Candidates in the Democratic Party appear poised for defeats this November at all levels – local, state, and federal. The defeat of Democrat Martha Coakley by RepUblican Scott Brown in the special election to replace Edward Kennedy in Massachusetts was as consequential as it was unanticipated. Obama defeated McCain by 26 percentage points in Massachusetts. Brown defeated Coakley by 5 points. That’s a turnaround of 31 points.
Significant and comprehensive healthcare change now appears unlikely. Some measure may be cobbled together that wins passage, but it will not be the package that was considered probable before Brown’s victory. Neither is it likely that substantial legislation will materialize in the areas of immigration or the environment.
The economy is likely to experience a weak recovery or even double-dip recession. Unemployment will likely remain in the vicinity of 9 to 11% for the foreseeable future. Many states, including California and Michigan, will likely have unemployment of about 12% or higher for the foreseeable future.
To be clear, the world may be undergoing a historic shift of power and economic activity from the United States to China, the rest of Asia, and other parts of the formerly developing world. This is not a necessary outcome of these policies, but possible. It is for this reason so vital that current policies change.
At the state and local levels of government, contemporary liberalism has evolved into a bizarre philosophy that can be described as advocacy of public-employee-union kleptocracy. Virtually every state and local government in America is broke or in financial straits. Expansively inflated pay and benefits for government workers – particularly retirement benefits – are bankrupting states and municipalities.
If, in this environment, the Democratic Party did not sustain substantial losses, it is hard to know in what situation it
would. The Republican Party should gain, almost by default, dozens of seats in the House of Representatives and perhaps half a dozen Senate seats.
A few weeks are a long time in politics. But circumstances now appear propitious for a major change of power in Washington and elsewhere this November. It may well be the case that, in retrospect, the election of a Democrat as president in 2008 was not to the party’s advantage.