Friday, November 11, 2016

Why Progressives Shouldn't Despair: Political Power Can Turn on a Dime.

In 2006, the electorate turned on Bush and the Republicans. After 2008, Obama and a heavily Democratic Congress took over. By 2010 the Tea Party was born and smashed that "permanent Democratic majority" to bits.

The Tea Party came on like a plague. Now we barely remember them.

I read this Josh Marshall post over at his blog with great interest. He's right: We're down but not out, and there's a reason:
It is very true that the Democrats hold power almost nowhere. They run some blue states. But even in the blue states they run they often don't have full control of the state governments. At least on the face of it Republicans have unified control of the federal government. If you're a Democrat, that's a pretty rough picture.
But the most consistent dynamic of the last generation of American politics is its sharp reversals. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying a Democratic wave election in two years is a done deal or likely. I'm not saying things are awesome, don't worry. But I think it's worth reminding ourselves that rapid turnabouts are the most consistent dynamic of contemporary politics, for better or worse. While it does not matter for who won this election, Democrats should also not forget that they did win a majority of the popular vote. Republicans claimed the electoral college by having the right voters in the critical states. But that is brittle hold as a governing coalition.
Josh goes on to point out that a lot of damage can be done in two years -- as many Republicans feel about Obamacare, which is still basically with us -- and with the GOP holding all three branches, they can do a lot. But it's not a forever thing. So hang on tight and fight for every issue. We might be back in the driver's seat before we know it.

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