Whose Tent Is Bigger?

Had this been Christie Todd Whitman or a host of other Republicans, it would have been the lead story on the nightly news today.William Daley of the Chicago Clan, former Bill Clinton’s Commerce Secretary and Al Gore’s President Campaign Chairman in 2000, sees all sorts of apocalyptic warning signs on the horizon for the Democrats.

Witness the losses in New Jersey and Virginia in this year’s off-year elections. In those gubernatorial contests, the margin of victory was provided to Republicans by independents — many of whom had voted for Obama. Just one year later, they had crossed back to the Republicans by 2-to-1 margins.Witness the drumbeat of ominous poll results. Obama’s approval rating has fallen below 49 percent overall and is even lower — 41 percent — among independents. On the question of which party is best suited to manage the economy, there has been a 30-point swing toward Republicans since November 2008, according to Ipsos. Gallup’s generic congressional ballot shows Republicans leading Democrats. There is not a hint of silver lining in these numbers. They are the quantitative expression of the swing bloc of American politics slipping away.And, of course, witness the loss of Rep. Griffith and his fellow moderate Democrats who will retire. They are perhaps the truest canaries in the coal mine.

Now, every time I write something critical about a liberal Republican or point out that maybe we should aggressively primary Parker Griffith, the whinny little girl on MSNBC and Rachel Maddow both mock the GOP as a small tent growing smaller.In fact, whenever an unkind word is said about Olympia Snowe, it is just further proof that the GOP is a party made of intolerant, close minded white guys.But here is the thing — the one story the media can never report is the flood of Republicans becoming Democrats. Why? Because it does not happen.Under Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama we have seen lots of Democrats become Republicans. We have seen lots of liberals become conservatives. But we rarely, rarely more rarely than a snow leopard in the Himalayas see a Republican or a conservative going over to their side.In other words, they are projecting.

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