Category Archives: Republicanism

Not seen, but getting heard

 has bragging rights to open threads on Slugger O’Toole, and kicked off a good one:

Ruth Taillon chaired a panel with Dawn Purvis, Martina Devlin and Bernadette McAliskey for a session entitled And where were the women when history was made? at the John Hewitt International Summer School in Armagh.

Note the names already in the frame there.

So I had to have my two cents’ worth, and here for the record it comes:

For a few examples from Easter Week:

  • Mollie Adrian, on her bicycle, shuttled orders and reports between Pearse in the GPO and the Fingal Battalion, so that Thomas Ashe would get the credit.
  • Maire Nic Shiubhlaigh was in command of the Cumann na mBan at Jacob’s factory, from where she had an excellent view of the pounding the GPO was getting.
  • The Cumann na mBan had to be ordered out of the GPO — it took Seán McDermott backing up Pearse before they would agree — late on the Friday morning of Easter week. The first shell arrived soon after their departure.
  • At the Department of Agriculture farm at Athenry, Mellows had about 500 men armed with a total of 35 rifles and 350 shotguns. The women of the Cumann had the local bullocks slaughtered, and made the stew to feed them all — which was about the most positive aspect of Mellows’ “campaign`”.
  • The Kilkenny Cumann were (later) more than tart in their comments about how the menfolk sat around debating, but not actually getting stuck in.
  • Marie Perolz of Inghinidhe na Éireann, on her motor-bike, all the way from Dublin to the brigade in Cork, brought MacCurtain and MacSwiney the orders for the Rising (how the other eight orders got through, I’m not sure).
  • Rose McManners of the Inghinidhe was in the Jameson distillery to observe how clueless MacDonagh was when it came to leadership. When the garrison of 44 men at the South Dublin Union surrendered, and dumped arms, Rose and the other twenty Cumann picked up the weapons and brazenly carted them into the Richmond Street barracks. They got away with it, because the British Army had no women searchers to hand.
  • Kathleen Lynn took command at City Hall after Seán Connolly was killed, and negotiated the surrender of the ICA garrison.
  • Elizabeth O’Farrell, nurse and midwife, of the Cumann na mBan, under fire took the white flag from the GPO to Moore Street, to open the surrender negotiations.

Then, of course, as Kathleen Clarke never stopped complaining, the women of 1916 were largely elided from the record. It’s not they weren’t there, but as Jessica Rabiit said, “I’m just drawn that way”.


As I was posting that, it came to my mind that once — around 1960 — I shook hands with Caitlín Bean Uí Chléirigh.

She was

  • a Sinn Féin TD in the Second Dáil (and spoke against the Treaty in the Great Debate),
  • was on the receiving end of attention (first from the British, then from the Free Staters),
  • was a Fianna Fáil TD for Mid Dublin in the Fifth Dáil, then in the Seanad,
  • then on Dublin Corporation — including being the first woman to be Lord Mayor.
  • To her credit, she was one of the women who despaired of de Valera after the 1937 Constitution re-defined the role of women, and then continued her shift to the left (or, rather, maintained her stand as Fianna Fáil became corporatist and shifted to the right).
  • So, in 1948 she was a candidate for Clann na Poblachta.

By the time I met her, she was definitely out in the leftist fringes. A Great Lady.


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Filed under Dublin., Ireland, politics, Republicanism, Sinn Fein, Slugger O'Toole

… Haven’t got the t-shirt

The Penny Farthing, East Village? I remember it … almost.


Then it cropped up in a New York Times piece about “Young Republicans”.

Me? I’d vote Democrat; but there’s a philosophical edge to this.

What astounds me is how the Republican Party — the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt — has become the mouthpiece of hard-right money, the gun-makers, the loonies and the fundies.

Whereas almost anything sane about the GOP seems in the last century  to have come out of New York.

I suggest the bright young things John Eurico encountered should give up the fizzy booze, sit down and address the way the (Republicand) Rockefeller) family has used its wealth and influence.

Not a bad record.

And the notion, implicit in this NYT piece, that Republicans are a persecuted minority is crap.




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The “country was founded on conservatism”?

