Skip to comments.Last Hurrah of Nixon's 'New Majority'?
Posted on 08/28/2012 7:22:28 AM PDT by Kaslin
Looking back all the way to America's Civil War, there have been three dominant presidential coalitions.
The first was Abraham Lincoln's. With his war to restore the Union and his martyrdom, Lincoln inaugurated an era of Republican dominance that lasted more than seven decades and saw only two Democratic presidents: Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson.
The second coalition was FDR's, where he and his vice president Harry Truman won five consecutive presidential elections. Only Gen. Eisenhower could break that streak.
The third was Richard Nixon's New Majority, cobbled together after his narrow 1968 victory, where he annexed the Northern Catholic ethnics and Southern Christian conservatives of FDR's coalition to win 49 states in 1972. Ronald Reagan would follow up with 44- and 49-state landslides and see his vice president win 40 states in 1988.
That New Majority is now history. In the five elections since 1992, Republicans have won the popular vote once -- in 2004. And while Mitt Romney is slightly ahead in polls today, reaching 270 electoral votes will be no easy task. The electoral map is becoming problematic.
According to GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, the party has a 3-2-1 strategy. While holding all the states McCain won, the party must first recapture three red states that Barack Obama carried: Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia. Next, Romney must carry the two major battleground states that Obama won last time: Ohio and Florida. Third, add one more state Obama carried in 2008, like Colorado. Then the GOP is home.
Yet with the exception of Indiana, none of those six states seems close to secure. And the GOP must win them all. And now Missouri, after Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" gaffe, has moved from Republican red into the undecided column.
The good news: With Paul Ryan on the ticket, Wisconsin is in play, and Mitt's birth state, Michigan, is getting a second look.
Yet consider the uphill struggle the GOP faces in a year when the election should be a cakewalk.
Though he has four straight trillion-dollar deficits and 42 months of 8 percent unemployment to his credit, Obama appears to already have four of the seven mega-states -- California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York -- secure and is more than competitive in Ohio and Florida.
Looking to the future, what is the Republican strategy ever again to win New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois or California, other than due to some national calamity or new depression?
Where the Democratic base seems secure, the GOP base, the South from the Potomac to the Pedernales, is seeing Democratic encroachments -- in Florida, Virginia and North Carolina.
Moreover, while the Nixon-Reagan coalition was united on the mega-issues of morality and patriotism, today's GOP is fragmenting on everything except the imperative of removing Obama.
One hears scarcely a peep of protest at Obama's withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet U.S. influence is sinking in Baghdad as a new civil war is stirring, and the Taliban's return after the U.S. departure from Afghanistan seems a certainty. Where have all the uber-hawks gone?
The caws of Sen. John McCain and the neoconservatives for intervention in Syria and an ultimatum to Tehran to halt the enrichment of uranium or face a U.S. attack is echoed by some evangelicals. But foreign policy "realists," libertarians and the anti-interventionist right, all of whom are urging us to stay out of any new war, seem more in tune with the times -- and the country.
The GOP used to be united on a traditionalist view of social and moral issues. Now, not only the Log Cabin Club, but libertarians and some moderate Republicans are receptive to the idea of homosexual marriage. And the ticket of Romney-Ryan accepts abortion in the case of incest or rape.
Once the principled position is yielded, where do we draw the line? At what point does constant accommodation cause True Believers to depart?
Priebus said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Republicans will cut federal spending from 25 percent of gross domestic product, roughly where it is today, to 20 percent. But a cut of 5 percent of GDP translates into a budget reduction of $750 billion.
That is one-fifth of the entire U.S. budget.
While the Republicans would seek to achieve such a reduction over a period of years, such budget butchery is unheard of in modern times.
Where are the cuts to come from?
Social Security and Medicare are the largest social programs. But the beneficiaries of those middle-class entitlements are seniors and retirees, the big divisions of the Republican army. And Mitt has assured these folks he is not going to cut Medicare.
As for defense, Mitt says we need to spend more. And though the Rand Paul wing of the party is open to cuts in military spending, and some conservatives are ready to see bases closed abroad, this would cause a revolt among congressional hawks, neoconservatives, and executives and lobbyists of the military-industrial complex who show up at all those Washington fundraisers.
Mitt Romney and the Republicans have a shot at taking it all this year. But beyond, one sees only darkening skies for the Grand Old Party.
Pat’s always been a ‘the glass is half empty’ type.
True, there is not much to be upbeat about.
Once you step out of the echo chamber, you see that this is Obama’s election to loose. Mitt can (maybe) squeak by a win, but with the electoral votes I don't know if that is possible right now.
And, the demographics are not good news for the future.
