How little things change

Just an historical note, or a point in the cycle we’re bound to repeat?

The Whigs collapsed in 1856, and the Democrats in 1860, because neither represented the views of the majority of Americans. American politics had been all about slavery since at least the 1830s, but both parties studiously avoided it. You could vote for the Whigs, who stood for nothing but not being Democrats, or you could vote for the Democrats, who were pro-slavery but wouldn’t admit it under torture. The Dems were better at coalition building — some things never change — and were able to cobble together the “Hard Shell,” “Soft Shell,” “Barnburner,” etc. factions together for one election longer than the Whigs were, but when faced with a legitimate protest party, they too collapsed. Their vote split several different ways, Lincoln won the White House, and I forget what happened next.

Today’s Republican leadership, in case you hadn’t noticed, stands for nothing but not being Democrats. And anyone paying attention knows the Democrats’ poster child: it’s a nonwhite female college student who will do anything to not get pregnant, but she won’t do that. (Or rather, she won’t not do that.) I can’t wait for the grownups to start running the playground again.

6 comments

  1. fillyjonk »

    20 July 2015 · 10:38 am

    Some days I wonder if there are any grown-ups LEFT.

  2. McGehee »

    20 July 2015 · 3:12 pm

    I just watched a Churchill documentary on Netflix, and one thing that struck me early on was that, despite Chamberlain’s post-Munich humiliation and the huge public call for him to be replaced by Churchill, the Tories in Parliament didn’t want him. It was only the pressure of public opinion that made him prime minister over his own party’s objections.

    The “conservative” party at odds with its electoral base? That’s unpossible!

  3. McGehee »

    20 July 2015 · 3:14 pm

    Democrats’ poster child: it’s a nonwhite female college student who will do anything to not get pregnant

    Cisgenderist! What if she is a trans whon is prevented by that tool of the heteropatriarchy, biology, from even being at risk of pregnancy? How can you be so exclusionist!?

  4. CGHill »

    20 July 2015 · 4:06 pm

    When I grew up, “discriminating” was a good thing to be.

    (And of the handful of trans women with whom I’m acquainted, exactly zero have mentioned the desire to have kids, at least within my earshot.)

  5. McGehee »

    20 July 2015 · 6:20 pm

    IT DOESN’T MATTER IF THEY WANT THEM EVIL BIOLOGY PREVENTS THEM FROM HAVING KIDS EVEN IF THEY DID WANT TO YOU YOU YOU OPPRESSOR YOU!!!1!!!eleventy!!!

  6. CGHill »

    20 July 2015 · 6:48 pm

    “As one oppressor to another,” said Fred Astaire to Cyd Charisse in Silk Stockings, “we both know that oppressors have more fun.”

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