2017: Whither Democrats?

Or at the very least encourage family, friends, and co-workers to run for office. I think the Democratic party is in desperate need of some fresh blood and new ideas.

Here is the bluest state in the union, we lost our last remaining Republican state senator. He lost to nice smart young man, who’s whole career has consisted of law school, city council and now state senate. The state is now entirely run by a professional Democratic career politician. Not shockingly voter turnout has dropped from 96% in 1960 to 54% this year.

Even Tulsi Gabbard, who I think rightly could be considered a rising star in the Democratic ranks, while she has military service comes from a political family.

Last weekend, I pulled aside the young woman who was doing a terrific job as the wedding master of ceremonies and told her you really should run for office. I told her I want to make the first contribution to her campaign. I’m not the first person who’s told her this so maybe it will have an effect.

Voters don’t find decades of political experience to be desirable (even if they will continue to re-elect incumbents on their side). So at least for the lower political offices, Democrat need to recruit outsiders.

You sure have that right, Strollen.

“We tend to focus on the loss of the presidency as the example of Democratic failure. That’s blinkered. Since 2008, by our estimates, the party has shed 870 legislators and leaders at the state and federal levels – and that estimate may be on the low side. As Donald Trump might put it, that’s decimation times 50.”


I know a Dem organizer- she verified this actually happened, at least here. Her responsibility was the phone banks, and she’s been doing it for years.

Only about half of the folks Hillary called who even voted did so for Hillary. A good portion of Hillary’s vote loss voted for Trump or 3rd party- picking Hillary may not have been Bernie or Bust necessarily, but it was definitely a bust.

Trump lost voters who were Nevertrumps, but made it up with Obama Dems who switched from Hillary to Trump.

I’m actually tempted to run for State House myself in 2018, much to the dread of this board, even though the seat is heavily gerrymandered and was unopposed this year.

Also, I believe Schumer and Warren have both decided to back Keith Ellison for DNC chair, so he’s the likely pick- those are two of the leading figures of both wings of the Dems.

[quote=“Alstein, post:139, topic:126881”]
Bernie lost due to a combination of HIllary getting BIll’s black church vote and a heavy Dem thumb on the scales. He might have won a fair primary, and I believe he would have won the general.[/quote]
We just held a fair primary. Bernie Sanders lost. The “heavy Dem thumb on the scales” was Democratic primary voters deciding that they preferred Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders.

I’ll say it again: If Bernie Sanders couldn’t beat Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primary, then he wasn’t going to win a general election in which non-leftists are allowed to vote. If Hillary Clinton was such an incredibly weak and doomed candidate, then why couldn’t Bernie Sanders beat her in the primary?

There was a bizarre overlap between the appeal of Bernie and Trump. I never understood it but remember when Dems were so upset because the “dead-enders” said they were voting Trump?

The Dems did have their thumb on the scale and the narrative was go with Hillary because that is the only sensible thing to do this year. A crazy loon like Bernie promising free college would never win! Then the country elected someone with even crazier promises.

Bernie may not have won but I think his chances were better than you think.

Given the stuff that has come out about how things were tilted on the scales through all the leaks of the past few months- it wasn’t fair. The DNC did everything they legally could, and perhaps more than that, to try and ease Hillary through.

Bernie would have gotten some of those Trump Democrats which cost Hillary the election, and didn’t have the character issues that caused independents and low-motivation Dems to stay home.

We tried the Hillary approach in 2016, and it failed. It’s time to try a new approach, one that’s more in step with the folks who will be the majority of the Dems in 2020 (folks under 40)

I guess Sanders supporters and Trump supporters do have something in common: They know that Crooked Hillary rigged the system!

Meanwhile, in the real world, the barriers Sanders faced from the Democratic establishment are exactly the barriers any outsider would face trying to break into any party that they were not previously a member of. You need to win over hearts and minds to become the champion of a movement. It’s not like super-delegates “stole the election” or anything. Primary voters preferred Clinton to Sanders. Donald Trump faced a lot of Republican insiders who tried to prevent him from winning the primary, but he overcame them, and won. Sanders lost.

