In November 2004 when Bush will be re-elected.
As usual, I find myself in agreement with Steven's cogent analysis - except I differ a bit with his conclusion:
Barring extraordinary events, in 2004 the Democrats will crash and burn, and then many in the Democratic party will finally start asking whether the "Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party" is actually a liability rather than an asset, something to be isolated and frozen out instead of pandered to. Given that they, like the religious right, have nowhere else to go, it's not even clear that the Democrats actually need to pander to them. If that happens, the Democrats may again become viable in the US.Yes, indeed, the Religious-Right were marginalized by the Republicans - and they had nowhere to go. They certainly weren't going to vote Libertarian, and Ross Perot's Reform Party was stillborn, though the miscarriage did cost Bush 41 re-election.
The Republicans eventually did that to the Falwell-Robertson religious right, and that's part of how they regained viability. But the practical effect of that was for the overall party ideology to move closer to the uncommitted American center. It wasn't just a cosmetic change, an attempt to find a new way to deliver the same old message.
If the Democrats eventually marginalize the Tranzis, they too will move closer to the American center, from the "opposite side". If a disaster in 2004 doesn't bring that about, they'll suffer further disasters in 2006 and 2008 (and 2010...), and eventually they'll make that change, and once again become competitive out of narrow self interest. For in the long run, not even leftists like being ideologically-pure losers.
But the (to be less charitable) "Barking Moonbat Wing" of the Democratic Party does have the Greens to move to. And the moonbat wing is, apparently, not insigificant given their representation in the current "Deep Space Nine" array of presidential hopefuls. The best the Religious-Right ever managed was Pat "Idiotarian" Robertson. According to this recent Gallup poll on media bias:
(A)bout 4 in 10 Americans today identify themselves as conservatives and about the same number identify as moderates, while less than 20% identify as liberals.And that "less than 20%" is apparently in control of the Democratic Party, something I don't think you can really say about the Religious Right. They were pandered to, but never had their hands on the reins. The Moonbats apparently do, and most aren't going to be "marginalized," I think. They'll leave first, and remain fervently active.
I'll be the first to admit I may be wrong, but the thing that has changed as far as I can see is the militance of the far-left. They don't care about being "ideologically pure losers." They just condemn the conservatives and the moderates for being "ignorant sheep" and soldier on in their efforts to save us from ourselves like good socialists should. Evidence for this militance? Increasing eco-terrorism for one thing. Earth First!ers setting fire to SUV dealerships and luxury homes under construction, PETA activists raiding labs and fur farms, protesters actively advocating soldiers killing their officers - and forums praising such action.
The Information Age has allowed everybody to politically organize, and nowhere is this more apparent than at the fringes, and yes, I realize that I represent one of those fringes. They no longer feel alone and helpless. Gun control activist are acting in our own self-interest (I believe preserving the Constitution is self-preservation, anyway). The liberals are crusaders out to save us from ourselves, and they will never rest
So, I don't think the Democrats will quite reach their nadir in 2004. I think it will occur after the more moderate forces of the Democratic Party attempt to marginalize the moonbat wing - and the moonbat wing, in large part, leaves. When that happens, the Greens will gain strength - and may actually manage to elect a representative or two, especially in areas such as San Francisco where they have a strong following. The Green Party will certainly further harm the Democratic Party - until the Democrats complete the second step and sell themselves to the electorate to the point where they can draw more from that 40% of the population that identifies itself as moderate. That will be a few years after 2004, I think, and it's going to be a definite two-step process.
But, while the third-party of the Greens will remain ineffective as far as getting candidates elected, I think it's going to be a drag on the Democrats for some time to come. There are just too many moonbats out there.