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Old 02-07-2020, 02:54 PM
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How bad a condition does it take for the Democratic or Republican Party to be *truly* doomed?


After each presidential election, you'll always have some people claiming that the losing party is doomed. Some beatings are worse than others (the Democrats lost 49-state landslides to Nixon and Reagan, the Republicans were steamrolled repeatedly by FDR,) but it is often claimed that demographics will doom the Republican Party, for instance - said so after 2012, and yet just four years later Trump won and the GOP captured majorities in both houses of Congress.


A list of times when either the D's or R's were considered to be doomed:


The Republican Party is Doomed
Let's Debate: Are Democrats Doomed?
Why the Democratic Party is Doomed
Is the Republican Party Doomed? (2013 article)
Why the Democratic Party is Doomed (2011 article)
Republicans are Doomed (2007 article)
Why the GOP is Doomed (1998 article)



So how low a point does either party have to reach before they can be truly considered doomed? The Democrats did lose three consecutive presidential elections in the 1980s (and when Bush Sr. had a 92% approval rating after the Gulf War, it did look like they could lose a fourth) but rebounded strongly. Republicans may have a fading voter base, but do still have built-in advantages with the Electoral College and Senate system (and perhaps gerrymandering.)

Does it take 4 consecutive presidential election losses? Falling below 40% in voter support?
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:56 PM
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It's not going to happen. Republicans won 6 straight presidential elections after the Civil War. Democrats survived. Democrats won 5 straight after the Great Depression (admittedly, 4 were the same guy). Republicans survived. The two major parties are too entrenched to be "doomed".
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Old 02-07-2020, 06:14 PM
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It's not going to happen. Republicans won 6 straight presidential elections after the Civil War. Democrats survived. Democrats won 5 straight after the Great Depression (admittedly, 4 were the same guy). Republicans survived. The two major parties are too entrenched to be "doomed".
The last major American political party that was truly doomed was the Whig Party which fell apart during the 1850s due to the issue of slavery. For that to happen to either the Democrats or Republican, there would have to be a similarly divisive issue which would result in the party shattering into several irreconcilable shards. While there are differences within the parties, I don't think there are presently any that rise to the level of potentially destroying (but that can change quickly).
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:13 PM
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Further, even if the country moves hard left or hard right one or the other major parties will realign to be the electable opposition. We are not going to have an Era of Good Feelings one party system anymore.

If the country, say, becomes divided between Bernie Sanders on the left and Joe Biden on the right, then Bernie Bros will be the new Dems and Biden will be the new GOP. If we go right, we might have Trey Gowdy as the new GOP and Jeb Bush as the new Dem.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:50 PM
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Further, even if the country moves hard left or hard right one or the other major parties will realign to be the electable opposition. We are not going to have an Era of Good Feelings one party system anymore.

If the country, say, becomes divided between Bernie Sanders on the left and Joe Biden on the right, then Bernie Bros will be the new Dems and Biden will be the new GOP. If we go right, we might have Trey Gowdy as the new GOP and Jeb Bush as the new Dem.
Aren't you talking about the end of one party?

I don't think the existence of right and left mean that a party can't stop existing. The taxonomy changes.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:05 PM
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It's not going to happen. Republicans won 6 straight presidential elections after the Civil War. Democrats survived. Democrats won 5 straight after the Great Depression (admittedly, 4 were the same guy). Republicans survived. The two major parties are too entrenched to be "doomed".
Parties morph and change to adapt to current conditions - losing election after election kills a particular version of a party, but the remnants survive, and adapt and change. After successive losses to FDR you get Eisenhower, not Hoover reborn, etc., etc.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:15 PM
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No party is doomed. McGovern gets shellacked, Dems retain the House and Senate, Mondale gets shellacked and the Dems keep the House and the Senate 2 years later after the Reagan coattails fall off.

And that’s not taking into account all the state legislatures and governors.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:36 PM
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I think the Rs are going to lose a lot of respect in public in the near term, and they may be attacked from the right or the left.

