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the electoral earthquake
The Spectacular Institutional Failure of the Democratic Party
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  • Frank Natoli

    in part because their agenda was so unpopular that down-ballot candidates who might have had presidential ambitions were decimated during midterms
    That agenda was not the b-child of the candidates. It was the b-child of the Democrat voter, see the very enthusiastic support for Sanders, and consequent requirement for Clinton to run further to the Left than Sanders himself.
    If Jim Webb had been the Democrat candidate, I have little doubt he would be choosing his tux for the Inauguration Day party right now.
    But that’s not who the Democrat primary voters nominated, was it?

    • stefanstackhouse

      I would think that Jim Webb and people like him would be prime candidates to help form the new political party I have described in my post on this thread.

      • Frank Natoli

        I like Webb. Honestly, if it was Webb v Trump, I might have voted Democrat for the first time since 1976. But Webb is a Democrat only because he got a little crazy [not a good thing for a candidate for President] over GWB foreign policy. Except for pride, he’d become a Republican again.

        • John Stephens

          Which is why he might be amenable to becoming one of the founders of a new party.

          • Frank Natoli

            I understand why “new party” is appealing. I also understand that, historically, and I mean for more than a century, it always proves to be an exploding cigar.
            Teddy Roosevelt got the highest third party vote count of any third party candidate ever, and gave the election to Woodrow Wilson. Everyone who voted for T-R would otherwise have voted for the Republican.
            Eugene McCarthy hurt Hubert Humphrey far more than Richard Nixon. Every McCarthy supporter would have voted for HHH.
            Perot gave us WJC. Most Perot voters would have voted for GHWB.
            Ralph Nader gave Florida to GWB. All Nader voters would have voted for Gore.
            DJT lost in NM because of the Libertarian, though DJT won nationally.
            So, third party not only always loses, but always gives the election to the “wrong” guy.
            Is that what you want?

          • It’s done through parasitism. The new party must grow within the old party until it can take control.

        • catorenasci

          Trump would do well to reach out to Webb and find a role for him in his administration.

          • Frank Natoli

            Back as Secretary of the Navy, and maybe stop this positively insane social laboratory changes that the outgoing administration has made its highest defense priority.

          • Indeed. But it doesn’t effect the rank and file Dem as he has near zero name rec. I guess that could change.

    • Old Gunny

      A friend of mine mentioned to me last August that he thought Jim Webb would be a viable candidate for president on the Democratic ticket. I remarked that there is no way the democrats would nominate a former Secretary of the Navy, Marine Corps combat infantry leader with a Navy Cross, Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts. Turns out I was right.

      • USNK2

        In late 2015, I half-joked that things were so bad we needed to send the Marines in to re-take the Oval Office.
        After I read Jim Webb’s Navy Cross citation, I hoped he would do exactly that, as POTUS.

        He would make a fine U.S. ambassador to whatever country needs a daily reminder of American strength.

        His film story “Rules of Engagement” is great.

    • tps

      Well hold on a second. I have a LOT of doubt.

      Webb may be a decent guy with a credible record, but when he has his chance–what did he stand for? (Don’t look it up. Think about it and tell me.) What his his three or four DRIVING issues to energize his party? I follow politics closely. I have no idea.

      Now, what were McCains’? (Crickets). Dole’s? (More crickets). Bush I’s? (ditto). Romney’s? (ditto)

      Trump won because he stood for several major things, and he didn’t care whether they were popular or not. Now, I was a Cruz guy, and Trump was about 10th on my list. But in the end, it was him or Hillary. That was our choice.

      But even Webb against Trump would have still IMO elected Trump–by an even wider margin. Webb has no energy, no strong ideas, and surely could never have galvanized the black vote. The Left would have rumbled about a white guy running because the Left is now bat shit nuts.

      The democratic party is a hollow shell composed of aging Marxists and racialists with not a savior soul on the horizon.

      The next four years promise to be, at the least, very interesting.

      • Frank Natoli

        I was a Ted Cruz guy too. In 2012 I was a Rick Perry guy. In 2008 I was a Fred Thompson guy. In each case, those who voted in Republican primaries, which bizarrely included cross over Democrats and Independents, chose someone else. On the merits, I thought McCain preferable over Obama, Romney over Obama and Trump over Clinton, and voted accordingly. Thankfully, this time, enough Americans came to the same conclusion.
        It all comes down to trust. I trusted HRC to do everything wrong, literally everything. I suspect, but find it hard to trust, that DJT will do quite a bit right.
        We’ll see!

