2017: Whither Democrats?


#161

That’s the GOP. Right now both parties are their advocates.
And they just recently fucked over everyone and were rewarded with a bailout.

Clinton’s platform might be “anti-Wall Street” but she isn’t. Neither was Bill. Many liberals feel Bill sold them out to the banks. And they’re not wrong. He deregulated them so they could make money hand-over fist and then they tanked the world and weren’t even penalized for it. Hell, they didn’t even change the rules. There is a reason people like Warren and Sanders are so popular : they’re not on the sides of the banking. Not at all.


#162

Shrug. I view this in the same way as her Iraq war vote and support of mass incarceration. It is possible to make mistakes, admit that you made them, and fight for the opposite of what you used to fight for. Just because Bill did something in the 90s that doesn’t mean Hillary wanted to do it in 2017.

Attacking the Clintons for these instances where they reached across the aisle is exactly why reaching across the aisle has become a thing of the past. You can’t say both “they should listen to the other side and compromise” and “all these compromises show how compromised they are, morally.”


#163

I know a lot of liberals and most are dismissive of other viewpoints and embrace disregard for facts.

They aren’t as bad as the right wingers, the behaviour is less extreme and the goals are not odious in the same way; but all the same behaviours are there.


#164

But Hillary was talking to them in _2013._ Those are the speeches we ended up seeing. And they didn’t paint her in a very sympathetic manner to the little guy. Add in the whole “private and public position” and… well it REALLY comes off as “look I say I’m against Wall Street, but I’m really not.” Which, I think, is actually accurate.

Bernie shifted her public position, but I doubt her private one moved at all. More importantly, the electorate didn’t either, they saw it as more proof of Crooked Hillary lying to them.


#165

After Obama won two elections, the discussion turned to how conservatives should start understanding the liberal mind.

Oh wait, no that didn’t happen.

Republicans turned instead towards extreme obstructionism, and they were then richly reward for that behavior. Does it matter the MSM completely obviated their responsibility to accurately report the reality of what was happening? Much like they normalized Trump whose entire campaign is just one huge con job, to which the American electorate gleefully replied “Yeah but emails!” Yes, but that does not also remove responsibility from the electorate from becoming informed.

That’s where the blame for this nightmare lies, not the media, not Hillary Clinton, not her campaign, but the lazy ass voter who can’t take their civic duty seriously. Face book memes and click bait headlines are the extent to which they keep themselves informed. And this fucking turn of elevating the uneducated white voter as some sort of hallowed demographic whose concerns are being ignored is god damn repugnant. Minorities, immigrants, single women, they apparently do not suffer from economic anxiety, only the poor white rural voter does. Electing a billionaire will surely assuage their fears. I mean WTF? (After dropping out of college for a few years I worked many blue collar jobs, and do you know what those men talked about? Cars, and women, in that order. It is impossible to discuss anything remotely abstract or removed from their frame of reference with them. They can barely be arsed to read street signs, let alone anything with paragraphs. If they could stick their dick in a tailpipe they would probably be in nirvana.)

Without a doubt, the established Democratic party has turned into a fund raising machine. The DNC abandoned local races, fielded crappy candidates (e.g. Murphy, Strickland) and are generally inept at politics without a charismatic pied piper rescuing them.


#166

I’m not excusing them, I’m trying to understand them.

Because ignoring and belittling them got us fucking here. If the Democratic party doesn’t start adapting, we’re all fucked.

Want to hear a terrifying statistic I heard the other day? The GOP is 5 states away from being able to just pass Constitutional Amendments on their own. The Democrats have failed that much. Do you want them revoking the First Amendment and declaring the nation Christian? Or destroying the 4th? The idea should be motivating, but the Left is too busy blaming.

We either start acknowledging people and their problems or we can kiss it all good bye. The GOP owns the state level. They’ve been owning the Congress as well. It used to be they couldn’t buy a damned election. It took a war hero who beat the Nazis and then Vietnam to get them Presidents. People hated their message. Then the Left decided to start co-opting the Right’s ideas. Globalization was now bi-partisan. Business was bi-partisan. They started focusing on the next Civil Rights movement, which is admirable, but they stopped doing what people wanted them to do. Namely protect them from big business.

The Democrats dominated the 20th century by being the party of labor and the common man. Then they lost big after Carter and decided to basically be the GOP only with minorities. And the GOP went off a fucking cliff because they had to be to the right of what was their position.