The R party is a cartoon of a male voter. They don't understand women, much less minorities.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:48 PM
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The last major American political party that was truly doomed was the Whig Party which fell apart during the 1850s due to the issue of slavery. For that to happen to either the Democrats or Republican, there would have to be a similarly divisive issue which would result in the party shattering into several irreconcilable shards.
Another no-more-Democratic Party scenario could start with CNN/AP/ABC/NBC/CBS projecting that DJT lost the November election. Given the power of incumbency, Trump will probably win legitimately, but, that's far from guaranteed. And, if mainstream media say that Trump lost, there's an, oh, say, 99 percent chance Donald declares it to have been stolen from him. Then, competing slates of electors will probably arise. And the electoral votes are counted by a session of the House led by -- the vice-president.

If Pence declares Trump the victor, and the Secret Service goes along -- voila. One party rule.

Do I think we're that close? Probably not. With a rare event, like democratic collapse, most of the time, predictions will be premature. And Trump Jr. has more of a Vargas/Perón feeling to me than his Dad.

The presidential republic system of government has a bad record for stability. The United States has been an outlier there, but some of that could be due to luck.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:54 PM
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The Repub party is already doomed. They can't win in 2020, as they have spent the last 20 years making everything us or them and it will only get worse in the next years as they get older and deader. They have have made the electorate binary; People wiling to throw all judgement and morality away to swear allegiance to the cult of Trump, or sane people, this is shown unequivocably with McCain and Romney.
The masters are going to be personally financially successful as the blustering opposition, because 30% of the news eyeballs and ears is worth hundreds of billions so the money bags will keep the thunder up.

The name is too valuable to surrender, so it will survive, but the Party itself will continually grab any position that is pragmatic for the time.

The Swing voter is dead, Trump killed him, the sides are chosen and immalleable

Last edited by wolfman; 02-07-2020 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:21 PM
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They can't win in 2020, as they have spent the last 20 years making everything us or them and it will only get worse in the next years as they get older and deader.
The GOP has at least two advantages in 2020 over 2016.

One is the power of incumbency.

Another is fundraising. Hillary outspent Trump 2 - 1 in 2016. This time, the Republican ticket will have at least as much money to spend as the Democratic. Every time you read "Hillary won the popular vote," remember that she did it when Trump ran on the cheap.

Donald is behind in the polls today, but the negative ads his campaign couldn't afford last time will have an effect.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:24 AM
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The GOP has at least two advantages in 2020 over 2016.

One is the power of incumbency.

Another is fundraising. Hillary outspent Trump 2 - 1 in 2016. This time, the Republican ticket will have at least as much money to spend as the Democratic. Every time you read "Hillary won the popular vote," remember that she did it when Trump ran on the cheap.

Donald is behind in the polls today, but the negative ads his campaign couldn't afford last time will have an effect.
Campaign ads for the presidency don't matter that electorate is decided let them piss more into the Kool-aid for the decided.

Doesn't anybody fucking get it. The Impeachment was a compete success. Pelosi had Sun-Tzu as an advisor with the whole damn thing. The State of the union might as well have never existed with the "tearing" taking every possible headline and now so much Repub money will have to be spent in kowtowing fealty to him or he will piss on them in the primaries.

He Is not a republican. He is nothing but an ape who wants worship, and will tear his supplicants dreams apart as it fails, and will try to tear the country apart as that part fails.

Last edited by wolfman; 02-08-2020 at 12:26 AM. Reason: shit my comma doesnt seem to work(comma) without a hammer(comma) sorry
  #13  
Old 02-08-2020, 12:25 AM
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The GOP has at least two advantages in 2020 over 2016.

One is the power of incumbency.

Another is fundraising. Hillary outspent Trump 2 - 1 in 2016. This time, the Republican ticket will have at least as much money to spend as the Democratic. Every time you read "Hillary won the popular vote," remember that she did it when Trump ran on the cheap.

Donald is behind in the polls today, but the negative ads his campaign couldn't afford last time will have an effect.
Bloomberg has said though that he still plans to keep his personal political apparatus/team up and running to campaign on behalf of whoever does get the (D) nomination, though, so that negates whatever financial advantage Trump may have. Bloomberg can pour his billions into the (D) effort, legally.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:29 AM
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The two parties will remain. They may evolve to something else. Remember, Republicans and Democrats switched ideological places in the 20th century. Lincoln was a republican but he was nothing like today's republicans.

