The shifting sands of democracy

I just wish we could blog press photographs as easily as text. There’s a priceless photo on the front of the FT this morning showing Bill Clinton and George Bush sitting in the Arkansas rain for the opening of the Clinton Library. The paper’s leader may hold some lessons for the two defeated parties in Northern Ireland’s last Assembly election, on the protean nature of today’s shifting constituencies:

“Mr Kerry did mobilise the base. But it was not enough. The Democrats need to break out of their geographical bases in the old Union states of the north east and the west coast and appeal to a culturally conservative, churchgoing hinterland. A dwindling number of individual Democrats still do. But the party does not. Nor can the Democrats assume that demographics will come to their rescue. The shift in population towards the sunny south helps Republicans, while Republicans can contend for the growing Hispanic vote”.

The days of lent votes are long over…

  • peteb

    Personally, Mick, I agree with Wonkette’s take on the opening of the Clinton mausoleum – “Clearly, the point of the Little Rock hubbub is for DC’s democratic pols to get a long weekend and have [a] chance to hear a preview of the new U2 album… Wake us if Chelsea punches Bush in the mouth”

    Live from little Rock

  • Davros

    What are Lent Votes ?

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s a reference to the idea that one party can ‘lend’ their voters to another for some short term purpose and then see them return to their ‘natural home’ another time out.

  • Davros

    Thanks Mick 🙂

  • ulsterman

    Bill Clinton was not a successful President. He won two elections against two hapless candidates.

    The Democratic Party was largely destroyed by his Presidency.

    For forty years prior to 1992 the Democrats controlled the House Of Representatives. They have not comtrolled it since.

  • James

    People still don’t get it, it’s worse than an EST session. The Democrats do not need to borrow votes. The votes will be theirs since the country is still becoming more secular. That’s why the evangelicals are so strident.

    I got BURIED by the Nixon landslide in 1972 (23.24%) and BURIED by the Reagan landslide in 1984 (18.34%) yet I didn’t get my sox wet in the Bush win of 2004 (3.03%) even though he used every good ‘ole boy stunt in the playbook. A coldly rational New England millionaire with a mouthy wife gave Bush the narrowest margin since BEFORE the second Wilson (3.24%) administration (and we all know how that ended). The figures show the bulge of middle America becoming more secular and more progressive. The country is following the California template just as it has since the 1950’s.

    Seventy percent of all incumbent presidents win, Sluggiepoos. Drop the Jesusland sour grapes. Jesus didn’t have a damned thing to do with it, it was ALL in the odds and that’s why Betfair’s money was on Bush. Well DUH!

    This is not to say the next Democrat should give press conferences from the hot tub of the Playboy Mansion. Well, maybe Clinton could.

  • James

    Oh, yeah.

    Only 1522 Bush days left.

  • Henry94

    Or maybe 4438 if Jeb Bush takes over.

  • Davros

    Thanks for brightening my day Henry:(