Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. He recently wrote an article for The National Review in which he said that both Republicans and Democrats seem determined to lose both the congressional elections of 2018 and the presidential election of 2020. He summed up the article by stating that both deserve to.
Barone reminded the reader that in 1992, Bill Clinton ran on a moderate Democratic Leadership Council platform and he stayed true to this platform in his governing. It was necessary after the implosion of Hillary Clinton’s health-care plan and the election of a Republican congressional majority in 1994. “This was the natural reaction of a politician who found an unusually wide range of policy positions acceptable and who was aware that Democrats had lost five of the six previous presidential elections by an average of 10 percent of the popular vote,” Barone wrote.
The political analyst also noted that in 2000, George W. Bush ran as a compassionate conservative. He distanced himself from the more radical Republicans and fought against the liberalism of congressional Democrats.
Both Clinton and Bush took stands that favored free trade and extensive immigration. In the decade between 1995-2005, this kind of approach brought about bipartisan compromise on major issues and produced fruitful and popular results.
You know what is coming… “That was then…”
“Contrast the platforms of Bill Clinton 1996 and Hillary Clinton 2016. Contrast the policies of George W. Bush and Donald Trump.”
Barone explains: “President Trump has taken to blaming Republican leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan for such failures. This week, according to Politico, vice presidential aide Nick Ayers has been urging donors to stop funding congressional Republicans. ‘If we’re going to be in the minority again, we might as well have a minority who are with us, as opposed to the minority who helped us become a minority,’ he said. Democrats, currently with their smallest congressional minority since the 1920s, seem eager to take stands risking perpetuation of that status. It’s reminiscent of Hillary Clinton’s shift on abortion from her husband’s ‘safe, legal, and rare’ to supporting Medicaid abortions and her abasement in repudiating his anti-crime policies in deference to the preposterous claims of #BlackLivesMatter. Her willingness to take such risks was evidently based on the notion that demographic change — increasing numbers of nonwhite voters — guaranteed a Democratic victory.”
Barone believes that a Democratic notion that Trump’s unpopularity will doom Republicans in the next election cycle is propping up a false sense of security among the party leaders. He cites the fact that 16 Democratic senators have endorsed single-payer health care… “a policy voted down resoundingly in purple Colorado and abandoned in shambles in deep blue Vermont.”
The savvy political commentator ends his article saying: “One might get the impression that large segments of both parties are determined to lose the next congressional and presidential elections — and that both deserve to.”
Do you agree? Are both parties headed off of the same cliff and doomed to destruction?
Credit: The National Review