Names stay, ideology changes over time.
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:11 AM
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I agree that the current two party system has proved highly stable and is likely to remain so. It has already survived two massive shocks:first the Great Depression and the resultant consensus for a much larger government which Republicans resisted for some time but eventually accepted in the 1950s. And then the civil rights movement and the end of Jim Crow which completely transformed partisan alignment in the South but did not end the broader two-party system. The Republicans do face a long-term threat from demographic change but it is a lot slower than many Democrats seem to believe and if they actually start losing consecutive elections by big margins, I think they will adjust.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:09 AM
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The Impeachment was a compete success.
This is hardly the look of complete success:

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com...ex_cid=rrpromo
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:16 AM
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This is hardly the look of complete success:

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com...ex_cid=rrpromo
You mean approval ratings that have pretty much never risen above 45%, and disapproval ratings that have never been below 50%?
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:46 AM
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You mean approval ratings that have pretty much never risen above 45%, and disapproval ratings that have never been below 50%?
I mean that's Trump's poll numbers have held steady or improved throughout the impeachment process. That's inconsistent with the claim, in #12, that impeachment was a "complete success."

Trump's approval numbers are low because he is an extremely negative campaigner. Median voters don't like that of him. However, his character assassination is going to bring down his opponent as well, making for a close election in which the incumbent will, as normal, have an edge.

There are many examples of incumbents with miserable approval polling winning in Presidential elections. Tsai Ing-wen was re-elected by a landslide last month, in Taiwan, after years of approval numbers much worst than Trump. This was a different situation from ours because Taiwanese voters are more open to changing their minds. But it does show that low approval, in a modern country, is consistent with re-election.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:57 AM
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Ford almost got four more years in the White House, two years after pardoning Nixon. And after the GOP were decimated at the polls in the 1974 mid terms following Watergate.

Came down to a couple of percentage points. Or specifically 20,000 votes across Wisconsin and Ohio.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:07 AM
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I mean that's Trump's poll numbers have held steady or improved throughout the impeachment process. That's inconsistent with the claim, in #12, that impeachment was a "complete success."

Trump's approval numbers are low because he is an extremely negative campaigner. Median voters don't like that of him. However, his character assassination is going to bring down his opponent as well, making for a close election in which the incumbent will, as normal, have an edge.

There are many examples of incumbents with miserable approval polling winning in Presidential elections. Tsai Ing-wen was re-elected by a landslide last month, in Taiwan, after years of approval numbers much worst than Trump. This was a different situation from ours because Taiwanese voters are more open to changing their minds. But it does show that low approval, in a modern country, is consistent with re-election.
If your point is "it's possible Trump will be reelected", then I don't disagree. I'm just not sure how that's relevant or interesting -- we all know it's the case. The impeachment went about as well as anyone could have reasonably hoped -- Trump supporters obviously don't care about any possibly wrongdoing or inappropriate behavior, so this wasn't going to move them. The Democrats stuck together, and got a prominent Republican to agree (Romney). Trump's wrongdoing is pretty much impossible to deny, to the point that most GOP Senators even agree that what he did was wrong!

That's all good stuff -- as good as there was any reasonable possibility of occurring. And all that will be useful in the general election campaign. We'll see.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:15 AM
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We are always going to have two parties, and they are likely to be called "Democrats" and "Republicans" as long as the USA stands. That doesn't mean they are not dying, it is just the name that remains.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:34 AM
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It's not going to happen. Republicans won 6 straight presidential elections after the Civil War. Democrats survived. Democrats won 5 straight after the Great Depression (admittedly, 4 were the same guy). Republicans survived. The two major parties are too entrenched to be "doomed".
Parties typically survive by shifting, appealing to newer groups of voters and alienating some of the existing ones. We've seen this with the Democratic Party's embrace of civil rights and the simultaneous shift by Republicans to grab white racists who felt disenfranchised by their historically racist party.

The most recent example of a shift is the Republican shift away from global trade to a more nationalistic position, which probably sets up an opportunity for Democrats to embrace a different position: one that favors trade but with worker protection and wage standards.

I think that another potential shift that might be lying right in front of Democrats is an appeal to religious organizations, but not the ones that are frothing at the mouth, but rather, as Buttigieg has done, offering a different definition of what religion is and can be, a definition that's more appealing to a wider and younger audience.

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Old 02-08-2020, 11:28 AM
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Parties typically survive by shifting, appealing to newer groups of voters and alienating some of the existing ones. We've seen this with the Democratic Party's embrace of civil rights and the simultaneous shift by Republicans to grab white racists who felt disenfranchised by their historically racist party.

