least with a divided government, the two parties might block each others' pet spending projects out of spite, if nothing else."

This is, and always will be, the key to sound national government.

I agree completely with BNJ's post.

The real battle in this country is not left vs. right, but center vs. right. The left died when Reagan was elected. Not that there aren't some crazy leftists out there, some of them even holding Congressional seats, but they aren't even close to having enough votes to do anything really dumb.

Post a comment