November 11, 2012
BILL CLINTON'S PARTY:
A More Impressive Win Than in 2008, and a More Important One (James Fallows, NOV 7 2012, Atlantic)
The Party itself. For the first time in my conscious life, the Democratic party is now more organized and coherent, and less fractious and back-biting, than the Republicans. It is almost stupefying to imagine that.But think about the facts: We've now had four of the past six presidential elections won by Democrats. In five of the past six, the Democrat has won the popular vote. The most effective advocate for the current Democratic incumbent was the previous Democratic president. The current president's toughest rival in the primaries is now his Secretary of State, and another former rival is his vice president. Meanwhile, on the Republican side, the nominee dared not even mention the existence of the previous Republican president. His rivals in the primary were tepid at best in shows of support. Democrats now disagree about a lot, from their relationship with Wall Street to the ethics of drone wars. But they are a more coherent whole than through most of their recent history -- and much more coherent than the Republicans.
In ceding the argument for his own presidency to Bill Clinton, Mr. Obama cemented himself into the Third Way slot--a position he'd already staked out via the mandate. Meanwhile, the cyclical nature of modern Anglospheric politics meant that the GOP was still so addled by Obamacare that it positioned itself as a First Way party. Almost inevitably, in 2016 Republicans will nominate a Third Way candidate and Democrats a Second.
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 11, 2012 11:59 AM