So argues political scientist, Seth Maskett:
Jamelle Bouie has a very nice response to William Galston and Elaine Kamarck's recent essay "The New Politics of Evasion." Galston and Kamarck describe the Republicans as being on the "wrong side of a demographic tidal wave." That is, the non-white share of the American population is growing rapidly, and it's increasingly voting Democratic. This doesn't mean the Republicans will lose all power -- given Americans' non-random residency patterns, control of the House, Senate, or both will remain within their grasp for the foreseeable future. But winning the presidency seems increasingly remote for Republicans as they cement their status as the party of whites[...]
There are two notable problems with this argument. One, as Bouie effectively argues, as that the definition of "white" is highly malleable. In the nineteenth century, Italian, Irish, and Eastern European immigrants were shunned by Republicans as being distinct and inferior to the whites of the United States. As Bouie says, "They were seen as nearly as separate—as irreducibly different—as African Americans were." Democratic machines largely welcomed them into their ranks.
Over time, however, the descendants of those immigrants came to be treated as white and were welcomed into the Republican fold. The idea of an Irish Catholic president really was an affront to many Americans' sensibilities fifty years ago. Today, hardly anyone notices; the most recent Republican executive ticket contained a Mormon and an Irish Catholic, and it's hard to find any evidence they lost votes because of it. Similarly, there is every reason to believe that Latinos will be embraced as white as time goes on. As Bouie notes, Sen. Ted Cruz is basically considered white, and his children will be, too. And via intermarriage, the distinction between the races is becoming increasing a matter of opinion.[...]
The other major problem with the Galston/Kamarck argument is that just as whiteness is not fixed, neither is the Republican identity. Just a few months ago, the Republican congressional leadership was widely seen as being controlled by a rump Tea Party faction, and this seemed to be hurting them in the eyes of voters. And then yesterday, John Boehner told that faction to go pound sand. Parties are, of course, highly constrained on what stances they can or can't take, but they're not obligated to follow the wishes of their most boisterous members if they think that would lead them off a cliff.
Yes, the funeral plans are premature, to say the least. The expected demise of the Republicans as a competitive political party is wishful thinking. And does anyone really want to live in a one party nation? Not me. America changes and parties change, but I expect the liberal-conservative push and pull will continue in one form or another. As I've written before, it might even be an adaptive social feature rather than a bug.