By Peter Ferrara
There’s light at the end of the Obama tunnel.
Conservatives are still glum about the election, and the upper hand President Obama seems to have over Republicans. But the political stage has been framed far worse for conservatives and Republicans in the past.
In 1964, conservatives and Republicans were annihilated, when the conservative leader Barry Goldwater was crushed in the election by more than 20 points. Democrats held 295 House seats to 140 for the Republicans, and in the Senate, Democrats held a filibuster proof 67 seats, to 33 for the Republicans. This just 19 years after FDR had dominated American politics for a generation. The Republicans seemed dead, and conservatives were a disfavored minority within the Republican Party, distrusted as sure losers.
But in 1966, Republicans gained 47 House seats, and 3 in the Senate. Two years later, Richard Nixon won the White House, and was reelected in 1972 in an historic landslide, winning all but one state (Massachusetts).
By 1974, the Republicans seemed routed again. Watergate had forced Nixon to resign in disgrace, and the Republicans were annihilated again in the 1974 midterm elections. The Democrats gained 49 House seats, leading the Republicans 291 to 144, almost all the way back to 1964. Democrats gained 3 seats in the Senate, to lead the Republicans 60 to 38, with one Conservative Party Senator from New York, and one independent. In 1976, Democrat Jimmy Carter won back the White House from 8 years of Republican control.
But that was just a prelude to the Reagan domination of American politics for a generation, 24 years, after that. And during this time up until Reagan’s election, there was no Fox News, no conservative talk radio, no Internet and conservative blogosphere, and the Wall Street Journal editorial page did not blossom until the late 1970s.
Moreover, Republicans and conservatives only lost the 2012 election because millions of conservative voters stayed home, uninspired by the Northeast liberal Romney. This column tried to alert the public about that problem, in an offering entitled “RINO Romney Is the Least Electable.” But the Republicans still held the House majority, and hold complete control in 25 states with both the Governor and majorities in the legislature to only 14 for the Democrats.
Now Republicans and conservatives are on the comeback trail again. Suddenly, the upcoming issues do not favor Obama. And believe it or not, congressional Republicans are playing these issues right.
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