What Happened to the Permanent Democrat Majority?

The election returns on November 2 tell a bigger story than massive disaffection with big government. They also point to a rising Republican majority. Consider, for example, the trend in the GOP’s percentage of House seats since the post-Depression lows of 1964 and 1974-76:

The 1964 low was an aberration, caused by LBJ’s landslide win over Barry Goldwater — a candidate whose then-“extreme” views went mainstream only 16 years later, with the election of Ronald Reagan. The backlash from Watergate led to the routs of 1974-76. And my trained eye tells me that 2008 was another aberration — a pause in a swing toward the GOP that began in the 1950s. So much for the “permanent Democratic majority” of which reality-based “progressives” love to boast.

Will the GOP’s fortunes rise indefinitely? Of course not — only a reality-based “progressive” would make that kind of claim. But the GOP will do well if it truly becomes — and remains — the party of limited government. It is the promise of government-light that propelled the GOP to a majority in 1994 and kept it there most of the time since.

That is the message of November 2. I urge Republican members of Congress to heed it.