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Conservative Texas blogger on Republican triumphalism, the "Blue Wall," and the "Red Fortress"

Chris Ladd writes at the Houston Chronicle. I'll give you his conclusion before I get to his analysis:

This is an age built for Republican solutions. The global economy is undergoing a massive, accelerating transformation that promises massive new wealth and staggering challenges. We need heads-up, intelligent adaptations to capitalize on those challenges. Republicans, with their traditional leadership on commercial issues should be at the leading edge of planning to capitalize on this emerging environment.

What are we getting from Republicans? Climate denial, theocracy, thinly veiled racism, paranoia, and Benghazi hearings. Lots and lots of hearings on Benghazi.

It is almost too late for Republicans to participate in shaping the next wave of our economic and political transformation. The opportunities we inherited coming out of the Reagan Era are blinking out of existence one by one while we chase so-called “issues” so stupid, so blindingly disconnected from our emerging needs that our grandchildren will look back on our performance in much the same way that we see the failures of the generation that fought desegregation.

Something, some force, some gathering of sane, rational, authentically concerned human beings generally at peace with reality must emerge in the next four to six years from the right, or our opportunity will be lost for a long generation. Needless to say, Greg Abbott and Jodi Ernst are not that force.

“Winning” this election did not help that force emerge. This was a dark week for Republicans, and for everyone who wants to see America remain the world’s most vibrant, most powerful nation.

So, OK, that's a rational reason for Pelosi not to have resigned, iron law of institutions aside. And now to his analysis, which begins with a map:

Which, because the graphics are still screwed up, I cannot show you. Please go here and look at it.

The Blue Wall is block of states that no Republican Presidential candidate can realistically hope to win. Tuesday that block finally extended to New Hampshire, meaning that at the outset of any Presidential campaign, a minimally effective Democratic candidate can expect to win 257 electoral votes without even trying. That’s 257 out of the 270 needed to win.

Arguably Virginia now sits behind that wall as well. Democrats won the Senate seat there without campaigning in a year when hardly anyone but Republicans showed up to vote and the GOP enjoyed its largest wave in modern history. Virginia would take that tally to 270. Again, that’s 270 out of 270.

This means that the next Presidential election, and all subsequent ones until a future party realignment, will be decided in the Democratic primary. Only by sweeping all nine of the states that remain in contention AND also flipping one impossibly Democratic state can a Republican candidate win the White House. What are the odds that a Republican candidate capable of passing muster with 2016 GOP primary voters can accomplish that feat? You do the math.

By contrast, Republicans control a far more modest Red Fortress, which currently amounts to 149 electoral votes. What happened to that fortress amid the glory of the 2014 “victory?” It shrunk yet again. Not only are New Hampshire and probably Virginia now off the competitive map, Georgia is now clearly in play at the Federal level. This trend did not start in 2014 and it will not end here. This is a long-term realignment that been in motion for more than a decade and continues to accelerate.

The biggest Republican victory in decades did not move the map. The Republican party’s geographic and demographic isolation from the rest of American actually got worse.

This is the flip side of "Everything is OK in Presidential elections" meme that Democrats are putting forth.

Average: 5 (1 vote)


Submitted by flora on

Thanks for Ladd's commentary and the view from the "other side". Looks to me like no one in the 90% or 99% is being listened to or represented by DC. Looks like patronage politics is back, big time, and the patrons of the politicians are the billionaires. So the 90% is fobbed off with identity-politics drivel while DC does nothing that would offend their billionaire patrons. Since billionaires have competing interests the best way not to offend any of them is to do nothing. (Except continue the upward transfer of wealth.) I hear Boehner is talking about shutting down the government again.

ygdrasl's picture
Submitted by ygdrasl on

seriously, I thought flora was a good response to your question.
What is it that all of us in the 90% have in common?
Flora. Fauna. Ocean. Atmosphere.
What is it that's endangered by our short-term special interest politics?
see above.

Submitted by lambert on

... if the new studies of the gut biome are to be believed.