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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Changing electorate does not favor GOP

Buzzfeed - Welcome to Liberal America

Buzzfeed reminds me a lot of Politico, in that it’s usually best when just reporting and worst when doing analysis. This isn’t surprising, since Buzzfeed Politics editor Ben Smith is a Politico alumn. But this piece strikes me as impressively dead on, for the most part. Long story short, the electorate seems more liberal even than the president it reelected. “The Tea Party is a memory, an embarrassment to a party that didn’t even mention it at its national convention in Tampa,” they write. “And the network that led the conservative resurgence, Fox, suffered a sort of televised meltdown as the results came in, with Karl Rove berating host Megyn Kelly for calling the election, he said, prematurely.”

…Republicans have warned of a more liberal Obama over the coming term, an outcome Democrats hope for and consider likely. But the scale of the decisions facing the country will create an intense pressure for compromise, and now on Democratic terms.

But the 2012 election marked a cultural shift as much as a political one. Ballot measures that had failed for years — allowing the marriage of two men or two women in Maine and Maryland; legalizing marijuana in Washington State and Colorado — were voted into law. The nation’s leading champion of bank regulation Elizabeth Warren handily defeated moderate Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts, and the nation’s first lesbian senator, in Tammy Baldwin, was elected in Wisconsin. Even climate change, which was absent for nearly the entire campaign, came roaring back with Hurricane Sandy, and was the subject of endorsements for Obama and harsh attacks on Romney.

These measures were passed, and Obama re-elected, by an American electorate that Republicans had dismissed as a fluke of African-American pride and youth enthusiasm, and which a generation of pundits — Michael Barone, George Will — wrote off as a fantasy.

They put their finger directly on a change in America they describe as “unmistakable and irreversible”:

The groups on whom Obama depended are the ones that are growing; white men, the core Republican constituency, are a shrinking minority. For the first time In 2011, minority births surpassed white births in the United States, and the longer demographic trend places white Americans in the minority by 2041.

There’s no changing this. Republicans will have to adapt or perish.

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