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Party dominance doesn’t last (Salena Zito)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ^ | February 23, 2013 | Salena Zito

Posted on 02/24/2013 5:33:51 PM PST by neverdem

The chorus out of Washington, from the chattering classes to conservatives themselves, is that the sky is falling on the Republican Party.

If only those people would look at a diagram of our electoral history, they would see that nothing is permanent in American politics.

“While it may seem as though the Democrats have secured a dominant position over the Republicans, political party fortunes in America regularly change abruptly,” says Lara Brown, an expert on electoral politics.

Brown, the author of “Jockeying for the American Presidency,” points to the most startling turnaround in modern times — the eight-year revolution between Lyndon Johnson's victory in 1964 (he won more than 61 percent of the popular vote, and 44 states and the District of Columbia; Barry Goldwater won only six states and 38 percent of the vote) and Richard Nixon's re-election in 1972 (he won close to 61 percent of the popular vote and 49 states; George McGovern won only Massachusetts and D.C.).

And last year's presidential election was no runaway or realigning election, folks, despite all the hyperbole to the contrary. Remember, President Obama lost votes between 2008 and 2012, not normally an indication of an ascendant party.

Americans' oscillation has been in hyperdrive for 20 years.

Democrats largely prevailed in the 1992 presidential elections; two years later, Republicans crushed them. Democrats won again in 1996 and 1998; the 2000 election was a tie; then Republicans triumphed in 2002 and 2004. Democrats came back in 2006 and 2008; Republicans won in 2010; and Democrats were back in 2012.

Sean Trende, a political scientist and numbers-cruncher at RealClearPolitics, doesn't buy the idea that Republicans are as bad off today as Democrats were in 2004: “Yes, they lost the presidential election by a similar margin, but Democrats were a minority in the House and well off of their peak in the states.”

Republicans are almost at a postwar high in the House of Representatives, with only 1946 and 2010 resulting in a larger share of the chamber being held by them; the postwar highs also are true if you look at the number of statehouse seats held by the party and its 30 governorships.

“The House numbers are somewhat due to redistricting,” explains Trende. “But even if you assume that redistricting saved the party 20 seats — a very generous assumption — the GOP would find itself only a slight minority in the lower chamber, and well above its postwar average.”

The Senate does show some signs of weakness for Republicans, according to Trende. At the same time, 24 states went for Mitt Romney in 2012, and 26 states were more Republican than the country as a whole — suggesting that the basic Senate playing field for Republicans is still intact.

“Back in 2005, after George W. Bush won re-election, most of the news and analysis in the early part of the year focused on whether or not Republicans had created a ‘permanent majority' and whether the 2004 election had been a realignment akin to William McKinley's in 1896,” Brown says.

Back then, news story after news story focused on the civil war between Howard Dean's “Deaniacs” and establishment Democrats, and whether that fracture would so divide the party that Republicans would win future elections in a walk.

Today, the media focus on the civil war between grassroots tea-party types and establishment Republicans, says Keystone College political science professor Jeff Brauer. Sure, there is a divide between those two, but Brauer cautions against writing off Republicans.

“The GOP still has the market on fundamental American ideals we were founded on,” Brauer says. “They are still the deficit hawks in a time of unprecedented national debt and generally the party of small government.

“Those ideals not only keep Republicans relevant in the national debate, they keep (Republicans) controlling that debate.”

Today, every news story about the Republican Party deals with how it is working to improve itself while Democrats are in the position that most winning parties come to be in — one of complacency.

And it is precisely that “winner's mentality” — the idea that one doesn't need to do anything to improve — that usually is a party's downfall in future elections, according to Brown.

Salena Zito covers politics for Trib Total Media. (412-320-7879 or szito@tribweb.com)


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:
Complacency? The rats are anything but!
1 posted on 02/24/2013 5:33:58 PM PST by neverdem
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To: Salena Zito; upchuck

Salena, thanks for the refresher about the history and recent political fortunes of our main political parties, but the pubbies in DC are navel gazing while the rats are doing a full court press from amnesty and gun grabbing to choking the economy with environmental regulations and class warfare!


2 posted on 02/24/2013 5:47:54 PM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem
Salena has clearly been reading my discussions of political theory in Free Republic. Sure, some of the words are a tad longer than the ones I used, but it's like this ~ since you need 50%+1 vote to win, you'll end up with two very large parties made up of a broad array of factions duking it out over and over and over and over for centuries.

