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2010 midterms took Democrats’ past, 2014 their future

2010 midterms took Democrats’ past, 2014 their future

There is no next generation of leaders.

On the eve of the 2010 midterms, I noted that Democrats were about to be politically decapitated in Congress:

The Democrats face a political decapitation tomorrow.

Dozens of senior Democratic Party leaders in the House and Senate, and in Statehouses around the country, are likely to lose. Unlike Republicans in 2008, there is no next generation of Democratic leaders.

Who are the Democratic Party equivalents of Marco Rubio, Mitch Daniels, John Thune, Bobby Jindal, Paul Ryan or Eric Cantor?

The Republican Party has numerous rising stars. I cannot think of a single Democratic Party rising star.

Can you?

And so it came to pass in November 2010 — other than a few figureheads, Democrats in the House (in particular) lost their leadership generation, as I laid out in my Brilliant Thoughts from Post-Tsunami, Hurricane-Ravaged, Earthquake-Shaken America:

The Democrats received the feared political decapitation. The Democrats lost, in a single night, two generations of leadership: Numerous members of the old guard, including multiple committee Chairmen, lost, as did dozens of newer members from the 2006-2008 cycles. Because the Tsunami struck in one cycle, there are no young Democratic guns waiting to step into the breach. The Democratic Party in the House is worse than a chicken with its head cut off, it is a chicken with its head and feet cut off.

The devastation of 2010 continued into 2011, as dozens of Democrats, including senior figures like Barney Frank, announced retirement. It just wasn’t going to be much fun for them in a House run by Republicans.

The 2012 presidential election was a respite for Democrats, although they gained back little ground.

Then 2014 middterms completed the task, hollowing out what remained of Congressional and state-level Democrats, as Dan Balz writes in The Washington Post, Two midterm elections have hollowed out the Democratic Party:

The past two midterm elections have been cruel to Democrats, costing them control of the House and now the Senate, and producing a cumulative wipeout in the states. The 2010 and 2014 elections saw the defeat of younger politicians — some in office, others seeking it — who might have become national leaders.

As the post-Obama era nears, the Democrats’ best-known leaders in Washington are almost entirely from an older generation, from the vice presidency to most of the major leadership offices in the House and Senate. The generation-in-waiting will have to wait longer….

The more serious problem for Democrats is the drubbing they’ve taken in the states, the breeding ground for future national talent and for policy experimentation. Republicans have unified control — the governorship and the legislature — in 23 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Democrats control just seven. Democrats hold 18 governorships, but only a handful are in the most populous states….

Without prominent statewide elected leaders, Democrats are in danger of seeing their state party structures atrophy.

It’s Hillary or bust in 2016, for the presidency.

As for Congress — it’s just bust.



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legacyrepublican | November 9, 2014 at 8:41 am

I still remember being told in 2008 that my party was dead and that it is all over.

Thanks to blog sites like Legal Insurrection, hope was kept alive and I was able to join with others as the Republican party and conservatives fought back, gained back, and won back there place on the political stage.

They have two old, tired bags to offer for 2016. Hell, their “young chick” is just a few years younger than Ol’ Walleyes, and well into her sixties if I’m not mistaken.

They really have no bench, either, as the Prof-in-a-tor points out.

Now, BACK, they got…

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | November 9, 2014 at 10:02 am

Either 68 or 69 (out of 99) state legislative bodies will be controlled by Republicans, or close to 70%. 62% of governorships. Who knows what it looks like even further down ballot at county, municipal, township, special district level. Not good if you’re a Democrat, I suspect.

But Republicans at the state and local level can only do so much. The federal bureaucracy, and judiciary, is what needs a major shakeup. And only a Republican president with a helpful Congress can make that happen.

Unfortunately, the electoral college remains highly favorable for Democrats. I think it will take a very strong Republican presidential candidate AND conditions in the country will have to be almost perfect for a Republican to win the presidency in ’16. But we need one badly to restore sanity to the judiciary and to start chipping away at the bureaucratic agencies to begin to restore economic liberty to the people.

So a Republican presidency is paramount to effect real change. If the GOP can make the sell and win the presidency in ’16, Democrats are so wiped out at the state level and below that they really may be in the wilderness for a couple of decades. Let’s hope.

Hillary or bust is right.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | November 9, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    ‘Pubs will have a very hard time holding the senate in ’16, based on the senate electoral map. If we have a great candidate and great turnout, we might hold it, but based on who’s up for re-election and the red-blue thingy, it’s not a good landscape.

huskers-for-palin | November 9, 2014 at 10:13 am

Dear Mr. Carville, who is the “regional party” now? 🙂

Word of caution. In politics it is always half time (always another important election less than teo years away), and the GOP is up 35-0 at the half by virtue of last Tuesday’s performance. However, there is always another half to play. The game ain’t never over.


