The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Dems in terminal decline?
The theory I'm considering is that 1932-68 was a humungous deat cat bounce. Since the Civil War, the GOP had become firmly identified (at the Federal level) with normalcy.
The Dems, on the other hand, were the party of crisis - in time of war (hot or Cold) or depression, even Americans needed some Dunkirk spirit, a sprinkling of socialism, a management specialised in turnaround.
The GOP, absent normalcy, had nothing to offer except Democrat Lite policies (notably Dewey in 1948 - and Eisenhower) or populist lurches like isolationism or Asia First.
With FDR and Truman, the Dems built a national machine that thrived on national emergency and winning at the polls. (Plus a whole lot of corruption, of course.) Lyndon Johnson in 1964  provided its last hurrah.
Both parties had their Southern Strategies : the Dems needed to embrace the Negro to consolidate their Northern constituencies; the GOP, having no prior engagements, were happy to go round picking up the Dems' Southern leavings.
Who'd have thought in 1964 that the GOP would have turned into the more cohesive election-winning machine? And to have won the 2004 presidential election on the basis of a superior GOTV operation.
Naturally, the closeness of the 2004 presidential election gives one pause for thought; just a far-from-impossible 60,000 Ohioans needed to have switched, and the White House would have been jiving to a fado beat come January 20.
Did Iraq work a Depression/WW2 for the GOP this time round? Voters knowing that they had fucked up in 2000, but too proud to admit it so soon - and using the flag-waving bollocks (we can't change president in time of war) as an excuse.
No doubt, we'll be getting the first serious analyses in fairly short order.
free website counter