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.”