But there is a reason hardline Republican[s] stand firm. Many of their supporters want them to hang tough. One man, selling bread and vegetables, told me: “I hope he wins, I don’t want a Democrat in, the people in power now are extreme lefties, our country was founded on conservatism.”

So Mark Mardell, reporting on the Virginia gubernatorial, for the BBC.

In itself, that is worth a moment’s historical reflection:

  • upending one’s whole lifestyle, to sail across the wild Atlantic, in hope that the new colonies offer a better life than Stuart England?
  • revolting against the Hanoverian monarchy, looking to evolve a better form of government?
  • heading out, across the Appalachians, through the Great Plains, across the deserts and mountains, from sea to shining sea?
  • building a Republic, based on original principles that all men are created equal, entitled to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?

Such radicalism (radix implying deep-rooted change) is “conservative”? Even in the squirarchical Old Colony?

No: that doesn’t quite tally with the reality.

Yet it goes further.

In the fastnesses of the (old) York night, Malcolm was wakeful. Sometime after 2 a.m. (GMT) he found himself watching the Washington Post‘s minute-by-minute update of the Virginia race.

At the beginning of his watch, Ken Cuccinelli was ahead by a margin of just a couple-of-percentage points. The big (and the big-for-the-Democrats) precincts were just checking in. With each update, the margin narrowed.  Around 2:25, with Cuccinelli still nominally ahead, Fox News called it for Terry McAuliffe. ABC and NBC followed. By 2:45 or so, the lead changed. Only then did the Post call it for McAuliffe. By the English dawn’s early light, McAuliffe was two-and-a-half percentage points clear. This, the Post maintains, is a “narrow” victory.

As Malcolm has said before, his addiction to US Elections goes back to that long night of 9th November 1960, in a Dublin basement flat, trying to decode, through the AM atmospherics, what AFN was reporting as results came in.  Even that was foreshadowed back in 1953, when his Dear Old Dad explained his interest in the Presidential: “This is important”.

If neck-hairs now bristle, you’re an addict

There is that purple-prose opening of T.H.White’s classic account, The Making of the President:

How well worn is yours?

How well worn is yours?

… though the powers of the office are unique, even more spectacular and novel in the sight of history is the method of transfer of those powers-the free choice by a free people, one by one, in secrecy, of a single national leader.

Whether Americans have chosen this leader well or badly is of the most immense importance not only to them but to the destiny of the human race. Yet, well or badly done, no bells ring at any given hour across the nation when the voting is over, nor do any purple-robed priests wait that night to anoint the man who will soon be the most powerful individual in the free world. The power passes invisibly in the night as election day ends; the national vigil includes all citizens; and when consensus is reached, the successful candidate must accept the decision in the same rough, ragged, and turbulent fashion in which he has conducted the campaign that has brought him to power.

White’s metaphors ring true. There is a mystic element as any great, free election winds its course to a conclusion: the collective of individuals making a choice. It is, perhaps, Jungian:

51M4XENZ0JL._SY445_… in addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals.

Vox populi, vox dei

The voice of the people is the voice of God? We can quibble, as wikipedia does, whether that was William of Malmesbury or Alcuin to Carolus Magnus — though that latter is actually a denial:

Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, Vox populi, vox Dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit.

[Don’t pay attention to those who say “The voice of the people is the voice of God”, for the unstable masses are ever on the verge of madness.]

Nice word, that tumultuositas. It goes beyond the more usual Latin word tumultus. It implies something more than “commotion”. When Cato uses the adverb tumultuose, it may need to be rendered as “with panic and wild alarm”.

Alexander Pope, another Tory, brought Horace’s Epistles into the eighteenth century (though here referring to theatrical claques) and went with Alcuin:

All this may be; the people’s voice is odd,
It is, and it is not, the voice of God.
To Gammer Gurton if it give the bays,
And yet deny the Careless Husband praise,
Or say our fathers never broke a rule;
Why then, I say, the public is a fool.

That view, that the popular view was not to be trusted, persisted down to the last century and beyond (hence the resistance to plebiscites, with some justification). The US Electoral College (a vestige of the old post-colonial oligarchy) still filters the popular will. After all, Al Gore in 2000 had a half-million majority in the national popular vote.

Get stuffed!

There were two Vox Pop reactions to the Virginia election which, to Malcolm’s mind, seemed a trifle bizarre.

