I don't know, CK, if you or anyone reading along has had a chance to see this yet, but it's so relevant to the discussion you and bob and I were having here, that I'd like to append it to the thread if I may.

I think it squares nicely with the position I took in the exchange--especially the idea that the Democratic Party is deeply troubled electorally, and that the roots of that trouble lie in the party's subscription to alienating ideologies.

Sifting through the wreckage of the 2016 election, Democratic pollsters, strategists and sympathetic academics have reached some unnerving conclusions.

What the autopsy reveals is that Democratic losses among working class voters were not limited to whites; that crucial constituencies within the party see its leaders as alien; and that unity over economic populism may not be able to turn back the conservative tide.

Equally disturbing, winning back former party loyalists who switched to Trump will be tough: these white voters’ views on immigration and race are in direct conflict with fundamental Democratic tenets.

If we view the character of the US government to be of, by, and for the people rather than of, by, and for the acres, the map points to a distorted view of electoral support for the President in November 2016.

My point, of course, had nothing to do with "government of, by, and for the acres" (a clever formulation, I'll grant) but rather with the Democrats' failure to win a crucial national election for the lack of a few more acres. Given the stakes, is the expectation that the Democrats ought to have been able to win a few more acres out in the dreary, retrograde and bigoted heartland--the "Jesusland" of liberal cartography--so unreasonable? And I submit that their inability to do so has everything to do with their myopia.

As to "government of, by, and for the people"--according to Harry Jaffa in A New Birth of Freedom, Lincoln's ideal of popular government which that famous phrase embodies has everything to do with strict conformity to law, with the "rule of law" as such, and the reason Lincoln associated the secession of the South with an assault on the ideal of "government of, by, and for the people" was that they did not seek to secede via a legal process, they just unilaterally decreed it.

On that reading, "government of, by, and for the people" really has little to do with the ostensible injustice of the will of the voters of L.A. County being frustrated as regards their choice for President of the United States--since a mound of ten million human beings doesn't really get at the ideal of "government of, by, and for the people"--and everything to do with "strict conformity to law". And that necessarily--and obviously--means the law pertaining to Presidential elections which mandates the Electoral College, and the laws pertaining to Congressional elections which, unfortunately for the Democrats, have an awful lot to do with acres and counties and states.

Quinnipiac finds: “By a 54 – 38 percent margin, American voters want the Democratic Party to win control of the U.S. House of Representatives. This is the widest margin ever measured for this question in a Quinnipiac University poll, exceeding a 5 percentage point margin for Republicans in 2013.” You wonder whether that number has to hit 20 percent before Republicans, etc.

I'd like to think the flaw in this--regarding "control of the U.S. House of Representatives"--would go without saying.

When voters on a district by district basis begin to evince a similar tendency, then we'll know Republican control of the House is endangered, but not before then.

an incompetent, scandal-plagued and uniquely dishonest administration.

That's right, folks. More dishonest and scandal-plagued than the Nixon administration during the Watergate crisis--more dishonest than LBJ and the Gulf of Tonkin--more dishonest than JFK and his serial adulteries and concealed health problems--more dishonest than Bill Clinton and "that woman, Ms. Lewinsky"--

remaining unconcerned with the precedent of firing an FBI director

There was widespread and bipartisan dissatisfaction with Jim Comey. As to "the precedent" of firing an FBI director, it certainly isn't unprecendented--and if it were, it would probably be desirable to establish one, since the position of FBI director itself has a somewhat chequered history.

confirming some of the worst nominees in history

Gee, that's "fairly described", isn't it? That's not a sectarian perspective.

including an attorney general who appears to have reneged on his promise to recuse himself

Really? So an attorney general who recuses himself from a particular investigation can no longer superintend the FBI director?

Well, even were that the case--which, of course, it isn't--that doesn't prevent the deputy attorney general (let alone the President of the United States himself) from superintending the FBI director.

they have no choice or interest-calculus other than to continue as they have been until someone or -thing compels them to stop.

Yes--and we've yet to hear any plausible scenario about what that "someone or -thing" would look like, let alone be. A Democratic Party besotted by an alienating bourgeois ideology practically calibrated to offend (and even demonize) the white working class and relegated to coastal enclaves, however locally strong (I mean, have you looked at a map of last year's election on a county by county basis?), almost certainly isn't the "someone or -thing". Ergo...

It occurs to me that, in my preceding comment, I said that the Democrats "lost the Senate to boot" in last year's election. I'd like to think that anyone reading along would take my larger meaning despite the mistaken expression, but before anyone corrects me, permit me to acknowledge the mistake. If I could revise that clause it would read something like "failed to take either chamber of Congress" or some such.

Bob, I really can't help but marvel at the stated assumption of your comment: namely, that the Republican control of the Presidency and Congress is "not durable against the long term trends." Granted, there's been a lot of talk on that line over the past fifteen years or so, much of it plainly self-serving. But what we saw in the last national election was a veritable collapse of the Democratic Party on a national basis--a showing that really ought to alarm every committed Democrat but apparently does not, given the paucity of self-critical analysis from that quarter.

We hear endlessly about how Russia "stole" the election (by releasing internal comments of Clinton campaign and DNC insiders that were widely viewed as being offensive) and how Jim Comey disrupted Hillary's sure-fire election prospects at the eleventh hour. We've heard relatively little about how moribund Hillary was as a presidential candidate and as a corollary how moribund the Democratic National Committee cum Politburo is--the Wikileaks documents exposed the way in which the DNC rigged the outcome of the nomination process in the face of a groundswell of enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders. By contrast, we surely learned that the Republican National Committee played fair and square by their candidates--and proceeded to win a major victory.

Yes, the Democrats are strong in certain prominent urban enclaves on the West and East coasts. Yet, the fact that the Democrats failed to win the last election against a candidate widely presumed to be unelectable, that they lost the Senate to boot, and that they suffered a calamitous decline in their representation in state legislatures would seem to testify to the widespread unpopularity of the Democratic Party across an extensive geographic distribution--and, unfortunately for the Democrats, popularity across an extensive geographic distribution is just how elections for both the President and Congress are structured in this country. Whether talk of "long term trends" disfavoring the Republican Party turns out to be true or false, those long term trends won't affect the short term of the 2018 or 2020 elections.

If one is going to speculate on the imminent demise of the Republican Party on the national level, one can only do so by positing the correlative rise of the Democrats. It really doesn't matter much if millions of Hispanics keep piling up in California or if thousands of Somalis keep piling up in Minnesota. Long term trends like that don't help the Democrats win the Presidency or the Congress; and, in the meantime, those same trends antagonize the white working class throughout the country--and the white working class really is a critical constituency. Right now, President Trump has a lock on that constituency (witness the continuing enthusiasm of his rallies), which isn't concentrated in a few enclaves but is evenly distributed throughout the states. Will the Democrats do anything to pick that lock or will they double down on the same elite bourgeois ideology of "diversity" that lost them the white working class in the first place? All signs point to the latter prospect.

As for Speaker Ryan's comments on the "one shot" of passage for the AHCA, that seems to me a reference only to internal dynamics of the Republicans in Congress vis a vis Obamacare, not to their electoral prospects overall. I can't imagine that any Republican official at this point in time is sweating the party's prospects against a moribund Democratic Party that is in process of losing its historically core constituency.