The math behind this is called the "single member district" ~ or, "there can be only one winner".

Even where the Democrats think they have strengths ~ the Senate for example, and big city councils, there are people now in the majority who are seething because the party leadership has cut their boy out of the allocation of seats on the council ~ so they can, of course grow and get the experience you need to end up running successfully for the Senate.

Those people may at some point shift their faction to a position that also favors Republicans if we give some of their demands a hearing.

Democrats do screw other Democrats for short term gain. Republicans do the same to Republicans. That's at the root of the shifts that give each party roughly equal voting strength.

For most of the next year I will be keeping my eye on the estimated 6 million black voters who no longer vote for the Democrats.

That faction ~ virtually all of whom are Americans ~ is waiting on an offer ~ and we will have broken the back of the NE and MId-Atlantic Democrat party!

3 posted on 02/24/2013 6:13:07 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: neverdem

I like the author zito, BUT,

The bottom line is Romney was a very good candidate. Obama had a terrible record as president.

We should have won in a landslide of 60-40.

That is why things look so bad.

And in 2016, there is a real good chance we get Hillary for a sequel.


4 posted on 02/24/2013 6:15:38 PM PST by staytrue
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To: neverdem

True, party dominance doesn’t last.

But for Republicans, party principals don’t last, either.

Since Teddy Roosevelt became president in 1901, Republicans have moved slowly, but relentlessly, to the Left.


5 posted on 02/24/2013 6:26:07 PM PST by zeestephen
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To: neverdem

***“The GOP still has the market on fundamental American ideals we were founded on,” Brauer says. “They are still the deficit hawks in a time of unprecedented national debt and generally the party of small government.***

Evidence please...


6 posted on 02/24/2013 6:34:31 PM PST by MichaelCorleone (A return to Jesus and prayer in the schools is the only way.)
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To: Salena Zito; neverdem
Nice article Salena. But then there's this:Yes, I know there's a controversy over whether Sir Tytler even existed and, if he did, whether or not he wrote this. But that's completely beside the point.

Here's the bottom line: A democracy can exist only until voters discover that they can vote themselves largesses from the public treasury. From that time on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury...

We passed that point some time ago. The takers are looting the makers big time. The government does nothing but encourage this. Obviously, this cannot continue forever.

I have yet to see or hear from a strong Conservative a plan to counteract this. I feel this is a real problem. It may be impossible to solve. How can you "kill" Santa Claus and have the takers feel good about it?

7 posted on 02/24/2013 7:05:05 PM PST by upchuck (nobama fact #69: For each job created by the nobama administration, 75 people went on food stamps.)
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To: upchuck
From that time on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.

Let's leave the one side the argument over who first said this. Let's look at whether it's true.

In 1801 there were no democracies in the world by today's definition, and had not been for many centuries. Oddly enough, one of the closest things to a true democracy at the time was Poland, if you look at it sideways while squinting. They had recently destroyed themselves, but not by loose fiscal policy. They killed their state by an idiotic constitution (and poor choice of neighbors).

So was he talking about ancient history, the classical world?

Looking back to the ancient "democracies" we're usually talking about Athens and the Roman Republic, neither of which really qualified by today's standards, but let's also set that aside.

Both of these democracies eventually collapsed, but I'd contend that neither collapse had much of anything to do with fiscal policy.

The ascendancy of Athens correlated almost exactly with its voting of "largesses from the public treasury" to themselves by the citizens. Shortly thereafter Athens fell into one of the most terrible wars of all time and destroyed itself by bad military and political decisions. But they certainly weren't voting themselves largess during this period.

Rome's Republic also fell apart, but not due to loose fiscal policy. In fact, the Republic didn't really HAVE a state fiscal policy in the way we think of it. The nobles competed for power by providing largess (food and games) to the voters out of their own resources, often borrowed. Then when they came to power they used the resources of the State to pay off their debts and line their pockets.

They eventually deteriorated from politicians competing for votes to warlords competing somewhat more directly. That's what killed the Republic, not loose fiscal policy. The system set up to govern a small city-state just wasn't capable of governing a massive empire for very long.

I don't necessarily disagree with the conclusion of the quote, but I don't believe we can look back on a long history of ancient and modern democracies collapsing as a result of loose fiscal policy to prove it. Today's conditions are just too different from those of the past.