  • First, there was the GOP spokesman who went public to blame his party’s performance on the “polls”.

Well, yes. People are, as Alcuin deplored, unreliable. However, we may infer that the complaint was more about the public opinion polls, particularly those in the Washington Post, publicised in the run-up to the election. If so, Physician, heal thyself. Those polls were reflecting response to the government shut-down, engineered by the Tea-party types in Congress, and endorsed by candidate Ken Cuccinelli.

  • Then there was the lady, bewailing the way the numbers were slipping away from Cuccinelli, who declared she was “praying for Virginia”.

Ho hum, my dear! Even in your philosophy, any divinity out there has her/his universe to run. Stuffing ballot-boxes doesn’t appear in the job-description.

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Filed under Conservative Party policy., culture, History, politics, polls, Quotations, Republicanism, United States, US Elections, Washington Post

Something interesting in the State of Maine

Following from that previous post

If history is about chaps, and geography about maps, what to say about the State of Maine?

Just as the shape of Ireland on the page has a sort of teddy-bearish look to it (even down to Lough Neagh providing the eye), Maine might, just might be Homer Simpson in a bad light.

Rude comparison

Then the State seems a bit of an after-thought, the left-over of the American Colonies — and it was never one of the Colonies, only achieving separation from Massachussetts as an aftermath of true War of 1812. If you don’t see the connection between the secession in 1820 and that rather pointless, pathetic War, it’s because the mercantile classes of Maine sympathised with the British and refused to defend against an invasion from Canada.

Do different

In politics, Maine has two quite-remarkable Senators, both (by contemporary standards) “moderates” — and Malcolm fully recognises that term damns them in the eyes of extremists. Angus King is an Independent (though caucuses with the Democrats) and Susan Collins is that most egregious of creatures, a RINO, and one of “the last survivors of a once common species of moderate Northeastern Republican“. At one stage Collins and Olympia Snow were the two Senators from Maine — which must mark some kind of feminist achievement (or recognition of talent by the electors) — and were instrumental in getting President Clinton extricated from that jumped-up impeachment.

Well, Susan Collins is at it again

As the NY Times relates:

As the government shutdown dragged on, Senator Susan Collins of Maine was spending another weekend on Capitol Hill, staring at C-Span on her Senate office television as one colleague after another came to the floor to rail about the shuttered government.

Frustrated with the lack of progress, Ms. Collins, a Republican, two Saturdays ago quickly zipped out a three-point plan that she thought both parties could live with, marched to the Senate floor and dared her colleagues to come up with something better. A few days later, two other Republican female senators eagerly signed on — Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who overcame the Tea Party to win re-election in 2010, and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who benefited from the Tea Party wave.

Together the three women started a bipartisan group whose negotiating framework formed the centerpiece of a tentative Senate deal nearing completion Monday to reopen the federal government and avert a disastrous default.

Let me count the ways (and means)

The “three-point plan” sounds simple, but isn’t:

First of all, the first point of the plan would fund government for the next 6 months at the level of $986 billion. So that would allow for government to immediately re-open.

Second, it would repeal the tax on medical devices and equipments such as x-ray machines and pacemakers. This tax will only serve to drive up the cost of health care because it will be inevitably passed on to the consumer. It will stifle innovation. And industry estimates it will lead to the loss of some 43,000 jobs. It is a tax that does not makes sense.

The third point of our plan … would provide flexibility to federal managers in dealing with sequestration, but it does so in a way that preserves the important congressional oversight.

The first of those acknowledges that the GOP line is for a short-term commitment — whereas the Obama choice would be a longer-term increase to the overall debt ceiling. The second would almost certainly attract wide support from all sides: the tax is profoundly unpopular. The third amounts to budgetary column-shifting, a “virement”.

We few, we happy few, we band of sisters

Just four of 46 Republican Senators (8.6%) are women — apart from the three mentioned above, the fourth is Deb Fischer  from Nebraska (pro-life, pro-guns, “staunch conservative”). There are sixteen Democrats, out of 52 (30.7%).

What intrigues is how women — and women as “moderate” as modern Republicanism just about tolerates — seem to be making the running.

Credit where it is due.

