There have been predictions of the Republican Party’s demise since at least the 1990s. But to quote Mark Twain, “Reports of my death are much exaggerated.”
In the following essay in the Financial Times (ft.com), Edward Luce describes the GOP’s resurgence. Being a sneeringly superior leftist, Luce can’t bring himself to say it, but the GOP has none other than Barack Hussein Obama to thank for its latest revival.
I was going to critique Luce’s essay — how he conveniently leaves out the post-Sandy Hook gun control and Obama’s many scandals, especially the NSA massive surveillance that has alienated even some “Progressives”. But I decided against it after reading FT readers’ comments because they say it so much better than I could have. LOL
Their comments skewering Luce follows his essay.
Note: I’ve colored the good news in Luce’s essay in green, and his completely biased characterizations and insults in pink.
The strange revival of Republican America
By Edward Luce, Financial Times, March 23, 2014
For years people have predicted the Republican party’s demise. The decline of whites as a share of the US population and the spread of tolerant values, such as support for gay marriage, would gradually snuff out its appeal. Yet the Grand Old Party has a stubborn way of bouncing back. The coming midterm elections in November are unlikely to be an exception, while the Republican field for the next presidential election looks stronger than at any time since 2000. Tomorrow may indeed arrive at some point. But for the time being, today is going pretty well for the Republicans.
Take the fast-approaching congressional elections. President Barack Obama is giving everything he has in terms of fundraising to retain Democratic control of the Senate. The remainder of his presidency depends on it. Even diehard optimists doubt Democrats could regain control of the House. Yet the more Mr Obama throws at the Senate, the lower his poll numbers fall. Last week he hit a new low of 41 per cent approval versus 54 per cent disapproval. History says an unpopular president’s party loses ground in midterm elections. This year is unlikely to buck the trend.
Republicans need to win six seats to regain control of the Senate in November. Twenty-one of the 36 seats up for grabs are held by Democrats and seven of those are in states that were won by Mitt Romney in 2012. In contrast, just one of the 15 Republican seats being contested was won by Mr Obama. Embattled Democrats, such as Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Kay Hagan of North Carolina, are essentially running against Mr Obama. They have made it clear they do not want his visible support and they talk of Obamacare – his signature healthcare law – as though it was some kind of virus. Charlie Cook, the veteran forecaster, now gives Republicans better than 50:50 odds they will control both chambers for the rest of Mr Obama’s term. Not bad for a party in decline.
Outside Washington, Republicans are more in resurgence than in decline. In 24 states the party holds the governorship and both chambers of the legislature, against just 16 states where the Democrats are in full control. The remaining 10 are split. All told, 30 states have Republican governors.
In some cases, such as Texas, where the Hispanic minority is about to become a majority, the writing is on the wall for conservatives unless they drop their reflexive nativism. In others, such as California, where Republicans have for years done their best to alienate immigrant groups, the party faces the likelihood of being in a permanent minority. Non-whites dislike being scapegoated for society’s ills. They also tend to be more tolerant of fiscal redistribution than whites. Being a party of “small government, big prisons”, is not a recipe for long-term Republican success.
Yet there is something deep within America’s political DNA that recycles first-generation social democrats into second-generation conservatives. For most of the 20th century, Catholic Italians and Irish were a reliable Democratic voting block. Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan changed that partly by using dog whistles to play on their racial fears and partly by appealing to their upwardly mobile aspirations. There is no rule that says Latinos cannot gradually move into the Republican fold. Of America’s ethnic groups, only black and Jewish voters are unshakeably Democratic. If a Republican-controlled Congress can push through immigration reform next year, it could undo much of the sense of alienation felt by Hispanics. With barely a quarter of the Latino vote in 2012, the Republican performance can only improve.
A lot will ride on who wins in 2016. Democrats have won five of the past six presidential elections, if you include George W Bush’s Supreme court-imposed victory in 2000 (he lost on the popular vote). Demographics suggest it will become a little more difficult with each cycle for a Republican to take the White House. Moreover, conservative activists in places such as Iowa and South Carolina, which have an outsized say in choosing the party’s nominee, are moving ever further from the US mainstream. Evangelism, opposition to women’s reproductive rights and homophobia are increasingly eccentric planks of an elderly, white base. It becomes increasingly difficult for a moderate, socially tolerant Republican to win his party’s crown. Or so theory goes.
Yet there is nothing like the prospect of victory to galvanise a defeated party. In 2012 most talented Republicans sat on the sidelines. The field comprised Mr Romney plus a human freak show. It was obvious which way the winds were blowing. In contrast, most of the big names this time are either throwing their hat into the ring, or flirting with the idea. From the libertarian Rand Paul, to the moderates Rob Portman and Chris Christie, and the dynastic Jeb Bush, Republican talent clearly sniffs an opportunity.
The contrast with the Democratic field is sharp. Only Hillary Clinton is likely to run and her advisers are agonising over how to distance themselves from Mr Obama without risking his support.
