The Republican Party Is Doomed

This is a transformational moment. Do the Democrats understand how to take advantage of it?

Comments: 190

  1. Powerful activist governments initiatives too often become onerous as "one size fits all" legalistic interpretations and regulations become entwined with bureaucracy to diminish impact. It is the experience of dealing with such bureaucracy that moves people from the Democratic faithful to a moderate point of view. Democrats, particularly progressive Democrats, need to seriously grapple with this truth. Well-intended solutions, frequently do not deliver the benefits promised. Ask someone who waited years and still may be waiting for FEMA support for Superstorm Sandy.

  2. According to my understanding, the majority of Americans favor cooling the planet, regulating guns, voting rights, healthcare accessibility, raising taxes on the rich. Ordinary citizens, unbiased, and of goodwill, could make significant progress toward these ends if given control of government. The fact that the “pros” currently ensconced will not do so is due to the fact that they are paid by the corporations they are supposed to regulate. I realize this is not “news“ to most readers, but it bears repeating.

  3. @Wes Wes, remember the majority does NOT count in this country. Otherwise we would have Hillary as president.

  4. And before that, Gore in 2000. Imagine the early 2000s with out W. Attack on climate change instead of invasion of Iraq. No Alito. No Roberts.

  5. @Wes The devil is in the details. In *principle* people favor cooling the planet, but if asked to give up gas-guzzlers/pay a carbon tax it sudden seems much less imperative. Heathcare accessibility? For WHOM? Among voters, 90% likely have fine access to healthcare, so paying billions more to cover the 10% or losing their heathcare to the government suddenly seems less interesting. Raising taxes on the rich? Sure, but who qualifies as rich? It's easy to spend other people's money, but at some point you run out of other people's money. Democrats need answer these simple "kitchen table" objections rather than assuming that some general call for "action on climate change" will change the electorate's mind. And the answer can't be a policy paper no one will read. The challenge is the answer is never shorter than 5 complex paragraphs because the problems are complex and therefore Democrats can't win people's votes. That's why Republicans beat Democrats.

  6. The GOP is not doomed, only changed from the party of people like Mark Sanford to a demagogic populist party created with Trump. There will be other Trumps to lead this new GOP. This transformation has been going on for many decades, since Goldwater proclaimed "A CHOICE NOT AN ECHO." Nixon and Reagan contributed greatly to the process. Nixon was more like Trump than we want to believe; so were his supporters.

  7. Good news, but who are those candidates who understand the problem? My guess is either Joe Biden, who offers change that sounds more pragmatic, or Elizabeth Warren, who offers change that might involve a bridge too far for software's attention span.

  8. @Dan Biden does not offer change that is pragmatic. He offers nothing but the status quo. This is why Dems lose.

  9. @Dan. Long before this article was written Mayor Pete was voicing the idea of this moment in American history as being a transformative one. Which direction do we want for the country? Are we open, welcoming, and willing to spend money to save ourselves and the planet, or are we half dead already and clinging to a false image of ourselves as heroes by virtue of birthright or skin color without responsibilities? He would start with repairing and transforming government apparatus itself, i.e. Repeal Citizens United. Whether he’s elected or not, he understands and articulates the gravity of the country’s moment.

  10. Mr. Greenberg's grand narrative is attractive and enlighting. The evidence to support his narrative comes from polling. Since polling is not an exact science, we should not get our hopes up too high just yet. We can be sure that Trump and the Republicans will not go quietly into the night. Let's wait until October 2020 to see what they have in store in their fertile little minds.

  11. @CC - Luckily, we have an idea what they 'have in store', courtesy of one of Dubya's former speechwriters: "If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.” - David Frum

  12. @R. Law I live in a very conservative part of Michigan and I've already heard people say "well, you know that the constitution never set us up to be a democracy - but a republic"

  13. @yeti00 Only partially true it does say our nation is a Republic. But the word democracy does not appear. However the ‘process’ of our particular type of democracy is written plainly. US Citizens of each State have the Right of one vote or ballot to elect Congresspersons. Each elected Congressperson has a Right to debate and cast one vote on Congressional matters before him or her. In short our democracy is The One Person-One Vote Rule or Process except for electing a President. Also The President gets one vote (a veto) and each SCOTUS Justice gets one vote in deciding matters before them. Definitely political parties or any group voting is not legally recognized by The USC but Party voting has become synonymous with an individual. Which begs the question does being an individual Public Official matter less than Party affiliation? No doubt the DNC & RNC (Private Non Profits) who have no rights to public governance are as happy as pigs in slop with this self promoting Fraud!

  14. "American voters will not disappoint us again." You sound confident that this will be true. Watching and listening to Trump supporters, I don't share the view. The question now becomes are there enough members of this cult to re-elect him?

  15. @Paul Bertorelli I'd say turn-out was key in 2016 when Clinton turned off too many voters who simply didn't show up to vote or made protest votes. Won't be that way this time (I hope!!).

  16. President Obama was responsible for the "rescue of the big banks" but "the Democratic base failed to turn out and defend him in election after election." This gave "the Republican Party control of Congress and total partisan control in just over half of the states." The lesson is clear. Anyone who thinks of himself/herself as a progressive cannot sit at home and expect to win. Not only that, each one of us has to actively canvass and bring out at least one other voter. That is the surest way to win. Vote and get out the vote, as though our lives depended on it. Which it surely does!

  17. @chickenlover. It is difficult to turnout enough votes when your area is gerrymandering and voting rolls are cleansed. The GOP has many ways to skin their cat and retain power. They also have lots of money to buy the manpower needed to do this.

  18. Could we at least agree that the Republican Party is not "the party of Lincoln"-and has not been for over one hundred years. Beginning in the late 19th century, the party re-aligned and began the trajectory that we see today-the party of wealth, corporate hegemony, and racism. This re-alignment became complete under Reagan, if not earlier.

  19. @Sage613: Agreed. I would date the shift to Strom Thurmond's "Dixiecrat" movement. The Republican Party has, ever since, been "the party of Thurmond."

  20. @Sage613 The Republican party is still the party of Lincoln -- only the Lincoln in question is George Lincoln Rockwell. (Young'uns can Google him.)

  21. The American press reported on the approaching doom of Russian communism for fifty years. Greed, bigotry and militarism will continue to thrive along with the Republican party well in to the era when the globe is fully warmed. At that point the GOP will announce no one could have foretold it. Same as George Bush announced when metro New Orleans was under ten feet of water. The same city where I lived fifteen years before and where it was common knowledge Lake Ponchatrain could inundate New Orleans.

  22. @stewart bolinger "The American press reported on the approaching doom of Russian communism for fifty years." And then it finally happened. Funny, the downswing in the Republican Party started about 46 years ago, so what do you think?

  23. Mr. Greenberg’s analysis points to a major flaw in how the media covers our politics. Way too much emphasis is put on what comes out of the mouths of politicians and far less on what is really happening in the lives of the American people. Obama and now Trump touting, really exaggerating, supposed great economic progress while millions of Americans have still not recovered from the crash of 2008 is a recipe for political disaster, first for Hillary and soon for Trump and the GOP. The reality is that wealth and income inequality is the biggest problem facing the majority whose incomes are too low and who have little or no wealth to cushion the blows. Yet the President is running on the “best economy ever”. This is definitely tone deaf. But who will be bold enough to articulate and run on the kind of real change agenda that Mr. Greenberg espouses? And who will be strong enough to effectively neuter the bully Trump? Who will have the organization on the ground to counter GOP voter suppression? Who will understand how to use social media to counter the Russians and disinformation? No matter the Dems nominee, Trump and the GOP will run defending the status quo while trying to scare the public that Democrats are communists and socialists. Didn’t work with FDR. Probably won’t work this time either. There is a danger that Greenberg’s analysis will cause Dems to be overconfident. But after Hillary I am less concerned about that.

  24. Great post. I think any of the top 5 Dem candidates can take on the bully and field the tough team needed to combat voter suppression. Look at the close elections in FL, GA and NC and the wipeout of republicans in VA. The lessons have been learned and the fight in the voting districts will be won.

  25. Well said, and the numbers stating that many have fled Trump are heartening. However, people say one thing to pollsters, they often ‘know’ that he is despicable, but give them the privacy of the ballot box and their true colors may come through. Dems cannot take for granted anything next year.

  26. @Stephen How do you know that people do this? What evidence can you offer to support something that may be nothing more than another subversive meme? I do not believe this. The few Trump voters that I know are not a bit shy about admitting it. On the contrary they are extremely proud of their abject ignorance.

  27. The "Republican Party", the so-called GOP, started to die with Newt Gingrich. Even Richard Nixon couldn't bring its end about. The gangrenous growth has taken over bit by bit until Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell put the final nails in the coffin of what once was the Republican party. Their adherents selling their souls to avarice and pain for others. What survives today are, ironically enough, "RINOs". Those who wrap themselves with "conservative" and "Republican" labels, like they do with the flag, as respectable cloaks to camouflage the contrarian authoritarian Trumpian that has replaced what once was the tenets of the GOP, but keeping the name. Much like a corporate take over, where a famed name is reduced to nothing but a come-on. The party that began with Abraham Lincoln who sought to unify a torn country now seeks to rip and strip it. However, those making these predictions seem to forget that these people have children who they raise to be just like themselves, ensuring another generation. They also have propaganda arms that convert millions to their harming others and greed based causes. As the remaining base solidifies and becomes more unified its message is more unified, more focused, than that of the Democrats who include a range of people, thoughts, and ideas; even more-so with recent ex-Republicans coming into the fold. This makes the so-called Republican message stand out as a singular beacon to those who live in fear and distrust, and selfishness.

  28. @Marie You raise a good point: a simple, unified message is a lot more powerful than a complex, contradictory, and/ or nuanced message -even if the latter is more consistent with truth and morality. With Republicans becoming less diverse, the Democrats become even more so -even politically. They become not just the party of the left but also of the center. And the center is, all by itself, more nuanced; composed of people who tend to see things in shades of grey versus black or white. The Democrats become a party of people who may not know the answer to questions before they study the problems. And the answers they find tend to be complex. Their instinct is to resist glib slogans. I'm hopeful for 2020 and beyond, but the diversity of the Democrats, in every sense (racial, gender, philosophical), is both a strength in governing... and a potential weakness when it comes time to sell itself during a election.

