The Dems Call It Quits
The Democratic Party has given up on proactively attracting left-of-center voters and embraced their fate–political oblivion. In a recent New York Times article, Democratic party operatives Mark Penn and Andrew Stein penned a screed stating that the party should move to the mythical ideological center of US politics. This position begs two questions:
- Move from where?
- What is the advantage of the move?
Any observer of politics over the last 30 years could tell you that the Democratic Leadership Council has moved the Democratic Party to the right. That was their stated goal and they, lead by the Clintons and millionaire/billionaire donors, have followed their plan to a tee. The Democrats left the Labor and Civil Rights Movements in the rear view mirror. As a consequence, both of these people-centered movements have seen their hard-fought gains eroded ever since. So the answer to Question 1 is “the right.” Even though the writers (read: hacks) inexplicably feel the party is somewhere on the left of the American political spectrum. This view would only be correct in Bizarro World.
They seem to feel their version of the “center” is where most Americans reside. A center where everyone thinks Obamacare went too far left and Medicare For All is pie in the sky. No recent polling that I know of supports this position. In fact, Mr. Penn is the co-director of Harris Insights & Analytics. They have worked closely with Harvard’s Center for American Political Studies (CAPS) to survey the American public on their political leanings. The Harvard-Harris Poll has found that Americans are tired of the continuous Russia coverage and that Bernie Sanders is America’s most popular active politician. He has an 80% favorability rate among rank-and-file Democrats. The Democratic Party leadership and operatives are on the wrong side of both these revelations. Bernie’s popularity is based on his very vocal advocacy of economic relief for the average American. That means most Democrats are left-of-center on these vital issues. So there are no voters to be gained moving to the center. In fact, this move would alienate a large swath of the Democratic Party base. The only folks that benefit are the fans of austerity, anti-tax entities, Dem loyalists/media figures and operatives.
The Function of Politics in a Democracy
The role of politics in a functioning democracy is to attract voters in order to enact policy that will benefit said voters. That is rather simplistic but, wholly accurate. This premise keeps political parties grounded in the needs of the electorate. When parties ignore the needs of their constituents or appear not to fight for things that will benefit them, the party loses elections. When they lose elections, they go back to the drawing board and find out how they can get closer to the needs of voters. The Democrats have decided that this model does not fit them.
The party has lost #1000seats, and the model has become “we’re not Trump” or as the DCCC stated in a recent epic political fail “…have you seen the other guys?”:
This garbage is not a winning strategy on the scale required to regain any real political power. They do not want to solve problems for the average American.
The party operatives are openly shunning two of the largest voting cohorts in the country- Millenials and Working Class Whites.
Millenials are treated with such condescending disdain on social media; it borders on abusive. Take a look at this account from my friend Leftist Millennial of Color Brittany B on Twitter entitled “Go Back to School Little Girl.” She chronicles her run in with neoliberal luminary Joan Walsh and her bullying coterie of idiots and faux-feminists.
You all know how I feel about race and politics. But, the party seems not to want to support any policy that will economically benefit the White Working Class. This position is so inane I really don’t know what to do with it. First, alienating ANY voting bloc when you are heading down the political tubes is, quite frankly, stupid. Secondly, there is no Progressive economic policy that should or could avoid helping this group.
It is all seems to be a subterfuge to avoid helping anyone. Except for the donor class.
#1000seats and #DemExit
The party has lost around a thousand seats since 2008. The party has also lost over fourteen million registered Democrats. They hold nearly no power to speak of, on every level of government. To put it mildly, the Democratic Party is in deep shite.
The Path Ahead
The Democrats are actively taking a sledgehammer to their political future, and there seems to be no voluntary change in the offing. What makes it worse is that Americans are openly stating that the Democratic Party is out of touch. I contend that America watched Bernie Sanders show them the way out of the darkness, they are doing the absolute most to avoid following that path.
The only way back into contention is to embrace Progressive policy:
- Medicare For All
- Fight For $15
- Equal Justice
- Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
- Free Pre-K thru 16 Education
- Tax the Rich and Corporations
- Much more…
Make these the planks of Democratic Party platform and FIGHT for them. Then they would see everything change.