As though waiting for the election were not hard enough, the time changed this morning at 2 a.m., adding sixty more minutes to the wait. In addition, we forgot to tell out cat about the time change, so she hopped up on the bed and woke us at three instead of four. I have now fed the cat, checked my email, taken my walk, worked on the jigsaw puzzle, had breakfast, and it is still not yet ten. This must be what Purgatory is like. [In Hell, the Devil plays Mozart, if George Bernard Shaw is to be believed, so I could stand that.]
Herewith an idle speculation. Let us suppose there really is a Blue Wave, washing the Democrats into control of the House but not quite the Senate. What will happen in the next two years, assuming Trump survives and runs for re-election? I think we may be on the threshold of another major party realignment, as big and consequential in its way as the realignment that occurred more than half a century ago when the Dixiecrats left the Democratic Party and reinvented themselves as Republicans. Over time, this transformed the Republican Party into a Southern and Southwestern party, while the Democratic Party welcomed Black and Latino voters and became a bicoastal party with outcroppings in the plains states.
Trump has completely taken ownership of the Republican Party, and no politician can choose to remain in the party without embracing his brand of racism and xenophobia. Many are uncomfortable with that, but as things stand, there is no place else for them to go.
The natural evolution of this situation would be for the Democratic Party to move to the right, declare itself a Big Tent, and welcome into the fold former Republicans, seeking to create an unstoppable Party of National Unity that would leave the Trump base out in the cold. This move would involve giving the energized progressive base of the Democratic Party just enough crumbs to keep them from defecting, while leaving control of the party in the hands of the descendants of the Democratic Leadership Council, Bill Clinton’s creation. One can already see the moves in this direction, in the fight for control of the DNC, lost by the progressives, in the revival of Joe Biden’s presidential dreams, and in the writings of a goodly number of opinion shapers.
I do not think I need to say how this makes me feel, but it is, I believe, the natural structural logic of the American political system.
The war won’t be over on Wednesday. It will just be starting.