What is the Future of the Democratic Party? And a Slight Mea Culpa

By | August 10, 2017

Sometimes, you just have to admit when you’re wrong…or admit that you might be. For the last few years, I’ve backed every major Democratic power figure sometimes referred to as the nefarious-sounding “Democratic Establishment.”

I supported Harry Reid trying to push out Alan Grayson and Joe Sestak in their senate races last year, favoring more electable candidates in Florida and Pennsylvania (both of whom eventually lost). I didn’t get what the big deal was about Debbie Wasserman-Shultz’s emails, and knew her ouster as head of the DNC would throw the party into chaos (actually I was right about this one). I backed Obama–and still do–even as statewide and congressional Democrats were getting slaughtered and he seemed a little less than concerned about this, I supported and still do Hillary, and Tom Perez to lead the DNC now. In my honest opinion, Bernie truly did hurt Hillary in the general, and even though I would have gladly voted for him last year (or in 2020…if he’s alive), I’m skeptical he would’ve beat Trump either. Yet, it may now also be time to admit that “Citizens United” may have co-opted the Democrats in a strange way too: after 2010, they sure seemed to favor social issues over economic ones, and you can’t help but feel fundraising may have been behind this.

But now the questions loom: What is the Democratic Party? What is their path forward? How, oh how, can they reclaim two-thirds of state governments, both houses of congress, and the Presidency (which comes with the ability to take back the Supreme Court)?

As terrible as Trump is and as sorry as the GOP has been, I see their wounds as more self-inflicted than part of any genius strategem on Democrat’s part. We’re a party in disarray, and our activist base—which seems perpetually outraged over bullshit like Tom Perez dodging a question about whether he would want a redneck, confederate flag-owning trucker to be part of the party—seems to be content in never winning another election, finding fresh ways to alienate more people, and dividing the party into ever more socially-liberal circles every day.

All of the congressional special elections this year have went to Republicans, and even if they were all red districts, we probably should’ve won at least one of them. No, I don’t believe Jon Ossof was a “bad candidate” in Georgia’s 6th district, and have grown to despise the dumping on losing-Dem candidates that takes place as a security-blanket defense against larger problems within the party. And Montana’s congressional district—which covers the entire state—was easily winnable considering the state has a Democratic Governor and Senator, and Greg Gianforte (the Republican victor) body-slammed a reporter for asking an innocuous, relevant question. The worst part: the week after he did that, his fundraising skyrocketed, and this may have inspired Trump to put out a photoshopped tweet of him “body-slamming” CNN.

Yet you wouldn’t even know Democrats are in trouble by going on Twitter or MSNBC or CNN, where every day brings some fresh Trump outrage or failing–and, in fairness, it actually does–and a beyond-rosy estimation that in no time at all, Trump will be impeached, and Democrats can take back congress in 2018. Don’t get me wrong, I really, really hope they do, but Republicans have a huge money advantage, a psychotically loyal fan base, and voters that actually vote, rather than write “political rap concept albums” or make Twitter memes usually involving dancing that really don’t matter at all.

I guess I’ve been a little inactive on here (and favoring entertainment more than politics) because I’m not really sure what to say about this strange new period. There’s only so many pieces you can write about Trump–common theme: he sucks!–before you begin to a feel a little hopeless. Truly, I’m starting to believe his campaign boast that he could kill somebody and wouldn’t lose his voters. And even though Democrats keep shrugging this off with “Well, it’s only 35 to 40% of America!” I’m not sure they fully appreciate that only half that number is more than enough to win any mid-term election.

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