Demo Warns: GOP Has History Of Comebacks


sam fields

Pundits are suggesting that the GOP is on the precipice of going over the cliff and out of business. Democrats can hardly conceal their glee.

The government shutdown, which emerged from GOP emotion and not logic, backfired.  Polling data indicates that the public overwhelmingly blames the Republicans and sees the Dems as the responsible choice to handle the economy.

The economy is usually the GOP’s #1 strongpoint.

There is no doubt that,  for the moment, the aphorism that “Democrats fall in love and Republicans fall in line” seems to be standing on its head.  We are the responsible adults and the Republicans are the unruly children.

I say for the moment, because I’ve seen this play before and it does not end well for the Democrats.

It was 1964 and the GOP was engaged in a civil war.  Then it was struggle between the Eastern Establishment—think New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller—and what came to be known as The New Right headed up by Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater.

The GOP Convention had a political casualty count that rivaled Gettysburg.  It was no holds barred.  Rockefeller was practically booed off the stage.  They even went after him for being a divorced man.

Goldwater easily won the nomination.  But it was a Pyrrhic Victory. In November many moderate and liberal Republicans (Yes, they once existed.) sat on their hands or supported Lyndon Johnson.

On Election Day LBJ was swept into office with a record 61% of the popular vote and all but 52 electoral votes. The Democrats ended up with 68 in the Senate and 295 in the House.

News stories suggested that the GOP was going the way of the Whigs.

But for two events, that might have happened.

The first was Vietnam. The second was Watts.       

It sullied the reputation of the Civil Rights movement and scared the hell out of White America. It led to the revival of the GOP.

In the 1966 elections, a frightened California elected 20 Mule Team Borax spokesman Ronald Reagan as a law and order governor. Nationwide, the Democrats lost 47 seats in the House and 3 in the Senate.   In 1968 the GOP took back the White House and held that office for twenty of the next twenty four years.

If the idea of President Ted Cruz seems ridiculous in 2013 consider that in 1964 the notion of a President Richard Nixon or President Reagan was equally absurd.

In politics a year is forever.

A resurgence in inflation that leads to 12% mortgage rates. A failure of Obamacare.  A second 9/11.  A military confrontation with the North Koreans, the Chinese or the Syrians that goes badly.  Any of these, and a hundred unforeseen events, could get 10 or 15% or the electorate to vote a different way. That’s all it takes.

How does President Michelle Bachmann sound to you?


(Sam Fields, a local attorney, has been a Democratic activist in Broward for over three decades.)

5 Responses to “Demo Warns: GOP Has History Of Comebacks”

  1. Shitty Activist #15 says:

    Almost as bad as President Robert Walsh.


    That’s right… He’s a convicted felon and can’t even hold the office of Dog Catcher.

  2. Duke says:

    Years ago, I saw a program about old “Meet The Press” shows and the political predictions made by people who appeared over the years on the show. One show was from the 1940’s and it had the then chairmen of the republican and democratic parties. They were commenting about the “new conservative party” and the “new liberal party.” Both chairmen agreed that America is essentially a 2 party system. Both men flat out predicted that neither the “conservatives” or the “liberals” had any strength in numbers that would warrant forming a new political party. Both men said America is a middle of the road nation. Both men predicted that conservatives would latch-on to the republican party and liberals would latch-on to the democratic party. They were both right. That was around 1946.

    Fast forward to 1960, the year I was born. In my lifetime there’s been 6 republican presidents and 5 democrats.During those election periods, the sway back and forth between majorities in the house and senate have been too numerous to mention.

    It all goes in cycles. But this latest cycle that has occurred since about 2006 has republicans in a position politically and socially that they’ve never been in. The party is at an all-time low. These “TEA Party” folks are the same old far right wing of the republican party trying to adopt a new identity. Good luck with that.

    I don’t think the republican party is going away. But, this could be one of those cycles where Hillary Clinton ends up with a majority in the house and senate. Anyone who thinks that Hillary is not the next president is not paying attention. Right now, it’s her’s to lose. She’s already running.

    My dad use to tell me that if I could handicap racehorses as well as I handicap politicians I would be barred from racetracks.

    We’re not going back to 12% mortgage rates. Obamacare is not failing. There’s not going to be another 911 or any military confrontation with North Korea or China. Assuming for a minute that all of that happened, Michelle Bachman and her “My husband can cure gay people” mentality could not draw flies.

    Hillary is gonna be the next president. The only real question is whether she gets a dem majority in the house and / or senate. How republicans leaders act over the next two years will determine that. They would be wise to knock off the BS and govern themselves accordingly.

  3. Prognosticator says:

    Don’t be surprised by President Ted Cruz. Never underestimate the power of a demagogue to fool voters into voting for him. As far as Hillary, there is a great number of voters not ready for a woman president.

  4. Election Is Being Handed To Republicans says:

    There will be a backlash against the Democrats because of Obamacare. He shoves through a health care mess at midnight by one vote that ends up costing people more money for insurance with less choice. That is, if they can even sign up because of the computer problems. Democrats will sink under the weight of Obamacare and good sensible Republicans like Paul Ryan will be there to pick up the pieces.

  5. Duke says:

    Just like their was a backlash against dems for medicare and social security? Just like there were a bunch of voters not ready for an African American president? Oh please. Pay attention. Hillary will be the next president. The real question is whether she gets a majority in the house and senate. Republicans are operating under the “lets blow the whole thing up and get a republican in the white house” mantra. They are more than willing to let this country go down the tubes to try and prevent another democrat from getting in the white house. Their gamble will not pay off. They will lose. matter of fact, they’re already losing.