Thank you for the kind words. You have a long memory. Mine is short, but I do remember those arguments with Ted. It is easy to remember being on the opposite side of a debate from Ted. His mind is too strong, too quick and his base of knowledge too deep to ever enjoy going against him. I'm sure I made some good points, but overall, I'd say Ted was right. I couldn't stand either Obama or McCain (and I knew Obama was worse, but I argued in favor of voting for the Libertarian instead of the lessor of two evils).
I was wrong.
Ted made one point that hit me hard at the time, and stayed with me. That Obama would be appointing Supreme Court justices. And that argument alone should have swayed me to vote for McCain, but at least it stuck with me and this year I voted for Trump (despite a multitude of concerns) because of his list of Supreme Court Justices that he has said he will use for his nominations. (I also agree with his plans for tax reduction, regulation reduction, border security, tax reparations, and maybe above all, with spitting in the eye of political correctness which I think is strangling our nation intellectually).
I've been wrong in my predictions as much - maybe more - than others. I didn't think Trump would run. I didn't think he'd stay in when it came to making financial disclosures. I didn't think he'd win the primaries. I didn't think he'd win the general. So, like I said, I'm no whiz on predictions.
Ted was accurate about Obama being the worst president ever (except maybe Wilson). Hillary might have been worse. Hillary would have been 'hitting the bottom' (or maybe Obama was the bottom, or maybe the bottom is out there in the not so distant future - that's a scary thought.)
Limbaugh is right. Obama destroyed the Democrat party. It is because Obama was too good at pushing progressivism and took politics past the left-most edge of the Overton Window. I was only partly right about people "waking up" when we 'hit bottom' - because we have is much more of a emotional reaction than an intellectual awakening (which is what we need). (Some people voted for Obama because they were desparate for change. The Tea Party was a cry for change. Giving the GOP the House was an attempt to get change. Giving the GOP the Senate was an attempt to get change. Brexit was a demand for change. Now, voters have just said, "Screw the msm, Hollywood, political correctness, the establishment, the pundits... every one. I'm putting Trump in there.")
The Democrats will reorganize and adopt some populist positions but I suspect that they will find new power players that are deeply progressive and they will count on the younger and still younger voters being further left and more politically correct and deeply imbued with notions of race-shame, globalism and climate change. They just have to dress up "Hope and Change" in some new clothes.
I agree with everything you said about the sorry state of things. And, the progressives aren't going to quit even if the Democrat party is in shambles. Elections are just another means to that same end that they won't give up on. Saul Alinsky warned that they should use the poor to generate concern, but that it was the middle-class they had to win over. They still have MSM, Hollywood, big money special interests, universities, various identity groups, unions and a number of left-wing nut jobs and organizations... all attendees of the church of progressivism.
I have two, very tiny books out on Amazon.com (just search under "Steve Wolfer"). They are $2.99 for the digital versions, and $5.99 for the physical copies. One is on progressivism and the other is on the nature of government.