America’s Cycles of Change

The Coming Death of the Democratic Party – Part 2

Tue, 10 January 2017

The results in particular of the 2016 electoral contests demonstrated an extraordinary paradox. Hillary Clinton received well over 65 million votes, one of the three greatest showings of any political candidate of either party in US history. Only Obama himself in 2008 and 2012 has ever won more votes.

Yet Clinton still contrived to lose the election by decisive margins in the Electoral College.

Nor was this a distortion of democracy. When the votes were tallied up on a state by state basis, Clinton lost clearly and by decisive even when narrow margins to Trump in states across the nation.

Indeed, if the vote tallies in California, where Clinton; won a lopsided victory by more than three million votes, were removed, an overall majority of voters in all other 49 states combined decisively rejected her.

The results of the 2016 vote, despite Clinton’s overall 2.8 million more votes than Trump proved dire for the Democrats. The Republicans retained control of the House and the Senate.

Even modest Democratic hopes of regaining control of the Senate and winning back at least 20 seats in the House were dashed. They only regained six seats to slightly dent the comfortable Republican majority in the House and fell short of just breaking even in the Senate.

Worse yet, the Republicans in 2016 achieved what Obama won for the Democrats in 2008 – the coveted “trifecta” – control of the presidency, the Senate and the House at the same time.

However, Obama on the disastrous advice of his first chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in 2009 threw away the potential momentum of his first Hundred Days and first two years in office and proceeded highly cautiously only to see the Republicans come storming back to regain control of both chambers of Congress in 2010. He was never able to achieve any real legislative momentum ever again.