  29. @Marie as Will Rogers said I don’t belong to an organized political party.... I’m a Democrat

  30. All aspects of human life move in cycles. Excesses are countered by swings to the “other side” which lead to new excesses. Institutions become recast to participate in these cycles. This piece presents a case that this nation’s electorate is ready to counter an excess. Probably right. But the seeds of the future excess is contained in the aggressive anti-market, anti-individual assertions of the left. Good riddance to the immoderateness of Trump.

  31. The demographic chart showing the decline in Moderate and Secular Conservatives from 41% to 30% suggests that the Republican party has become the party of the religious and the racist. I hadn't known that the Tea Party was racist, at least not overtly, never could figure out what they wanted, just that they were supported by Oligarchs. So the Republican party is the party of Medieval thinking (I am Catholic but I'm not sure we have forgiven Galileo). (Republicans now account for 26% plus 13% leaning or 39% of electorate (Pew Research)). But the distortions in the turnout and gerrymandering and voter suppression make GOP competitive. But the reduction of Moderates and Secular conservatives leaves the party representing a rigid and untenable place in the modern world, which is propped up by their religious thinking and paranoia about that, which must be why they are trying to pack the courts with Federalist Conservatives, which might mean religious conservatives? at the expense of the progress into the changing world. Yes the Republican party has lost its meaning, but will have a last gasp in 2020. If Trump wins GOP goes to Middle ages.

  32. @William Trainor " just that they were supported by Oligarchs" Back in 2010, I attended a rally for my moderate, middle of the road Democratic Congresswoman and many of us held home made signs along with the Congresswoman's campaign signs. I noticed the Tea Party's signs were almost 100% manufactured with the "Americans for Prosperity" slogan included. This was the Koch Brothers organization and they are the very definition of "Oligarchs." I understand they are not too thrilled with Trump and how he has created a Republican party that is very unappealing to a sensible, moderate voter.

  33. Don’t forget that the Republicans have deep support as members of “the family”. This is a pseudo “Christian” group (their theology is upside down) with extensive political influence . Honestly I watched the Netflix documentary on The Family and kind of laughed and rolled my eyes at first (seemed a “conspiracy theory) but at “episode” 3 I wasn’t laughing but was impressed by the cleverness of this organizational structure. They are quite active in Wash DC. They sponsor the national prayer breakfast which has been turned into a week long lobbying free for all of influence peddling.There is a current documentary on them on Netflix. Fascinating

  34. Please don’t assume that all “observant Catholics” are blind, one-issue voters. Social justice is a strong, I would hope, often-prevailing, and now extremely threatened reason to vote against Trump, or even any of the former GOP members, every time.

  35. "The 2020 election will be transformative ... and allow [the Democratic Party] to use government to address the vast array of problems facing the nation." Not unless the Democrats also win the Senate ... which, is unlikely to happen unless electable Democrats start to run in more states.

  36. @Rethinking Another year of Trumpian disgraces and any Democratic candidate will start to look more and more attractive.

  37. I am so heartened by this analysis, and so hopeful about the prospects Mr. Greenberg sees for the virtual vanquishing of the abjectly nativist, corporatist, obstructionist, lunacy-enabling Republican party that it makes me shiver. And, that we could be on the cusp of an era of transformational, progressive change--be still my beating heart! Do I sound at all...skeptical? Apprehensive, even? Um...well...we have heard the siren song of a nigh-unto-inevitable future of liberal bliss before. And been (almost) completely devastated by those outcomes. I'm all in for this transformational moment, but it's going to take relentless clarity, including self-criticism, and relentless resistance, including an openness to not sacrificing the (urgently needed) good in pursuit of the perfect. And, I'll probably feel a bit better on...November 4, 2020.

  38. @BB "That which will nourish this strength, which will keep this eagerness alive, will be the image of enslaved ancestors, not of a liberated posterity." Walter Benjamin.

  39. Except, much rigging has gone on in electoral maps, the courts, media and the legislative process that even the sea change in demographics and voter will is going to be contained for a long time within the dikes of conservative politics...

  40. Days before the 2016 election, this very publication had a probability calculator on the front page showing Hillary Clinton with, what I recall, an ~80% chance of winning the presidency. So, pardon me if this analysis -however thorough- seems like it might be a little pie-in-sky. I thought the big lesson of 2016 was that people lie when polled about whether they support trump.

  41. Voters in the middle of the country suffering from the opiode crisis, collapse of their industries and lost of jobs, lack of investment in their future, and the tearing of the social fabric that ensued from these events were told that this was all the doing of "Democrat Elites", "Criminal Illegal Immigrants", "Drug Makers Aligned with the Democrat Party", "The Gay Life Style", and for good measure, secret child-sex rings. Since Trump has become President, all their concerns have been addressed and they no longer have any problems - except for a few pesky ones that the "Democrat Party" insists on interfering with the President's strenuous efforts to fix. That's why the President decided to cut the SNAP program - it is no longer necessary! Lincoln was certainly right when he said that you can fool some of the people most of the time.

  42. @Tom F People did not lie and the polls were largely accurate. There are just too many people in California. But the bigger flaw in your argument is that 2016 and 2020 have anything at all to do with each other. They don’t. Remember: Past performance does not guarantee future results.

  43. @Tom F I'm not sure most people understand probability. I'm not a mathematician, but I do know that an 80% probability of winning comes with a 20% probability of losing--and if there were 10 elections, the likelihood is that you'd lose 2. So the probability could have been exactly right. The national polls actually were quite accurate, with Clinton holding her dwindling lead through the elections. A few thousand voters in a few swing states made the difference to give Trump his electoral vote win. But the popular vote went, pretty much as the polls predicted, to Clinton.

  44. The author correctly notes that Democrats need to address the geographic dimension to US economic imbalances. While the US boasts some thriving, mostly coastal, metropolitan areas, much of the interior of the country, as well as small and medium-sized cities everywhere, have been in economic decline for years. The resulting social malaise, reflected in the opioid epidemic, reminds me of the problems of the Soviet Union in the last years of communism. The Democrats need to come up with a development and infrastructure plan for the interior and small cities. These places need better transport, better education systems, and ultimately hope for a brighter future. Hillary Clinton also had nothing to say about this economic divide; the next Democratic candidate must do better.

  45. Grouch; "...better transport, better education systems, and ultimately hope for a brighter future. Hillary Clinton also had nothing to say about this economic divide..." Hillary Clinton had a lot to say about all of those things, especially education, but the media was more interested in her gaffs and obsessed with 24/7 Trump, Trump, Trump.

  46. @Grouch—You’re right, but part of the decline you’re observing in these areas is simply the fact that they are embedded in states that have refused to do anything to attract business except for cut taxes. I used to work for a Fortune 100 company, and when considering where to move, the taxation was a factor, but the presence of good schools, good local infrastructure, good housing, and good recreational facilities mattered much more. There wasn’t any way that the company’s work force was going to tolerate a move to a jurisdiction in which it was going to have to pay for private school to get the same quality education for its kids that it was getting here. And, unlike the work forces in the middle of the 20th century, you can’t find the skilled workers needed by a big services company like that just anywhere. To have a place where you can find the workers you need for a big sophisticated company requires local infrastructure. And localities can’t provide that infrastructure—schools in particular—if they are not willing to tax their residents. A number of these communities are also embedded in states that aren’t particularly inviting to diverse work forces. There are few sophisticated young women who are going to be willing to work in places that don’t protect their reproductive rights. And there are also few gays who are going to be willing to work in jurisdictions that are hostile to their very existence and won’t protect them. Localities must do their part too.

  47. @Martin Kobren I'd agree with all that, but the federal government can, and should, play a coordinating and financing role; and a Democratic candidate for President should articulate what that role will be.

  48. I hope this prophesy holds true. I believe that most voters are searching for a vision of America to vote for. Trump and the Tea Party before him gave voters a vision alright - often negative and hateful. They provided something to vote AGAINST. Marianne Williamson is not a serious candidate, but at least she suggests a positive vision to counter Trumpism. The Democrats will sweep the elections if they can articulate an appealing vision of America. Is this a country you’d want to live in? Biden may not have much in the tank, but the reason he is chugging along is that he presents an image of decency, modesty, and compassion that many want in a leader. Leaders aren’t necessarily those with the best ideas - that’s Elizabeth Warren. Leaders are those with the biggest hearts and imaginations. Biden and every other Democrat in every race needs to run on his/her failings, not run away from them. Imagine if, at the debate, one of them said, “ There is a reason many immigrants want to come here, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what that is, and how I, as President, can help make this country more like the one they risk their lives to join...” imagine if Biden said, “Yeah, I’m old, and I’ve had the opportunity to make many mistakes, and learn from them. I’m running because I feel that, after decades, I might just have something to offer...” Let’s vote FOR something.

  49. Here in the heartland, there is little thirst for "a bold era of progressive reform," and most of the key states required to win in the Electoral College are here. Sorry, progressives (and I count myself one), but the surest prescription for four more years of Trump is to hitch one's campaign to so completely reforming health care that you remove the private option that most Americans favor; to so completely reforming immigration that you essentially opt for open borders; to so completely reforming gun legislation that the right to keep and bear arms is jeopardized; to so completely commit to halting climate change that you threaten jobs and the economy; and to promise free college for everyone on top of all the rest. Translation: A Bernie Sanders candidacy undoubtedly guarantees four more years of Trump. An Elizabeth Warren candidacy most likely leads to the same. Sadly, the "dull knife" of Joe Biden seems duller with every gaffe and misstep, since here in the Midwest, a Biden or someone like him would give moderate Republicans a reason to come to the polls to register their disapproval of Trump. Warren likely would, and Sanders surely would keep them home or prompt them to hold their noses and vote for Trump. Saying this, I fully expect passionate Sanders and Warren supporters to vociferously (perhaps even viciously) disagree, to which I would respectfully respond that winning the Electoral College is THE goal, not a "bold era of progressive reform."

  50. @Sean Reynolds Exactly. There is no surer way to get Trump re-elected than to for the Democrats to hitch their wagon to a far left candidate, including Sanders and Warren. For whatever reason, the Democrats have yet to figure out that no matter how much the moderates (on both sides of the aisle) despise Trump, that there is no way they will vote for anyone they view as a "socialist," that promises to eliminate college debt, health care for all, etc., etc. The only way that the Democrats will win this is to find someone who is moderate enough to appeal to the voters that are tired of Trump. Unfortunately, right now, that leaves us with Biden. I don't know if he can pull it off. The party needs to open their eyes to the reality of the situation, and figure this out, because right now, they, and this country will lose.

