No Majority is Permanent. Karl Rove is a dumbass

Where did Karl Rove get off believing in a “Permanent Republican Majority”?  I think it somehow fit in with this belief from that New Republic Reader, an argument that glues together based on one vantage point, but I can easily come up with a different vantage point to argure the other way.

The thing is, the nature of a two party government — which for all our love of third party fringe candidates past and present, (and Senatorial), is what we have — is that the people elect one party into power, get sick of them, and then elect another party into power.  Hence, there is no permanence to a majority.

Pride cometh before the fall.

Understand some things.  Thomas Jefferson almost established a true Permanent Majority, when he systematically destroyed the Federalist Party — an entity that he despised more than most Democrats or Republicans do today.  Argurably he did so by allowing the policies of the Federalist Party he found tolerable into the “Big Tent” of the Democratic — Republican Party, while disavowing the overtly monarchical nature of the Federalists.

I can’t really state what happened from there.  Andrew Jackson changed the nature of American politics, and something called “The Whig Party” came into being as a protest to Jacksonian Democrats.  But the Whig Party never had a chance, it’s ideology being firmly against any strength in the executive branch at all — its presidents thus being subserviant to the political mechanitions of its minions in the legislative branch (Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, god bless them).  Thus, the greatest Whig President in American history is William Henry Harrison — he died in thirty days.  Oh, and they could never really cement an opinion on the issue of Slavery.

The greatest legacy of the Whig Party is that any time a political party is on the outs, its fate will be compared to the Whig Party.  At the moment, neither party can be compared to the Whigs, though I saw partisan Republicans and slightly to the left of Democrat bloggers compare the Democrats to the Whigs in the past couple of years.

Sometime around the year 1928, the Republican Party could legitimately believe that they had something of a permanent Republican Majority, because as the great president Hoover said, “In America today, we are nearer a final triumph over poverty than is any other land”, a great public repudiation of the last Democratic President, three straight presidential victories, and a break-through into the only Democratic strong-hold.  It wasn’t much to be.  The public turned sour on the Republican Party.  The Democrats were said to be going the way of the Whigs; now the Republicans were said to be going the way of the Whigs.  If the Republicans could withstand that loss of faith, you get the feeling that the United States is now permanently stuck with these two political parties — shifting alliances though they may have we have the Democrats and the Republicans from here to eternity.

Understand too that within the great “Democratic Majority” of 1932 to 1968, the Democrats were dead and wholly nonfunctioning in 1952, and prematurely called dead in 1948.  A Republican president poked his head in — Eisenhower, just as Wilson had poked his head in at an earlier interval where Republicans had a lock on the map, and just as Grover Cleveland poked his head through still earlier, and Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton poked their heads in in an era where Nixon and Reagan could pile up 49 state victories.

Go back to the that letter to the New Republic.  We get sick of one party.  We throw the bums out, and replace them with new bums.  To claim that the Republican Party is tossed out only when the Republican Party makes mistakes is stupid, because it is in the nature of anyone to make mistakes.  Likewise, the idea that one party comes to power because the voters voted against the other party is true but immaterial:  Franklin Roosevelt was elected because of Hoover, not because of Roosevelt.  It works in the states as well, as you can say the same thing about Montana’s current governor.  This cannot be a liability: a party comes to power off the other party’s mistakes, and will maintain it with their own record of governance.

And understand too, this:  the Ted Stevens — Robert Byrd Pork tag team is now converted to the Robert Byrd — Ted Stevens Pork tag team.  The wheel churns, the mechinations for one party being out of favour switches to the reasons the other party will fall out of favour sooner or later.

So, again.  What was Karl Rove talking about and why were so many people willing to give it credence?

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