The Obama Era Has Wiped Out An Entire Generation Of New Democratic Talent

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Dec 27, 2016 2:00 PM
The Obama Era Has Wiped Out An Entire Generation Of New Democratic Talent

We have written about how President Obama has just devastated how own party. Since 2009, the Democratic Party has undergone a gutting of epic proportions that went unnoticed due to the media’s love affair with the president over the past eight years. The Associated Press finally has the final butcher’s bill: 1,030 seats. That’s the number of Democratic seats that have been lost to Republicans at the state and federal level. The consequence of that is an entire generation of Democrats being wiped out:

There's one number you will almost never hear: More than 1,030 seats.

That's the number of spots in state legislatures, governor's mansions and Congress lost by Democrats during Obama's presidency.

[…]

When Obama won the presidency, his election was heralded as a moment of Democratic dominance — the crashing of a conservative wave that had swept the country since the dawn of the Reagan era.

Democrats believed that the coalition of young, minority and female voters who swept Obama into the White House would usher in something new: an ascendant Democratic majority that would ensure party gains for decades to come.

The coalition, it turns out, was Obama's alone.

[…]

The defeats have all but wiped out a generation of young Democrats, leaving the party with limited power in statehouses and a thin bench to challenge an ascendant GOP majority eager to undo many of the president's policies. To be sure, the president's party almost always loses seats in midterm elections. But, say experts, Obama's tenure has marked the greatest number of losses under any president in decades.

Right now, the GOP control 69/99 state legislatures, has over 4,100 state lawmakers in office (the most since the party’s founding); two-thirds of the governorships, control of Congress, and will soon occupy the presidency. The Republican Party is the dominant political force in the country. It took almost a decade for the GOP to regroup—and it was a long journey. It started the Tea Party wave in 2010, which continued with minimal gains between 2012 and 2014. By 2016, the GOP was occupying 33 governor’s mansions. The Senate was also a long slog, with significant gains in 2010 that were stunted in 2012, but all paid off by the 2014 midterms. That year the GOP retook control of Congress.

The fact is the GOP went introspective. They looked at what was wrong. And they are reaping the rewards. Granted, I don’t think anyone expected Donald Trump to win the nomination, let alone the presidency, but some times politics surprise you. In this case, the fact that Hillary Clinton will never become president is a great surprise, and maybe on of the best Christmas gift of all. Still, the Right didn’t go ballistic after 2012. We didn’t set dumpsters on fire. We didn’t riot. We didn’t rail against the Electoral College. We hunkered down and worked our way out of the wilderness. I won’t lie. Democrats will be back. They’ll find their way out of the wilderness, but the GOP wiping out an entire generation of new talent, coupled with the snobby coastal elites running the party, will only lead to more political pain, not less, for 2018 and possibly 2020.