The most recent example of a shift is the Republican shift away from global trade to a more nationalistic position, which probably sets up an opportunity for Democrats to embrace a different position: one that favors trade but with worker protection and wage standards.

I think that another potential shift that might be lying right in front of Democrats is an appeal to religious organizations, but not the ones that are frothing at the mouth, but rather, as Buttigieg has done, offering a different definition of what religion is and can be, a definition that's more appealing to a wider and younger audience.
Oh, no doubt about that if the anti-trade thing continues with the Republicans past Trump. Bernie has brought some of the anti trade activists along but they’re basically only there for Bernie and you’re not building the Democratic Party on a base of Starbucks window smashing anti-WTO anarchists. The younger educated urban Democrats realize trade is good.

But, I think with the Republicans, anti-trade dies with Trump. No one has been out there praising his silly trade war.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:36 PM
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I don't understand yet how trumpers, conservatives and republicans are going to self organize after trump. Some will be too toxic. What party is for them? How are you going to share a party with a trumper if you aren't one? Why on earth would you want to?
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:40 PM
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On the state level, some parties are already doomed. The GOP seems doomed in California the same way the democrats are doomed in places like Oklahoma.

On a national level though? I don't know if it'll happen anytime soon. Even with demographic changes, the GOP will still do well in white majority states even by mid century.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:46 PM
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I don't understand yet how trumpers, conservatives and republicans are going to self organize after trump. Some will be too toxic. What party is for them? How are you going to share a party with a trumper if you aren't one? Why on earth would you want to?
My understanding is that the authoritarianism in the Trump GOP is causing a schism between high school educated whites and college educated whites.

College educated whites are turned off by the racism and authoritarianism of the modern GOP, while high school educated whites tend to like it.

Education is a proxy for authoritarianism and prejudice FWIW, When you control for those factors the education gap among whites pretty much disappears.

But anyway, I'm guessing college educated whites become swing voters and the GOP doubles down on rural areas and high school educated whites. This is already happening as the suburbs go from being red to purple.

The problem is that, I think (not sure) that even high school educated white women are getting disgusted by Trump, leaving only white high school educated men as Trumps base. They may prefer the GOP 3-1, but they are also only about 20% of the electorate. High school educated white women are still republican, but I think the gap is narrowing.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:49 PM
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There will be pressure on the right trying to hold their party together from the drip of revelations about ternps behavior after he is out of office. (I have to assume here that democracy and the DOJ will still exist after dt. It's not a given at this instant)

Depending on how long and intense the drip is it will be a test for any party.
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Old 02-08-2020, 02:14 PM
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My understanding is that the authoritarianism in the Trump GOP is causing a schism between high school educated whites and college educated whites.

College educated whites are turned off by the racism and authoritarianism of the modern GOP, while high school educated whites tend to like it.

Education is a proxy for authoritarianism and prejudice FWIW, When you control for those factors the education gap among whites pretty much disappears.

But anyway, I'm guessing college educated whites become swing voters and the GOP doubles down on rural areas and high school educated whites. This is already happening as the suburbs go from being red to purple.

The problem is that, I think (not sure) that even high school educated white women are getting disgusted by Trump, leaving only white high school educated men as Trumps base. They may prefer the GOP 3-1, but they are also only about 20% of the electorate. High school educated white women are still republican, but I think the gap is narrowing.
That is an issue the GOP will have to deal with. They have a lot of college educated voters that could be Republicans but get turned off by the anti-science and evangelical right wing Christianity in the Republican Party. They’re not obsessed with abortion, bathroom bills, gay adoption bans, etc. They’d like to hear other solutions to climate change but don’t necessarily want a green new deal.

Parties evolve and if the SDMB exists in 2030, we can bump this and see what happened.
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Old 02-08-2020, 02:20 PM
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We are talking about a major party in the US fragmenting because it's not acknowledging reality(?!). I'm not confident in any predictions havng to do with american conventional wisdom. I think we may have lost cw in the US. Certainly cw cannot apply to the potus or his voters.
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Old 02-08-2020, 03:19 PM
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No party is doomed. McGovern gets shellacked, Dems retain the House and Senate, Mondale gets shellacked and the Dems keep the House and the Senate 2 years later after the Reagan coattails fall off.