Racial/ethnic minorities tend to find their political home in the Democratic party. And these groups are growing in proportion to the rest of the population.
There is also the long term trend of groups, such as today’s younger people, thinking that we should have socialism, that government should be involved in every societal problem. And such voters will vote for the party of big government, the Democratic party.
It is quite possible that America will evolve into a “republic” with one dominant political party, the Democrats. And while there could be competition within the Democrat party, it could be like the days of the old South, in which winning a Democrat primary is tantamount to winning the general election.
NOT in the POTUS race numbnuts! Osama has zero chance in Missouri.
Oh this is Pat Buchanan. Oh well I stand by my insult.
Nash wrote that when he was still a member of the Hollies
part of it was about seeing kids playing war...he didn’t like
and the other was seeing the nightmares of folks his parent’s age from the Blitz days...know the fears your elders grew by and so forth
Nash had been evacuated as a baby during WWII to the countryside
Nash could tune a song but was pretty much a Hippie
Had a thought this morning reading the news online at breakfast....
In recent weeks, we’ve seen polls that indicate Obama ahead a little, then Romney, then Obama, flopping back-and-forth. Usually neither of them is breaking through the “50% barrier”. This may portend badly for Obama, then again, Obama’s support almost -never- drops below 42-40%. The democrats have a “bedrock base” that is there, and seems destined to expand in the years ahead.
Right now, the election looks like a toss-up, reflecting a nation in which the population has deep philosophical differences. This election will not “unify” America, but will only increase and highlight the divisions.
Romney certainly doesn’t represent conservatives, but nevertheless he’s a modestly attractive milquetoast Republican who (unlike McCain before him) seems willing to fight for the office of the presidency.
If the Republicans can’t beat someone who is as obviously socialistic as Obama; if they can’t win against someone who is as obviously “anti-American” as is Obama; if they can’t win against a person as flawed as is Obama — then how the heck are they ever going to win the presidency again?
Well said. This is why I’ve repeatedly stated that the ballot box either has or rapidly is becoming a worthless lost cause.
Little bite by little bite, the infestation of federal slop trough feeding termites eat away at the party pillars of this nation, one party pillar has already fallen, the other party pillar is close to collapse as well.. time to Big Tent the place.. or just bulldoze it and start over again?
The elite built this mess,, let them fix it or pay the ultimate price by stepping aside for those who have the nation’s best interests in mind and not their own power structures that reap untold fortunes for the incompetent and ingenuous representatives and their cohorts in deceit.
Well Pat forgot the old saying, “when you are 20 and if you are not liberal, then you have no heart. When you are 40 and if you are not a conservative, than you have no brain.”
What you could very well see is, what are now 3rd parties, become the new parties to replace the GOP.
What you said, it depends on if people become upper mobile or when they age, they tend to get more conservative in either course.
Correct you are. Couple this with the global economy where the majority of the jobs lost since 2007 I believe are permanently gone, you will see the demographic shift to dependency grow exponentially. The obvious benefactor will be the party of big government, the Democrats.
Its the sign of the end. Everyone is still fighting over how to spend more money, even though there is no money left.
THERE WILL BE CUTS PEOPLE. Even to YOUR special program. That means in addition to government downsizing, there WILL be SS cuts, medicare cuts, military cuts. If not, there will be no more USA.
Saw CSN in Boston in June . . . and Nash was very, very outspoken viz. politics . . . an Occupy type. Oh brother.
At least Stills can still rip on guitar.
Well, I do not believe the government will ever reform itself. That would be against its essential interests.
I believe the government considers enslavement of the working class the path of least resistance to getting the budget under control.
The eventual correction - and there will be one - will be very ugly.
The third was Richard Nixon's New Majority, cobbled together after his narrow 1968 victory, where he annexed the Northern Catholic ethnics and Southern Christian conservatives of FDR's coalition to win 49 states in 1972.
I'd call that Reagan's coalition, but Pat, who worked for both Nixon and Reagan, was much more of a Nixon man.
These coalitions haven't proved as long lasting as the post-Civil War Lincoln coalition did. By 2000 the country was 50-50 divided between the two parties and that hasn't changed much since. The demographics that brought Nixon's victory weren't there any more (as the demographics of New Deal America didn't apply 30 or 40 years later), and Reaganesque leadership wasn't around either.
Right now the country is changing. It's not Nixon's or Reagan's America any more. There aren't so many "Reagan Democrats" as there once were. It's a time of great risk and few certainties. I'm not saying the party's on the right course, but what the winning strategy is, is not as clear as it once was, and some of the old reliable voting blocs aren't anywhere near as powerful as they once were.
Buchanan has neutered himself. Where is the denunciation of the 1965 Immigration Act, the media, and PC education that created this?