Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Kamikaze Congress

Yes, this last Congress got a lot of stuff done. But at what cost? If your signature accomplishments are all repealed and overturned in the decade after you passed them, did you actually accomplish anything?

This will be the question as the Democratic Party starts waking up to the fact that they have now legislated themselves into Permanent Poltical Minority status. Every stumbling policy acheivement that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid orchestrated will be dismantled before they even retire from their seats.


Because, looking at the combination numbers of the Census and the November 2 elections, the Democrats are basically finished as a national party for the next decade.

While "what you do while you're in power" is very, very important from a policy perspective, you have to depend on the politics of the situation to protect your accomplishments and further your goals. Pelosi and Reid may have owned the policy, but they let their opponents own the politics.

Years ago, Karl Rove discussed ways he could acheive a permanent Republican majority in Washington. While he looked to have been soundly defeated in 2006 and 2008, he's got to be smiling when he looks over the reapportionment plans.



DADvocate said...

the Democrats are basically finished as a national party for the next decade.

Don't under estimate the ability of the Republicans to screw up. Just a couple of years ago they were declared near extinction. I'd still like to see a third party or MAJOR upheaval in the Dems and Repubs.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Oh, the Republicans can screw up a lot of things, of that I'm certain.

But redistricting isn't one of those things.

Especially when they're going to have help from the most entrenched and unchallengable Democrats by doing so. Since the Democratic Party nationally has shown zero interest in helping state parties develop state level candidates, and even less enthusiasm for Southern state level candidates (where population is increasing), they are basically giving this up without any type of fight.

Any major new uphevals are going to have to come from the GOP side, in primary fights inside the new districts. Dem districts are going to become more concentrated and entrenched.

dsb said...

I'm wary of any predictions about how ________ party is doomed for _______ years because ________, which will fundamentally change ______.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

DSB, you would be right to be wary of such predictions, since most of those made in the media focus on election results only. That's the sort of "________ won the last election, so the country must be moving their direction regardless of other factors" narrative the talking heads fill airtime with. Those narratives focus on the malleable and opinions of the moment.

But redistricting has very specific and quantifiable results. Redistricting is structural political change that affects elections for ten years.

The political ramifications of this will be palpable, as even now more than 10 state legislators in Georgia have switched political parties to protect the shapes of their districts.

patsbrother said...

I fully agree with dsb's non-statement. Rove babbled about a permanent majority, James Carvel then babbled about "40 more years" (the title of a book of his), and countless untold pols made similarly sweeping, curiously vascilating predictions. I think each such statement is just a touch to melodramatic for me. (Kind of like how everyone with any stake in an election always describes the next election as "the most important election of our lifetimes," every time.)

patsbrother said...

Correction: "too melodramatic", that is.