...Now, with George W. Bush's re-election, God and a newly triumphant Republican president are once again in the headlines. And there are signs that the present national divide, between the narrow but solid Republican majority and a Democratic party seemingly trapped in second place, may be hardening into a pattern that will persist for years to come.
Democrats, especially, are left to wonder: What will it take to break the pattern - an act of God?
History suggests several possibilities for a major reshaping event - a national calamity, a deep schism in the ruling party, the implosion of a social movement under the excesses of its own agenda or the emergence of an extraordinary political figure.
"Bush has done what no religious leader in the past has been able to do," Professor Cain said. "He has united the Protestants and the Catholics."
Professor Wilentz of Princeton said that even if the 2004 victory was an incremental one, that should not comfort the Democrats. He said Mr. Rove and Mr. Bush now have a chance to do what Hanna and McKinley never did: Lay the foundation for lasting Republican dominance.
"The Republicans are basically unchecked," Professor Wilentz said. "There is no check in the federal government and no check in the world. They have an unfettered playing field."
Until the next act of God, that is.
Murphy's piece draws some interesting historical parallels but the reader is left with an unsavory taste that he is hoping for an Act of God to cut President Bush down.
This is reinforced by a picture that accompanies the article online (I don't have hard copy). It shows a flaming meteor heading for a red elephant that stands atop a prostrate blue donkey.
This article is in exceptionally bad taste and its indicative of what the New York Times has become in allowing it to run.