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Jon Stewart contrasts Tehran and Tea Party

Still running on the Doonesbury mud- line:

If it turns out that President Obama can make a deal with the most intransigent, hard-line, unreasonable totalitarian mullahs in the world, but not with Republicans, maybe he’s not the problem.

Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, 1st October 2013.

Yes: Malcolm knows you came across that before, but every day, in every way, it’s getting better and better.

Or, if you want that visually (courtesy of the Wapo/ABC Poll):


Cue Healey’s First Law of Holes (New Statesman, 8th November 1986):

When in one, stop digging.

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More than one way out

 does a banking blog — subversively sub-titled Going native in the world of finance —  on the Guardian‘s Comment is Free.

Today he has escaped onto the main editorial page:

Queen Beatrix’s abdication: too ‘typically Dutch’ for the Windsors?

The abdication of a monarch comes naturally to the Dutch, while the British maintain a martyrish attitude to succession

Is there something unhealthily martyrish about the British “Queen for Life” system? I can’t be the only foreigner who wasn’t even aware that the British queen is like the Catholic pope; only death gets you a new one. But then on Monday, Queen Beatrix of my native Netherlands announced her abdication, and now British people are asking me if the Dutch will consider this a dereliction of duty. Will this damage the monarchy?

Malcolm on the subject of monarchs? Shome mishtake, shurely?

No, it’s the dodgy history and the British queen is like the Catholic pope; only death gets you a new one.



  1. the Empress Matilda, effectively Queen of England from 7th  April to 1st November, 1141. Went on another quarter-century before her death at Notre Dame du Pré, Rouen. Whatever dispute historians may have about her right to the title, the Lady of the English had few doubts.
  2. Louis le Lion was offered the throne by the English barons and invaded Kent in May 1216. A month later he held the old Saxon capital of Winchester, and controlled the southern half of England. Only on the death of King John did the regent William Marshall rally the barons to support the infant Henry III. After being defeated in battle at Lincoln (20th May 1217) and at sea, off Sandwich, (24 August 1217) was Louis bought off. he got 10,000 marks to go away and be a good King of France  — which he probably wasn’t, as Louis VIII, from 1223 to 1226.
  3. Richard II was nominally King from 1377, though Old John of Gaunt, time-honoured Lancaster did the business for much of the time. Henry Bolingbroke, John of Gaunt’s son, invaded England in 1399 and soon deposed Richard. Out of a job, Richard was accommodated in the Tower of London and then at Pontefract Castle (where he allegedly spent time starving to death). His body was brought from Pontefract,  and displayed in old St Paul’s on 17th February 1400.
  4. In 1422 Henry VI got the job as a babe-in-arms, on the death of his father. He was deposed by Edward IV in March 1461, and only regained his position — very briefly, before the Yorkists did for him and Edward IV was re-enstooled, in 1470-71.
  5. 160px-Coat_of_Arms_of_England_(1554-1558).svgPhilip II of Spain became, in law, King of England when he married Mary I at Winchester (25 July 1554). Coins were issued, parliament summoned,  Acts of Parliament dated in their joint names. The royal arms (as right) represented the joint monarchy (Philip as male taking the priority). When Mary died (17th November 1558), his tenure was concluded. He lived on as King of Spain until 1598.
  6. Should we not include Richard Cromwell? He became Lord Protector on his father’s death (3rd September 1658) and received the title “His Highness”. Unfortunately for ‘Tumbledown Dick’ the Army took umbrage at his lack of military experience, and not being paid because of the financial crisis (the Commonwealth was £2 million in debt). So Richard Cromwell found himself  under house-arrest. The French Ambassador offered him military support (which he refused) and Richard resigned as Lord Protector on 25th May 1659. He exiled himself in France ( 1660 to 1680/1) and lived on, largely forgotten but with a state pension and a private income from his diminished estates, until 1712.
  7. Aha! here’s a good’un. James II & VI inherited the throne from his brother in February 1685, and was deposed (this will get another mention later) in the Glorious Revolution of December 1688. He lived, as a dependent of the French King Louis XIV, as ‘The Old Pretender’ until 1701.
  8. After that, and the formal union of the English and Scottish crowns, we have only one further candidate: Edward VIII. He succeeded on 20th January 1936 and abdicated 11th December the same year. He and the much-married Mrs Simpson then became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. He died near Paris, 28 May 1972, and his body was returned for burial in the Royal Plot at Frogmore.