  51. @Sean Reynolds I disagree. While you make some decent points, we in the heartland also realize that something needs to be done to make healthcare accessible, and we know that while the president proposes, the Congress disposes. I'm a pragmatic progressive, and the first thing that needs doing is true reform of the tax structure, followed by healthcare reform and climate change policies. Please don't lump all of us in with your opinion. As a matter of fact, the Midwestern state with the strongest economy is also the one with the most progressive policies. That would be Minnesota, BTW.

  52. @Sean Reynolds Let me point out that America has a Congress and a President, not a Parliament and a Prime Minister. President Warren will put forth ideas, but even with what is perhaps the best case scenario, i.e., 250 Democrats in the House and 52 in the Senate, her big ideas will without some modifications die on the vine. But electing warm tea in Joe Biden, we will be certain to be retreading old ideas, not pursuing new big ideas. And at this point, a return to the Eisenhower Administration would be almost as big a move left.

  53. Not a surprise that a Democratic pollster obtains these results, nor interprets them in a particularly biased manner. As offensive as Trump may be to moderates, the implications of “free-everything for everyone,” pathological sanctimony and identity politics, open borders, and anti-business policies will overcome the antipathy to Trump’s behaviors in the next election. Polls work only for pollsters.

  54. Americans are reacting against Trump—just like the libertarian Tea Party upswing in 2010 was a reaction against Obamacare and not a genuine rise of libertarianism. If Democrats try to use this reaction to put in aggressive new plans of their own, the public will turn against them just as quickly as they turned against Obama from 2008-2010, and we will remain locked in this cycle of polarization and reaction, each time getting worse than the time before. Instead, Democrats need to turn down the temperature.

  55. Let’s be quite clear about the rescue from the Great Recession - we would never had recovered if not for Obama’s policies. Bailouts of the auto industry, rescues of the banks and Wall Street were distasteful but it worked. Yes it took 8 years to recover but the media downplayed every gain - we heard that gains of 200,000 jobs were weak whereas today a gain of 140,000 is steady. Obama and Republicans chose global trade to counter China but Bernie canned it. Today we have trade wars and declining manufacturing, farmers can’t sell their crops and agricultural businesses are contracting, devastating floods and hurricanes, rising food prices, and a President whose only achievements are his Twitter blasts. So from rags to riches in eight years to rags in three - now that’s a record!

  56. Dear Mr. Greenberg, you live in such an inviting universe! In the universe that I inhabit political and social movement is balanced between Reaction and Tradition, with the avant-garde useful for click-bait. The 2018 turnover in the House of Representatives was indeed a rebuke to "Trumpism." However, unless preceded by a financial crash and depression, the 2020 Presidential contest will be an election about defining the American character. At best it will be a re-tilting from Reaction back to Tradition. Candidates busily waving the flag of the New Age will be revising their resumes on November 4, 2020. Responses to individual polling questions do not account for overall political identity; and most people will forget most things, or else none of us could function in the day-to-day.

  57. There is no doubt in my mind that Trump has been handed his hat and tonight’s vote in NC could be another nail in that coffin. To be honest I was not aware of the election there until just a few days a go which I think is an interesting tell. Normally our brash president would be well behind the GOP candidate in speeches and rallies, but the GOP for the most part has been somewhat silent. Is that perhaps because they suffered such a thrashing in the mid term election? Or was it because the GOP who apparently won that contest did so with the help of voter fraud? Either way you slice the GOP has remained eerily quiet about this election while our fearless leader is still going on about the weather.

  58. Mr. Greenberg paints a compelling picture, but I fear that his analysis is incomplete in a few areas. Take for example, his points on Trump's war on immigrants. Recently the Times ran an op-ed pointing out that a significant majority of Americans do not support the abolition of ICE and do not support decriminalizing border crossings by illegal immigrants. American's support for ICE and consistent view that unauthorized border crossings are "illegal" demonstrates that Trump's focus on this issue and his tactics, although abhorrent, are not misplaced and not without considerable political benefit to him. So how are we to reconcile this data against Mr. Greenberg's which notes that 65% of Americans believe that immigrants strengthen America? The answer is in the polls themselves. Pollsters know how to phrase questions to elicit a particular response. So it is entirely possible for 65% of Americans to say they support "immigrants" while also saying that they do not support "illegal immigration". So what will happen if the Democratic nominee gets on the debate stage and voices support for eliminating ICE and decriminalizing border crossings? Trump will pounce and some voters will be swayed.

  59. @John: Decriminalizing something does not mean it stops being illegal. The only difference is that you won’t be criminally prosecuted for it. So unauthorized border crossings remain illegal and subject to deportation, but the offenders won’t be thrown in jail anymore (which lightens the burden on the American tax payers for their expensive confinement), or fined (fines that they cannot pay anyway). Jaywalking is also illegal, but at most it will get you an admonishment from an officer not to do it again if he or she sees it.

  60. @John "So what will happen if the Democratic nominee gets on the debate stage and voices support for eliminating ICE and decriminalizing border crossings?" Speaking only for myself, we don't have to wait a year to learn the answer to that question.

  61. @John "Some voters"? I say many voters. Perhaps enough to swing the election. All those hands up for decriminalizing illegal immigration were hands up for re-electing Trump.

  62. "Mr. Obama presided over the crash of the Democratic Party in 2010 and 2014 that gave the Republican Party control of Congress and total partisan control in just over half of the states." You cannot properly appraise Obama's performance without citing the ferocious stealth attacks by the Koch Bros. which poisoned the political atmosphere and enabled the appalling intransigence and obstruction by the Republican party. Jane Mayer's "Dark Money" is an essential read.

  63. @Binx Bolling The surviving Koch brother is now less interested in politics, but the Koch legacy is still with us. The Republican Supreme Court is likely to do its best to restore the federal government to its status prior to Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt. In a few years, approval of a new drug may require a line item in a bill to be passed by Congress, not a regulatory action adopted by the FDA under the the wings of the Administrative Procedure Act, a legacy of the FDR years.

  64. America has been called an experiment in democracy. The republicans and a number of democrats have controlled the variables of this experiment too long. They have given us a scorched earth libertarian capitalist vision, leaving millions of Americans in its wake. Our country has stagnated, our shared vision of the country lost in the hubris and political wars between the parities. Now, our experiment is nearing a fork in the road as the author notes. We can reset our vision, we can change the direction our country has been heading. Our experiment began with the words, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

  65. @Michael Piscopiello While I agree with the principles you’ve listed here, I am concerned about being naive enough to believe that the far right evangelicals, the Tea Party and current occupant’s party loyalists, have any desire to represent the will of the people who elect them. Add to this stark reality the drumbeat of rally cries and dog whistles intended to turn the diehard base into a militia should their party lose the upcoming election. They want to tear down the existing order and use dark money to enrich themselves at the expense of democracy. They need to be stopped before the cult like base turns to violence at their leader’s encouragement should democrats win.

  66. Let's see. The Republican Party was said to be "doomed" in the FDR era. Then again after Watergate. Political parties on the downslide have a way of reinventing themselves to fit the national will. Plus, incumbent parties inevitably disappoint many of their marginal supporters who don't share their core beliefs. Can the Democrats win in a landslide next year? Sure, especially if the economy goes south. But let's not fall into the usual pundit trap of believing the two-party system is dead.

  67. The DNC, in an act of self-preservation, will again rescue the Republican Party. This is to stop Progressives from empowering and uniting the working poor. Identity politics, a distraction from the gross inequity in the distribution of wealth, is status quo. The fawning political elites of both parties are paid by billionaires to sustain this injustice. Look for Biden to win or lose to Trump in November 2020, but don’t expect meaningful political change in 2021.

  68. Two words I looked for in vain in this analysis were "electoral college"--national polling data is not all that relevant in a race that could well be decided (again) by 3 aging, disproportionately white rust-belt states: MI, WI, and PA.

  69. "But Mr. Trump playing the immigrant card as president has made Americans more favorable to immigration and immigrants — " There is huge danger in continuing to conflate legal and illegal immigration. I can't fathom why Democrats continue with this. Illegal immigration is no more popular with the swing voter....indeed with the vast majority of voters...than it ever was. Ask if illegal immigration benefits the nation and see if 2/3 say it does! Be honest! We could lose the election over this issue again.

  70. Interesting Op-Ed by Greenberg but he left me scratching my head regards his contention that many "observant Catholics" form part of the Trump base. Where's the data? Does he equate Sean Hannity, who by the way is flirting with evangelism because he considers American Catholicism too liberal, with observant Catholics? The American Catholic Church is on the whole quite liberal in it's outreach to the disadvantaged (See Catholic Charities). Observant Catholics donate their time and resources to helping their sisters and brothers who are less fortunate and they abhor Trump's policies towards the immigrant population. Sure there are observant (I think Greenberg means Church going) Catholics who support Trump but the same is true of any group that might be narrowly defined by religion, such as Protestants, Hindus, and Jews. Greenberg seems to be all too comfortable making such statements. One wonders if he has absorbed the casual anti-Catholicism that infects so many supposed liberals in this country. The original anti-immigrant party in this country was the Native American Party (aka Know Nothings) who specifically targeted Catholics. Their anti-Catholic animus had much traction amongst the Protestant elite in the 1850s the same group that was mostly supportive of abolition. That strain of anti-Catholic bias continued well in to the last century and continues in many quarters today. Greenberg would do well to be aware of it.

  71. This sounds like a prescription for Elizabeth Warren, the committed capitalist who focuses on reigning in the vulture culture of capitalism and making it work for the rest. Bernie Sanders also drives in that direction, but with his demand for a socialist reformation he's asking for too much too soon. Additionally, Warren has a program to fund her vision in a way that will help address the problems that manifest from the vast inequality of wealth that has evolved during the past 40 post Reagan years of GOP philosophical control of the political conversation. EIther way, it's clear that Joe Biden represents a return to a past that hasn't existed for decades if it ever really did at all. Warren or Sanders are the harbinger of a new wave, one that will take time and effort, but that offer the one true chance to address the huge issues facing the country.

