Eight years ago, four years ago, the media, the special interests, the Democrats all declared that Republicans were finished as party.
“If we were a dog food, they would take us off the shelf,” Virginia Congressman Tom Davis admitted.
After Barack “The Great One” Obama won, Democrats were taking out their knives, and the media helped serve up the dish.
They were convinced—assuredly so—that Republicans were a dying breed, a bad brand who would go the way of Sears, Kmart, etc.
I still remember Time Magazine’s snide November 2008 edition, suggesting bright new logos for everyone. They had nice red Elephants, or post-modern drawings with think chalk lines. “2012 we can be great again!”
In 2009, James Carville poured gasoline on the Bonfire of the Democratic Vanities, and wrote “40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation.”
Of course, 2010 stopped that dream, at least in the House of Representatives.
And then came 2012. We got purplish Mitt Romney, the architect of Obamacare.
Was anyone really excited? Meh. Not me. He was not my first or second choice, and the GOP bench was one of the weakest in modern times.
An election which Romney should have won—from the failures of Obamacare, to Benghazi, to the unilateral executive orders—Romney ended up losing. Yes, Ted Cruz was so right, Romney “French-kissed” Barack Obama in Debate #3 on foreign policy.
Let’s not forget—Romney sucked, dragged down the ticket, turned off likely voters.
With a guy like the Blue Rhino of Massachusetts running for President, who needed Democrats?
Winnable US Senate seats slipped out of Republican hands that year, too, including Missouri, Montana and North Dakota. (It was an illegitimate rape of our chances that year)
Obama’s GOTV machine was strong, but let’s not forget Romney at the top of the ticket was a weak—and weakened—front-runner. 54-60 million Evangelical voters did not turn out.
Indeed, it looked as if all was lost for the Republican Party. I remember hugging my Dad and crying. For the first time in his life, he had donated to a Presidential candidate. The setbacks of 2012, combined with the upset of 2008, would give any Republican, especially a conservative in California, the sinking feeling that we were losing, and would never gain any kind of traction or preeminence ever again.
Can you blame me for feeling so down?
After Romney’s loss, I talked to another, older man, who admired my pluck but was convinced we would be stuck, furious and fearful for the future, now that Obama had secured a second term. Another friend winced and shrugged his shoulders: “In 20 years, we’re going to be Greece!”
January 2013, I attended a town hall meeting in Hermosa Beach, California. Congressman Henry “Rat Face” Waxman had just beaten a well-financed independent in California’s newly drawn coastal 33rd Congressional district. He delighted in Republicans stunning losses that year.
“The Republican Party has become a regional party. They are only competitive in the South, and they are losing the rest of the country.”
The shellacking of 2010 was inspiring, and the Tea Party movement which wiped out all of the Democrats’ gains in the House of Representatives stirred our spirits again. The new crop of Republicans were going to flex their muscles, this time. No more negotiating with an ideologue who had no interest in working within the framework of the Constitution.
Obama shuffled his stuff. Talked about 57 states, forgot how to spell “Ohio” and “Respect.
Then Obama’s scandals hit the fan.
An alphabet soup of corruption, from the DOJ’s seizure of AP reports phone records, to the IRS’ arbitrary attacks, burst on the scene.
Then came 2014. The sixth year itch is always good for the party not in power in the White House.
Republicans were feeling their oats again, and Obama’s charm had already long worn off.
With RNC Chair Reince Prebius, fresh off of incredible victories in his blue state of Wisconsin, Republicans were ready to take on the country and win.
Republicans flipped nine US Senate seats, including five ousted incumbents.
Could Republicans turn their 2014 tide into a 2016 ride to glory?
An incredible, deep bench of Republican Presidential contenders were strutting their stuff on the stage, including Donald Trump (whom I had underestimated, disparaged, but now esteem).
Democrats showcased five old white New Englander socialists (except for DINO Jim Webb).
A new media, the Wikileaks revelations, the no longer Silent Majority who wanted hope and change turned on the Democratic Party.
The same party that was supposed to reign for forty years.
Their prized Ice queen got froze out by the High Energy Trumpster.
Oh, how the tables have turned for the Democrats!
Despite defending a tougher field of seats, Republicans held onto Congress.
Democrats have been shut out of legislative chambers all over the country. Republicans have gained governorships in New England for the first time in years.
Kentucky has a GOP trifecta, as do 24 other states.
For all their gloating and the media’s incessant cheerleading for the Left while signing dirges for the right, Democrats are in the very spot they claimed would engulf the Republicans.
Rendered irrelevant and out of touch.
My former Congressman Henry Waxman was slapping his chest in 2013. I wonder what he thinks now.
And what about James Carville! Forty years? HA!
Democrats are the regional party, hugging effete coastlines while ignoring the vast swath of middle American. They remain an urban party, all while driving inner cities into poverty and moral blight, with no left to vote for their decrepit agenda.
For the first time in fifteen years, a credible challenge has emerged against Nancy Pelosi! Will Democrats learn that they are out of touch, or will they run out of time?
One thing’s for sure: Republicans need to live up their promises, and they better not claim a forty-year mandate until they have followed the dictates of the no-longer Silent Majority.