Democrats' Grip on the Future Slips Away as Techies, Young Retch in Disgust

Smirking ObamaThe most inevitable thing about politics is that
not a fucking thing is inevitable. At the moment, that’s
undoubtedly true of the Democratic Party’s much ballyhooed grip on
America-to-come—enabled more by the Republican Party’s loving
embrace of repulsive officials and policies than by its own
efforts, but what the hell. Just last year, Nate Silver told us
President Obama had a lock on Silicon Valley checkbooks
, and
only weeks ago, USA Today predicted that
young voters promised to turn Virginia
into a donkey party
province. And in such a short time, without any assistance from the
largely self-sabotaging major opposition party, the Democrats have
managed to piss off both constituencies. The future may well be
democratic, but it’s looking less certainly Democratic by the

Writes Dana Liebelson at
The Week

In the months leading up to the 2012 presidential election,
Silicon Valley was squarely in President Obama’s corner.

Google’s executive chairman coached Obama’s campaign team;
executives from Craigslist, Napster, and Linkedin helped him
fundraise; and when the dust settled, Obama had won nine counties
in the liberal and tech-heavy Bay Area, scoring 84 percent of the
vote in San Francisco. But a little over a year later, following
explosive allegations from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden
that the government is exploiting tech companies to spy on
Americans, some members of Silicon Valley are taking a new
perspective: “F— these guys.”

That’s what Brandon Downey, a security engineer with Google,
wrote late last month, upon learning that the NSA had broken into
Google and Yahoo and was exploiting the data of millions of users,
allegedly without the companies’ knowledge. He added, “We suspected
this was happening, [but] it still makes me terribly sad. It makes
me sad because I believe in America…The U.S. has to be better
than this.”

Likewise, while the Democrats’ Terry McAuliffe did win the
Virginia gubernatorial election, he did so by a narrower margin
than expected. Importantly, he did it without the youngest
voters. According to
exit polling
, voters between the ages of 18 and 24 went 45
percent for Republican Ken Cuccinelli, 39 percent for McAuliffe,
and 15 percent for Libertarian Robert Sarvis.

Vote by age

The why of the transformation from a predicted Democratic lock
on the youth vote to a Republican plurality among the youngest is
unclear, but the College Republican National Committee
ran ads
in Virginia comparing McAuliffe to an online scammer
and playing up disappointment with Democratic promises.

In the year of
, NSA spying revelations, DOJ investigation of
journalists, politicized IRS treatment of nonprofits, ad nauseum,
it’s not too surprising that young Americans have
lost that shiny, happy feeling about the guy in the White House and
his playmates

Likewise, Silicon Valley techies concerned about civil liberties
and an open society are very clearly shocked to discover that the
politicians who whispered sweet nothings in their ears

“There’s a strong libertarian streak that dampens support for
the Obama administration… Entrepreneurs don’t like the government
telling them what they can or can’t do with their bodies or their
wallets,” Craig Montuori, a politically active Caltech aerospace
engineer, told The Week. If that’s what you’re looking
for, you’re not seeing it in the party that controls the White
House and the Senate—now or ten years ago, for that matter.

And it’s not just local. The Democrats, overall, have
lost their edge in congressional polling

Just as the incursions, arrogance, and presumptions of the Bush
years really didn’t mean, as we’re discovering, an inevitably
Democratic future, the failures and abuses of the Obama years don’t
necessarily hand the ball back to the GOP. Both major political
parties have demonstrated an unerring ability to replicate and even
surpass their opponents’ flaws.

Maybe something about politics is inevitable, after all:
crushing disappointment for those who place their faith in the
creatures who inhabit government.

from Hit & Run

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