Two ISIS members shoot up a room full of social workers, and the Left blames the NRA and the Right blames Syrians.

Watching the news, it’s fascinating how France and the US are dealing with their respective terrorist attacks. In France, the attacks are discussed in terms of radicalized Islam vs the French Republic. The enemy is ISIS and its supporters. But in the US, the attacks are discussed almost purely in terms of American presidential politics, and the enemy is either the Republican party or the Democratic party. It has yet to sink in who it is we are fighting. For Republicans it seems to be all of Islam, while for Democrats it seems to be the National Rifle Association. The fact that both Democrats and Republicans (aka conservatives and liberals) are both quite divorced from reality here is never mentioned, because to the next terrorists–and there will almost assuredly be more attacks–Democrats and Republicans are exactly the same. We’re all targets. As far as they are concerned this whole political debate, and the furor all over Facebook, is quite irrelevant. Continue reading

Republicans can’t live forever

Scanning Google News this morning I saw this:

Half of Republicans back limits on carbon emissions, poll finds.

That’s a shocker of a headline, considering how the GOP leadership talks. They’re still pretending that this global warming thing is no big deal, that it’ll blow over. But it looks like the GOP rank and file is not so deluded (or bought) and is beginning to turn around. I haven’t seen the polling data, but my guess is that it’s probably not so much a change of heart among GOP global warming deniers. It’s just that the old timers are dying off and the younger ones being more realistic. The GOP is a very old party as far as member age goes, and they are experiencing a rapid die-off of their original Reagan voters. It will probably begin changing its ideology quickly as the old timers disappear. This happened to the Democrats too, with the end of the New Deal generation. As the FDR voters began dying off, the conservative vote grew in proportion. The New Democrats, far more accommodating to the Reagan Administration than the New Dealers ever would have been, replaced them. We know how that turned out. But now it’s the Republican’s turn to die off…though it’s taking longer as old people live longer now than in 1980 (a whole election cycle longer, in fact.) Periodically in American history there will be these decisive “sea change” elections when the population dramatically changes party and ideology. 1932 was one, 1980 another. Generally things change again as that original sea change generation dies off. We’re on the cusp of that now. Obama’s re-election was proof that it was beginning. Millennials are the most leftist generation there has been in this country since 1932, far more leftist than the vaunted baby boomers (that is, those of us born between 1946 and 1964 and who split close to 50/50 between liberals and conservatives). Within a decade it will be the Millennials’ turn to reset the American political landscape for the next half a century, and that is catastrophic news for conservatives. All those rotten hipsters we are decrying all the time, they’re gonna be the salvation of the country. They will be the ones who demolish the Reagan Revolution and reduce income disparity and get this country back on track. It ain’t gonna be us baby boomers. Half of us voted for Reagan, twice.

hipster beards

Say what you want, but they never voted for Reagan.

 

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Four days after the 2014 midterms

There’s an excellent piece by Jamelle Bouie in Slate today, The Disunited States of America, about the midterm voters versus the general election voters. It’s longish, which means, sadly, few will finish the piece before they begin attacking it in the comments section. Which is too bad, because Bouie does a fine job explaining the natures of midterm voters and non-voters and how that difference has set us up for a gridlocked, dysfunctional Congress term after term. Basically, the proportion of older, white, male, well off, conservative voters is significantly higher in the off year (that is, midterm) elections, with everyone else piling in for the general. Which means that the presidents will likely remain Democrat over all, and the senate will slowly shift blue as conservative Republican senators elected in off year elections are beaten six years later as the GOP base gradually, well, dies off. Gradually at first anyway. Once they hit their eighties they disappear as a voting block. That is happening now, though it won’t start becoming noticeable in a big way, I imagine, in four years. That’s the thing about life expectancy, people don’t live much past it. However, the House of Representatives, gerrymandered all to hell, will stay red for a long time. Continue reading

The day after the 2014 midterms

I hate to be a downer to all the panic stricken and paranoid out there, but there is a Democratic president, you’ll remember, and therefore not a damn crazy thing the GOP does will be made law. None of it. So relax. And the senate map in 2016 is worse for the GOP than this year was for the Demos, Demo turnout will be much higher. If we had kept the senate this year–and there wasn’t a chance of that, look at the map–nothing would get done because the GOP held the House. And now nothing will get done because the GOP holds both houses. Obama is a lame duck now and as always in a lame duck presidency nothing significant gets done legislatively the last two years. There will be a lot of speechifying by Republicans trying to outflank each other on the right, and a lot of executive orders coming out of the White House. Standard operating procedure anymore.

If anyone told you the Democrats could hold the Senate this year they were either deluded or lying. There was not a chance in hell of that happening. All you have to do is look at the map of states with senate races, and compare it to the map of states who gave their electoral votes to Romney. If they voted for Romney, it wasn’t too likely that the voters would pick one of Obama’s senate allies. And considering that so many Democratic voters can’t get off their asses in a midterm and bother to vote–though they are all over Facebook now, those people, shrieking–the odds against a Democratic candidate were that much longer. This is always the case in midterms. Older voters go to the polls, younger are too busy, apparently. White voters go the polls, other colors are too busy. Men go to the polls, more women are too busy. Older white males are the core of the GOP. You can’t blame them for voting for their party of choice. You should turn your ire against those that couldn’t be bothered. A few seats in battleground states, in Maryland, in Colorado, would have stayed blue, but Democrats are lazy voters. Continue reading