If you're a political junkie -- or at least if you're a conservative political junkie -- you've probably seen the map. It's a map of the United States showing the congressional districts won by Republicans in red and those won by Democrats in blue.
Before the election results are in, and keeping in mind that there may be some unpleasant surprises for one party or the other -- or both -- it's possible to assess how the Democratic Party has fared under the leadership of President Obama. To summarize the verdict: not so well.
On Oct. 27, 1964, 50 years ago Monday, a movie actor and television host delivered a 30-minute speech on primetime national television in support of the presidential candidacy of Barry Goldwater.
There were no visual diversions, and the production values by today's standards were primitive. Few if any viewers realized it, but they were watching a future president of the United States.
It's looking like a tough offyear election for Democrats, with their Senate majority at serious risk and their chances of gaining House seats down toward zero.
Things are spinning out of control. Out of control, at least, by government, and by the United States government in particular. You don't have to spend much time reading the news -- or monitoring your Twitter feed -- to get that impression. Armed fighting in Ukraine. Islamic State beheadings in Iraq and Syria. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in Hong Kong.
Republicans seem to be pulling away in the race to win a majority in the U.S. Senate. At least this week.
In mid-September, several polls seemed to be going the other way. The well-informed Washington Post analyst Chris Cillizza wrote that for the first time in this election cycle, odds favored the Democrats keeping their majority.
Last week, the voters of Scotland, in a heavy turnout and from age 16 up, decided not to disunite what has been arguably one of the most successful and beneficial nations over the last 307 years, the necessarily clunkily named United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
What should we do about immigration policy? It's a question many are asking, and some useful perspective comes from an article in Foreign Affairs by British-born, California-based historian Gregory Clark, unhelpfully titled, "The American Dream Is an Illusion."
Which of our two great political parties is the stronger? Maybe it makes more sense to ask which of the two is weaker.
Iraq, immigration, inversion. On all three of the issues referred to, President Obama finds himself forced by events to do something he dislikes -- and he's in trouble with much of his Democratic Party base for doing so.