Originally published 01/25/2013
Aaron Blake covers national politics at the Washington Post, where he writes regularly for “The Fix,” the Post’s top political blog. A Minnesota native and summa cum laude graduate of the University of Minnesota, Aaron has also written about politics for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal asked his fellow Republicans to shift their focus outside of Washington, D.C. in his speech Thursday night at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting.Doing so might cheer them up a little....“The Republicans will have an advantage in partisanship in districts for a long time. That, I think, is indisputable,” said Rob Richie, the executive director of the electoral reform group Fair Vote. Of the Democrats, he said, “I think that they’re probably settling in for a long stay in the minority, unless it’s a really big year.”...
Originally published 01/22/2013
Robert O. Self is a professor of history at Brown and the author, most recently, of “All in the Family: The Realignment of American Democracy Since the 1960s.”BARACK OBAMA has arrived at a historical moment enjoyed by only one other Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt: he gets to deliver a second Inaugural Address.The second inaugurals we remember bear witness to political realignment. The words of Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, in particular, testify to the closing of one era and the opening of another. In 1936 and 1984, Roosevelt and Reagan each won big. Their triumphs consolidated political transformations that had been building for some time and allowed their respective parties to reset the nation’s political center of gravity.Without the benefit of historical distance, how do we judge whether we are in the midst of such a realignment? Are the country’s deepest political instincts undergoing fundamental change? Coming up with an answer is not easy....