And Obama won, but he wasn’t an existential threat to the republic. The GOP painted it like that, but they knew he wasn’t. He wasn’t Stalin or Castro. He wasn’t saying to ignore the Constitution, quite the opposite in fact. They whipped up the base like they always have, but the leadership knew he wasn’t a real threat to the nation. McCain said as much in a town hall meeting. Romney talked tough, but at no point did he seriously think Obama was going to open FEMA camps and shit. That was Breitbart and their ilk… who are now basically running the country.


#167

I sort of think it all comes down to money, at least in NC. You have the Koch bros and Art Pope pouring massive amounts of money into GOP races. The Dems have no equivalent here. It is extremely difficult to compete. Wealthy Dems seem to have put their money into non-political foundations instead.


#168

Maybe, but that’s a really bad reason to give people for why you sold them down the river. If you aren’t looking out for them and their interests, then as far as they’re concerned you don’t need the money anyway.

I can’t think of a clever analogy, but the idea is you need money to represent my interests, only you have to sell out my interests to get the money? So, basically, you’ve got a lot of money now and I’m fucked.


#169

I think Trump proved ironically that big funding doesn’t matter as much as we think. He was massively outspent.


#170

Scott is a complete asshole, but he’s usually right. To be fair, he’s extremely libertarian who cares deeply about the Constitution and rights. So he basically hates both parties quite a bit.


#171

I was thinking more in terms of the money injected into local races, school boards, etc. – the less visible races.


#172

I fully agree with you there. That’s why my limited donations were downballot. Wouldn’t give a dime to Hillary.


#173

haha, “Idiocracy” will be revered as a prophecy in a few hundred years.


#174

So the solution is now to adopt more of the right’s talking points because that’s what these people want to hear?


#175

The solution is finding some economic alternative to “We’re Republicans, but we use our brain a bit more and actually have a heart”. I understand that the US is not the place for socialism, bootstraps, etc, figure it out somehow, otherwise it’s going to get worse.


#176

So just to be clear, being republicans with a brain and a heart is less appealing than being republicans without those things, so Democrats should listen more to the people who voted against them and propose something that isn’t like the things they voted for, but accomplishes the brain and heart stuff? Got it.

The democrats won the popular vote and narrowly lost the EC. It’s sucks that Trump and the GOP are going to run the country, but it’s silly to argue that the answer is to move left and start paying attention to Trump voters. Yes, all voters need attention. More importantly, the Democrats need to start finding candidates who can do well at the state level. It’s great to say “we need a 50 state strategy,” but let’s start with a 25 state strategy. Let’s stop ceding control of battleground and purplish states to GOP candidates who claim moderate views then push the Tea Party line when it needs it.


#177

Republicans have someone to blame for why things aren’t going great. They have someone to push against. They have a narrative that’s easy to understand. They can give their voters hope and they promise change. Which, I’m sure, is a fairly popular stance.

But maybe you’re right. I kinda hope you are.


#178

A good point. This was such a strange election and the close margin invites the mind to generate a host of “what-if?” scenarios.

But we shouldn’t act like we’ve entered the bizzaro word where none of the old (and painfully learned) lessons of previous victories and defeats apply.

A lot of people are posting about how the Democrats needs to focus on economic policy. But Americans are more economically conservative than they are socially conservative.

Keynesian economics and deficit spending during recessions, despite their proven track records, are distrusted by many Americans. Analogies between personal finances and national finances dominate. People hate the ideas of subsidies or handouts, but embrace the same transfers when they are turned into tax cuts or tax credits. Hell, trickle down economics, a thoroughly discredited economic system, is rejected by “many” Americans because less than half of Americans are opposed to it. It’s also the economic policy Donald Trump campaigned on.

If this changes it will be due to slowly changing minds through education, not by running a candidate who promises radical redistribution. The extreme right-wing economic policy that George W. Bush called voodoo economics in 1980 just won an election in 2016. Americans love far-right economics, or else they don’t care much about economic issues compared to social issues or candidate charisma. (Or maybe both.) Either way, I don’t think radical left-wing economics are going to be a winning issue nationally for the Democratic party in 2018 or 2020.


#179

No, it’s time to remember what they stood for. Labor. Against the banking industry fucking people over. You know all the shit Bernie Sanders kept talking about. That’s the future and, ironically, the past of the Democratic party. They need to be there again instead of trying to be the GOP that likes minorities more.


#180

The Republicans moving further and further to the right opened up all this centrist and center-right space for Dems to take over, but it was a trap. Did they not just get flanked from the left and right, encircled, and (barely) outmaneuvered?