We can only hope he is right!
Longtime journalist Richard Miniter developed his interesting hypothesis at Forbes last month. I’m just seeing it today thanks to the second tip of the day from Cathy!
[An aside: I met Richard Miniter in the early 1990’s when he was one of the only writers willing to report on the Property Rights Movement that had grown up almost overnight in the late ’80s and early ’90s over the ever- increasing regulatory reach of the federal government known as ‘regulatory takings’ and some real ‘takings’ too. Richard was friends with Peggy Reigle the founder of the FLOC (Fairness to Landowners Committee) in Cambridge, MD. Ms. Reigle had come to the defense of those being harassed in Maryland , and later elsewhere across the country, over the controversial Wetlands regulations of the EPA/Army Corps of Engineers. Here and here are two of Miniter’s reports on property rights abuses with quotes in the second piece from FLOC leader Reigle.]
Back to the doomed Dems
Miniter says that history will point to 2011 as the high point for a party built on a shaky foundation of money flowing from the government—money that will no longer be there in any significant amounts.
The Democratic Party, as we have known it for the past 70 years, is now in its last days.
Yes, the House Republicans may raise the debt ceiling for a mix of spending cuts and revenue raisers. Yes, Barack Obama may win the 2012 presidential contest. Yes, bureaucrats and judges will continue to impose new and costly regulations on the economy.
But it doesn’t matter. The long-term trends are almost all bad news for the left wing of the party.
This week’s fight over raising the federal debt limit exposes a key weakness in the warfare-welfare state that has bestowed power onto the Democratic Party: Without an ever-growing share of the economy, it dies. Every vital element of the Democrats’ coalition — unions, government workers, government contractors, “entitlement” consumers — requires constant increases in payments, grants and consulting contracts. Without those payments, they don’t sign checks to re-elect Democrats.
Like it or not, Obama is not the new FDR, but the new Gorbachev: a man forced to preside over the demise of a political system he desperately wants to save.
Democrat champions in the punditocracy confidently predict that the future of the world’s oldest political party is bright. But in fact, the coalition that is the modern Democratic Party is doomed. Every pillar upholding its heavy roof is crumbling.
Miniter goes on to say that the Democratic Party is comprised of shaky coalitions of people who really don’t like each other much, but are basically held together by an interest in keeping the flow of federal money going, while Republicans, he says, fight like cats and dogs over issues and then come to a consensus position.
Since the flow of federal bucks cannot continue unabated then that dooms the Dems, believes Miniter. [ However, LOL! if the Cloward-Piven theorists are right, as the bucks dry up, chaos will ensue and the Communist Party will replace the Democratic Party anyway!]
That is kind of simplified, but his thesis makes some sense to me, read it all and see what you think!