For the past few months, I have considered writing an article entitled “Is this the end of the Democratic Party?”
Over the course of a few months, the argument of this article took shape: the Democrats were getting increasingly desperate over the polls and it didn’t look as though they’d take back control of the Senate.
With a Supreme Court pick on the line, and potentially another one or two coming up, losing would swing the legislative, executive and judicial branches against the Dems.
However, so long as they could use the executive to nominate progressive justices and issue educative orders and vetoes to stay repeals of their big accomplishments like Obamacare, they could put off any serious efforts to regain the upper hand in congress.
However, even assuming Clinton won the election, it was unclear who would run after her. As much as they like Tim Kaine, very few progressives would argue that he is a strong, charismatic candidate. So they would be in the position, assuming Clinton, as unpopular as she is, won election and reelection, of hoping another dark horse candidate galloped onto the scene.
But as much as I’d like to take credit for predicting present events, the scenario I envisioned was a Clinton victory, which still may have been good for the Republicans, who would have retained control in congress and would be free to reevaluate their platform for a bid against Clinton, an already unpopular candidate going into office.
There are not really any changes I would make to this argument now, knowing how the election turned out. I would, however, like to add a few paragraphs.
First, it remains unclear how well Trump and the Republicans in congress will play together. Some of the items on Trump’s plan for the first hundred days– imposing term limits on congress; lifetime bans on White House and congressional officials lobbying for foreign powers– while interesting ideas, are unlikely to make some of the Republicans happy.
Second, some of the biggest promises politicians make, the promises that win them social capital, are the ones they never accomplish. Think: closing Guantanamo (Obama), or “Read my lips: ‘no new taxes'” (Bush Sr.)
For those asking what’s next?: for now it is enough to notice the repeal Obamacare commercials began running before the election even ended.
It is time for the left to drop its elitist name calling, and its disdain for middle America. If he left wants to be relevant, it should use these years to stoke dissent with the GOP and rethink its positions and strategies.