Wednesday, November 4, 2015

'The National Democratic Party Is In Trouble!'

General, Governor, Senator Adelbert Ames
The Last Republican Governor
of Mississippi until 1992
Last night's election of the nation's 32nd Governor, this one in Kentucky, has to set off alarm bells in the offices of the Democratic Governors Association in Washington.

32 of the nation's 50 Governors are now Republican.

To put that in some sort of proper historical context, consider this:

'In 1868, at the very peak of Radical Reconstruction for the South after the Republican North won the Civil War, 31 of the nation's then-37 state governors were Republican'

1 was a Military Governor in Mississippi, Adelbert Ames, who was a Radical Republican himself and Union General during the War but perhaps as a concession to the sensibilities of the Democrats in Mississippi at the time, was labeled only as 'Military'.

So 32 of the 37 states in the Union at the end of 1868 were Republican whether Ames was designated as such or not.

That had to have been the high-water mark of Republicans in Governor Mansions for the past 147 years.

Since the FDR Revolution of 1932 when the nation turned to the Democrat Party, we can't think of any other modern period of time when Republicans held onto so many Governor Mansions around the country as today, November 4, 2015.

In addition to that, there are over 1000+ more elected Republicans now serving in Congress, the US Senate and state legislatures across the country than in 2008 before President Barack Obama was elected for the first time.

We served in the US Congress for 10 years ending in 1994. Want or care to know how many Republicans were in the US House at the time?

176 Republican Representatives. 82 seats in the minority. The sheer definition of 'The Loyal Opposition', mainly because there were not enough Republicans to win on anything ever by themselves.

So why is the national narrative in the news media decrying the 'end of the Republican Party as a viable party if they don't win the White House in 2016!'?

Having the White House in your column is a decided advantage, there is no question about that. A President of either party can:

  1. set the national agenda; 
  2. veto anything he/she wants to and just dare the other side to override that veto with 2/3rds majority, not just 50%+1; and 
  3. 'speak with one voice' versus the cacophony of voices from either the Senate or the House
Imagine the euphoria the news media would crow about on cable and the nightly news if the shoe was on the other foot and the Democrats were as ascendant as the Republicans are today and a Republican, say, Richard Nixon was in the White House face with massive Democrat control of both houses of Congress as was the case during his first and cut-short second terms:
'The Republicans as a national party are done. 
Richard Nixon may control the White House, but with 57 seats in the Senate under the direction of Democratic Majority Leader Mike Mansfield of Montana and Democratic Speaker John McCormack of Massachusetts controlling 248 Democrat seats in the House, President Nixon will be fortunate to get Senate bean soup served to him on time if he ever got to Capitol Hill'.
Without poison, of course. That would come after Watergate in 1973-74.

Why is that not the mirror image of the Democrat Party today? Or is our national media so in the tank for the Democrat Party that they just can not bring themselves to equate the state of the current Democratic Party with that of the Republican Party nationally under Nixon in 1969?

We think any objective analysis purely of the numbers of elective offices in America today would show the Republican Party on the ascendancy and the Democrat Party on the descent.

However, all is not well for either party when you dig down a little deeper.

Taylor Batten of the Charlotte Observer had a compelling column recently about the very high number of officially registered Unaffiliated or Independent voters in the state of North Carolina.

Here's a clip from his column:

'According to data from Republican consultant Paul Shumaker, unaffiliated voters now outnumber Republicans in 33 of 100 N.C. counties (including Mecklenburg). They outnumber Democrats in 16 counties and they outnumber both in 4 counties.

Over the past 10 years, Shumaker says, Republicans have lost ground in 66 N.C. counties. Democrats have lost ground in 99 counties (the one county where they haven’t? Mecklenburg!). Unaffiliated voters, in contrast, have gained ground in all 100 counties. Soon there will be more registered unaffiliated voters than Republican ones statewide.'

So, as much as the Republican Party might want to crow about their recent legislative success, the fact remains that more people are fleeing both the Republican and the Democratic Parties than are running to them.

We have asked this question before so we will ask it again:

'What will happen when the number of registered Independents in the State of North Carolina exceeds both the established Republican AND Democratic Party registered voters?'

What then? Who will control the balance of power electorally when both established parties are in a minority position relative to the plurality or even flat-out majority (50%+1) of the Independent voters in North Carolina?

The Independents are the ones who are totally and completely and abjectly sick and tired of all the political posturing, finger-pointing, childish political maneuvering and flat-out lying from both sides of the political spectrum, usually at both extremes.

They want great people to run for office; get elected; compromise and cut deals and get things done...and then come home. From Washington or the state capitals, it doesn't matter.

One day, some enterprising Independent of some stature, achievement and accomplishment is going to raise his or her hand, throw their name into the nomination and force a 3-way race for a big race such as governor or senator in North Carolina. It will take some time to get the requisite signatures to get on the ballot as Taylor Batten's column points out but once that is done, think of the advantages an Independent in NC might have going forward:
  1. Over 2 million registered Unaffiliated voters who are looking for someone to vote for;
  2. No Primary.
  3. Victory in the fall would be by plurality, not majority. An Independent could win with just 34% of the general election vote if the other 2 main party candidates split the rest of the vote 33-33%.
It feels like it is going to happen one day. Doesn't it?

Republicans probably should enjoy this high water mark while they can. The Whigs thought they were going to rule the American political roost forever in 1832 after the total demise of the National Republican Party probably. Until Lincoln and the Republicans came back to life in 1852, that is, just 20 years later.

That is the nature of American politics over the past 2 centuries. The more we change, the more things stay the same, to paraphrase the French phrase.

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