And that’s not taking into account all the state legislatures and governors.

This.

No party is doomed. Period.

The pendulum always swings. Even if demographics is destiny for Democrats and the GOP becomes demographically unable to win, the GOP will still win a race in the future, most likely.
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Old 02-08-2020, 04:10 PM
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The question is what do the right do without science or democracy and what will they do to democracy out of hatred of fellow americans. They are very clearly looking overseas for their colleagues and compatriots, in the ranks of the anti-democracy leaders.

I don't see a US conservative party anymore frankly. They won't be righties as americans. They are going to "save civilization" (white) and ratfuck liberalism out of pique. Of course every system failure after that is something that Clinton or Obama "really" did.

In america if you don't like the way it's going demographically then you might have no other choice than to go against democracy, and be a fascist. I don't see how the right can hold onto a relationship with freedom and democracy. The signals they are sending now are very clear.

So how does any party come out of that?
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:30 PM
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That is an issue the GOP will have to deal with. They have a lot of college educated voters that could be Republicans but get turned off by the anti-science and evangelical right wing Christianity in the Republican Party. They’re not obsessed with abortion, bathroom bills, gay adoption bans, etc. They’d like to hear other solutions to climate change but don’t necessarily want a green new deal.

Parties evolve and if the SDMB exists in 2030, we can bump this and see what happened.
The GOP has had this coalition and dealt with it since Reagan. The moderates get lower taxes and regulations and the base gets pro-gun, pro-religion stuff. The rich moderates sneer at conservatives, but they now they need them to get a majority and vice versa.
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Old 02-08-2020, 07:31 PM
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At the risk of sounding like some of my more colorful FB friends, both the Democratic and the Republican Parties are entrenched and primarily funded by the same corporate moneyed interests. The actual two parties that exist are the voters and the non-voters. The only condition I can see that would damage the Democratic/Republican axis is if the non-voters were somehow engaged by a real alternative. However, as we can see with some of the establishment treatment of Bernie, any alternative will have a massive hurdle to overcome against the D/R axis. Trump, Bernie, and Bloomburg, could all have been called alternatives to the established parties, but they all aligned themselves with one of the two parties in order to get their voices heard. If some charismatic individual could figure out how to break this axis and engage non-voters (and get money flowing), that is the only chance I see of weakening the duopoly.
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Old 02-08-2020, 07:45 PM
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The Republicans were doomed by Watergate , which is why we only have Democrats and Whigs now.

Talk of demographic inevitability or even Trump fallout "dooming" the Republican party is both off-base and dangerous, in that it encourages laziness on the part of the opposition. There's always going to be support for an alternative(s) to the Left/Democrats, whatever it may be called in the future.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:31 PM
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The Republicans were doomed by Watergate , which is why we only have Democrats and Whigs now.

Talk of demographic inevitability or even Trump fallout "dooming" the Republican party is both off-base and dangerous, in that it encourages laziness on the part of the opposition. There's always going to be support for an alternative(s) to the Left/Democrats, whatever it may be called in the future.
There have been no end of watergate comparisons lately and they all are "contrasts" for purposes of comparison and locating us in the present. We all know what the difference is.

The irrationality of the R party is something that should not make anyone lazy at all. It is an opportunity: to make progress, save democracy, and defeat enemies.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:18 PM
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If some charismatic individual could figure out how to break this axis and engage non-voters (and get money flowing), that is the only chance I see of weakening the duopoly.
A U.S. President, without a congressional base, is nearly powerless unless he or she acts the dictator.

The last time a new major U.S. political party arose -- the Republican Party -- it did not elect a President until it had a large base in state governments and the U.S. Congress. This is the little d democratic model for party creation.

We right now can see a model where a charismatic president engaged in a successful hostile takeover of a major party. If that's your model, count me out.

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Old 02-09-2020, 11:14 PM
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I think for one party to disintegrate there are two necessary conditions: for the party to seem to have very little short term hope of winning a national election, and for major factions within the party to fundamentally disagree with each other. Both these conditions applied to the collapse of the Whigs, but only the first applied to the Democrats during Reconstruction or the GOP during the New Deal era.