As for Mr Obama, the botched rollout of his healthcare law has done more to discredit the case for activist federal government than Republicans could hope to achieve. For the time being, the hope and change wing of the Democratic party is quiescent. It will be hard for Mrs Clinton to rekindle their enthusiasm. That gives Republicans their best chance since 2000 to regain the White House. The party of yesterday may yet have a future.
Here’s a sample of brilliant comments skewering Edward Luce:
FredIsStillDead | March 24 5:04pm | Permalink
It’s not ‘nativism’ to ask that laws already on the books be enforced. I have yet to hear any mainstream Republican ask us to close our borders to legal immigration.
Biased articles like this are part of the reason Republicans are perceived as anti-non-whites. Asking for fiscal responsibility in having social programs we can afford is not anti-non-white, it’s something every family has to do when maintaining a budget.
Asking for states to have the right to be self-deterministic isn’t anti-non-white, it’s asking that the federal government allow states to govern themselves. Our country was DESIGNED to have states with different policies so that we can have many choices to examine and succeed, instead of one large federal failure like Obamacare, Social Security, Medicare, Dept. of Education, and dozens of other federal programs that supersede state’s rights under the lie of ‘the common good’.
City after city, and state after state, have shown us that government programs that restrict liberties and do nothing to reward having a job fail. Yet liberals still clamor at taking more money out of the economy and giving it to people that are better off not working at all thanks to the many social programs available.
Continuing to do the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, is madness. It’s time for a change, and the Republican party, forced to be the Tea Party, is the only one trying to stop the madness of the failed experiment called the ‘The Great Society’
| March 24 4:43pm |
“the spread of tolerant values”… “done their best to alienate immigrant groups” … “party of “small government, big prisons” … “using dog whistles to play on their racial fears” … “homophobia” … “human freak show”.
Clearly, Mr. Edward Luce is one of the tolerant and inclusive crowd, respectful of diversity and the differing viewpoints of others! Wow!
| March 24 3:42pm |
Since Obama was “elected” – G.O.P ELECTORAL GAINS:
U.S. HOUSE ~ + 56 SEATS (with 10 to 20 more this Nov.)
U.S. SENATE ~ + 2 SEATS (with 6 to 10 more this Nov.)
GOVERNORSHIPS ~ + 9 SEATS (with 5 or so more this Nov.)
STATEWIDE ELECTIVE OFFICES ~ + 750 SEATS.
Only in the sick twisted dreams of the Leftist press is the G.O.P. “dead.” The fluke of a “black” Marxist will only happen once (two terms). The fluke/advent of the “first woman” president will only happen once.
The USA is a center/right country – being hi-jacked by the Leftist media and it’s Hollywood allies. This HORRIBLE Obama economy WILL drive people back to conservative reality.
| March 24 3:28pm |
The problem in this country is the MEDIA. People like you who trash the The republicans while building up the Democrats. Your lies helped the Black Muslim become POTUS and helped pass Obamacare which with 100% certainty result in the END of medical care in this country! The media can and does control presidential elections. The vitriolic lies spewed during the month prior to the last election helped BHO win. However, since state elections are more personal and actually involve issues, it is a lot harder for the media which is primarily national to corrupt the vote!
| March 24 2:49pm |
1) I worked as a volunteer for the Howard Dean campaign in 2004, for three Democratic Congressional campaigns, and for the Obama campaign in 2008 (both primary and general). How is it that Edward Luce can discuss this subject and fail to note that the black community has suffered an unemployment rate averaging 15% for the past 5 years?? — their reward for helping to give the Democrats the White House and huge supermajorities in both the House and Senate in 2009-2010. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs executives divided up $Billions in bonuses handed to them out the back door of the US Treasury via the AIG bailout.
2) 2009-2010 was a once-in-30 years opportunity — and what happened? Nothing. Democratic leaders bleated about the Magic Filibuster –but were happy to nuke that Filibuster when it came to ensuring their buddies got patronage jobs. Just not when it came to doing anything to help the average American.
We didn’t hear about the Magic Filibuster in 2001 when 12 Democratic Senators like Ben Nelson voted to let George W Bush steal $3 Trillion out of Social Security/Medicare and hand it to the Rich as a tax cut. To create jobs — in China.
3) Hillary Clinton voted for an unnecessary war that killed more black men in 10 years than the Ku Klux Klan managed in 140 years — and she is the leading contender for the Democratic nomination in 2016.
We have 25 million unemployed Americans –and yet the Democrats’ signature initiative is a “reform” to bring in millions more of cheap foreign labor to drive down wages and take jobs.
4) In many ways, the Democrats are WORSE than the Republicans –for the same reason that a mole who claims to be your friend only to stab you in the back at the opportune moment is worse than an honest enemy who shoots at you from the front.
The Democrats give lip service to supporting the lower income 99% — in order to take charge of any populist movements for reform so that they can lead those movements over the cliff.
The Party is a fraud — it exists as a Potemkin Village that actively coopts, undermines, subverts and sabotages the very principles, values and goals it publicly proclaims. Because, like the Republicans, it works for a few hundred billionaires. It differs from the Republicans largely in having a much greater degree of deceit and hypocrisy.
And my choice for the Best Comment:
| March 24 2:06pm |
The worst article of the year FT. Congrats!