Jonah Goldberg

"Demography is destiny."

After Barack Obama's election in 2008, the phrase was on the lips of progressive prognosticators everywhere. A permanent alignment had arrived. The growing ranks of Latinos, the reliably liberal voting patterns of blacks, the Republican Party's longstanding problem with single women, plus the fact that surveys found young people -- aka millennials -- to be the most liberal generation in decades all proved that the aging, white GOP was destined for near-eternal rump status. In a Time magazine cover story featuring Obama as a Photoshopped FDR, Peter Beinart wrote that the "coalition that carried Obama to victory is every bit as sturdy as America's last two dominant political coalitions: the ones that elected Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan."

Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg eulogized Republicans: "Their coalition no longer works in the changing demography of the day, and is dangerously old; their Southern strategy ... has become a relic of the past; their tech and media tools have not kept up with the times; their ideas have become spent and discredited. ... They are an aging and frayed bunch, living off the fumes of a day and politics gone by."

The New Republic's John Judis penned an essay, "America the Liberal," proclaiming that Obama's "election is the culmination of a Democratic realignment that began in the 1990s, was delayed by September 11, and resumed with the 2006 election. This realignment is predicated on a change in political demography and geography. Groups that had been disproportionately Republican have become disproportionately Democratic, and red states like Virginia have turned blue. Underlying these changes has been a shift in the nation's 'fundamentals' -- in the structure of society and industry, and in the way Americans think of their families, jobs and government."

In fairness, most of these analyses offered the caveat that Obama could blow this golden opportunity. The problem is that most of the prognosticators advised that Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi do exactly what they did: cram a hard progressive agenda down the voters' throats.

And look at them now. Forget the fact that indispensable independents have almost completely abandoned Obama and his party. Disregard GOP victories not only in Judis' "blue" Virginia but in Massachusetts and New Jersey. That's old news. Also never mind that, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll Monday, Pelosi has a favorability rating of 8 percent among independents.

Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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