The election’s over.
Maybe Biden takes office in seven weeks. Maybe one of Trump’s legal challeges gets traction.
For purposes of this post, I don’t know and don’t care.
Because the 2022 and 2024 campaigns have already begun.
The good news: without Trump, the Democrats are going to have to find someone to unify around. And it ain’t gonna be easy.
From New Republic – now, they have to try to focus on their own problems:
The coming weeks may see the reemergence in backrooms and boardrooms of the tensions that loomed over the 2020 Democratic primaries. Let us review the three power centers in the party as they existed then:
The new economy. Two titans of the finance world (Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer) sought to win the Democratic nomination by funding their own and various down-ballot candidacies. (Both would eventually back Biden.) There was also one impecunious primary candidate who had some original ideas about the tech world: Andrew Yang. The new economy provides wealth for so few people that it can never command the party’s rank and file. But it exercises a dizzying gravitational pull on its leaders.
Socialism. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were its candidates, the former in a doctrinal way (unions, benefits, income redistribution), the latter in a way adapted to strike more precisely at modern power relations (financial regulation, economic rights), which she denied was any form of socialism at all. Each was a more dire threat to the interests of people like Bloomberg and Steyer than anything the tax-cutting, deregulatory Republicans might produce. This is the great drama of the Democratic Party: They are the party of the 1 percent. They are also the party of expropriating the 1 percent.This is the great drama of the Democratic Party: They are the party of the 1 percent. They are also the party of expropriating the 1 percent.
Civil rights. The party’s glue is civil rights, broadly understood. Civil rights long meant looking out for the practical and principled interests of Black people—naturally a commitment on which cooperation with socialists is possible. But over the decades, civil rights has also become a regulatory and judicial system for advancing the interests of other groups, including immigrants (elite and mass), women executives, two-income gay couples, and lawyers—commitments more consistent with those of the Democrats’ plutocratic wing. The role of civil rights as reconciler-of-contradictions can be compared to that of anti-Communism in the tripartite Reagan coalition of the 1980s, which appealed in one way to Christians who thought the country ought to be more fraternal and in another to businessmen who thought it ought to be more rapacious.
Without a boogieman, can they boogie?
That’s the good news.
Now, the bad news: without Trump, the Republicans are going to have to find someone to unify around. It that ain’t gonna be easy.
The Trump “movement” is a lot like Ron Paul’s crowd, eight and 12 years ago – they pretty much came for a single personality, in whom a bunch of hot button issues coalesced; immigration, economic decay, identity politics. Like the Ron Paul crowd, they could easily disappear from the GOP for another generation.
Then there’s the remaining Tea Party, Reagan and even Chamber of Commerce Republicans – none of whom are big enough to put someone in the White House, all of whom are big enough to deny a nomination or scupper an election if they stay home.
The GOP needs a New Gingrich to articulate a vision that brings that throng together in time for midterms, when the reaction to the inevitable “progressive” overreach peaks.