Decades of Temporary Setbacks
I remember reading a novel where a Japanese man recalled his boyhood surprise at Japan's defeat in World War II. He recalled hearing on the radio about the glorious victories of the Emperor's military. The only problem with the "victories" is that they kept getting closer and closer to Japan. Now, I'm no military theorist, but for victories to continue to be glorious, they have to be occurring further and further from home, as you gain ground in war. And I find that story particularly applicable to the Democrats' view of the potential Republican realignment we seem to be facing.
Tom Bevan of RealClearPolitics.com tackles the realignment issue and the fairly deadly blinders the Democrats are wearing in that regard. He hits on one of their favorite post election excuses for losing, after of course the election theft charges against Republicans. They excuse losses by blaming them on a weak candidate, a lack of resources, and then minimize the election results as a minor setback.
The argument that the Democrats lacked strength is hogwash. They came into 2004 with the likes of George Soros funneling tens of millions of dollars on Kerry's behalf, a favorable media to the point that one network actually discredited itself to rush a hit piece on the president to the air, and a filmmaker who produced a dishonest work accusing the president of going to war in order to benefit corporate allies. They had all they needed to win.
But they lost, continuing what has become a pattern of failure. Seven of the last ten presidential elections were won by Republicans--and two of those can be credited to Bill Clinton being helped by Ross Perot. The other was a horserace between an unelected and unexciting president after a devastating political scandal and a squeaky clean southern Democrat.
The legislative picture isn't much better. After owning the Congress for 40 years, they lost it in 1994, never able to regain control of either house in ten years, save for a brief moment in 2001 and 2002 when a lone Senator defected.
While Democratic candidates may share some of the blame for their party's losses, they aren't the only culprit. The Democrats' signature policies, wealth redistribution, zealous defense of abortion, racial preferences, political correctness over factual understanding, mainstreaming of the gay lifestyle, irreligion, marginalizing and defunding the military (except as a laboratory for social experiments) and excusing lawbreaking all fall flat in Peoria. But the messenger can't take the blame for it all, as it is no accident that the party rank and file keep nominating candidates who hold those beliefs. Note also, that Democrats avoid the liberal label, while Republicans are only too proud to call themselves conservatives. The Democrats are losing elections because they are losing in the marketplace of ideas.
But the Democrats are not ready to consider that notion. They prefer to blame their lack of success on factors unique to each election.
Decades of "temporary setbacks" are trends. And the use of the term setback implies that the party was somehow moving forward. These are illusions, and frankly dangerous ones, under which the Democrats are laboring.
Victories do not take place closer and closer to home. Unless it's the other side winning.