8 posted on 02/24/2013 7:29:00 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: neverdem

Would love to believe the author is correct. Unfortunately, we can not compare today’s situation with any in our history, as the fix is in now. There has been and will continue to be so much voter fraud that I do not expect to see another honest presidential election in my life time.


9 posted on 02/24/2013 7:29:53 PM PST by Bigg Red (Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved! -Ps80)
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To: Bigg Red

That is my view also. The Democrats have a death grip on voter fraud. They will use it to take back the House and Senate in 2014, and no one can stop it.


10 posted on 02/24/2013 7:58:41 PM PST by Enterprise ("Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire)
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To: Bigg Red

Plus, our policy of unending mass immigration serves to import millions of future Democrats. If Obama and Rubio manage to pass their version of comprehensive reform, then we’ll see amnesty and huge increases in already too-high levels of legal immigration, and the situation will get worse. In other words, the importation of future Democrats will accelerate, as will the doom of any conservative movement.


11 posted on 02/24/2013 8:00:42 PM PST by Aetius
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To: Bigg Red

Plus, our policy of unending mass immigration serves to import millions of future Democrats. If Obama and Rubio manage to pass their version of comprehensive reform, then we’ll see amnesty and huge increases in already too-high levels of legal immigration, and the situation will get worse. In other words, the importation of future Democrats will accelerate, as will the doom of any conservative movement.


12 posted on 02/24/2013 8:00:50 PM PST by Aetius
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks neverdem.
The chorus out of Washington, from the chattering classes to conservatives themselves, is that the sky is falling on the Republican Party. If only those people would look at a diagram of our electoral history, they would see that nothing is permanent in American politics.
Eisenhower was elected in 1952, and reelected in 1956. Prior to Eisenhower, the only two Republican presidents who managed to win election (as POTUS) twice were Lincoln and Grant. The next one was Nixon, who obviously didn't serve out his second term; Reagan was next, finished both; GHWB lost reelection; GWB won both and served both.

During the interval from inauguration in 1933 to the present, the Demwits have controlled both houses of Congress most of the time, and at least one house most of the rest of the time.


13 posted on 02/24/2013 8:06:46 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: Sherman Logan

Exactly. Collapses have occurred for many reasons, not all of them fiscal.

When it comes to party control, let’s not forget that Sweden was under the same party for decades, and most Western European countries have been under the de-facto identical leadership for decades. Since Thatcher, there has been NO difference between conservative and labour administrations in the UK. There was NO difference between PASOK and the conservatives in Greece. These people regularly conspired with each other to cede national sovereignty to leftists who could not be removed, located in Brussels.

While this is an interesting article on the ebb and flow of political cycles, we’re seeing something different here, because the country is genuinely changing. The Democrats have been working for around three decades now to build the coalition they would need to put extreme socialists in the White House. The coalition would consist of a young generation indoctrinated into socially liberal crusades like gay marriage, third world immigrants vulnerable to the big government message, and a growing class of welfare addicts. Republicans are unable to even respond coherently due to the un-conservative Bush dynasty’s effect on the party’s image as well as their holdovers, the Rockefeller Republicans, the consultant class, and the fake conservative media outlets. It also doesn’t help that while the Democrat coalition has solidified like glue, the Republican coalition is fractured. Defense hawks, capitalists, and social conservatives are pointing fingers and arguing about the party’s principles.
There are some pieces of good news. The Democrat coalition is activated by the dynamics of a presidential election, making them hard to utilize during a mid-term. This bodes well for us in 2014.

Societies inevitably collapse. The question is when. Sweden has managed to succeed where Greece and France failed when it comes to fiscal matters, and have tangled their people in a deceptively vast, Orwellian police state, much more adept at enslaving the population than ones introduced in other countries. However, even Sweden will collapse, likely due to ethnic unrest. Sweden’s population is perhaps one of the most endangered in Europe, and it won’t be long before people start to wake up to their planned extermination, even in Scandinavia. Remember, Breivik wasn’t a Greek or an Italian. He was a Norwegian. There will be more where he came from.

I believe the collapse of this nation is closer than we think. Our debt is insurmountable. Other countries are already starting to prepare for a global economic meltdown. Germany have not simply recalled all their gold to ‘count it’. The dollar will not be the reserve currency for much longer.
After the collapse, conservatives will rise again. No question about it.


