Are the Democrats Doomed?
Is it time to start talking about the inevitable demise of the
Since the 1990s there's been a thriving cottage industry of doomsaying about the
And they may have been right, had all the trends they identified or took for granted continued to move in a straight line.
But that pretty much never happens, as
McGovern lost in a massive landslide (61 percent to 38 percent).
The problem for the
In an essay for National Affairs titled "The Politics of Loss,"
But there's a key difference between the parties. The Democrats tend to be more traditionally coalitional: If everyone sticks together, everyone gets paid. In the age of austerity, however, zero-sum politics become more of the norm. When one constituency's victory is another's loss, the payoff for solidarity diminishes.
Already, across the country, there's a growing rift between unions in the public sector and the private sector, perhaps not in official statements but clearly in terms of rank-and-file voters and popular perceptions.
More broadly, the old system of rewarding liberal elites on cultural and environmental issues while paying off the working class with economic spoils will be increasingly hard to sustain. Obama's positions on gay marriage and the Keystone XL pipeline fuel donations from celebrity millionaires, but they don't help with middle- and lower-class voters. And if those voters get no payoff from voting Democratic, what's the point?
Consider Obama's decision to grant work permits to perhaps 1 million young illegal immigrants. In a booming economy that would be a lot easier. Instead, the
Ironically, the last time America experienced the politics of austerity, it was a great boon for the
But here's the difference. Roosevelt could target his pandering without too much fear of spillover. He could tell blacks he was on their side and Southern racists he was on theirs. In Oval Office meetings, he would mollify members of his coalition by blaming other members for holding up progress.
I don't actually think the
Read the latest political news.
- Justices Uphold Individual Mandate, Set Limits On Medicaid Expansion
- Court's Dissenters Argue That 'Entire Statute Is Inoperative'
- Health Law Decision A 'Victory For People All Over This Country'
- Justice Roberts Says Law's Offer to States on Medicaid 'Is A Gun to the Head'
- Romney: Health Law Bad Policy, No Matter SCOTUS Decision
- The Tea Party Shtick
- How Wall Street is Trying to Avoid Oversight
- The Robin Hood Tax
- Growing Independence from Both Parties
- Are the Democrats Doomed?
- Mitt Romney: Running for Magician-in-Chief
- Mitt Romney is Dangerously Naive on Foreign Policy
- Is Marco Rubio the Hope of the GOP?
- Progressive Morality
- Running Against a Ghost
- Candidates Must Steer Clear of Political Potholes
- Obama Shows that Political Gaffes are a Game Two Can Play
- Candidates Woo Skeptical, and Possibly Decisive, Latino Bloc
- From Hope and Change to Fear and Smear
- Obama's DREAM Gambit
- The Limits of Compassion in Politics
- All Hail Emperor Obama
- Drone Warfare Foretells an Ever-Expanding and Illegal War
- Sending in the Drones
- Realists Play Video Games
- Women Candidates Need to Fight Back Against Innuendo
- Obama's Truthiness
- Wisconsin Wakeup Call
- Hard Times, Weak Unions
- Wisconsin Vote Dashes Union Hopes, An Entire Movement's Gains
- Wisconsin: Labor's Love Lost
- Liberal Nostalgia for The Good Old Days of Conservatism
- The Big Lie Coup D'etat
- Super PAC Era Links Back to Early James Burnham
- Recalling the Gilded Age
- A Fair Shot
- Low-Wage Nation
- Supreme Doubts
- Obama's 'Fine' Mess
- Making the World Safer for the Next Bernie Madoff
- 'Compromise' is Not a Dirty Word
- Googling Anti-Obama Racism
- Who are You Calling 'Extreme'?
- Is the Worm Turning?
- Searching for a Surrogate
- The Essentiality of Journalism
- Our Press Freedom is Under Fire
- Of Bedrooms and Boardrooms
- Budget Cut Blues: America Needs More Informed Citizenry
- Pentagon Spending Spree
- Why the 'Pro-Growth Centrists' are Wrong
- Social Security's Dual-Income Trap
Are the Democrats Doomed? | Politics
Copyright © 2012 Tribune Media Services