  72. I wish this column would get their facts straight. Americans are not more favorable to illegal immigration and immigrants. That's the word you left out illegal. Voters are against any legislation that would increase the flow of illegal immigration. The right word to use is illegal simply because they're illegally in the US. The left wants to stop others from using the term illegal immigrant, often invoking the idea that no human being is illegal, but that's nonsense. The term is accurate. It's not a semantic discussion. I think, when the left hears illegal, they say let's change the word & we'll be done with it. Is there something about illegal immigrant per se that is so dehumanizing that it can't be used in polite discourse for people who are trying to have an honest conversation & aren't trying to spin it? We need to speak clearly so we define what's at stake. Undocumented seems to imply that some people forgot to fill out the correct paperwork when crossing the border. That's not what happened. They entered the US knowing they were breaking the law. They're here in the U.S illegally. That's why it's an issue. Can the left admit that a large number of illegal immigrants in the US, gives rise to economic competition that harms jo prospects for voters who live here? This plays perfectly into the FOX News narrative that Democrats are offering illegals free healthcare, welfare, drivers licenses, in-state-tuition, & sanctuary. Guess what they're right. This is a terrible idea.

  73. @Bill Brown Yes. Will somebody listen to this man?

  74. All.of this may be true, but if turnout is low Trump can win again. Its all about the vote.

  75. Many people like to imagine that whatever they themselves want, is also what other voters would want. I think this is why the election of Trump was so shocking to many Democrats: Although the polling was close enough to make a Trump win look quite possible (probabilities around 20-30%), it was so hard to imagine why anyone would vote for Trump that they assumed he'd lose. I canvassed in Pennsylvania and saw this overconfidence firsthand in a state that, of course, Trump actually wound up winning. Democrats continue to face the same problem today. You may personally dislike Trump. But his approval ratings are in a range where you'd expect a close election in 2020. And the head-to-head poll numbers suggest that he would stand a strong chance of beating many of the potential Democratic nominees. Given the clear evidence that Trump's brand is close to par with Democrats' brand, maybe Democrats should consider the possibility that a large fraction of voters consider the Democratic Party to be even more pathological, and adjust accordingly.

  76. This analysis needs the same asterisk as all of the confident predictions leading to the 2016 debacle: What if voters are keeping their opinions to themselves? I, for one, don't share my honest political thoughts in person anymore. My erstwhile political allies, Progressives and progressive Democrats, are impossible to talk with. A couple of old friends have no sense of humor anymore, and consequently, no ability to entertain anything that causes them discomfort. We had a political discussion, and I voiced some entirely reasonable thoughts, like "maybe it was a mistake to railroad Al Franken," "maybe the Democrats shouldn't the 78-year-old socialist who spoiled the last election," and "maybe it's unwise for Democrats to be entertaining opening the borders," and now it looks like those friendships are gone for good. The unfortunate progressive habit of calling out, shaming, shutting out and canceling people who transgress as I did is only encouraging people to silence themselves, and let their votes do the talking. These are some of the same people who, in 2016, were telling us that "we shouldn't have to vote for the lesser of two evils." If the less-vocal majority of Democrats who identify as moderates contains enough people like me, then a lot of people like Mr. Greenberg may be getting it spectacularly wrong, again.

  77. Funny, but I remember this same assertion being made in early 2009. The pendulum is always swinging. While a carefully-crafted populist Democratic economic approach would likely be welcomed by a strong majority of the American people, its the cultural wedge issues that tend to bite us in the end. Furthermore, polling numbers can be easily manipulated by the way a question is phrased. For instance, while roughly 70% of Americans want the Federal Government involved in the delivery of health care, only 13% or so currently support the complete elimination of private insurance. Which is the relevant number here - 70% or 13%? Would it be wise for Democrats to ignore the wishes of that roughly 80+% of Americans who are not quite ready to jump on board with a Canadian-style health care system? Could an attempt to force the issue in 2021-22 blow up in our face? The devil is always in the details, and in the competent implementation and messaging of ideas; in contrast, triumphalism, as expressed in this op-ed, almost always leads to disaster. The Republican Party has delivered powerfully for its oligarchic donor base; it the Democratic Party want to transform itself into the dominant political force in America over the next decade, it will get about the business of paying careful attention to both the expressed needs and sensibilities of the rest of the American electorate.

  78. A well-argued piece, and let us fervently hope that the headline prediction speedily comes true. But please, can the cliche phrase ‘party of Lincoln’ be retired? Lincoln’s membership in the GOP has no meaningful connection to the party as it is today. If a name must be attached to the party, those of Nixon, Reagan and Trump would be more fitting choices. A couple of generations ago, after Democrats chose to no longer support legal segregation, the modern GOP became dominant in the South and many other places by making appeals to racism a prime component of its electoral strategy. If Lincoln were to be reincarnated today, does anyone think he would be a Republican?

  79. "The Republican Party Is Doomed. This is a transformational moment." Really? So I no longer need to worry? Just like the predictions that Clinton had an 85% chance of winning, per this paper, the night before the election.....sorry but I'm not ready to buy into the idea that the Republicans are dead. They're COCKROACHES and they know how to survive better than Democrats, and why? They are SOULLESS and will do whatever it takes to cling to power and support a hateful agenda. Democrats eat their own. Republicans never do that. Bad attributes BOTH.

  80. Unless the voters of Kentucky take action, don't count on anything.

  81. Let’s hope so. The Republican Party is a criminal mafia impersonating a political party. They have all but ruined this country. And once they are permanently exiled from American political life, they need to punished, and punished severely, in a court of law, with all the due process they are always so keen to deny others, for their 40 year assault on our democracy and the institutions they have trashed.

  82. Sounds like they're talking about Sanders and Warren. Makes you wonder why the columnist nor the editors decided to include those names as the obvious examples.

  83. WOW! You must be delusional if you think the Republican Party is Doomed. They thought that when Obama was elected. The Republican party figured out how to fix that prophacy. Electoral College. Don't worry about the popular vote. Gerrymandering. Voter restriction, Supreme Court Citizen's United The media. You may think it is a transformation moment. Do the Democrats understand how to take advantage of it? No. The Democrats know how to destroy themselves. Look at the 2016 election. It's possible, but not likely that they MAY take the senate and keep the house, but will NOT win the presidency.

  84. As is typical of a self-identified "centralist", they leave out the most important factor of our current crisis...the right wing propaganda machine. The 'righties', from Heritage, to the NRA, to the Federalists...are all about lying to the American public. For the evil-gelical 'base', who live in a world of delusion and make-believe, the propaganda is gospel. The 'base' loves to get stirred into a mob frenzy, always ready to burn down the Library. For those of us who have been labeled Liberal, these attacks on Science and Reasoned Thought; leave us shaken. But the lack of integrity of the 'republican' representatives, makes us wonder if Evolution has taken duel pathways. How can Self-evident Truths, be so invisible to the righties? When did Conservative start to mean Just Being Stubborn? Stop the lying. We want our Country back.

  85. Could someone please define who these "elites" are? Are they the Illuminati, the Masons, WASPy true blooded Americans, or are they just a bunch of people with a lot of money who have time to sit around and discuss first world problems? The author references them again, and it seems to be just another convenient label.

  86. Sounds more like wishful thinking.

  87. Despite the opportunities catalogued by the article, a substantial majority of general election voters oppose potential Democratic positions that the author fails to address: the elimination of private health insurance, the decriminalization of unauthorized immigration, and the granting of cash reparations for past racial injustices. If the Dems persist in advancing this agenda, we needn’t concern ourselves with Russian interference or Trump’s unwillingness to leave the White House peacefully. He’ll be legitimately re-elected.

  88. Stan, What an article with facts and figures! It gives me much to hope for the next 14 months. But unlike Switzerland, where literacy is above 90%, our electorate does not read a newspaper. I was a door knocker for two democratic candidates in two states. The overwhelming answer I got was, "Obama is no longer on the ticket, and I am going to sit this one out"! How can you explain that after two terms Obama cannot be on the ticket? "Well, Roosevelt was for more than two terms!" "But the law was changed" I said. On and on. My request to many of our candidates is not to spend all their money on TV ads, rather have more community organizers, and people with patience as door knockers! Thank you, again, for your brilliant analysis.

  89. I think I read this same editorial in 2008 and again in 2016. Fact of the matter is that 1/2 the country is not about to embrace Socialism, Marxism, or Communism...which the Democrat National Committee seems hellbent on embracing. Turns out over 1/2 the country loves America (warts and all) and knows that we're exceptional in all that we offer anyone who's willing and able to lift up their hands and do the hardwork necessary. Turns out well over 1/2 the country believes the power of America emanates from the individual and his/her family...not from the bureaucrats and aristocrats occupying the office buildings in Washington, DC. So...while the Republican Party may have taken a pause while Trump restores some America first discipline into the party instead of pushing for cheap labor through porous borders...and lower taxes for the sake of helping rich people....the Republican Party is plenty strong. You can ignore the never-Trumpers like Bret Stephens and the last time I took the advice of a Democrat Pollster to tell me what my party's problems were....was never. The only thing the Democrats have going for it right now is Nancy Pelosi's maneuvering to restock her closets full of flying monkeys; otherwise known as moderates...all so she can get to a super majority in Congress to do to America what she did in 2009...which is destroy the careers of 70 moderates in her caucus in order to pass a 2200 page bill that had to be passed in order to understand what's in it.

  90. wasn't there a book a couple of years ago called the "New Democratic Majority?" it also foretold the end of the GOP. how did that work out? I don't know who this writer is,but he reads like just one more leftist elite who helped Trump win his election in the first place.

  91. Do not underestimate the desperate acts of rich white men refusing to yield their power. It will take a political revolution to reclaim our country, one that must overcome corruption, foreign intervention, and the greed of people much smarter than Donal Trump.

  92. The fact that "evangelical Christians" are the only major demographic that still solidly supports this walking dumpster-fire tells you everything you need to know about the integrity and honesty of "evangelical Christians". Fortunately, those delusional sky-fairy worshippers have turned away so many young people in the last few years, that they may have put themselves on an irreversible trend toward obscurity. Religion is finally being seen for what it is... backward thinking, stone-age tribalism that serves no useful purpose to an increasingly scientifically literate population. Get rid of religion, and all we have left to argue about are taxes. Can you remember the last time a terrorist or suicide-bomber killed people because of taxes? Me neither.