Socialists are a minority within America’s leftist party, and are a complete non-entity in centrist and conservative circles. If Democrats forget that they won’t even have the popular vote to console them in 2020.

Fair enough. All I’m suggesting is that arguments leaning heavily on conventional wisdom or historical precedence don’t seem as strong after November 8th. This year was fundamentally different.

Also I think Trump signals a true paradigm shift in the coalitions- they’re going to be different in 2020 than they were in 2008. Really different.

Very much so, to give one example lets look immigration and trade.

I can’t be part of the anti-globalism of Trump’s Republican party, nor can I be part of the anti-globalism Sander’s Democratic party. Globalism and Free-trade are good for the human race both economically and because they promote better cultural understanding. If you have a supplier in Shanghai and a buyer in Berlin you can’t help but realize that both Chinese and Germans are people and not a stereotype.
I’m ok with paying slightly higher taxes to help those American’s hurt by free trade. Given that polls show that a majority of American support free trade, it makes no sense that both parties ran explicitly against trade deals. In the future, I expect to see one party for free trade and the other protectionist. Hand in hand with trade is immigration, logically protectionism and anti-immigration go hand in hand. Somewhat astonishingly Democrats ended up being pro-immigration and protectionist. I don’t think this is viable long term.

One thing that’s been lurking in my thoughts these past few days is that I think that’s Trump’s branding of Crooked Hillary probably resonated far more with the people who turned out to vote for him that we’d like to give him credit for. I don’t think it’s that Hillary necessarily did anything bad – it’s just that it’s abundantly clear that she and Bill are held to a different standard than most of us would be. For example, when I worked for the govt., had I routed classified emails through a personal server for any reason whatsoever, I’d still be sitting in some supermax facility in Colorado. Never mind the fact that they may have been harmless classified documents. The stories, lies, rumors, etc… coupled with the Lewinsky affair and all of the Clintons’ public missteps – all of which they almost fully recovered from – paint a picture of the freedom of privilege that the vast majority of Americans cannot access. Trump, of course, experiences the same benefits, but since he only recently became a public target, he hasn’t been flicking off danger in the public sphere as long and as effectively as the Clintons. So, crooked or not – the Clintons, like many other wealthy and famous people, quite simply don’t have to live by the same rules that ordinary Americans do. It’s blindingly obvious and infuriating if you think about it too much. Trumps campaign made everybody thing about it too much.

With regard to the younger generation, in addition to some younger candidates, I’m really interested in seeing how the policy priorities change over the next four years. With their size as a voting bloc, Boomers have been running things for pretty much 30 years now, and what we focus on in election season has largely been shaped by that. I don’t want to get too conspiracy-crazy, but I think there’s an argument to be made that they’ve been pretty successful in screwing over everyone under 40. How do things change as, to be bluntly, they start dying off in increasing numbers? Or as the people of electable age start to reflect the generation where college debt was a thing, where they graduated into the post-9/11 or 2008 recessions, where their entire career was in the zero-real-wage-growth era, where they didn’t have the chance to get some equity in that cheap starter home?

Bernie spoke to that in a way that even Obama didn’t seriously get to. Certainly Hillary didn’t come across as genuine, even as she picked up some of Bernie’s policies. That reflected in the turnout numbers… and while you can blame them for not showing up and maybe costing us everything, it doesn’t change the fact that you probably want to think about how to reach them in the future.

This guy is angry and loud and NSFW language, but he has some good points:

I just came here to post this.
Youtube version so it embeds.

America is still super-polarized around several key cultural issues, and until these are resolved this sort of extreme back and forth whiplash will continue when the different ideological parties take power.

One, for example, is abortion. One side believes any abortion is an extremely evil act, the murder of an innocent human. The other believes it is a medical choice and should be legal and an option available to all couples. Most Christians believe the former, and most nonreligious the latter, and until there is accepted shared middle ground, the law will be unstable. MANY of the conservatives I know are single-issue voters, focused solely on abortion law, and the supreme court is the center of their Republican vote choice. Literally nothing else matters.

LGBT rights is another, with similar all-or-nothing divergent positions. Climate change has emerged as another.

