4. We’re heading for a showdown between the recipients of old-age benefits, and recipients of all the other kinds of benefits. Even after we hike taxes, something has to be cut. I’m betting on the oldsters to win this fight. They’re motivated, and they have a lot of time on their hands. And their middle-aged, middle class children will also freak out if you cut their benefits. They will not be nearly as upset if you slash Head Start. But those kinds of decisions are going to set off a sort of Hobbesian war of all-against-all within the Democratic coalition. And the aging of our population is an even more dramatic shift than its increasingly tan hue.
5. On social issues, Democrats are badly positioned for the future. Hold your fire–I mean politically, not morally. Gay marriage is going away as an issue, because the advocates have won. (And in the legislature, not in the courts, as they should). Not all the dominos have fallen yet, but they’re lined up the right way; it’s just a matter of time. Young evangelicals either don’t get energized about hte issue, or are actively pro. The GOP knows they’re eventually going to moderate, which is why you see these fumbling, ham-fisted attempts to reach out to GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans. On the other hand, they aren’t reaching out to Republicans for Choice, and for good reason. Evangelicals care just as much about abortion as ever, and the national trends are running towards more support for abortion restrictions, and greater identification as “Pro-Life”. Sonograms are undermining the Democratic position. So are demographics: the only group that majority-identifies as “Pro Choice” is women of childbearing age. Meanwhile, our fastest-growing demographic is retirees.