So, Meinherr Luyendijk, you generalise about death being the only way out. Wrong: there have been other methods: not quite one a century; but Britain has been somewhat lax in dispensing with redundant royals since we brought in the Germans.

One further wrinkle from that Comment is Free piece:

So should Britain allow and encourage its monarch to retire? That’s up to the British people, of course, but I’m quite sure that the House of Orange is more than happy with the status quo. With all its spectacular dysfunction, the British royal family makes for fantastic spectacle. Meanwhile, royals all over the world will be thinking: thank goodness for the House of Windsor, they make us look almost normal.

Did you spot it?

Willem III van Oranje was Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel from July 1672 until his death on 8th March 1702. He arrived with his Dutch and mercenary army at Brixham, in Devon, on 5th November 1688 (curiously, several days before he’d left the Netherlands — because of the conflict of the Gregorian calendar and the Julian calendar still in use in England). On 11 April 1689 he and his wife were crowned at Westminster Abbey as William II and Mary II.

So, never let it be said the House of Orange was always more than happy with the status quo.

Nor is a good republican, such as Malcolm.

[Thanks to a useful poke from Doubting Thomas, Malcolm would add two more candidates to the list. See Comments, below.]


Filed under Britain, Comment is Free, Guardian, History, Republicanism

Too early, but rethink necessary

A day on, and we are already getting the post-mortem analyses of what went wrong for the Republican Party. This time it’s serious:

The New England wing of the House GOP, after showing brief signs of life, is extinct again.

Democrats cleaned out the region on Tuesday, knocking off New Hampshire GOP Reps Charlie Bass and Frank Giunta and fending off stiff challenges to Massachusetts Rep. John Tierney and Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline. Republicans also lost a toss-up open seat race in Connecticut.

The GOP didn’t fare much better in New England’s Senate races either. Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown lost his seat, Independent Angus King captured retiring Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe’s seat, and Linda McMahon spent more than $40 million in a losing bid for Connecticut’s open Senate seat. In Vermont, meanwhile, Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders demolished his GOP foe in a 71-25 landslide while Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse won 65-35.

The Republicans’ initial base was in the Northeast and the upper Midwest. So one good’un, even this early, is Peter Beinart on The Daily Beast. He is almost certainly wrong to assume (as his headline has it) any New Democratic Dominance in U.S. Politics. Where he is useful is to propose a once-over-lightly historical perspective:

For roughly half a century after the Civil War, Republicans dominated American politics because they dominated the North. But by the 1920s, after almost four decades of Catholic and Jewish immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe, the North had changed. And instead of embracing that change, the GOP fought it, spearheading blatantly anti-Catholic measures like Prohibition and shutting down mass immigration in 1921 and 1924. Democrats capitalized, nominating a Catholic, Al Smith, in 1928. Smith lost, but in 1932 Franklin Roosevelt built on the coalition he had forged, and won the presidency by combining the white South—a traditional Democratic stronghold—with the new immigrants of the urban North. Then, to an unprecedented degree, he appointed Jews and Catholics to top administration jobs. In 1935 Time magazine noted the change by featuring two key Roosevelt advisers, the Catholic Thomas Corcoran and the Jewish Benjamin Cohen, on its cover.

But it was only in 1936, when FDR won despite a terrible economy and the venomous opposition of much of the Northern WASP elite from which he hailed, that Republicans began to acknowledge that America had changed—and left them behind. And that’s exactly what Republicans are realizing again Tuesday night. For the last four years, Republicans have argued publicly, as they did between 1932 and 1936, that their defeat was a fluke. They’ve said John McCain was a bad candidate who only lost because Americans were sick of George W. Bush. They’ve said the Tea Party heralded an anti-government shift that would sweep the GOP back into power. They’ve said America was still a center-right country.

By no coincidence, and it’s David Frum repeating it, Romney is being depicted as a “weak candidate”. Equally, loyalists in the Republican Party seem to be denying that anything is “structurally” wrong — cue Charles Krauthammer.

On the contrary, the whole scenery has changed.