For a while we will have law and policy that reflects one extreme, but if the laws move too quickly to one side faster than the society evolves, then we will continue to get these reactionary rubber banding revolutions. Short term stability is very bad and painful, but we have to hope there is moderation and convergence in the future.

I think that the problem with what that guy is saying, boils down to what i have found most depressing.

He says to spend time trying to convince people of your side. But i no longer know how this is possible, if people can no longer tell fact from fiction.

For instance, Trump lied constantly during his campaign, but when i pointed this out, it was simply stated that the fact checkers were lying. Even though they provided evidence to prove it.

In the face of that, i feel as though nothing can be done. Discourse becomes no longer an option.

Honestly the dems maybe need to drop one of their platforms to win over enough votes. The demographics won’t help if all the immigration is to the Cities.

So which will it be? Sadly probably climate change.

I hear you, but I think the main point might be: stop insulting fucking people and taking them for granted.

If they wont listen, they wont listen. It’s going to happen. But avoid the broad brush strokes that “flyover country” is bunch of backwards cousin-fuckers that you just want to die so you can do what you want.

The left needs to break with banking and business. It’s where they lost most people. Clinton is totally on your side, while she’s telling her Wall Street buddies how you’re all rubes. I suspect the rise of the internet and the loss of the Fairness Doctrine is a lot of it as well. Yeah, it might have seemed kind of iffy Free Speech-wise, but the second it was gone, we saw the rise of Fox News and public disinformation went off a fucking pier.

Yeah. They say, ‘talk to these people’ and I just think, have you ever talked to them? They spend 5 hours a day on Facebook retweeting crazy facebook memes.

Oh no! wumpus will be sad.

That seems highly unlikely. I don’t think dropping something would even mean anything - the more important point is to find coherent messages and perhaps add platform pieces that will play well. Some things are negotiable, but climate change, gay rights, and generally fighting for the underprivileged are the core ideals. I think the big problem is that the “tax the rich” messaging isn’t resonating all that broadly and is already entrenched in ways that make it more a difficult policy position. They should instead go after specifics: create a whole series of pigouvian taxes on ways to spend money that drive up costs for everyone else, like spending too much money on college, health insurance, rent/home purchases, and perhaps a few other targeted things like gas or power consumption. If the tax is only on people who spend more than some high threshold on these things, it will hit only the rich, and it can be used to subsidize these costs for the poorest - tax overpriced colleges or private schools to send more people to average colleges and increase funding of public schools, tax cadillac health plans to pay for basic ones, etc. It’s taxes, and surely someone will be like, “My opponent wants to put a tax on education!” It has the advantage, though, of being a fresher idea that doesn’t already have ingrained memes and the accompanying eyerolls.

Really, though, the best idea is to go into rebuilding mode. Cultivate talent, lay low and try to work with the GOP unless they cross one of the hot-button lines, and try to rebuild enough to take back State legislatures by 2020.

I think this is more propaganda than reality. I know a lot of liberals and most of them are not at all dismissive of other viewpoints, only of disregard for facts. I’ve only ever heard the term “flyover country” from someone trying to get liberals to listen to conservatives, the backwards cousin-fuckers stereotype is perhaps more acceptable than it should be, but I’ve never heard it used to dismiss a policy discussion, and I’ve certainly never heard anyone hope big swaths of the country would die so we could enact some laws.

I agree that breaking ties with banking would be helpful, but bankers are important to the country and the industry isn’t going away, so someone has to be their advocates. I’m happy for Democrats to cede that to the GOP, but that’s kind of already where they were, policy-wise? I mean, Clinton’s platform was pretty strongly anti-Wall Street and the remnants of the party are even more so. If people were swayed by the fact that Clinton got paid to speak to bankers, then they are again simply allowing propaganda to dictate their opinion. Trump is considering Jamie fucking Dimon as Treasury Secretary, so I’m thinking the Wall Street hate was pretty manufactured.

I will say, though, that the Basket of Deplorables comment, which seemed like a good way to call out Trump’s really shady backers, probably cost her the election because the phrasing played directly into the worst possible perception of her in the Rust belt (that she thinks everyone outside the coastal elite is a racist hick). If she had said that Trump was being propped up by a fringe group that she likes to refer to that way it would have been a much cleaner hit.