      • FriendlyGoat

        “Very interesting” is a nice way of putting screw-over of the very “little people” who put Trump in office. Watch how it goes.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Jim Webb, good a guy as he might be, would have either had to completely fold his principles and attempt to out-Trump the real Trump in RR (ridiculous rhetoric) or he would have been personally destroyed by the real Trump. You can ask the other 16 original GOP candidates how that worked in the primary and would have been deployed in the general.

      • Frank Natoli

        Well, let’s see. Trump repeatedly said of HRC “lock her up”. I don’t see Trump saying that of Webb. What, for example, do you imagine Trump directing to Webb?
        Webb faithfully and nobly served his country both in uniform and in civilian life. Trump could not claim that [neither could HRC]. Further, Trump would be vulnerable thanks to his Vietnam era deferments.
        There used to be quite a few Southern Conservative Democrats, but they were all rendered extinct by HRC’s husband’s ramming of the 1994 Assault Gun Act down their throats, as well as HRC simultaneously attempting socialized medicine on the sneak. Webb is a rather unusual moderate Republican turned moderate Democrat, apparently because of matter of principle vis a vis U.S. Middle East actions. As such, Webb had genuine cross party appeal.
        But Democrats felt more comfortable with a Lefty. How did that work out?

        • FriendlyGoat

          It worked out that Trump voters and Hillary haters are to blame for a Trump presidency and they personally are stuck with the short and long term consequences. There is going to be some buyers’ remorse on your own side within twelve months, twenty-four max. Maybe sooner. Nothing is coming to workers or people of lower-middle-class income other than the regular assault on them from the Chamber of Commerce gang. They’ll notice that after a while.

          • Frank Natoli

            Nothing is coming to workers or people of lower-middle-class income
            There are two ways to “help” any particular sub-group, e.g., “lower middle class”. One is to subsidize them by taking from another group and giving to them. I suspect this is the “help” you prefer and certainly what you vote for. Two is to empower general prosperity, where there is slightly more economic activity than there is labor to service it. Then wages go UP and unemployment goes DOWN.
            Ordinary people have finally woken up to the fact that the price of gasoline is NOT set by evil Big Oil. It’s entirely a matter of supply and demand. Strangle supply, as Democrats have done for four decades, empower OPEC to inflate prices. Free supply, as hydraulic fracturers on land not controlled by Washington have done, and see prices fall.
            It’s no different in the labor market, even for “lower middle class”. Strangle economic growth, as Democrats have done for decades, see wages stagnate or drop, see unemployment especially among the “lower middle class”. Empower economic growth, and the last time that was felt by everyone was the Reagan years, and see all boats rise.
            Trump and a Republican Congress will try to do what Reagan and Democrat Tip O’Neill did in the early 80s. We’ll see what gets put into law this time.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I know that conservatives believe massive tax cuts at the high end actually create jobs—–and presumably you would prefer to also believe those jobs be of the type which actually support families. Given the long term anti-labor fallout of the Reagan legacy, the nearer-term results (?) of the so-called Bush tax cuts, the world-wide concentration of wealth at the top and secret mobility of capital from international tax-cut competition, the astronomical growth of CEO compensation compared to everyone else in corporations, and the fact that not even years of zero interest rates can get households out of the dumps, I simply do not believe the slogan actually works. I believe it works in reverse—–basing that on 23 years in private-sector accounting and upon what our eyes actually see every day.

            As for Reagan/O’Neill, it’s important to remember that O’Neill was a Dem and the House was Dem. Your full slate of Republicans are going to discover that only they themselves are in charge with the potential of breaking all of Mr. Trump’s promises of “fantastic this, fantastic that” and be blamed from their own side immediately. For instance, the “repeal and replacement” of Obamacare with “sell across state lines” is almost certain to blow up on your own side when people finally figure out it’s nuthin’ but severe benefit cuts.

          • Frank Natoli

            Well, you lost. Taking from those who earn and giving to those who don’t, punishing success and rewarding failure, will take a back seat for at least the next four years. Sorry.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Hell, Frank. I didn’t lose. You think I’d be here puttzing around with cynics in the comment section if I wasn’t already stable and secure? Policy talk for me is about proposing to make life better for people who are having a hard time. If you need to lecture somebody for your emotional jollies, go tell them in person what bums you think they are.

        • Sam Nunn wants yer gun! And that was the end of him. Not that he is to be missed.

