Friday, December 23, 2016

A tidy summation

Walter Russell Mead, making essentially the same point I've been trying to make recently:
President Obama will no doubt have a lucrative and high-profile retirement. He’s younger than most Presidents, and he will be staying in Washington for the time being. But his immediate legacy is clearly a disaster for Democrats: in early 2017, the Party will control a minority of state houses and no branch of Federal government. With so little, it’s very difficult to regenerate and develop a farm system. The Democrats’ bench is already extremely shallow; it probably won’t get much more crowded over the next few years.

Meanwhile, President Obama’s signature policy initiatives are withering on the vine. The Iran Deal looks unlikely to survive the next four years. Obamacare will likely be gutted early next year. The President’s international climate change frameworks aren’t supported by the incoming administration or the incoming Congress. His nuclear non-proliferation efforts failed. Dodd-Frank’s regulations may be repealed. His free trade agenda has stalled. His immigration reform efforts have led to a backlash that will make life even harder for the people he tried to help. The list goes on…
Darn shame, right? The largest problem Democrats face is the bench Obama leaves behind. Politics is largely about showing up and, in a lot of places in the country, Democrats don't show up. You have a surfeit of political figures in larger metropolitan areas, but in smaller towns and exurban enclaves, Democrats don't have much traction. The DFL wins statewide elections in Minnesota because there are enough like-minded people in the metropolitan area to offset the lack of support DFLers get elsewhere. Well over half of the state's population is in the metro area.

Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, what power Democrats have is largely limited to Milwaukee and Madison, which together fall well short of having half the population. Wisconsin's population is spread out across a larger number of communities and many of them trend conservative. The Democrats have a difficult time winning arguments because the people making the arguments are all concentrated in the same places, which leads to groupthink. I'm not sure how the donks can solve this issue.


jerrye92002 said...

So here is the question: Suppose the Trump administration succeeds to something near what many of us hope for it. The economy gets better, employment and health care improve, education gets better and crime goes down, particularly in those urban cores. So, will the Democrats be able to continue to tell these people their lives will be better under Democrats?

Mr. D said...

So, will the Democrats be able to continue to tell these people their lives will be better under Democrats?

No, but that's never stopped them before.

jerrye92002 said...

Reminds me, unfortunately, of the old Skip Wilson line, "A lie is as good as the truth if you can get somebody to believe it." Or as Rush Limbaugh says of liberals, their every thought is "how can we fool 'em today." They have bamboozled these folks for a generation or more. Why would it not continue?

R.A. Crankbait said...

The Dems next presidential candidate won't come from the government sources. They'll look at what Trump did, and the next candidate will be Amy (not Chuck) Shumer.