January 20, 2005

I think both are wrong...

PowerLine quotes in interesting article by Professor Andrew Busch, Rolling Realignment.

Will 2004 be for Republicans what 1964 was for Democrats, a moment of triumph followed by a season of loss? Or will 2004 be, as Karl Rove has argued, another 1900, a close but broad victory that lays the foundation for a generation of dominance? Everything will depend on the choices Republicans make, the choices Democrats make, and the events that both will have to confront. If history is any guide, for Republicans hubris will be a more dangerous adversary than Harry Reid.

Both are wrong, or so I would argue. The theory of 70-Year Cycles would say that both of these are just the ups and downs that happen within the broader cycle of realignments. What was the 60's? It was the time when the men of the New Deal generation were replaced by their children, who had never known real electoral defeat, and so were tempted into a classic example of over-reaching. It was a part of the larger realignment. 2004 is similar to the 1930's. We can expect our moment of hubris to come in the 2030's.

there's another interesting (to me, you are probably bored if you've even read this far) sentence:

...If there has been a Republican realignment, though, it is not like classic realignments of the past. Perhaps, as David Mayhew argued in his book Electoral Realignments (2002), 1860 and 1932 were such extreme cases—revolving around civil war and the worst economic conditions in the nation's history—that they cannot serve as a realistic model...

To the contray, I think it was the realignment that precipitated the Civil War. Realignments are driven by neglected problems. The party in power can't or won't deal with certain things, and so a sort of vacuum is created, that pulls the other party forward. And remember, there were a lot of things besides slavery the Dems wouldn't deal with in the 1850's. Think Homestead Act, Land-Grant Colleges, Transcontinental Railroad...

And while the 1930's realignment didn't precipitate the Great Depression, they were connected. The neglected problems concerned the regulation of a modern industrial economy, and one could say that realignment and crisis came to a head simultaneously. (A cynic might suggest that the neglected problem was how to turn an ordinary business contraction into a prolonged depression, the better to further quasi-socialist solutions and make the careers of quasi-socialist Democrats.)

Posted by John Weidner at January 20, 2005 10:58 AM
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