  • Along with returning Obama, the Great American Public have accepted Obamacare and gifted Obama’s second term with the (surely, inevitable) economic bounce-back.
  • Even climate change, the great unspoken of this electoral cycle, is now mainstream (Allen West of Florida is a political corpse).
  • Maine and Maryland have voted for same-sex marriage, while Minnesotans voted down a constitutional ban: Washington may yet endorse marriage equality.
  • Colorado and Washington have legalised recreational Mary Jane.
  • California came within a three-per-cent swing of repealing the death penalty. Back in 1978 they voted 7 to 3 for judicial killings

In so many ways, the United States is adapting to the 21st Century.

The Woman issue

This is the biggie.

  • There are now a record number of women in the Senate— though not enough.

Hear it from Margaret Talbot in the New Yorker:

If you got caught up in the “war on women” narrative this election cycle, you might have missed the fact that that a conspicuous number of women were running for the Senate today. There were women candidates in fifteen of the thirty-three Senate races. In three states—California, Hawaii, and New York—both the Republican and the Democrat are women. And a couple of those women check other demographic boxes as well. In Wisconsin, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, won a tight race against former governor Tommy Thompson. She will be the first openly gay member of the Senate. In six of the contests where women are running, they’re the incumbents, and likely to be reëlected. Among the remaining nine states, there’s Hawaii—which will definitely send a woman to the Senate—Wisconsin; Massachusetts, where Elizabeth Warren defeated Scott Brown tonight; Nebraska, where Republican Deb Fischer seemed to be beating former governor Bob Kerrey; Nevada, where Republican Dean Heller was trying to defend his seat from Shelley Berkley; and North Dakota Democrat Heidi Heitkamp and Republican Rick Berg were running neck and neck. Linda McMahon, a Republican, was defeated in Connecticut.

The Show Me State

Republican center must be taking note of what happened — especially in Missouri.

Romney took the State by some eight points (when McCain in 2008 squeaked a lead of just 3,900 votes out of 2.9 million) — yet he had no coat-tails. The Democrat Governor was returned — the first successful re-run since 1996. And Claire McCaskill steam-cleaned Todd “legitimate rape” Akin by a 15½ per cent margin. 400,000 Missouri voters split their tickets: Romney but also McCaskill. As the AP summary of the exit poll had it:

Women didn’t carry McCaskill to victory on their own, but they did the heavy lifting. McCaskill outperformed by a wide margin among women, who supported her in slightly higher numbers than in 2006. The Democrat’s comfortable edge among women was propelled by those 18-44 who overwhelmingly lined up behind the first-term incumbent, as did a significant number of middle-aged women who made up the bulk of female voters. Akin offset some of these losses by holding his ground among women 65 and older and white women overall. Black women, however, backed McCaskill in a landslide.

Aside from being more likely to look past Akin’s comment, men backed Akin in stronger numbers than women, especially those who are older. Still, the best Akin could muster was a split with McCaskill for the entire male vote.

  • Women are some 52% of the Missouri electorate.

As one wise comment, while the results were coming in, had it: If you’re a Republican with views on rape and abortion, better to keep them to yourself.

The wit and wisdom of Bill O’Reilly

You don’t expect it on Fox News, but O’Reilly nailed it:

Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly said tonight that if President Barack Obama wins re-election, it’s because the demographics of the country have changed and “it’s not a traditional America anymore.”

“The white establishment is now the minority,” O’Reilly said. “And the voters, many of them, feel that the economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff. You are going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel that they are entitled to things and which candidate, between the two, is going to give them things?”

“The demographics are changing,” he said. “It’s not a traditional America anymore.”

He could have added the other element: younger voters bothering to use their franchise, which is another change from pre-Obama days. He was mistaken to suggest that “America” has somehow changed: what has changed is that long-suppressed sections of the electorate — women and the ethic communities, the young and the radicals — have mobilised themselves.

Of course, the draught isn’t whistling just one side of the gang-way:

Blue Dog Democrats also saw their numbers shrink from 24 to 15, including six members who retired, sought higher office, or were defeated in primaries earlier this year. Reps. Ben Chandler, Larry Kissell, and Leonard Boswell all lost Tuesday.

The white establishment is now the minority — but they always were.

Now they know it.

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