In short, maybe the Democratic party is finished.
Here are some paragraphs from Billmon who sees the big political picture very clearly and fits the present into a very neat historical context:
...Maybe the immigrants or the information revolution or economic distress or some other irresistible force will push the wheel around again and leave the Dems on top, or bring a new party to power -- instead of leaving us with a hapless bunch of windbags who have to rely on the mother of all sex scandals to overcome their own handicaps.
But there's a strong smell of fustiness and decay in the system -- almost like the sour, medicinal odor of a nursing home. America isn't a spring chicken any more. At times (like now) you can almost hear the arteries hardening, even if you're not standing next to Dick Cheney. We're getting pretty set in our ways.
The instruments of top-down manipulation and control, and the enormous quantities of cash available to power them, may be too strong for economic change and social evolution (the godparents of political realignment) to overcome. Political change -- much less fundamental change, the kind that frees the slaves or brings malefactors of great wealth to heel -- may no longer be possible in American politics.
The Republicans may lose this election. They're certainly trying hard. They may even lose the next one. But it's going to take more than one or two scandal-boosted victories to persuade me the Dems have a future that doesn't involve being the ornamental decoration on a functionally one-party state.... LINK
If you follow that link and like what you read then go through to Billmon's home page and read the latest few entries.