History tells us to be cautious in predicting such rare events, but I’d have to think the chance of such a thing happening in the near future are higher now than they have been at most times in history.
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  #38  
Old 02-09-2020, 11:53 PM
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I think for one party to disintegrate there are two necessary conditions: for the party to seem to have very little short term hope of winning a national election, and for major factions within the party to fundamentally disagree with each other. Both these conditions applied to the collapse of the Whigs, but only the first applied to the Democrats during Reconstruction or the GOP during the New Deal era.

History tells us to be cautious in predicting such rare events, but I’d have to think the chance of such a thing happening in the near future are higher now than they have been at most times in history.
Even so, these parties were not in the wilderness that long. The GOP in the mid-30s was almost extinct. Ten years later it had a majority in Congress and won the presidency fifteen years later (would have won 12 years later if not for "Dewey Defeats Truman")

Same with the Dems after the Civil War. "Tied" Hayes in 1876 and won in 1884. And that was after engaging in open rebellion (and yes, regaining control after disenfranchising blacks) but the point is that no party will stay in the wilderness too long.

Let's say that in 2030 the Dems have the presidency, 400 seats in the House and 85 seats in the Senate. You think the GOP will just get a box and start cleaning out the campaign office? Of course not. They will hire some big hitters to come up with a plan to figure out why they lost, change strategy accordingly, and start winning elections. Plus, the Dems will be complacent after winning such landslide margins that they will be neglecting people: those very people the GOP will swoop up.

The unhappy people out there? Those are the people who will vote for the other party. That's why there will always be an "other" party.
  #39  
Old 02-10-2020, 03:21 AM
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A US political party is not merely a national committee incorporated as a nonprofit in Delaware. Beyond are state, county, and community committees with organizers, fundraisers, and partisans. Party "collapse" means wiping all those off the map. Even California's Dem majority faces a strong GOP such as controls my legislative districts. The long-term post-Nixon Reactionary/Religious Right strategy started way down at mundane levels - town councils, community groups, school and utility districts - and worked upward. How are Dems doing here?

BTW 3/4 of American voters are not college students or grads. Depending on educated voters is a losing game.

Last edited by RioRico; 02-10-2020 at 03:23 AM.
  #40  
Old 02-10-2020, 09:26 AM
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Let's say that in 2030 the Dems have the presidency, 400 seats in the House and 85 seats in the Senate. You think the GOP will just get a box and start cleaning out the campaign office? Of course not. They will hire some big hitters to come up with a plan to figure out why they lost, change strategy accordingly, and start winning elections.
If one judges from the previous occurrence, the process will be more like hire some big hitters to figure out why they lost, look at the recommendations, and say "eff that; let's just cheat better next time".
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  #41  
Old 02-10-2020, 10:19 AM
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If one judges from the previous occurrence, the process will be more like hire some big hitters to figure out why they lost, look at the recommendations, and say "eff that; let's just cheat better next time".
But that's not at all what UltraVires said/meant. The 2012 election was a comparatively narrow loss for the Republicans. They didn't have to tinker and change their approach that much. UltraVires was referring to an absolute blowout loss from top to bottom at every level.
  #42  
Old 02-10-2020, 10:21 AM
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I don't think either the Democrats or the Republicans are doomed.

Democracy, however, isn't looking too good.
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  #43  
Old 02-10-2020, 11:36 AM
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If the Dems win back the White House and Senate this year and then hold them for a couple of cycles, Republicans will just shift towards the center a little to stay competitive. In a two party system, we're pretty much always going to have two main parties. However, we should be working towards a better electoral system that will result in more likelihood of viable third parties. I believe it's self-interest that slows Dem support for reforms that might nudge us in this direction and they piss me off by doing so.
  #44  
Old 02-10-2020, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Even so, these parties were not in the wilderness that long. The GOP in the mid-30s was almost extinct. Ten years later it had a majority in Congress and won the presidency fifteen years later (would have won 12 years later if not for "Dewey Defeats Truman")

Same with the Dems after the Civil War. "Tied" Hayes in 1876 and won in 1884. And that was after engaging in open rebellion (and yes, regaining control after disenfranchising blacks) but the point is that no party will stay in the wilderness too long.

Let's say that in 2030 the Dems have the presidency, 400 seats in the House and 85 seats in the Senate. You think the GOP will just get a box and start cleaning out the campaign office? Of course not. They will hire some big hitters to come up with a plan to figure out why they lost, change strategy accordingly, and start winning elections. Plus, the Dems will be complacent after winning such landslide margins that they will be neglecting people: those very people the GOP will swoop up.