Another thought re: 2016. If the GOP manages to keep its majorities and adds the White House, will they do anything different than the last time they had all three, from Jan ’05 – Jan ’07? How has the GOP leadership changed since then? One major difference is that the GOP-led 109th congress had an unpopular lame duck GOP president, while a 2016 GOP president would be at the likely peak of his/her popularity going in with another GOP-led congress.


O/T………. Is it just me or has there been a conspicuous absence of trolls since, oh…. last Tuesday?

    Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | November 9, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Well, according to the trolls common refrain, TEA party people are just a bunch of hypocrites who will support GOP sins when the shoe is on the right foot, so to speak.

    And, if anything is different now, it is the TEA party impulse, which I say again is about REFORM, and I don’t care who is in power. I have every expectation that people will act according to human nature, and eGOP types are people. But BIG “C” Conservatives will not have it. The wagon has to be pulled, pushed, or otherwise dragged out of the ruts, or it will be destroyed. It cannot continue as it it, and…really…EVERYBODY knows it. EVERY. BODY.

    Well…except Paul Krugman, and he’s crazy…

    stevewhitemd in reply to Henry Hawkins. | November 9, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Yep. Remember all the pundits back in 2009 who thought that the Republican Party was dead? Remember Nancy Pelosi saying that if the Pubs wanted to survive that they’d have to become more like Democrats?

    Of course the Democrats could rise again. They have before, and so have the Pubs. It’s the innate nature of a two-party system.

    We can forestall this for a couple cycles if the Pubs just execute on the basics. Stay away from the stupid social agenda, stay away from stupid wimmins issues, and just work on the economy. Sensible tax reform, curb the IRS and EPA, put some fear back into the bureaucracy, ratchet down spending another couple notches, approve Keystone, approve drilling/fracking in public lands, curb the stupid disability claims and so on. That’ll get us a 1 percentage point boost in GDP which in turn would lead to some real gains in employment. That would start to fix problems.

    Oh, and keep the spotlight on all the abuses and excesses of Champ’s administration. Mr. Issa and his colleagues need a hunting license with no bag limit.

      Ragspierre in reply to stevewhitemd. | November 9, 2014 at 11:20 am

      Once again, we have a comment on “stupid social issues” from a guy who demonstrates he doesn’t know what that term means, or is using it as a cypher for something else.

      He then goes on to cite a bunch of “social issues” of which he approves.


        stevewhitemd in reply to Ragspierre. | November 9, 2014 at 3:52 pm

        Rags: each of the issues I cited are economic issues first and social issues second:

        Sensible tax reform — more jobs
        curb the IRS and EPA — fewer overbearing bureaucrats = more jobs
        fear back into the bureaucracy — fewer overbearing regulations = more jobs
        ratchet down spending another couple notches — more room for the private sector
        approve Keystone — more jobs
        approve drilling/fracking in public lands — more oil and NG, more jobs
        curb the stupid disability claims — improve business climate

        I’ll stand by that list any day. None are “stupid social issues”, though I’m happy to enumerate those for you. I don’t need to though, I’ll just refer you to what the Democrats would prefer to be talking about.

        Since you didn’t know what I was talking about, why don’t you explain what you thought I meant? That could be good for a laugh or two on a slow Sunday…

          Ragspierre in reply to stevewhitemd. | November 9, 2014 at 5:36 pm

          Well, you are simply wrong.

          Looking at issues as you prefer to do fails at the outset.

          ALLLLLLLLlllll issues are “social issues”, unless you adopt the false dichotomy of the moderate republicans. I don’t. I am a radical.

          The environmental movement has its expression in the EPA. THAT is a social issue. Nothing but.

          I could go down your list, and make the same points.

          You want to palliate. I want to reform. You want to nibble about the margins. I want to go to the jugular.

          stevewhitemd in reply to stevewhitemd. | November 9, 2014 at 5:46 pm

          All issues may be social issues if you stretch the definition of “social issues” the way a Democrat would.

          I laid out what most reasonable people would see as economic issues — those are the things that the Pubs should focus on in Congress for two important reasons:

          1) they could actually succeed

          2) it’s good politics right now for them to stay away from “social” issues

          Yes, social issues must be addressed — but NOT BY THIS CONGRESS. That’s exactly what the Dems and the media (BIRM) want the Pubs to do. They’re laying for it, they’re primed to attack. If the Congress diverts its attention to social issues they will fail to enact any significant agenda at all and thus will lose big time in 2016.

          Social issues can and should be addressed by others. States. Counties. Conservative leaders. Religious leaders. Rush. You. Me. But not this Congress. Keep the Pubs there focused on the economic issues, and on a complete, thorough audit of the massive failings of the Obama administration.

