REALIGNMENT

Peter Roff thinks we’ve lost sight of how far the Republicans have come in becoming a majority party,

In 2004 it will be 10 years since the Republican Party, riding atop the crest of a wave created by the “Contract with America,” rode into the majority in the U.S. House, the Senate, the governorships and, for the first time in decades, reached parity with the Democrats in the number of state legislative chambers the party held.

This comes in stark contrast to the 1970s and 1980s, where Democrat dominance of the Congress and state governments was seen as a permanent feature of American politics.

Roff concludes,

If the current political alignment holds, then parity and the accompanying gridlock in Washington will remain the order of the day. If Bush is able to cement his hold on the presidency — no small if — and campaign aggressively for Republicans running down ballot, then the long-predicted realignment may actually occur. The elements necessary for such an outcome are certainly in place. Whether the GOP can pull it off is a whole other story.

Quite true. And, really, while all this marks a realignment in the sense of a significant, permanent, change in the party balance–from Democrat dominance to parity–it is not a realignment in the traditional sense of the “out” party becoming the dominant party. That doesn’t appear to be on the horizon anytime soon.

(Hat tip: Reductio ad Absurdum)

FILED UNDER: The Presidency, US Politics,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.