GOP Has Been Down This Road Before

This was the New York Times’ post-election analysis exactly 16 years ago today, Nov. 5, 1992, a day after Bill Clinton defeated President George H.W. Bush:

The Democrats came out of the political wilderness on Tuesday. The Republicans entered it.

The Democrats set aside all the self-doubts, the years of feeling on the wrong side of history, the election nights when the proud party of Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy seemed consigned to a painful irrelevance.

Ahead is the challenge of governing, and the clear accountability that comes with controlling both Congress and the White House. No more political cover for the Democrats, no more room for fingerpointing between Capitol Hill and the White House, no more excuses.

But the Republicans face the hard, brutal struggle of deciding who they are, resolving the tensions between moderates, conservatives, evangelical Christians, country-clubbers, supply-siders, suburbanites — all the disparate elements held together by Ronald Reagan that collapsed under President Bush.

Sound familiar?

Here’s another interesting paragraph from the same article:

Centrist Democrats viewed the Clinton candidacy as a vindication of their long struggle to push the party to the center, to broaden its base and reconnect with the middle class, to shatter the view that the party was a mere collection of liberal constituent groups. But the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a principal spokesman for the party’s left, asserted yesterday that Mr. Clinton’s victory was largely a result of broader forces: a bad economy, the votes of blacks energized by black candidacies this year and the mobilization of women by what he calls “the Anita Hill factor.”