Celebrate now, turtle man, because you’ll be crying in two years. But then you’ll celebrate two years after that. Then cry two years after …
In 2004, Republicans won big, and Democrats were left trying to figure out what went wrong.
Then in 2006, Democrats won big, and they decided everything was fine. Republicans merely shrugged it off as the 6-year-itch that bedevils parties that hold the White House in a president’s last midterm.
2008, Democrats won big again, and Republicans were left fumbling for excuses, but mainly decided it was Bush’s fault and an artifact of Barack Obama’s historic campaign.
In 2010, Republicans won big, so they were validated. All was fine! Democrats were left fumbling.
In 2012, Democrats won big, so they decided everything was fine. Demographics and data to the rescue! Republicans decided to rebrand, until they decided fuck that, no rebranding was needed.
And now in 2014, Republicans are validated again in the Democrats’ own 6-year-itch election. Democrats are scrambling for answers.
And I’ll tell you what the future looks like:
In 2016, Democrats will win big on the strength of presidential-year turnout. Republicans will realize they really have a shit time winning presidential elections, and maybe they should do something about that!
In 2018, Republicans will win on the strength of off-year Democratic base apathy, and they’ll decide everything is okay after all. And it’s going to be brutal, because those are the governorships we need for 2020 redistricting. Republicans will then lock up the House for another decade.
Then in 2020, Democrats will win on presidential year turnout, and … you get the point.
So in short, we have two separate Americas voting every two years. We have one that is more representative, that includes about 60 percent of voting age adults. Then we have one where we can barely get a third of voting age adults to turn out, and is much whiter and older than the country. And Democrats can win easily with the one, and Republicans can win easily with the other.
And that cycle won’t be broken until 1) the Democrats figure out how to inspire their voters to the polls on off years, or 2) Republicans figure out how to appeal to the nation’s changing electorate.
And given that each party is validated every two years after a blowout loss, the odds of either happening anytime soon? Bleak.