From AEI, another helpful corrective for the common claim that American incomes have stagnated, this…
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Image of the Day: Yes, Incomes Have Risen

From AEI, another helpful corrective for the common claim that American incomes have stagnated, this one incorporating the fact that the average size of households has declined over recent decades:

. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="1309"] Median Incomes[/caption]

.  …[more]

September 19, 2019 • 10:03 am

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Liberal Triumphalism Turns to Panic Print
By Troy Senik
Wednesday, November 12 2014
Whatever weakness the GOP may have, it is not a party on the cusp of existential peril.

In 2009, Democratic political strategist James Carville published a book entitled Forty More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation. Five years later, that work has proved to be instructive for more than the creeping illiberalism suggested by the use of the verb “rule.”

In the volume’s opening, Carville declares that, “There are eras in which one party dominates. Today, a Democratic majority is emerging, and it’s my hypothesis, one I share with a great many others, that this majority will guarantee that the Democrats remain in power for the next forty years.”

It is lucky for those “great many others” that Carville chose to leave them cloaked in anonymity. Half a decade after the book’s release, Republicans are now set to control the United States Senate, the House of Representatives, five (okay, 4 ½) of the votes on the United States Supreme Court, the majority of the nation’s governorships and a majority of state legislative chambers. Whatever weakness the GOP may have, it is not a party on the cusp of existential peril.

The last citadel of liberal control is the White House and any sensible Democrat ought to regard the prospects of that remaining the case as highly contingent.

At present, Hillary Clinton seems overwhelmingly likely to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016. But Clinton is the ultimate glass-jawed candidate, possessing little of her husband’s charisma or political wiliness and completely unable to tap into the youthful vigor and the sense of intellectual innovation that propelled him to the Oval Office nearly a quarter-century before she is likely to face a national electorate.

In 1992, Bill was the fresh face of a made-over Democratic Party. In 2016, Hillary will be the haggard visage of an unsuccessful, unpopular status quo.

To make matters worse for Democrats, the party possesses no obvious alternative should Hillary stumble.

Vice President Joe Biden has been reduced to a national punch line during his time in the White House.

The few governors to have spawned presidential chatter — figures like Colorado’s John Hickenlooper, Maryland’s Martin O’Malley, and New York’s Andrew Cuomo — are bland non-entities.

Left-wing demagogues like Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are too liberal to command national majorities in the wake of Barack Obama’s failed experiments with progressivism.

More centrist, populist figures like former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer or former Virginia Senator Jim Webb probably can’t take the nomination in a party dominated by a bicoastal elite. The farm team is short on talent.

In addition, there are trends buried in this year’s election results that bode ill for Democrats. Republicans romped through the Midwest on election night, easily retaining governorships in Iowa and Ohio, successfully defending vulnerable governors in Michigan and Wisconsin, and even picking up the executive mansion in deep-blue Illinois. A Democratic Party that loses its grip on the Great Lakes region is not a Democratic Party that can compete nationally.

The left’s reliance on its so-called “coalition of the ascendant” — ethnic minorities, unmarried women and young voters — has left it indifferent to the concerns of blue-collar workers in the middle of the country, a group with which the GOP now seems to be making substantial inroads.

If it turns out that the coalition of the ascendant reached its high-water mark for loyalty to the Democratic Party with Barack Obama — and if Republicans can successfully woo the voters that were alienated in the process — it’s entirely possible that the GOP can pick the lock that Democrats think they have on the front door of the White House (we all know the Secret Service won’t stop them).

Republicans ought not to be triumphalist in the wake of this sea change. The problem with Carville’s analysis wasn’t just that he misread the trajectory of the Democratic Party — it was that he assumed an underlying stability to American politics that can’t withstand even the most basic scrutiny.

There was talk of a permanent Republican majority after George W. Bush’s reelection in 2004 too. Immediately thereafter, Democrats made massive congressional gains in 2006, then added to them while capturing the White House in 2008. Given the fact that many of the victors in those races are now in different lines of work, Republicans shouldn’t assume any sense of inevitability in the wake of their recent victories.

To the extent that we see any consistent pattern in the American people over the last decade, it’s that they’re running out of patience. Public-sector dysfunction, incompetence and corruption will no longer be tolerated. That’s a warning sign for both parties. If you’re a Democrat tethered to a president who’s responsible for a disproportionate share of the national misery, however … well, you need to be slightly more concerned.

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