Whither Republicans? Whither Democrats?

Last Summer, liberal pundits were looking forward to “the end of the Republican party.”  That Republicans were doomed, due to the inexplicable nomination of Donald Trump and his inevitable defeat, was the expectation even of many Republicans up until election day.

But the day after the election, everything had reversed.  The Republicans have the presidency, the House, the Senate, and a Supreme Court pick.  Also 33 governors (picking up three yesterday) and 67 state legislatures.

Now it’s the Democrats that are “in crisis.”

Now I do think both parties have some soul-searching to do.  Some thoughts after the jump. [Read more…]

Pence in 2020?

The strong performance of Mike Pence in the Vice-presidential debate makes him a leading candidate for the 2020 presidential election, should Donald Trump not get elected.  At least this is what many Republicans are saying.  (I would add that being Vice-president, far from being a meaningless job, often leads to the presidency, so that in case Trump does elected and runs again, Pence would be in a strong position for 2024.)

Did the 17 or so Republican candidates this year come out of their primary failures as damaged goods?  Or would some of them make viable candidates in 2020?  Do you like Pence for that election?  Who else is waiting in the wings and would make a good candidate?

[Read more…]

If Clinton drops out, Democrats want Sanders

What would happen if Hillary Clinton really is having serious health problems to the point of having to drop out of the race?  I’m not saying she is or that this is likely, but it’s an interesting mental experiment.  Donald Trump, who is 70, could also have a breakdown that could force him to withdraw.

If the party’s candidate can no longer run, the Democratic National Committee would choose a replacement.  The same holds true in the Republican party, though the RNC could choose to reconvene the convention delegates, an option not available for the Democrats.  The national committees consist of members from each state.  The Democratic National Committee has some 300 members; the Republican counterpart has 150.

A Rasmussen survey has found that in the event of Clinton dropping out of the race, 48% of Democrats would want her replaced with Bernie Sanders.

Discussion questions:  Conservatives, isn’t Clinton more conservative than Sanders?  Do you think she would make a better president than Sanders would?  NeverTrumpers, would you vote for Sanders over Trump? [Read more…]

Who’ll win the Irish vote?

We keep getting told that demographics favor the Democrats and look bad for the Republicans, as America becomes more ethnically diverse, a phenomenon particularly evident in the growing Hispanic vote.  But Josh Gelertner gives us a history lesson putting all of this into context.

He points out that ever since the machine politics of Boss Tweed in the 1850s, Democrats have pandered to immigrants fresh off the boat in exchange for their votes.  Thus the Irish became an important part of the Democratic base.  The same thing happened with the next wave of immigrants, the Italians.  But after awhile, each of these groups assimilated into American culture, whereupon they stopped voting exclusively for the Democrats.

He then argues that the same thing will happen to Hispanics–indeed, that it has already started to happen.  Today, no one talks about the Irish or the Italian vote, though they used to.  The same thing, Gelertner says, will happen with all immigrant groups. The American melting pot keeps working.

Read his argument after the jump, including how anti-Hispanic sentiment today is similar to the anti-Irish and anti-Italian sentiment of the past.  Does he have a point, or is he too sanguine about immigration?

He seems to assume that cultural assimilation happens naturally.  In the past, America worked hard to “Americanize” its immigrants.  This was a major task for schools.  As late as my day, we had lots of American history (in which Americans were portrayed as good guys), required Civics classes (teaching the Constitution and the workings of Democracy), and even lessons in “Americanism” (Cold War anti-communism, including the superiority of individualism over collectivism, free market economics over socialism, and freedom over regimentation).  Instead, schools today teach multiculturalism. Cultural assimilation is impossible if there is no particular culture to assimilate to.

[Read more…]

The party of the rich

Democrats are now the party of the rich, and Republicans are the party of the blue collar worker.  So concludes Reihan Salam, writing in the liberal Slate, drawing on research by think tanker Lee Drutman, who shows that the wealthiest Americans now tend to vote for Democrats.

Why?  Because the wealthy tend to be “socially liberal”; that is, they support abortion, gay rights, gun control, etc., etc.   Contrary to how they usually describe themselves, they are not necessarily “fiscally conservative.”  They are so affluent they don’t mind paying slightly higher taxes, and they want the government to provide health care and other benefits for the lower class that serves them.  But they are far from Bernie Sanders-style socialists, being supportive of big banks and Wall Street.

Conversely, as we see in the ascension of Donald Trump, lower income workers–concerned about free trade, exporting jobs, and low wages, as well as what they see as America’s cultural decline–are voting Republican.  This is all an exact reversal of just a few years ago. [Read more…]

Ted Cruz speaks at convention, but refuses to endorse Trump

Ted Cruz, who came in second to Donald Trump, was given a speaking slot at the convention, in the name of party unity.  Cruz gave a speech, but he did not endorse Trump.  

Cruz told his listeners to “vote your conscience.”  The crowd booed him loudly.  Another convention stage-managing fail.  And a major fail in achieving party unity. [Read more…]