  93. One additional variable--which everyday is becoming more visible--or let us say terrifying---is Trump's mental state. Each day his behavior is becoming more erratic..and, that behavior appears to be triggered when he is cornered in a lie---which are frequent--or patently bad decision---inviting the Taliban to Camp David. And, when caught in this cycle of bad decisions and lying, Trump doubles down---becoming a mix of middle school bad boy or Dr. Strangelove lite---

  94. If addressing climate change is not in a politician's top three issues to address, they get no vote from me.

  95. The grand OLD Party is dead on its feet. Most of my lifetime midwest Republican friends have left the GOP- as did I- or sit on the side. We need a viable 2 Party system. Time for a GN(ew)P, which reflects the Party of Lincoln! Who will lead ii?

  96. A version of this story- the Republican Party is doomed- has popped up every few months here in the Opinion section since before Bush was President. At some point it's wishful thinking. At another point though, I wish the NYTimes would check back with these soothsayers and ask them, why their predictions are always so wrong. Even this Clinton voter, finds these "opinions" more hopeful wishes, than anything else.

  97. I take exception to your clim that "observant Catholics" are among Trump's core supporters. Perhaps you meant to say "reactionary Catholics" (sedevacantists, Lefebvrists, etc); those who vote for "no change, and make it retroactive" might be more attracted to him

  98. @Gordon By contrast, I applaud Greenberg for pointing out that observant Catholics are a key part of the GOP and Trump's coalition. Most pundits ignore this key part of the GOP. Observant Catholics is another word for Catholics who have not left the church over the past forty to fifty years, as John Paul II and American bishops, Republicans to a man until a handful of Pope Francis' appointees, have made the church much more religiously and politically conservative. Abortion is a big issue. But it is more than that: Catholic supreme court justices, and numerous Catholic Trump servants of the administration who implement the administration's policies of racism and anti-immigration. Many of these Catholics are the descendants of immigrants and probably were taught Catholic social justice in Catholic schools. But they now support Trump.

  99. Please be true - I need this to be true, the world needs this to be true.

  100. Unemployment keeps going down wages keep going up. The economy is doing great. I noticed you didn't have any statistics to support your point of view that the economy isn't doing as well. I don't understand how you can write something that is so false with no facts to back it up.

  101. If the Democrats remain as scatterbrained as this column, as most of them and our "responsible" media have been so far, it does not matter. We will just continue our suicidal spiral toward death of our civilization and all or most of our species. Medicare for All when All are gone. Social justice when we ain't here no more. Fools! Stop babbling about rearranging deck chairs. Our ship of conditions for human life on Earth has gaping, growing holes in the hull: climate change and shattering of interdependent biodiversity. Our ship of human civilization and life on Earth is going down.

  102. I wouldn’t count out the GOP just yet. GOP’s full embrace of racial politics since the 1960s has done well for it. Yet, that doesn’t mean all is lost for Dems. There is not middle ground against racial politics of the GOP. Dems’ need to beat it at the polls clearly and decisively without looking away and always calling it out at every turn. That’s how you win, just like the GOP, you stay on message and never waiver and have your majority base vote with the passionate righteousness like the GOP. That’s how you win, learn from the GOP.

  103. So long as the Democratic Party is perceived to be the party of open borders, none of this matters.

  104. @Skippy So how do you stop FOX News, the FOX White House, the Republicans party, and commentators to stop repeating the lie that they promulgated just so you will perceive the Democrats as the party of open borders and vote for them?

  105. How to win in 2020? All this endless analysis. It's not the complicated. Message to Democrats (again): Focus on winning 270 electoral votes! That means winning PA, WI and MI. Those three states are the sine qua non. Yes, it would be nice to see a wave of other states also move into the Democratic column, such as AZ, IA, NC, etc., but none of that matters if you don't retake PA, WI and MI. Who can do that? Not Sanders, probably not Warren, most likely Biden. Plus one other candidate who is not getting enough traction, who is Steve Bullock. A Biden-Bullock ticket would do it.

  106. From your lips to God’s ear, Mr Greenberg.

  107. This prediction is perfect - if - in a few months America dismantles the gerrymandered electoral college system, and stops Putin from manipulating the ballot box and voters. It's do-able if the election looks and acts like an election held by a free, democratic nation (not a nation subservient to American & Russian plutocrats).

  108. Democratic Pollster. How has that ever been wrong?

  109. “It’s the economy stupid”. The slogan that sent HW Bush packing. The economy is an individual thing. It is not about GDP or the unemployment rate or the S&P. It is about whether you, your family and friends are doing better and feeling secure. Working two jobs with no benefits, paying exorbitantly for child care and worrying that you or your parents will get sick is the economy for many Americans. Trump’s populism has proven a sham. Income inequality exacerbates while the Trump twitterates. Yes, the fight is clear and there are several Dems who are willing to take up the gauntlet.

  110. From your mouth to God's ear, Mr. Greenberg.

  111. The Democrats should rebuild and repair the public sector before they "get to work building a bold era of progressive reform." The Republicans have done real damage. Expanding the public sector now would be like building a second story on a house that just had its foundation bombed out. First, end the fascism. Second, rebuild and repair the public sector. After that, build a consensus your bold progressive reform.

  112. Unlike Mr. Greenberg, I’m not as optimistic for a 2020 Democratic win. I don’t think the political scientists have a clue as to why Trump got elected and why he could get elected again. They write columns, they guess, they pontificate as if they know, but they don’t really know. To call Trump “crazy,” a “narcissist,” is not political science, to suggest today’s Republicans are not Lincoln-like, is just cheap barroom gossip, the foam atop the glass of warm beer. It won't change any voter's mind about who to vote for. How is it that Trump, after three years of vulgarity, lying, illegal actions like using the Oval Office for self-profit, still brings in thousands of supporters to his rallies? How do good Americans so easily take a pass on Trump's gigantic faults? Do eastern political elitists like Biden or Warren or Obama even have an idea? Mr. Greenberg claims to have learned this profound lesson from E. E. Schattschneider’s “Semi-Sovereign People,” to find out what the fight is really about. Tell me, then, what is the fight really about? After reading the works of dozens of political scientists, Time’s opinion writers, pundits left and right, I still don’t know.

  113. @Dave Thomas Great comment. Every day I walk into the supermarket, or go to the mall, or just drive around my town, and I see all sorts of people who (I hope I am exaggerating) seem overworked, overweight and overwhelmed. These people are not deplorable slobs (well, some of them probably are), and their votes will very likely decide the 2020 election. I think it will come down to how this bloc of voters feels about Trump vs. "the Democrats." In Trump they see someone "like them" despite all his obvious faults. The Democrats need to convince them that they are listening and committed to make life better than it is now.

  114. On top of all the author's analysis, the general, underlying visceral dislike of Mr Trump might be the biggest factor in 2020.

  115. @Hank Schiffman I'd imagine that's what accounts for the poll results cited in the piece. Even many Trump voters don't care much for the man himself. Take away the association of an unpleasant man with his ideas and they might well surge again in popularity.

  116. Just from my just-a-citizen perspective, this seems roughly accurate. I think Sanders is best positioned to make this happen, and if he wins the nomination, the Democrats had better get behind him. If Biden wins, Sanders fans better get behind him. If my cat wins...etc. You see the pattern here. See how few get it? "I hate Sanders; he makes my skin crawl." Who cares? "I hate Biden; he makes my skin crawl." Who cares? I'm fully aware of all the policy differences, and they matter a lot. All-in for Sanders. But if he doesn't win, I'll knock on doors for whoever it is in PA, the closest major swing state to me. If you don't do the same, you're a nihilist. So, let's all have a raucous primary and even convention. Messy, angry, real. Then whoever wins (and their fans) get a day to celebrate; the rest of us get to mope for only one day. Then bury the hatchet and unite behind whoever it is. There is no other sane option. Sure, once the candidate wins, if he or she does, you push for what you want. That's democracy. So, let's not get hysterical about it even though in our hyper-mediated society, people will. Remember how Obama and HRC fans despised each other in 2008? Went away real quick. Please note that I'm actually to the left of Sanders. If I can do this, anyone can. It's easy: push for the best, in your eyes, but control yourselves. We have really one shot to turn things around if you can trust the scientists, and I do. (Scientists, not Pinker.) Eyes on the prize.

  117. Mr. Greenberg, I believe and hope the same thing you do. The GOP and Trump are quite busy making themselves obsolete. There is however one problem with all of this. The GOP has played the long game for decades, knowing they would lose the majority at some point. And to hold on to power they started cheating the system and breaking it down. While Democrats were trying to win elections and bring useful bills to the floor, the GOP was hollowing out the independence of the judiciary, suppressing voting rights, gerrymandering, attacking the rule of law. And perhaps their smartest move was to create Fox State Television, a propaganda network that reinforces the GOP message that all Democrats hate the country and are 'socialists'. That all immigrants are rapists and murderers. That GOP corruption is not corruption. And that President Trump is the messias that saves the world. If you want to undo some of the damage done by the GOP, they need to be decimated in the upcoming elections. The Democrats need to with the House, the Senate and the presidency. And most of all the entire leadership of the GOP needs to be voted into oblivion, all of them. There are no more excuses. Everyone must get out and vote blue!

  118. As far as I can tell, the left-leaning Democrats messaging should be: INVESTING IN PEOPLE Investing in your health, your education, your communities, your safety and our shared prosperity. If the Dems can do that and have the numbers to back up their plans...I think they'll be okay.

  119. Donald Trump is Ronald Reagan without any of the acting, governing and political experience and talent. Trump is Reagan without the gift of color aka race, ethnic, misogynist and xenophobic bigoted prejudiced rhetorical euphemism. Reagan began his successful campaign for President in Philadelphia Mississippi where three civil rights workers were lynched talking about state's rights and government being the problem. Reagan devolved into an assault on a Cadillac driving Chicago welfare queen then down to a strapping young buck standing in line with food stamps waiting to buy T-Bone steak and then wondering if Dr. King was a communist. The Republican Party devolved into the Dixiecrats of Strom Thurmond and Richard Russell and Jesse Helms and John Stennis.

  120. @Blackmamba "The Republican Party devolved into the Dixiecrats of Strom Thurmond and Richard Russell and Jesse Helms and John Stennis." Not "devolved into" but enthusiastically embraced after the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act were enacted in 1964/1965, as per Nixon's Southern Strategy in 1968. Remember that Reagan was Governor of California during the mid-1960s. His warm-up act was vigorously opposing college student activism, most notably the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley.

