The Thinker: Rich Galen


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What a Week for the GOP

Rich Galen

Monday November 13, 2017

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  • You saw the same headlines: "It's the End of a Major Political Party," "Is There any Hope for the Future?" "Can the Two-Party System Survive?" And, so on.

  • Those were the headlines we saw just a year ago after the elections of 2016 and they were written about the Democratic Party.

  • The GOP had won the White House - against all odds. Walked away with control of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. Owned 34 Governors' Mansions. Republicans had won 26 "Trifectas" where they also controlled the Executive and both Houses of the State legislature.

  • That was one year ago.

  • Political pundits were struggling to find the correct metaphor to describe the depths to which the Democrats had fallen.

  • Then came this last week.

  • On Tuesday, Republicans not only got skunked in all three state-wide races in Virginia - in spite of having really good candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney-General. Never had a chance in the Governor's race in New Jersey. Barely registered on the political seismograph for Mayor of New York and lost the County Executive in nearby Westchester County.

  • And that was just Tuesday.

  • Later in the week, the whole Roy Moore story exploded on the scene.

  • You don't have to believe the women who accused Moore of inappropriate behavior when he was in his 30s and they were teenagers. You can make the case the even if true, two of the women were 16 and 18 - above the age of consent in Alabama. You can point out that these allegations are 40 years old.

  • It still reeks.

  • One Moore supporter was quoted on CNN over the weekend as say this was all a plot by Establishment Republicans in Washington, DC.

  • I said, on the air: "To what end?"

  • The Democrat, Doug Jones, is not a "Southern Democrat" in the 1950s sense. He is, I said, no Richard B. Russell - the Democratic Senator from Georgia who was so good at using Senate rules to defeat anti-segregation laws that he was called "The best General the South has had since Robert E. Lee."

  • Doug Jones is a workaday, standard, middle-of-the-road DEMOCRAT. If he is elected, he will be a dependable vote for Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

  • So, to believe this is a plot between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) and his handmaidens at the Washington Post is just silly.

  • Finally, we had the President of the United States, during a 12-day trip overseas calling former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper "political hacks" and calling former FBI Director James Comey "a liar and a leaker."

  • This, while praising Russian President Vladimir Putin saying, according to a New York Times report, "He said he absolutely did not meddle [in the 2016 U.S. elections]." The report also quoted Trump as saying continued questions about Russian meddling are nothing more than "a political hit job."

  • All that in just one week.

  • And, now the headlines that were written to top the obits for the Democratic Party just a year ago are being recycled to run above the stories about the demise of the Republican Party.

  • Is this the beginning of the end of the two-party system?

  • The Sainted Reed Galen, in his Lad Link column thinks we may be approaching the Age of the Independent:
    "There are dozens of longtime Republican and Democratic incumbents who are ripe for upsets - some don't have to campaign, some don't even bother to come home and face their constituents in town-hall meetings.

    With the growing wave of Republican congressional retirements, there are seats that may be ripe for an independent takeover."

  • The Democrats are not out of the woods. The Donna Brazile book is causing great distress among Democratic leaders. Joe Biden, who will be 76 in 2020, is now being mentioned as a leading candidate to run against Donald Trump (who will be 73). Nancy Pelosi is 77. Chuck Schumer is a kid at only 66.

  • Should Democrats take control of the U.S. House next November, the leadership fights will be bloody. Maybe fatal.

  • Don't erase those headlines. We'll need them again.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Subscription Drive page and to the state of State Legislatures and to the NY Times' reporting on Donald Trump's trip.

    The Mullfoto is a ceiling in Brooklyn that caught my eye.

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