          Ragspierre in reply to stevewhitemd. | November 9, 2014 at 6:00 pm

          Again, steve, with the false dichotomy. Economic issues ARE NOTHING BUT SOCIAL ISSUES.

          Immigration is a social issue that has IMMENSE economic impacts.


          Tax policy IS a social issue, and nothing BUT.

          Gun control IS a social issue, and nothing BUT.

          Who has a right to life is a social issue that you are afraid of.

          Whether the Collective has a right to control EVERY-FLUCKING-THING at the Federal level is the global social issue, and you’re afraid of it.

          You needn’t be. We can win on the “social issues”. And we won’t have the luxury of avoiding them. Because, despite your wish to denote some as “economic”, they all are about the choices we have in society.

          And, no, of course we need not attack them all at once. That would be a straw man argument that NOBODY has made. Remember, YOU were the one who assailed “stupid social agendas”. You’d best keep in mind that the Collective are ALWAYS the aggressors there. They will ALWAYS attack American culture and values, and you just surrender if you fail to fight back.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Henry Hawkins. | November 9, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Go take a peek under the nearest bridge. They’re in their air, festering more deviltry.

riverlife_callie | November 9, 2014 at 11:09 am

Slightly o/t, on the above map, does anyone know the meaning of the turquoise areas? I ask, because I live in one of them in Washington State. I couldn’t find that exact map when I searched.

    stevewhitemd in reply to riverlife_callie. | November 9, 2014 at 11:11 am

    That means that whoever made the map (Politico, I think) hadn’t yet called the race in that district.

      Observer in reply to stevewhitemd. | November 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      LOL, I’m in one of those turquoise districts too. Here in southern AZ, we’re still waiting to see who won our congressional district — retired AF colonel Martha McSally, the Republican candidate, or incumbent congressman (and former Gabby Giffords Chief of Staff) Democrat Ron Barber.

      Right now, McSally leads by a couple hundred votes, but there are still several thousand votes that have not been counted. AZ law requires a re-count if the margin of victory is less than 200 votes, so it may be a while yet before a winner is officially declared.

    stevewhitemd is correct. There are about 29 State Senate and House races yet to be called. Here is the post-2014 election TABLE found over at by STATE ::

    2014 State and Legislative Partisan Composition

      riverlife_callie in reply to Tom-Pa. | November 9, 2014 at 11:57 am

      Thanks so much, stevewhitemd and Tom-Pa. Unfortunately, in WA District 4, I do believe the RINO Newhouse defeated the more conservative Didier.

    Furthermore, if you’d like to compare the current numbers to where we were PRIOR to the 2010 midterms (three election cycles ago) ::

    2010 State and Legislative Partisan Composition Prior to the (2010) Election::

Let’s see, a generation of hippies, mostly those that “came of age” in the 60’s, is now growing over the hill. Their policies came of age and proved themselves to be propaganda … all spit, no shine.

The young new faces like Van Jones are just racist communists. It turns out being anti-America was edgy, only when they are on the edge. When their heroes gain power we learn they have no executive experience. They have to play against the status quo, not actually prove they have the “engineering degrees” to make things work.

So please let the collectivist phase finally go the way of bell bottoms, and bring back to our schools, instruction from our founding fathers.

    David R. Graham in reply to Midwest Rhino. | November 9, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    That is a long way from happening. Collectivists are now and for some time Globalists and they run the entire system of education save homeschooling and a small handful of private institutions. Voting will not get rid of them. They can manipulate the vote. Their own insanity shows them up and makes Americans sick to their stomachs, but that also does not get rid of them. And they have armed guardians protected by courts and lawyers. And they are whipping up for a major nasty doing on anyone not of Globalist sympathies and investment patterns.

    You’re right, remediation starts in the system of education and expands from there. Keep kids away from it and call it what it is. That might work. Do not participate in lies. That always works. And trust the power of Righteousness to take care of itself. That is a good investment.

JimMtnViewCaUSA | November 9, 2014 at 12:31 pm

I guess they have Liz Warren.
Pretty weak tea…

Not a fan of writer Megan McArdle but I’ve long treasured her takedown of Warren in this 2009 column. Do consider reading it if you have pro-Warren friends and acquaintences.

That thin slice on the left should be allowed to form its own state called San Portlandia.

The lamestream media doesn’t like the US House of Representatives, 1) because it’s Republican, 2) because it represents the will of the little people in flyover country.

If the US House was Democrat those same talking heads would be singing praises.

Another brilliant analysis by William Jacobsen. Something I hadn’t thought about, but it’s true that the future leadership of the Democrats has been decimated! Mr Jacobsen, you have NO idea how glad I am that you are on our side! From your physician admirer in neighboring Elmira!