  121. @A. Reader In the aptly named Loving v. Virginia the Supreme Court finally and firmly founded that miscegenation was an unconstitutional crime. After languishing in politically bi-partisan purgatory since being proposed in January, 1966, Fair Housing legislation was signed into law within a week of Dr. King's murder. While George Corley Wallace's 1972 Presidential campaign was a warning of things to come from Patrick Buchanan to Donald Trump that made tiki torch carrying chanting and marching inevitable in 2019. Reagan took on the Black Panther Party too. And the BPP displayed their 2nd Amendment rights in reply. Listening to the favorite sons of Confederate Alabama aka Addison Mitchell McConnell and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. III you wouldn't know which side won the Civil War. I use devolve to reach the evangelical mind.

  122. The destruction and death of the Republican Party is the best thing that could happen in America. Everything that is regressive, ignorant and vicious in our national character has found a comfortable home in that degenerate organization, and it festers like an infection in our national life. But it will not be enough to kick every Republican politician out of power, although that is a noble goal to seek and work toward. What we really need to do, in a parallel effort, is initiate RICO criminal investigations and prosecutions of the Republican Party itself. Not until its current leaders are undergoing criminal trials will we begin to get the justice America deserves.

  123. The Republican party was doomed from the moment it dismissed Trump as a side show. The party let him build up a head of steam preaching his hate and fear during the primaries. They could have taken a stance against him and didn't. Once he was elected they fell in line fearing his base. Those who criticized him (e.g. Flake and Corker) were put out to pasture. Republican leadership is paralyzed to even think of legislation (e.g. gun control) unless they have Trump's approval, and depending on Trump to not flip-flop on every key issue is like depending on a penny stock to skyrocket. Thus, we are left with an incompetent and impulsive president who has hijacked a party that has been reduced to a bunch of feckless and spineless sycophants.

  124. The Republicans to control the White House (and the Senate) do not need to win a majority. All they need to do is to win a plurality in enough states to give them 270 votes in the electoral college and 50 senators (with the vice president casting the deciding vote). How do they get there? Start with their advantage in having a significant number of rural states in their pocket. Add motivated evangelicals, racists, anti-immigrant groups, pro-gun folks, those who believe that the only thing that counts is low taxes. Stir with Russian interference. Top off with voter suppression and add a dash of absentee ballot fraud. The only way to stop this is for everyone opposed to vote Democratic from the top to the bottom of the ballot. No staying home or voting third party. Urging family, friends and neighbors to do the same. And the Democrats need to unite behind whomever gets the nomination. Absolutely. Otherwise, the numbers just don't matter.

  125. I am embàrrassed by how long itctook me to stop taking this kind of writing seriously. The problem with pundits, prognosticators and professional opinion-havers is that they benefit from visibility and attention when they opine; if they turn out to be right they get a "track record" and demand to be taken even more seriously next time; but if they're wrong, even hilariously not-even-close wrong, there are no professional or reputational consequences. So it's all upside risk for the talking head. Nice work if you can get it. Actually, I would go so far as to say this is the true class divide in America. On one side of the line, you get endless do-overs and face zero professional or personal consequences for mistakes. On the other, it's one-strike-and-you're-out.

  126. A vastly overly optimistic view of both the Republican Party and American voters. Race, religion and immigration are massively controlling issues. Trump is the White response to America's first Black President. The chasm between conservatives and liberals on all issues is wider than ever before (race, LGBTQ rights, religion, immigration, science denial, globalism, nationalism, sexism, abortion, gun control and a dozen other issues). Trump's egomania and stupidity have driven some from the party, but the core values of the right remain. We are far from altering the thinking of the right. More importantly, are anachronistic election laws will continue to thwart the majority.

  127. Putin's puppet's appetite for corruption is beyond anything we have seen outside of Russia and other outright, family dynasty dictatorships. Use the Russian example of a criminal organization of industry owning billionaires doing Putin's bidding in order to understand where Trump wants to take America. As it gets closer to election day and as Trump continues to fall in the polls, his vulnerability regarding the statute of limitations for his crimes will lead to his increased desperation. He will turn from an unresolved trade war and seek real war. He is not only willing to"wag the dog", he is willing to shake it to death.

  128. Thank you for this well written piece. There are two issues that some to mind for me: 1. The Power of Emotion. The Trumpsters goal is to "own the libs". They lie, exaggerate and misrepresent what Democrats stand for---and they are abetted by the Democratic party apparatus that is feckless. Democrats need a passionate and articulate advocate who has the guts to counter-attack and expose the underbelly of Republican hypocrisy. 2. WORKERS! Democrats need a laser focus on workers. That would be all workers without regard to identity or union. Talk about the future of work. Workers are confused and don't know where to turn. The Republican party has cynically appealed to white workers with racist dog whistles. The Democrats, regardless of intent, seem to care more about undocumented immigrants than our own struggling workers. Make this election a fight about workers and their quality of life. Kamala Harris is quoted on the front page of the Times today about whether a sitting president can be indicted and stand trial. Sorry, but this is a subject that party intellectuals may like to discuss but it ain't a "bread and butter" issue.

  129. I don't disagree with many of the facts in this opinion piece. However, anyone who suggests this Republican Party is doomed should remember that pundits said the same thing after Obama's ascent to the White House. The electorate is more fluid than perhaps we realize. I am far from being any kind of expert. However, with the mighty arsenal this Republican Party has in its grasp, it will not die any time soon. I am steeling myself for a 2nd term of Trump. I absolutely hate the idea (that's putting it mildly). Our country is torn in so many ways right now. It's hard for me to consider either party as being down for the count.

  130. Such a tiresome op/ed so early in what will undoubtedly be a tremendously long 2020 campaign. The fact is that no one can say for sure how things will shake out in 2020 but I think it’s more likely than not that Trump is the victor over any person now in consideration as the Democratic nominee. The reason is quite simple: Trump is a real political talent and the opposition is by comparison extremely weak. Frankly, that’s unfortunate. I’d like to see a moderate Democrat with some political talent since I’d probably vote for such a candidate if only in the possibly misguided hope that there’s some way to extract ourselves from this obnoxious

  131. @Bob "Such a tiresome op/ed so early in what will undoubtedly be a tremendously long 2020 campaign." The Democratic presidential nomination campaign is already tremendously long, having unofficially begun in November 2016. It's exhausting. We're still four months away from the Iowa caucuses and the first of the primaries, and 11 months from the convention. This campaign is almost as long & exhausting as the Trump presidency itself. At least _his_ administration has had substantial number of people dropping out, their 150-characters of fame having passed.

  132. @Bob - "Trump is a real political talent" Wait - I thought his great appeal is that he WASN'T a political talent!!!! So, as we've see over and over, the only truism for Republicans is expediency. Whatever it takes to get what they want is what they will say.

  133. Guns and forced deliveries of babies is the GOP bread and butter. That and tax cuts for the wealthiest. So predictable and so useless unless you are rich or want a bigger personal arsenal. As for the babies, we all know that the GOP loses interest once those babies are breathing. No regard for food, schooling or housing unless prisons 20 years later count.

  134. Both Clinton and Obama had to tiptoe around Reagan's entrenched maxim: Government is not the answer to the problem. It is the problem. This maxim is hugely false however, as government not only establishes and upholds the playing field (laws, patents, backing contracts) but its direct investment in GPS, computer chips, genome research, basic science, etc etc has transformed both private life and business. But if Democrats fail to articulate the role of government as a partner to private life and attempts to establish it as the arbiter of private life, they will fail. And don't forget, it's been shown that Trump's supporters are largely well off whites. Structuring your appeal to poor or working class voters is the thing that's doomed. Reagan's maxim has constricted the Republican Party to the point of ridiculous ineffectiveness. If Democrats can seize the center, they will dominate for years to come. If they articulate a vast giveaway to the poor then America will continue to suffer.

  135. @Sage X Why does the "center" belong to the GOP? Somehow, the theory goes that unless the Dems adopt the policies of the moderate Republicans, all those moderates will vote for Trump? Trump? Why?

  136. @Sage X - Democrats need to crush Reagan's little fallacy with one easy bumper sticker slogan; "YOU are the government." In a well functioning democratic republic, the government is the collective embodiment of the people. The solution is not smaller government, it's a more honest and representative government. And this can be achieved only by expelling the cancerous Republican Party from power.

  137. @Mitch4949 Just as the Republicans fail to articulate a positive role for government, Democrats have often failed to craft a positive role for business, markets, self sufficiency , etc. I think the latter lies deep in the bones of many Americans. And when you attack it, many Americans feel slighted. I believe it relates to our aspirations. I don't think the Republicans own the center (far from it!) but they have sold Americans that they somehow are protecting our vital, aspirational American spirit (they aren't). But beyond, Obama's failed "you didn't build this" attempt, I haven't heard a lot of Democrats really demonstrate the vital relationship between the government and all the amazing things it has helped develop--from health innovations to technology as well as the roads and bridges--that the private sector benefits from. This is, to me, the vital center: The partnership between the public and private sectors . . .and no-one owns it . . .but they should in my opinion.

  138. Mr. Greenberg ignores two seminal issues with respect to the 2020 election: He assumes that voters are smart enough to understand what is happening, but a large swath are simply incapable. And he underestimates the ability of the Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  139. Wow, such reckless overconfidence! Trump is awful, but he was just as awful in 2016. Trump tells Republicans that "you may not like me, but you have to vote for me." They will. The Democrats have many hurdles to overcome. Incumbency is a big one, as most presidents win a second term. Then there is the Democratic field itself. None of the leaders exactly ooze charisma, and other than Biden (who is himself flawed) it is a race to the left, which will inspire the base but drive away the independents that are needed to win. And then there is the electoral college, which raises the bar even more. I hope he loses decisively, but I'm not seeing that the Democrats are up to the task. I've resigned myself to enduring a second term.

  140. @Roger Mayor Pete is sensible and articulate, hopeful and so very intelligent. He has humility and calm. I wish the Dems could learn more about him. He would help the institutions in our country by surrounding himself with the "best and brightest."

  141. @Roger Somehow the independents will be "driven away" if the Dems lean to the left, but those same independents will vote for Trump, knowing what they do about him? This makes no sense, unless the Independents are not really independents. Why is it the job of the Dems to move to the center, when the GOP makes no such move? Think about it.

