|Andrew O'Hehir: Dems "face a version of the same crisis."|
"I don’t actually think that what has happened to the Republican Party is good for America or for politics, and I have repeatedly argued that the Democratic Party faces a version of the same crisis, more politely and in slow motion."
Trump "represents the murderous, odious but in many ways understandable lust for revenge on the part of those who’ve been relentlessly crapped on from above. ... The dark political wizards of the Republican Party have bred and nurtured the Trump demographic, and now they’re shocked that it’s grown up into a carnivorous flower that has snaked its way to the rear to bite them in the capacious collective ass."
Trump's voters "are less interested in governing the country than in ventilating their rage and 'fucking shit up,' to use the vernacular."
" ... few will actually jump ship and support Hillary Clinton. (Who is, and I’ll say this just once, closer to being a conventional Republican than Trump is.)"
If there was a turning point ... it came with the shocking primary defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor [of Richmond] in 2014, a rising conservative star in a safe Republican seat dethroned by a hard-right upstart."
"Census Bureau numbers suggest that of the 47 million or so Americans who live below the poverty line, roughly 20 million are white. Millions more working-class whites outside the big cities live above the poverty line under precarious paycheck-to-paycheck circumstances, amid a pervasive atmosphere of downward mobility and lost opportunity. If those people feel abused or ignored, and believe they lack effective advocates, it’s because they have been and they do."
Republican power brokers "still [have] plenty of money and nice offices, and they’ve baited the Democrats into a pattern of ideological retreat that has won the GOP a hefty share of power in Congress and clear across the middle of the country."
"Or the Republicans could un-tether themselves from racism and xenophobia and a reflexive hatred of government, and build for the future as a moderate pro-business party with vaguely libertarian social policies and an internationalist foreign policy that tries to balance flag-waving machismo with pragmatism. Kasich and Bush would be leading candidates in that party, [but] that party already exists, or very nearly does. It’s about to nominate Hillary Clinton."