November 28, 2016

KEVIN D. WILLIAMSON: Hard times for the Sanctimonious White Lady Party.

The Democrats, on the other hand, are becoming more ideological, or at least more openly and self-consciously ideological, as the party’s progressivism becomes more and more a catechism. This has the effect of making the Democratic party less democratic. American progressives have a long and genuine commitment to mass democracy, having supported not only various expansions of the franchise but also many instruments of direct democracy such as the ballot initiative, but they also have a long and genuine commitment to frustrating democracy when it gets in the way of the progressive agenda, which is why they have spent the better part of a century working to politicize the courts, the bureaucracies, and the non-governmental institutions they control in order to ensure they get their way even when they lose at the ballot box. Democrats did not pay much attention when they started suffering losses at the state level, because they were working against federalism and toward a unitary national government controlled from Washington. And they did not fight as hard as they might to recover from their losses in Congress while Barack Obama sat in the White House, obstructing Republican legislative initiatives and attempting to govern through executive fiat — an innovation that the Democrats surely are about to regret in the direst way.

For the moment, the stylistic convergence — the Republicans becoming a little more like the selfish-coalition Democratic party, and the Democrats becoming a little more like the ideological Republican party — works to the Republicans’ advantage, though there is no reason to believe that always will be the case. The GOP had a very good run of it as a highly ideological enterprise.

The GOP shunned ideological candidates in the last three presidential elections, but only won when they nominated a candidate able to peel off one of the segments of the Obama coalition. It remains to be seen what the sometimes/sometimes-not conservative party does with this expanded coalition — if it proves effective enough to dial back the progressive ratchet of the last eight years, or if it succumbs to Democrat-style infighting.

I suspect we’ll see enough of the former to make real progress, and enough of the latter to worry us every step of the way.

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.