For 30 years, Democrats were at the mercy of GOP demonization. Even when dems didn't literally faint and cower in a corner, whimpering, whenever repugs called them liberals, the effect was the same.
Democrats lost the White House, the Senate, the House, the states to repugs who couldn't recognize a Constitutional principle or articulate a rational policy to save their lives.
Even Bill Clinton survived only because he pacified the repugs by sacrificing the middle class to the piranhas of Wall Street.
Yes, Barack Obama was a once-in-a-century candidate, but the repugs are caught in feedback loop of self-destruction because they finally took demonization too far.
Steve M. explains:
Why was the GOP hit with an electoral backlash? It wasn't social issues per se. It was the ratcheting up of the entire GOP culture of demonization. Or actually it wasn't even that -- it was the ratcheting up of that demonization even as the broad public became increasingly skeptical about whether the GOP's top demons were really so scary.
The GOP failed the demonization smell test over and over again. Straight people on Main Street U.S.A. began to meet more and more out gay people and started wondering what the hell harm could come to them if gay people were allowed to marry. Barack Obama turned out to be not a scary Mau-Mauing monster, but the most reasonable-seeming guy on earth. Saddam Hussein turned out not to have WMDs. Protesters against the Iraq War didn't burn flags or spit on troops or engage in '60s-style terrorism (and turned out to be right). Rosie O'Donnell and Barbra Streisand and the Dixie Chicks never seized control of the country.
And the demonizers themselves, handed power, actually turned out to be the menace they said all kinds of other people were. They screwed up the economy and foreign policy and Katrina and everything else they touched.
So, no, it wasn't a fixation on social issues, in and of itself, that brought the GOP to ruin. It was the general public's sense that the GOP had a lot of the wrong enemies -- and not nearly enough of the right ones. Republicans toppled Dan Rather, but they let Osama bin Laden and the bandits at AIG get away scot-free.
It helps that President Obama ignores the repug attempts to bait him with schoolyard insults, but Janet Napolitano's ludicrous apology for a completely accurate report that was ordered by the previous administration proves that some Democrats are still vulnerable to GOP intimidation that has lost all its power.
Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic ....