October 16, 2004


Frustrated Democrats (Arnold Beichman, 10/15/04, Washington Times)

Martin Anderson has drawn up an analysis of party power in the United States which is a real eye-opener. (In the interests of full disclosure, Mr. Anderson is a Hoover Institution colleague). Arthur Laffer, a famed analyst of supply-side economics, has in his latest news letter expanded on the Anderson analysis "to provide perspective on the unprecedented hatred directed at Republicans in general and President Bush in particular."

"In a word, the explanation for the unprecedented hostility," writes Mr. Laffer, "is the intense jealousy and disappointment felt by Democrats who have in recent years lost virtually all power to their former Republican subordinates. Today, Republicans occupy or hold majorities in all seven U.S. power positions, a degree of dominance seldom seen."

• Power Position No. 1 is, of the course, the presidency. Republicans have held that position 24 out of the last 36 years and it is once more in Republican hands.

• Power Position No. 2 is the Senate, where the party in power controls the policy agenda in virtually every major area of national endeavor. In the 1994 elections, Republicans wrested Senate control from the Democrats and it is now solidly in Republican control. In the coming election, Republicans have 15 seats at risk to 19 seats for the Democrats.

• Power Position No. 3 is the House of Representatives. In the 1960s, the House was in the hands of the Democrats, and it wasn't even close. In the 89th Congress of 1965-66, Democrats held 295 seats to 140 seats for Republicans. Today the count is 205 Democratic, 228 Republican.

• Power Position No. 4 are state governorships. There are 28 Republican and 22 Democratic governors. And Republican governors rule in big states like New York, California and Florida.

• Power Position No. 5 are the state legislatures, once controlled by Democrats lock, stock and barrel. No more. For two years running, Republicans have controlled 21 state legislatures vs. the Democrats' 17, the remainder split. There is an even more remarkable change in the state legislatures. In 1974, Democrats held 5,100 state legislature seats or 68 percent of the total while Republicans held only 2,385 or 32 percent. Today Republicans hold 3,683 seats in both lower and upper houses vs. 3,625 held by Democrats.

• Power Position No. 6: Seven of the nine current Supreme Court justices were Republican presidential nominees. Only two were nominated by a Democratic president, Bill Clinton.

• Power Position No. 7: the president chooses the Federal Reserve Board chairman. subject to Senate confirmation.

Simply, Republicans have held the majority of the seven power positions every year since 1995. Today they control all seven.

All the good-government-types (goo-goos) seem to want us to wring our hands over how psychopathically the Democrats hate George Bush, but it would be inexplicable if they didn't hate him as much as our Republican grandfathers hated the last transformative politician: FDR.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 16, 2004 12:51 PM

Andrew Sullivan says we should elect Kerry because then he'd be able to lead a Democratic reformation and keep the party from going over the Left end.

Somehow he's gotten the idea that the way to get the Dems to stop their increasingly dishonest and divisive behavior is to reward them, that somehow all of America is obligated to keep the Dems from a self-inflicted implostion, and that putting a 60-year adolescent like Kerry in a postion of responsibility will suddenly cause him to become an adult. It's the sort of narcissistic thinking you expect from a Leftist.

The Dems need to learn that their being in power is not the natural order of things, and that throwing a tantrum when they are out of power is not the right way to regain power. A rational, viable opposition party is important (see Canada), but a split GOP with the Dems joining the Whigs works just as well.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 16, 2004 4:05 PM

The realignment is on its way once the Democrats see that they are the permanent minority party in the way that the GOP was in the 60s. The fundamental problem is that the Democrats' funding comes from people who are grotesquely dysfunctional or viscerally anti-American like trial lawyers, Hollywood types and fairies. This results in a disconnect between the candidates and the people they purport to represent i.e. middle and working class Americans, who rarely share the deviant values of the people who fund the party.

Posted by: Bart at October 16, 2004 4:57 PM

The guy who runs www.electoral-vote.com is frantically grasping at straws...

Frank Luntz, the top Republican pollster wrote in the Financial Times: "Step by step, debate-by-debate, John Kerry has addressed and removed many remaining doubts among uncommitted voters. My own polling research after each debate suggests a rather bleak outlook for the Bush candidacy: many who still claim to be 'undecided' are in fact leaning to Mr. Kerry and are about ready to commit." In a world where the spinmeisters constantly claim that their horse can not only walk on water, but also trot and gallop on it, having a top GOP strategist with access to real data say his horse is sinking fast is ominous for the Bush campaign. Read the whole story here.

Who is Frank Luntz, I never heard of him.

Posted by: Eugene S. at October 16, 2004 5:08 PM

Twelve more years. Twelve more years.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 16, 2004 9:11 PM