Michael Barone contends that both political parties are failing to respond to signals in the political marketplace. I think Barone is right and has stated the problem neatly.
The market signals to the Republican Party are pretty clear. In 2020, the GOP couldn’t defeat an uninspiring Democrat presidential candidate whose mental capacity obviously is diminished, perhaps significantly.
The signals to the Democratic Party aren’t faint, either. They couldn’t defeat an immensely unlikeable and politically inexperienced presidential candidate in 2016. Nor could they avoid losing seats in the House last year, in what should have been a strong cycle for the Dems.
Yet, the Democrats keep doubling down on leftism. They are trying to parlay their razor slim majority in the Senate (51-50, in effect) into the radical transformation of America.
Meanwhile, the Republicans seem to be doubling down on Trump, at least for now. This is true both in Congress and among the rank-and-file. Polling suggests that almost half of registered Republicans support Trump more than they support the party.
Barone credits Trump for “some unique policy successes.” However, he observes that Trump’s “non-credible insistence that he won the 2020 election combines his solipsism with rear-view-mirror vision — an election-losing formula.”
Barone sums things up this way:
Democrats have been allowing players with adolescent mindsets to determine their policies, and Republicans have been embracing a leader with adolescent behavior control problems.
His message is:
It’s time for the parties to grow up and pay attention to the signals and cues voters are sending them in the political marketplace.
Which party, if either, will grow up first?