  • stefanstackhouse

    Need I point out that there are going to be a large population of Republicans that would normally be anxiously awaiting the opportunity to serve in a new Republican administration, but will not be under consideration this time because they dared to fail to publicly support Trump? Add to this the many disappointed Democrats, and the longsuffering Independents who have been out in the political wilderness, and there is a quite sufficient critical mass for the formation of a new competitive political party. Just because what should now properly be renamed the Populist Party is flying high at the moment does not mean that it will not be in utter disgrace four years from now; indeed, I rate that highly probable, if not certain. There actually is a good opening for an upstart political party to challenge and unseat one of the two present dominant parties.

    We actually do need two competitive political parties in this nation, and we need both of them to be committed to the principles of good governance. When one of the two is actually an anti-government party that comes in every few years with a wrecking ball, it should not surprise us to see our Republic in decline and its future increasingly in question.

    • Frank Natoli

      we need both of them to be committed to the principles of good governance.
      It all depends on one’s definition of “good governance”.
      One party defines “good governance” as making carbon fuels unaffordable for most Americans, throwing all of us not clustered in a major city back into the Middle Ages.
      Another party defines “good governance” as denying nuclear weapons to those who brag about finishing what Hitler started.
      The choice yesterday could not have been more clear.

    • Gene

      I’m not sure what the mechanics of it would be, but wouldn’t it be nice if we first started by creating a new party just in one state? Seems like a lot of lessons could be learned and the built-in forces working against a 3rd party would be weaker at a state level.

  • Jim__L

    The Democrats are not a party per se, they are a political machine. Absent a staggeringly more talented campaigner (like Obama) whose Politically Correct credentials were impeccable (First Black President), Hillary was inevitable.

    Face it Dems, you’re the vehicle for individual personal ambitions, not for any ideology.

    But the good news is, you get to clean house — throw all the Clinton cronies out of the party! You no longer have anything to hope from their promises, no longer anything to fear from their threats.

    Let the clean-up begin!

    • Frank Natoli

      But HRC was the sexist choice as much as BHO was the racist choice.
      Consider that when Oprah announced her support for BHO in the 2008 primaries, she lost a huge part of her audience, which was overwhelmingly white female dolts. They were VERY UNHAPPY that Oprah had chosen to be a racist instead of a sexist.
      The difference, of course, is that American blacks are much more dedicated racists [95/5] than American women are dedicated sexists [60/40].

  • Anthony
  • Tom_Holsinger

    Note that the GOP picked up three more governors’ chairs, so they now control 33 of the 50, and complete control of several more state legislatures (majorities in both houses of 31 states). This is really important for development of future candidates for higher office. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air understands – “State legislatures produce the national candidates of the future, and
    the Democratic bench has been depleted over the last eight years.
    Republicans have just extended their advantage on talent for at least
    another two years.”

    • seattleoutcast

      All we need to start a Convention of States are 34 legislatures to sign on.

  • seattleoutcast

    I really wish the writers at TAI would read the Fourth Turning. This would end the problem of continual surprises that they and all the members of the chattering classes seem to have.

  • Andrew Allison

    It’s not clear that many institutions other than Congress and the party establishments are broken, as in completely out of touch with the needs of people.

    • MarkM

      The deep state (i.e. the Administrative State) is operating more openly and blatantly than it has in years. What the IRS has been doing over the past several years is directly contrary to some of our more deeply held values. Various Federal agencies are looking to expand their authority with little or no statutory authorization. (Take the “Dear Colleague” letter from the Department of Education, Operation Choke Point from the Department of Justice, FDA’s claim of authority over “vaping” devices and the dangers of aging cheese on wood shelves, ATF’s new regulatory authority to “seize and administratively forfeit property involved in controlled-substance abuses”, etc.)

  • USNK2

    Too many missing points:
    The Dems have no bench because, in 2009, they abandoned Dean’s 50-state strategy that forgave ideological purity on guns, abortion, and fiscal restraint, giving the Democrats that majority in Congress in 2007.
    2013 saw the ‘friendly’ take-over of the NYC Democratic machine by the Working Families Party of Brooklyn – only Scott
    Stringer is a Machine Dem, and the NY City Council is estimated at 2/3 WFP loyalists,
    WFP was emboldened by the destruction of the Blue Dog Democrats (fiscal conservatives) in 2009 after Pelosi pulled her Tom DeLay move forcing through ACA,
    The reliance of Identity Politics as THE organizing principle of Obama’s Dem Party was doomed to fail because it relies on knee-jerk labels of ‘racist’, etcetera (the baskets of deplorables), and, fwiw, people are complex individuals, not stereotypes.