The unhappy people out there? Those are the people who will vote for the other party. That's why there will always be an "other" party.
Sure, but it’s also possible that some large fraction of the GOP would conclude that the “Republican” label had become an albatross, and the party would split into two groups pursuing different electoral strategies, one of which would eventually prove superior. In the long run, though, times where there are more or less than two parties are rare and don’t last long.
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  #45  
Old 02-10-2020, 12:07 PM
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Even so, these parties were not in the wilderness that long. The GOP in the mid-30s was almost extinct. Ten years later it had a majority in Congress and won the presidency fifteen years later (would have won 12 years later if not for "Dewey Defeats Truman")

Same with the Dems after the Civil War. "Tied" Hayes in 1876 and won in 1884. And that was after engaging in open rebellion (and yes, regaining control after disenfranchising blacks) but the point is that no party will stay in the wilderness too long.

Let's say that in 2030 the Dems have the presidency, 400 seats in the House and 85 seats in the Senate. You think the GOP will just get a box and start cleaning out the campaign office? Of course not. They will hire some big hitters to come up with a plan to figure out why they lost, change strategy accordingly, and start winning elections. Plus, the Dems will be complacent after winning such landslide margins that they will be neglecting people: those very people the GOP will swoop up.

The unhappy people out there? Those are the people who will vote for the other party. That's why there will always be an "other" party.
Another crucial question about that hypothetical: WHY does the GOP still have those 15 Senators? Is it because there's a small handful of States where they still enjoy a comfortable majority, or because there's a larger handful of States where they MIGHT win once in a while if all the stars align correctly? In the former scenario, the self-interest of those Senators would to be stick with the brand that's working for them. But if none of them actually feel confident that being a Republican is best for their long-term career prospects, it's a different story.
  #46  
Old 02-10-2020, 12:43 PM
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I think the most likely way to get rid of a major party is if a third party manages to outdo them a presidential race. If Ross Perot had not dropped out of the '92 campaign, it's possible that him coming in second (or even winning, though that was extremely unlikely) would be enough for people to decide that one of the major parties was not feasible anymore. I don't see getting rid of either party without a major dramatic event like that. The parties are too entrenched to be easily removed, and they're quite capable of radically changing platforms and messages over time to stay relevant. The Republicans will have to change to adjust to changing demographics, but they've done so before and there's no reason to think that they want.

Since people are making Watergate comparisons, look at the modern GOP vs the 1970s GOP through the leans of the impeach-threatened presidents. Nixon would likely be derided as downright communist today, as he floated a plan for Universal Basic Income and one for Universal Health Care - that even included a much derided Employer Mandate. Oh and he signed the EPA into being, and was in favor of a complete ban on handguns just to grab two other hot button issues. I think this is a striking demonstration of just how much the parties can shift - two of those are significantly left of Hillary Clinton, and two are roughly the same. If the Republicans could not only stomach but endorse a candidate in favor of UBI, UHC, the EPA, and a complete handgun ban at one point but deride even the mere mention of any of those today, it is clear that parties can change their focus significantly without folding.
  #47  
Old 02-10-2020, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Even so, these parties were not in the wilderness that long. The GOP in the mid-30s was almost extinct. Ten years later it had a majority in Congress and won the presidency fifteen years later (would have won 12 years later if not for "Dewey Defeats Truman")

Same with the Dems after the Civil War. "Tied" Hayes in 1876 and won in 1884. And that was after engaging in open rebellion (and yes, regaining control after disenfranchising blacks) but the point is that no party will stay in the wilderness too long.

Let's say that in 2030 the Dems have the presidency, 400 seats in the House and 85 seats in the Senate. You think the GOP will just get a box and start cleaning out the campaign office? Of course not. They will hire some big hitters to come up with a plan to figure out why they lost, change strategy accordingly, and start winning elections. Plus, the Dems will be complacent after winning such landslide margins that they will be neglecting people: those very people the GOP will swoop up.

The unhappy people out there? Those are the people who will vote for the other party. That's why there will always be an "other" party.
The OP is about the potential death of an actual party, not whether there will be an other one to fill the gap structurally.
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