  142. @Roger " Wow, such reckless overconfidence! Trump is awful, but he was just as awful in 2016. " Anyone who watched The Apprentice knew what they were getting with Trump but hoped he 'would grow into the job'. Others accepted his campaign hyperbole at face value and assumed he was sincere. We know better this time. 12,000 lies and counting. " Trump tells Republicans that "you may not like me, but you have to vote for me." They will. " Trump knows he's in trouble come 2020 and has become more reckless with his words and erratic in his positions. Fact is, there were three million more voters in 2016 who saw him for who he is than what they wanted him to be. This time around both he and the GOP don't have a lock on suburban whites and even the farm belt is shaky thanks to Donnie's trade war. The playing field has changed. Trump hasn't. This time around the only one saying he's The Chosen One is Trump himself.

  143. The GOP is not doomed, at least not yet. Yes, their base of older rural whites is shrinking. And yes, the Republicans are alienating large blocs of voters. The problem is that Trump appears to have the bulletproof support of at least a third of the American electorate. And our electoral system gives an outsized advantage to small rural states. Many voters are deeply committed to the GOP’s demonization of immigrants and people of color, even at the expense of their own economic well being. Public opinion polls of the sort used by Mr. Greenberg are useless when it comes to the hard, dirty business of politics. It’s fairly easy to spend five minutes answering a pollster’s questions. It’s much more difficult for the average voter to take the time and effort to educate themselves about the issues of the day and to work for change. It won’t be big money or our skewed electoral system that ruins democracy. It will be sheer laziness.

  144. @ProSkeptic Trump did not "win" the election. He clearly lost - while we stood by and did nothing to stop his occupation of the White House.

  145. I would love to believe you

  146. Thoughtful piece. Yet the headwinds for the Democrats remain far greater than what's reflected in the polls. Perhaps the greatest legacy of the Democratic elections collapses of 2010 and 2014 is the Supreme Court-sanctioned laws enacted by Republican-dominated states to purposefully disenfranchise Democratic-likely voters. The Democrats stand around wringing their hands and scream foul while the Republicans play to the death, rigging the rules of elections in their favor for generations.

  147. @Astroman Actually the Democrats have vigorously fought back against Republican vote riggings laws. And they have had a lot of success both in courts and politically as for example in the recent case in NC. It's hardly their fault a Republican packed supreme court in a disgraceful decision chose to ignore the equal protection clause. Basically you are talking nonsense.

  148. @Astroman Yet, Colorado elected a gay liberal Boulder Democrat as governor and the despondent repubs could not recall him. There is hope the tide will turn but we must not sit on our hands as Trump tries to burn down the USA.

  149. Could this be a turning point in the national "conversation" about progressive ideas? I certainly hope so. But there is one subject Mr. Greenberg never mentions: Campaign finance reform. As long as members of both parties (and this is most definitely a bipartisan issue) continue to do the bidding of their donors rather than voters, not much will change.

  150. Although I am a centrist that would vote D or R I do hope that the Republicans do receive the rebuke that this piece suggests, yet I can’t help thinking that in the end traditional Republicans will hold their nose and vote R again just to avoid seeing the D’s jubilant. And there are those that will only be watching Fox News and will believe that Pres Trump is the best ever, and that anyone who contradicts that narrative is partisan and is fabricating the malfeasance that the more open minded and widely read can see in plain sight

  151. This article ignores the lessons of history. elections come and go and the pendulum swings. Sure the exodus of moderates and suburban voters mentioned by the author(assuming it holds true in 2020 and I suspect it completely depends on who the Dems nominate--Joe Biden or Amy Klobuchar will keep them Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders will not) may swing the election to the Dems, but if they Implement the "bold progressive policy agenda" called for. and most especially if they destroy the filibuster to do it, they will energize the conservatives and alienate the moderates, It will be Trump in reverse, (immigrants legal or illegal will be welcomed, while "evil corporations, and their successful CEO's will be vilified and demonized) The pendulum will swing again, Republicans will be back in power.

  152. The pendulum is swinging to the left. The pendulum has swung widely back in forth this century, resulting in electoral whiplash. Obama had 2 years of Democratic control of Congress. Then obstruction set it. Trump had 2 years of Republican control. Now the Democrats hold the House. The problem is our very system of government that allows highly partisan actors -- tribalists, really -- to either ram through their agenda or obstruct their opponents. We citizens are spread across the conservative / moderate / progressive spectrum. We want policies that reflect compromise. As much as we need progressive ideas in 2020, we need reformers willing to fix our institutions so that divided government can work again. It's our political way of life.

  153. Beautifully said. If there is one good thing that Donald Trump may give us, it may have been to energize and unite the people into a coming progressive tsunami. They may never have come together so powerfully without him.

  154. @G Another thing Trump has given us is a long list of Constitutional flaws and loopholes that need to be fixed. The Electoral College. The power of a single Senator to block Supreme Court appointments or the impeachment of corrupt officials. The ability of a lunatic president to shut down the country on a whim. And so on ad nauseum.

  155. I hope Mr. Greenberg is correct. And I hope the Dems will not succumb to their habit of seizing defeat from the jaws of victory.

  156. Is anyone accounting for the fact that Trump and his coconspirators, with the help of Putin, are going to rig this election? Or not concede defeat? What does all this transformation matter if the votes don't reflect all this supposed change the author talks about?

  157. @BJ I live in Georgia. There is wide suspicion here that the current governor, who refused to resign his government position while running for the office, rigged the election.

  158. I think the best outcome would be for Warren to come out on top of the primary, pivot to the center on some of her spending plans for the general election campaign, and choose somebody like Pete Buttigieg for her veep. We need Warren's high-energy, pugnacious idealism, with slightly more realistic goals. For example, we can't pay for college for everyone, and we need Medicare for everyone-who-wants-it (Mayor Pete's idea). But mainly, Elizabeth is willing to fight for us against the plutocracy.

  159. And for those who say "but the GOP actually gained seats in the Senate in 2018"--remember that the Democrats actually won over two-thirds of the races (24 of 35). Republicans won 2018 Senate races in Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Tennessee, Mississippi (two races--one of which went to a run-off), and Texas (barely!). Only in Florida--and by less than 0.1%--did the GOP prevail anywhere other than in deep red country. The country is both disgusted and exhausted with Trump--and I suspect the latter will be at least as important as the former. Democrats have a real chance at a clean sweep in 2020 if we get people out to vote. So help out Democratic candidates up and down the ballot in 2020 and make sure folks get out and vote!

  160. This gives us great hope. Except that Biden is too confused and frail to be electable. Liz is a former Republican who screeches and preaches constantly. And Bernie isn’t even a Democrat. And they all promise to provide all undocumented immigrants free healthcare while vowing to destroy private healthcare insurance which most of the insured like and depend upon. And they all promised to eliminate fossil fuels - which every last person in the USA depends upon. Trump will decimate such candidates and their campaign platform. And we think we have hope.

  161. @Dr. John "Liz is a former Republican who screeches and preaches constantly. " What does that make Trump?

  162. @Dr. John - " who screeches and preaches constantly" Elizabeth Warren is saddled with the greatest detriment possible for a candidate among a large number of voters. Worse than dishonesty. Worse than lack of morality. Worse than ignorance. Worse than lack of experience. Worse than ill intentions and obvious corruption. That of being a woman.

  163. If only what you wrote translated into how people will vote; based on your points, Trump’s popularity would be below 20% and his GOP support would at a minimum be speaking out against him. You portray the exit of moderate Republicans as evidence of the party crumbling, when in fact it indicates Trump’s stranglehold on the party and its transformation into a group of “yes” men. Then there’s the matter of Mitch McConnell. The GOP will retain control of the Senate, legislation will die there, and judicial vacancies will mount. Putting it differently, you provide a sound, intelligent argument, but the mindset of almost half of voting America (and probably half of those who will vote) remain mesmerized by Trump and won’t be influenced by what’s best for them and this country. I’m also betting you were confident of the demise of the GOP heading into the 2016 election.

  164. Color me skeptical, but I’m betting “the government should do more to solve problems” gets a lot more support than statements like “the government should abolish private health insurance and put everyone on Medicare.” That’s not to knock the merits of a single payer system, it’s just to accept the political reality that President Obama couldn’t even get a public option into Obamacare when Democrats controlled both the Senate and the House (translation: not enough Democrats supported even that small a move towards single payer). In fact, at a time when people thought the GOP was dead, Obamacare— a moderate health care reform based on a plan proposed by Republicans back in the 90s and implemented by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts— breathed new life into the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party and laid the emotional groundwork for Donald Trump. A lot of people are very angry about Trump, and I suspect the frustration people feel over his presidency is driving a lot of newfound fervor for progressive solutions among people who, when it comes right down to it, may not be willing to pull the trigger when it comes to losing their own private health insurance. This is not the first time we’ve heard about the impending death of the GOP, and it’s worth remembering that the last time we heard it was when Trump became their nominee.

  165. I think most Americans want a country where having a child is affordable. A country where a medical calamity doesn't mean losing your home. A country where your retirement plan doesn't involve section 8 housing. A country where average work returns not only dignity but reward. This is not the country where most Americans live. Trump certainly doesn't get it. Democrats though? Hillary Clinton remains the most clear example of Democratic tone-deafness. We've made progress. However, Biden's purported position as front runner means Democrats are still secretly hoping for a return to 90s Clintonism. The Reagan Democrat persists within our electorate. Unfortunately, he or she holds outsize influence within the Democratic Party. As an institution, I don't think Democrats learned their lesson after 2016. There are generations of voters whose experiences are defined from 9/11 to 2009 and beyond. There's a backlog of maintenance so to speak. If Democrats keep speaking in half-measures and small steps, they are going to lose. We are that much worse off for the moderation. The time for action is now. It's been "now" for awhile now. Instead of action, we get Dianne Feinstein lecturing children about how their future isn't her first priority; she knows better. That's not a winning strategy.

  166. The Democratic presidential nominee needs to be a bulldog who will not be intimidated by Trump, and be able to confront him directly. Non aggressiveness is not going to defeat Trump. There is only one candidate who can accomplish this - Elizabeth Warren.