    Did any one really think Black Lives Matter was a winning concept, let alone a winning GOTV tactic?

    Just trying to point out that, for those of us who actually worked (volunteer) for the Dems until 2008, this destruction has been visible. Like Reagan, the Democratic Party left me, except, since 2008, more like being disappeared, accompanied by shunning and death
    threats. They are such hypocrites.

    On a personal note, the real world of Stalinist-level Political Correctness had me in hibernation since 2011. On November 8, I re-opened my Disqus account, to challenge a similarly clueless attack on alleged “voter suppression” over at The Atlantic. It sure feels good to not have to worry about the death threats for expressing my informed opinion, at least for a few days.

  • markterribile

    The election of Donald Trump is an opportunity for the political system on both sides to renew itself. As the Democratic Party slides into individual senescence, that party is going to have to decide what it should stand for. I don’t think the process will be pretty, especially as they have some of the toughest and most ruthless infighters, who will seek to keep things lurching along, demonizing any attempt to fix their mistakes. The GOP, on the other hand, is failing because it can’t work as a team. Trump is loud and brash, but he showed two remarkable skills during this election. First, he learned and learned fast (how to campaign). Second, he showed that when he finds the right advisors, he leans on them.
    The cabinet he’s proposed is first-rate. If he and they work as a team, and if he learns the undercurrents well enough to hold his temper, he may do very, very well. The big question, in my mind, is whether the Senate Democrats can be checked or outmaneuvered in their determination to deepen the status quo failures.

  • TGates

    …..”The election of Donald Trump can only happen in a country where many institutions are deeply, deeply broken. ” One wonders if TAI would have made the same statement if HRC had won. After all, she certainly is not the Virgin Queen given all of the baggage that she brought to the contest. Ironic that the day after the election, we see many editorials that espouse her immediate pardon in order to “heal the nation”, the same rhetoric used when President Ford pardoned Richard Nixon. The Republic can survive Donald Trump, I am not so sure that it could have survived HRC and the DNC machine. Of course Academia, to which TAI is so linked, is oblivious to this, resulting in statements like the above, that in the end will contribute to its irrelevance as anything but a branded business.

    • MarkM

      While I believe the same statement would have been true if HRC had won, I agree TAI would not be likely to say it.

      Speaking on the Republican side, I’d love it if Obama provides a couple of key pardons – including one to Hillary (and maybe one to himself?) – on his way out the door. If he does not, I foresee a special prosecutor getting authorized to review the case, resulting in an actual criminal indictment for Hillary (and maybe Bill) Clinton as well as a couple of key aides. (Maybe Patrick Fitzgerald would agree to take on the role? Given his success with Blagovitch and others, he might work – but his historic relationship with Comey may become an issue.) I’d predict that the resulting $!#@ storm will derail a variety of other things Trump and the Republicans would want to get done, however.

  • WigWag

    An article from the New York Times that (surprisingly) gets it exactly right. See,

  • carl Jung

    Hi, I’m new here 🙂 Are all of the writers as boring and predictably weak in their analysis as this klown? Or does this “magazine” have a bring your kids to work day?

    • catorenasci

      This isn’t up to WRM’s standard – he’s the reason anyone comes here.

    • Gene

      One thing that takes some getting used to here is that most of the writers, and especially WRM, tend to take a calm and evenhanded tone even if they’re making strong statements. Sometimes they’re a little too even-handed for my taste, but I suspect TAI intentionally tries to maintain that (nice to see some decorum in at least a few places on the net). If you’re used to reading a lot of other blogs it can be kind of jarring.

  • Robert Burke

    One Hundred Years of Progressive Rule!
    By Robert Winkler Burke
    Book #5 of In That Day Teachings
    .Copyright. 11/3/09

    They cracked the code of liberty,
    And made it a Rubik’s Cube
    Then wrapped it in a Gordian knot,
    One hundred years of progressive rule.

    They almost had victory in Depression,
    Packing the Supreme Court with fools,
    Hitler and Hito delayed half the plans of,
    One hundred years of progressive rule!

    Now seers see, but they see for naught,
    Rulers are sold and bought as mere tools,
    In the name of liberty, liberty belayed by,
    One hundred years of progressive rule!

    Would God we had a wise King George,
    Who never burdened America’s unborn pool,
    With abortion, poor house or deep angst of,
    One hundred years of progressive rule!

    Where is the dragon to slay, fire to quench,
    Or central square statue to remove?
    Our enemy: catch-less, invisible, dangerous to good,
    One hundred years of progressive rule!

