Friday, October 22, 2010


This, from Politico, doesn't surprise me at all:

The new political map: Welcome to 2004

After consecutive elections marked by big gains in Republican territory, the Democratic Party of 2011 is poised to shrink back to its form before the GOP's downward spiral: more coastal and urban, and less Southern, Midwestern and rural.

Based on the state of the political map two weeks out from the election, the famed red vs. blue model that followed the 2004 presidential race appears to be returning to shape....

... it's likely that this year's election will mark a return to the familiar political universe that characterized the decade before 2006 when the GOP controlled swaths of politically conservative and moderate parts of the country.

...Of the 69 Democratic-controlled House seats rated as toss-ups or favoring Republicans by the Cook Political Report, 40 are in the South or Midwest....

I've always been skeptical about the theory that Barack Obama's election was the result of an inexorable demographic tsunami that's in the process of wiping Republicans from the face of the earth. We vote state by state, and most of the country consists of non-coastal states full of resentnik whites -- and will continue to do so throughout the lifetime of everyone who reads this.

Fat cats and right-wing strategists, and Rupert Murdoch know that Democrats with some progressive ideas may get elected, but as long as they can be prevented from enacting programs and policies that non-whites and non-right-wing women and gays and young people want, then the notion that voting Democrat is a really worthwhile exercise won't ever fully take hold, especially among traditionally low-turnout groups. But, if you keep stoking the hate and fear -- especially fear of those Democratic groups -- angry whites will always show up at the polls.

That's how you keep the demographic tsunami at bay -- use filibusters and donation pressure to make sure Democrats keep disappointing the base. Voila -- the base stays home, no matter how big it's growing.

Besides, it's not as if "the emerging Democratic majority" is emerging very fast. Remember how Hispanics were going to save the Democrats? Well, as I wrote a few months ago:

... The Future is a country that's 29% Hispanic -- by 2050, according to demographers. Um, 29% is a big uptick, but even that high number is a long way away, and it still means Hispanics will be a minority. It means they'll be in pretty much the position blacks are in in Southern states. How's that working out in terms of consolidating political power?

And if Republicans never, ever yield on immigration, and demagogue heartland Democrats so they never have the guts to fight for immigration reform, then Hispanics will be disheartened and won't vote.

Which is the point.

And which is why I expect the red-blue map to look the same as it did through the Bush years for decades, unless a miracle occurs and someone figures out how to make liberalism appealing to non-coastal straight white males.

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