Speaking of aging boomers, liberals, and dance show hosts, and the march of time, Michael Barone brings to our attention today the droopy, silver haired antiquity of the House Democratic leadership in the new Congress. ("Wily Old Dems take on Whippersnapper Republicans," January 6, 2011) The GOP landslide in the 2010 midterm election brought a lot of young Republicans into the House, swept some young Democrats out, and left the liberal Old Bulls in the same seats they have occupied for thirty and forty years or more.
Democrats like to think of themselves as the young party, the party of new ideas. And in 2010, they remained the choice of the youngest voters, though by only half the margin in 2008.Think of the implications of the "Big Unit America" view of the country that these Old Bull liberals hold and that Barone describes, and of the "personal preferences" and "privacy settings" view of the world that the rising generation has (to say nothing of fast and efficient delivery). Where is the political future and which party is philosophically better positioned to seize it?
But when you look at the top Democrats in the House, you don't see young faces. The ages of the ranking Democrats on the Appropriations, Ways and Means, Education, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, Foreign Affairs and Judiciary committees are 70, 79, 65, 71, 70, 69 and 81. The three party leaders are 70, 71 and 70.