  167. The Princeton Election Consortium had Hillary Clinton at greater than 99% to win on the eve of the election. And this past July, NTY's very own Nate Cohn argued Trump's Electoral College advantage might be even larger now than it was in 2016, and laid out a scenario in which Trump could lose the national vote by as much as 5 percentage points, far more than the 2.1 he lost by in 2016, and get reelected. Lovely charts and graphs, Mr. Greenberg, but I'll believe it when I see it. Until then, assume a massive turnout is needed, because four more years of Trump is a serious possibility.

  168. Voter suppression and the Electoral College are the biggest obstacles.

  169. There is much to be elated about and much to be fearful about in this analysis. Many of us thought that Trump would be castigated to the rubble heap during the debates and that the Republican Party would never let him get the nomination, let alone win the presidency. That's what polls told us. If we approach Mr. Greenberg's analysis with cautious optimism and apply dogged pursuit of voter motivation his prognostications could very well come true.

  170. Does not matter if the Republican party is doomed, the Democratic party will ensure its resurrection by running to the extreme left which most Americans abhor as much as extreme right. The biased media and the main stream press have done an excellent job giving the Democrats an advantage by constantly demonizing a duly elected president. Will this advantage hold when it is election time and Americans open their minds and start thinking for themselves and not thinking the way the media and the press wants them to think? 2020 will not be a referendum on a single issue but on several issues that affect individual Americans and the state of the world as it is today. Will Americans reelect a known devil over an unknown one or vote for a lesser of 2 evils. Reading the comments of registered Democrats and their supporters trying to brain wash open minded Americans in the NY Times forum one would say without a doubt that yes the democrats have a distinct advantage and backing of a foremost news paper in the country , NY Times which will without a doubt endorse a Democratic nominee for president in 2020 no matter who she may be. But this hollow advantage will fizzle out like the futzing Mueller if they do not identify the real problems facing the country and propose feasible achievable solutions instead of nonsense pie in the sky like Medicare for all and Green new deal.

  171. @Girish Kotwal Why is universal healthcare pie in the sky? Every other civilized country has it it some form. It doesn’t have to be Medicare only. It also isn’t free, but it’s overhead is low and allowing it to negotiate drug prices would help the bottom line.

  172. @Girish Kotwal: The media did not demonize the current occupant of the White House. And even if had been so inclined, there was never a need -- he's done perfectly well at it all by himself. First there was his leading role in the "birther" fraud during President Obama's administration. Then came the general contempt for any woman not willing to comply with his every whim. The cozying up to Kim and Putin. The public mocking of the disabled. And finally his comments about all those "very fine people" in the white supremacist movement. There's not much need to demonize somebody capable of doing or saying those things.

  173. @Girish Kotwal Today "extreme left" has come to mean rational slightly right of center while the so-called Republicans go full authoritarian. Reporting what the president does and says is not demonizing him unless what he does and and says is demonic. Then it would be "don't report what I do and say, report on what I tell you to say" after "don't believe your eyes and ears, believe what I tell you" - which he actually said.

  174. Every Presidential candidate should stress in their campaign stops and debates the importance of voting for Democratic House and Senate seats. The obstruction and gridlock will continue without that majority,

  175. Obama's 'moderation' (and that's what it was) gave us Trump. And Biden will give us worse. It's too late in any case. The rivers of meltwater running through Greenland's icy cap, the assembly line of increasingly intense hurricanes coming off the Cape Verde islands, polar bears swimming to nowhere, the stench of death over the Bahamas - while we prattle on about bipartisanship and do a balancing act on the precarious edge of an increasing uncertain global economy. Reading the comments and the column give little hope. We're just not up to it.

  176. That so many more Americans agree that Immigrants strengthen our economy and our nation is a sign that this nation is not fear based as Trump and his base tell us, but still believe in possibilities for our growth. But immigration is only one issue as our country has needs that only Democrats seem to address like adequate health care for all, infrastructure and addressing income inequality. Americans want fairness, something that Republicans say they want, but belie in their actions as they support only their rich enablers. One quibble about this article. Democrats are not anti profits for corporations, but rather that those profits are not shared with the workers who actually produce those profits.

  177. As a liberal I believe America's greatness is predicated on innovation and yes, regulated capitalism. "Hostility towards CEOs" is a poorly scripted message with unnecessary generalization. That's not where democrats should be.

  178. The propensity for American voters to disappoint is almost limitless. The famous paraphrase of H.L. Mencken remains appropriate: No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. And so it goes.

  179. "The Tea Party movement was animated by its hostility to Mr. Obama and his activist government." With all due respect to Mr. Greenberg, that is patently false. The Tea Party movement was animated by its hostility towards Mr. Obama's skin color, not by his policies. The Tea Party ran on the same platform John Birch Society members have been preaching about for decades; low taxes, small government, restrictive immigration, etc. Yet these Tea Party members voted for the largest tax cut for the billionaire class in this country which has added trillions to our deficit. So the idea of the Tea Party running on some sort of fiscal responsibility is comical. Their hatred of Obama was skin color, not policy.

  180. @Stos Thomas One Tea Party platform that got amazingly little attention was a proposal to abolish senatorial elections and to have senators chosen by state legislatures, which of course are predominantly conservative and corrupt. The "choice" would be based on backroom deals that the public would never learn about. ("Choose me and I'll push your blah-blah bill in the Senate"). The Tea Part was animated by hostility towards democracy.

  181. @Stos Thomas The result was massive congressional opposition to Democratic policies and equally massive pro-Republican gerrymandering by new Tea Party majorities (aided by ALEC and similar organizations) by newly Republican legislatures.

  182. @Stos Thomas If Obama had come in and broke up the global banks that crashed the economy, arrested the billionaires that stole their jobs a and their wealth, created millions of jobs with infrastructure spending, and championed a Constitutional Amendment to make clear to the Supreme Court that "Humans, not corporations are People with Constitutional Rights and money is not speech," the original Tea Party would have supported him against the crony capitalists, and the Koch brothers wouldn't have been able to coopt their movement. Workets on the right and left would have united behind the black president. Instead, Obama bailed out the banks, put the same people who crashed the economy in charge of "fixing" it, and gave them bonuses too. The corporate center has discredited itself by calling policies that only billionaires really want some kind of compromise began the Right and the Left. This article shows that the real moderates do not share the values of the right, but the values of the Left, which are aligned with the Constitution. (Read it.) The Right is extreme, promoting hate, greed, and violence as the solution to every problem. They call our government the enemy and defund it. Most people understand that the government is not the enemy, but how the Constitution says democracy gets things done in our Republic. Stop demanding compromise with those that call our Republic the enemy, while they take the side of a hostile intelligence service attacking our elections.

  183. It puzzles me again and again to hear people think the Republican Party is doomed to go down. I don't contest the thinking that leads them to such conclusions; but I question the conclusion. A party (no matter whether Democratic or Republican) is an idea, not the state or condition it is in right now. To conflate the two, is a mistake. Parties can be revived, reinterpreted, reborn. Parties are imaginary concepts and as such they show astounding persistence throughout time. In short: this can all change very quickly. People have a short memory; they forget. And they have a long memory, they remember, the Republican Party was once the party of Lincoln. Yes, the current state looks abysmal. But it's a grave error to count down something that's only a malleable form to begin with.

  184. Superficially this thoughtful article seems to support a Democratic victory in 2020. After all, shouldn't the public respond to the wage stagnation, the obvious damage of climate change, the growing automatic slaughter of civilians like nowhere else in the civilized word--and a bumbling administration that must doctor weather reports because they can't get it straight. But on the other hand, what this article seems to ignore is the simplicity of our citizenry. As Gibbons in his monumental work posited, the decline in the quality of its citizenry was the major factor in the fall of the Roman Empire. We still have very strong support for Trump among his base and among Republicans. There are too many essentially one-issue voters: among gun owners, anti-abortionists, those who value the long-lasting extremely conservative judges above all else (in truth, they will influence the future). These one issue---where all depends on how that one issue is handled--are willing to ignore wage stagnation, cut in medical care, high prescription prices, the expanding swamp (with administration people profiting illegally and unfairly)---all of this can be overlooked as long as i got my gun, etc.

  185. @shimr Yes - democrats need a single issue - that would be health care for all- to dominate the election and bring every conscious voter to the polls. No more half measures that prop up the ridiculous private insurance industry.

  186. Or, as hockey great Wayne Gretzky is often quoted as saying: I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it is, or was.

  187. As a weekly roadside anti-Trump protester, I generally agree with this analysis. It also struck me an explanation of Elizabeth Warren’s growing popularity - she seems to be hitting all the right buttons.

  188. The people may support a left-populist economic agenda, but they will be betrayed and disappointed once again, regardless of who becomes president after Trump. Even if it's Elisabeth Warren, she will not be able to get any major legislation passed that will seriously reduce inequality. Because while the public pays attention to the presidential elections, the down-ballot races are almost without exception won by candidates who were bought by lobbyists and special interests. Which is the fault of the voters. You wouldn't need a lot of money to win an election, if you were the best candidate and voters actively informed themselves about you - all the information is just a click away. But because voters need to be pampered and courted and bombarded with ads and even visited in their homes to care, only someone with a lot of money can win. And that money is always going to come from rich people and corporations, and they will own their candidate.

  189. I think the 2018 mid-terms established the fact that making Trump and his behavior will not win a national election. What the Democrats do not have, however, is a coherent, sensible platform that will appeal to independents and practical-minded Democrats like myself (and I believe there are many of us!). I am not in favor of government-sponsored free health care for illegal immigrants, a one-pay health cars system, total student loan forgiveness and other "green new deal" policies that while laudable, are not practical. The United States is a big ship. It cannot turn around n a dime. However, there are many things I support that would turn our ship around before it runs aground. For example, increasing taxes on corporations and the wealthy (but not at confiscatory levels) to reduce the deficit, the restoration of programs to preserve our environment, the repair of Obamacare, the imposition of limits on political donations by corporations (meaning the legislative overturn of Citizens United) and wealthy individuals, and efforts to improve the lot of those less fortunate than me (subsidized housing, food stamps, and the opportunity to improve their own lot by education and work) would be popular with me. Add the social policies advocated by Democrats to the mix (women's rights, the removal of pro-choice impediments, a humanistic approach to immigration, etc.) and you have an affirmative vote from me...not simply a negative vote against Trump.

  190. Somebody already said, essentially, what I was going to say. I could take this optimistic view only if the Dems do NOT nominate Biden. He would lose to Trump.