14 posted on 02/24/2013 9:01:24 PM PST by Viennacon
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To: Enterprise

Agree.


15 posted on 02/25/2013 1:39:07 AM PST by Bigg Red (Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved! -Ps80)
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To: Aetius

I wish that I could disagree with your scenario. Sad.


16 posted on 02/25/2013 1:46:56 AM PST by Bigg Red (Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved! -Ps80)
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To: upchuck

Anything in the world can be accomplished by the pile-on effect and the will (usually by a dictator) to employ it. How else did FDR get people to happily accept rationing and restrictions if not for adding them to the actual military threat in World War II? That’s why dictators always love having wars to blame everything on, in a created sense of “shared sacrifice”. Things can go horribly wrong, and yet *by definition* it is never their fault. Analogously, cutting the budgets even when well-founded and proportionate can never be done in a vacuum.


17 posted on 02/25/2013 3:50:31 AM PST by wildandcrazyrussian
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To: SunkenCiv

True, but from 1865 to 1932, Republicans dominated, ESP in the presidency. Although a couple of elections were close (1877, 1896, 1888) the only Dem to win the presidency was Wilson with a third party TR splitting the vote. And Nixon came within a few votes of winning in 1960.


18 posted on 02/25/2013 3:54:01 AM PST by LS ('Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually.' Hendrix)
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To: LS
from 1865 to 1932, Republicans dominated, ESP in the presidency. ... the only Dem to win the presidency was Wilson

Not exactly. Johnson was more a Democrat than anything else, though admittedly he was not elected President.

But Grover Cleveland was, twice. Non-sequentially, the only President to achieve that feat.

19 posted on 02/25/2013 5:30:48 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan

Yes, you are right. I didn’t include Johnson because he wasn’t elected, but you’re right on Cleveland. However, Cleveland was more conservative and “more Republican” than most Republicans of the Day. It would have been akin to electing an Ed Koch or a Charlie Wilson.


20 posted on 02/25/2013 9:48:05 AM PST by LS ('Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually.' Hendrix)
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To: neverdem

The old metrics don’t apply any more. The national news media is very nearly owned, lock, stock and barrel, by the commiescum left.

Election fraud has become so ubiquitous that few even notice anymore.

National policies, such as immigration, are being manufactured to support the left, exclusively, by flooding the country with millions who are guaranteed to vote Dem if they’re made legal to vote, and often are illegally registered to vote anyway.

Anyone who still believes there’s a peaceful way out of this, other than full on surrender, is a fool. The system is far too broken to be of any value in pushing back.


21 posted on 02/25/2013 11:08:36 AM PST by Grimmy (equivocation is but the first step along the road to capitulation)
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To: staytrue

The truth is that Romney was a terrible candidate ~ he didn’t even start a campaign.


22 posted on 02/25/2013 6:10:08 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: zeestephen

Teddy Roosevelt started the move to the Left ~ and that’s where he went.


23 posted on 02/25/2013 6:10:59 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: upchuck
Actually anyone who wrote about the practice of democracy in 1801 had a very limited data base to reference ~ even England didn't have democratic government with the widespread existence of 'rotten boroughs' ~

The use of divided and separated powers, and dual government (states and the federal entity) mitigate the effect off a singular majority.

The existence of single member districts DESTROYS that effect. That's because the only way you can win is to get 50%+1 vote. This creates a situation where the losers have to coalesce to hope to have a chance to do that themselves.

American political results have been relatively evenly divided for 200 years ~ any particular district might go one way rather than the other, but in the aggregate, barring corrupt realignments of district lines, we come doggone close to that 50/50 balance that's imposed on our system.

24 posted on 02/25/2013 6:18:24 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: LS

In the interval between Buchanan and present, the Democrats also had Grover Cleveland do his win, lose, win thing (iow, two full terms, but didn’t succeed himself); he was the veto king I believe, until FDR hogged the office, and GC loved the so-called Robber Barons, leading to the Pubbies’ Progressive era.


25 posted on 02/25/2013 8:36:03 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: LS

...and thank you, L, for the thoughtful reply.


26 posted on 02/25/2013 8:38:24 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: SunkenCiv

I tell my students that Cleveland was the last good Democrat.


27 posted on 02/26/2013 7:23:42 PM PST by LS ('Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually.' Hendrix)
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