The Diasporist

Pendulum Politics…Yawn

In 2012 on August 18, 2009 at 10:42 am

Dead ElephantMany thanks to Reihan Salam for stating the obvious: the GOP will make a near-term comeback.

The key analysis:

“This is not the modern, youthful, multiethnic, forward-looking GOP that Karl Rove and George W. Bush envisioned when they were plotting a run for the White House….Like the Perot voters who were so desperate for sincerity that they turned to an eccentric and enormous-eared billionaire, this is a movement of old, flinty, very skeptical people who don’t believe President Obama when he claims that he can cover the uninsured and improve quality and lower costs long-term. They see it as their duty to save America from smooth-talking politicians.”

First of all, any first year political science undergrad can tell you that when you have one party government in Washington, characterized by sinking popularity and drastic overreach, the opposition is in a position to do well in subsequent elections.  See 2006, 1992, hell all the way back to 1938.

That the GOP might pick up seats in 2010 isn’t a shock.  However, the underlying cultural and demographic problems the GOP faces are likely to persist even in the face of short term gains.

Every indicator  indicates that the GOP in Congress, statehouses, and on the grassroots level continues to be dominated by an evangelical, white working class element.  Even on a pure anecdotal basis, a quick browse of online videos of GOP talking heads shows a party that continues the same failing model of a party dominated by southern religious conservatives.  It may just be enough to squeak out a nice victory in 2010; Americans in marginal districts might use GOP congressional candidates as a means of telling the Dems in charge that they’ve gone too far.  However, come 2012 and beyond, unless the GOP puts an end, or at least sharply curtails this type of cultural and demographic imaging, they will find themselves not far from where they are today, in the minority, and losing support by the day.


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