    They’ve perfected political slavery unawares,
    These knighted, empowered, barbaric ghouls,
    Their fey wiles hidden from under-taught masses,
    One hundred years of progressive rule!

    My sons’ great, great grandfathers once lived,
    Secure in liberty, America’s shining jewel,
    My sons’ great, great grandsons can’t survive,
    One hundred years of progressive rule!

    Part of us has become enemy,
    To our Founding Father’s good,
    This cancer must be stopped, this,
    One hundred years of progressive rule!

    Shall it be violent? Shall it be peaceful?
    It depends on truth abridged or pursued,
    They’ve made down up so long, truth’s evil to,
    One hundred years of progressive rule!

    Shall it take a moment, movement or millennium,
    To uncorrupt our three-legged government stool?
    Or shall mystic tyrants kill liberty’s lovers with,
    One hundred years of progressive rule!

    Can love of liberty be killed so quick,
    In the breast of Americans long fooled?
    Ignorance has beat intelligence, slavery: freedom with,
    One hundred years of progressive rule!

    As for me and my house, poor and impoverished as it be,
    I cannot, cannot tolerate this long avoided duel,
    Our Declaration of Independence shall beat the hell out of,
    One hundred years of progressive rule!

    Oh sons of America, daughters of freedom, lovers of liberty,
    Rise up from stupor! If not us, then who will?
    With the Declaration of Independence, beat the hell out of,
    One hundred years of progressive rule!

  • caradoc

    “Donald Trump won the Republican nomination because the GOP elite’s control over their party was weak”
    Their control was quite strong. Their voters have been telling them for several cycles that they feel betrayed by them, even as they voted Bush in. Eventually even the strongest control can be overwhelmed when there is enough pushback. THAT is what happened.

  • Bandit

    Hand it to Trump – he put down the Bushes and the Clintons in one election cycle

    For that he deserves ouu everlasting gratitude

    • USNK2

      In addition to knocking the Bushes and Clintons out, Trump also exposed the MSM bias, and, for many of us, has won the first
      game/set/match (apologies for wrong sports metaphor*) by spiking Political Correctness right back at that smug basket of hypocrites of the Alt-Left, shutting down the ‘conversations’ they hypocritically ask for with their labels of racist, etc while demanding apologies..

      *somehow tennis and volleyball came to mind even though am certain none of us want to visualize President-elect Trump dressed to play either sport.

      • It was as if during the SEC final BOTH teams and the refs and a third of the crowd turned against one team’s center and he blew them out with three pointers while the competition was flung from his elbows. Trump crushed them all. Either he is the Hulk (playing round ball for some reason) or those idiots were all paper tigers. Vapor tigers.

  • gunsmithkat

    Democrats have pursued a policy of slicing and dicing the electorate into competing “minority status groups”. They couldn’t put enough of them together in this election to effectively oppose Trump’s populist message.

  • Terenc Blakely

    “Our elites aren’t elite, but they are elitist. That’s the problem.”

  • Dem primary turnout was down 21%. Rep primary turnout was up 62%. Poor Hillary never had a chance. Even the Clinton/Obama machine could not cheat her way out of that imbalance. At least now she will get the help she needs at one of her private hospitals.

  • (((kingschitz)))

    An absurd column. Trump won not because his party was weak but due to the lack of barriers–“super delegates”–that the Republican party imposed between primary voters and the nomination.

    Would Jeb! or Rubio have been able to serve as a vehicle for their voters’ discontent? Or would they have underperformed with the party base as did Romney?

  • islandtimeonly

    The $hill shafted Sanders, along with a long history of such activities, and was too arrogant to think that cheating openly would not piss people off. The only reason she got the votes she did, I’m afraid, is because so many women saw it as a glorious accomplishment, and just assumed it was everyone else’s jealousy that had them criticizing her. What a joke! Thousands of voters got screwed in two or three diff’t ways, also. The system needs to be debugged, scoured clean, disinfected.

    Citizens (anything but) United needs to GO!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The time frame of the race, the manner in which it’s handled, needs to CHANGE! No more cheesy scheduling under the guise of an honest error, and no more pathetic excuse for “News” (i.e., Faux, etc) to be allowed to get away with scandal under the guise of fact, etc., using the copout “entertainment” as a way of evading the responsibility of accountability.

    Just as with the bankerosos that didn’t get jailed but should have, these people are not being penalized on any plane! Pure slander, or evasion of responsibilty, or a combination of the two, and there is no consequence? WRONG!

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