Whoever would have guessed it? The permanent Republican majority lives.
For a few years now it has been a joke – Rove and Mehlman talking about a Republican movement so strong that the Democrats simply couldn’t take it down. But in 2004, after Bush’s reelection it wasn’t a joke. Republicans were making inroads with Hispanics and African-Americans. Democrats were demoralized and defeated.
But then it all imploded. Iraq imploded. Faith and trust in Bush imploded. Republicans imploded. People started talking about a permanent Democratic majority. No more.
What is happening in the Democratic party right now threatens to destroy it for the foreseeable future. Andrew Sullivan summarizes tonight’s data:
what is striking in the exit polls is the polarization on three lines: gender, race and age. It was dead even with men; but a massive advantage for Clinton among women. The racial difference is obvious as well. But what really leaps out is age. Obama lost every cohort over 40; Clinton lost every cohort under 40. Race also affects the generations in turn: 67 percent of whites over 60 voted for Clinton – a massive 24 point advantage.
This death match will march on and on through the remaining primaries. The polarization will grow. And when one of them “wins” the nomination they will have won the right to preside over a party divided against itself- young against old, black against white, rich against poor.
Then they will lose – badly – to John McCain and the Democratic infighting will only continue. It will take a decade – more? – for the party to recover and in the meanwhile that once mocked dream of a permanent Republican majority will have been resurrected. Amazing.