Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Monday, May 5, 2014

The New Normal?

How long will we have divided government?  And how divided will it be?

The problem is - as Marshall notes - that either party has a structural advantage in different branches of government.

The Democrats have a structural advantage in Presidential elections, as they control California, New York, New England, the Upper Mississippi and the increasingly Hispanic West.  Democrats simply have an easier road to 270.

Republicans have a structural advantage in the House.  Democrats tend to congregate in cities, so while Democrats will win the majority of votes for the House, they will not win a majority of seats.  As we saw in 2012, this advantage is coupled with gerrymandering to produce House majorities in defiance of popular vote distribution.

The Senate somewhat tilts GOP, with the advantage of small population states, but state-wide constituencies tend to be tough for ideological Republicans.

And then there is President Black Oblacka and his effect on the electorate in places like West Virginia.  Booman seems to think that Hillary can mobilize voters that Obama couldn't.

What effect will a successful ACA have on working class white voters?

Where will the inevitable scandal fall?  Despite Republican efforts, #Benghazi simply hasn't taken off.  But the Clintons seem to court scandal.  And there are some sketchy dudes in the House who could open a can of worms that ousts marginal GOP congresspeople.

Personally, I think two years of Democratic control of the House, Senate and White House could cement important reforms in immigration, marriage equality, the environment and maybe even tax reform and wage fairness.

There is no way that Obama winds up with working majorities for his last two years, but it is fun to imagine what he could do with them.

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