Election 2016: Blue wall and red fortress

One Republican's view of the 2016 electoral vote

One Republican’s view of the likely 2016 electoral vote

A Republican blogger named Chris Ladd says the results of the 2014 election show the GOP is setting itself up for a disaster in 2016, when it is almost sure to lose the Presidential race and likely to lose the Senate.  The map above shows how he think things will go.

He wrote an article in the Houston Chronicle in which he listed Republican weaknesses at length.  I’ll cherry-pick a few from his list.

  • Democrats have consolidated their power behind the sections of the country that generate the overwhelming bulk of America’s wealth outside the energy industry.  That’s only ironic if you buy into far-right propaganda, but it’s interesting none the less.
  • Vote suppression is working remarkably well, but that won’t last.  Eventually Democrats will help people get the documentation they need to meet the ridiculous and confusing new requirements.  The whole “voter integrity” sham may have given Republicans a one- or maybe two-election boost in low-turnout races.  Meanwhile we kissed off minority votes for the foreseeable future.
  • Across the country, every major Democratic ballot initiative was successful, including every minimum wage increase, even in the red states.
  • Every person-hood amendment failed.
  • In Congress, there are no more white Democrats from the South.  The long flight of the Dixiecrats has concluded.
  • Democrats in 2014 were up against a particularly tough climate because they had to defend 13 Senate seats in red or purple states.  In 2016 Republicans will be defending 24 Senate seats and at least 18 of them are likely to be competitive based on geography and demographics.  Democrats will be defending precisely one seat that could possibly be competitive.  One.
  • Keep an eye on oil prices.  Texas, which is at the core of GOP dysfunction, is a petro-state with an economy roughly as diverse and modern as Nigeria, Iran or Venezuela.  It was been relatively untouched by the economic collapse because it is relatively dislocated from the US economy in general.  Watch what happens if the decline in oil prices lasts more than a year.

Here’s his conclusion about the Republican future.

This is an age built for Republican solutions.  The global economy is undergoing a massive, accelerating transformation that promises massive new wealth and staggering challenges. 

We need heads-up, intelligent adaptations to capitalize on those challenges.  Republicans, with their traditional leadership on commercial issues should be at the leading edge of planning to capitalize on this emerging environment.

What are we getting from Republicans?  Climate denial, theocracy, thinly veiled racism, paranoia, and Benghazi hearings. Lots and lots of hearings on Benghazi.

It is almost too late for Republicans to participate in shaping the next wave of our economic and political transformation.  The opportunities we inherited coming out of the Reagan Era are blinking out of existence one by one while we chase so-called “issues” so stupid, so blindingly disconnected from our emerging needs that our grandchildren will look back on our performance in much the same way that we see the failures of the generation that fought desegregation.

Something, some force, some gathering of sane, rational, authentically concerned human beings generally at peace with reality must emerge in the next four to six years from the right, or our opportunity will be lost for a long generation. 

Needless to say, Greg Abbott and Joni Ernst are not that force.  “Winning” this election did not help that force emerge.   This was a dark week for Republicans, and for everyone who wants to see America remain the world’s most vibrant, most powerful nation.

I partly agree and partly disagree with Ladd’s analysis.  The problem for the Republican Party is not just its lunatic fringe.  It is that the top levels of the Republican Party, like the top levels of the Democratic Party, are captive to militarists and financiers, and, as long as that is so, neither party’s leaders will be able to offer a path to peace and prosperity.

I don’t think that either the Blue Wall or the Red Fortress are as impregnable as Chris Ladd thinks.  I think the political lineup could change very quickly if candidates of either party offered a realistic path out of our Hunger Games economy, Big Brother state and perpetual war.


The missing story of the 2014 election by Chris Ladd for the Houston Chronicle.  (via Corrente)   Chris Ladd is a native Texan who is now a Republican precinct leader in suburban Chicago.  He has a web log called GOPLifer.

Tags: , ,

2 Responses to “Election 2016: Blue wall and red fortress”

  1. thetinfoilhatsociety Says:

    Oil prices will go up, and then down again. It’s a vicious circle. Demand destruction (because there *is* no recovery) causes prices to fall. Gradually supplies dwindle and prices shoot back up. Then wash, rinse, repeat.

    I believe the fringe elements will seem more and more attractive to the dwindling middle class. The poor have nothing to lose, the rich are not going to be affected regardless, it’s those in the middle who are going to get tired of being squeezed. Anyone who promises a way to relieve their slide into paupery is going to be voted for. We will end up with, as Kunstler says, “a cornpone nazi” — or many.

    And the move for states to withhold money from the feds is already starting. The feds may disburse the money but they have to get it from the states first. If that doesn’t happen what then?


  2. philebersole Says:

    What mechanism do states have to withhold money from the federal government? As far as I know, Washington taxes individuals and firms, not states.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: