USA Today and Gannett columnist DeWayne Wickham offers a trenchant post-mortem on both the Republican AND Democratic party's future prospects:
A new American majority has emerged from the voting that made Obama this nation's first black president. Obama was backed by just 43 percent of white voters. His largest percentages of support came from blacks, Hispanics and young whites.
In the past, the Democratic Party has been much more in sync with organized labor and liberal interest groups than with the millions of new black, Hispanic and young voters who cast ballots for Obama. It would be a mistake for Democrats to assume these new voters will embrace their old ways of doing business.
Obama's coalition is the political party of the future. It won this election under the Democratic Party's banner, but there's no guarantee it will remain there. What seems certain is that this coalition is born of a new political paradigm -- one in which the power to elect a president is no longer firmly in the hands of this nation's white majority.
I probably don't qualify as one of the 'young whites' that Wickham cites as a pillar of the Obama coalition, but I'm definitely somewhere on the outskirts of the camp. And, particularly in light of the way that my own state's "Democratic" party discarded the primary victory of my duly elected State Senator Rosalind Kurita, I don't hold much allegiance there, either.
Wickham is essentially correct. The political landscape is changing dramatically and the dust has very much yet to settle. As we watch the knee-deep-in-the-old-paradigm stalwarts of Congress attempt to come to grips with the country's economic woes, it's not hard to imagine the electorate ultimately losing their patience with BOTH political parties and throwing ALL the bumbs out...