After yet another electoral debacle, the Democrats insular firing squad has turned on one another.
Moderate/neoliberals blaming progressives and vise versa. Elites and the chattering class taking to social media in order to demonize anyone who voted Republican as a “racist,” while others blame the White House for a stalled legislative agenda and question Joe Biden’s competence (strangely no one other than yours truly has blamed the media for causing hysteria over Afghanistan and sending Biden’s approval ratings into a tumble – maybe that means I am just wrong about this) .
Truthfully, I am tired of the excuses and the constant rationalizing from Democratic Party operatives and chattering class elites. The Democrats have in my opinion under-performed nationally relative to expectations in FOUR successive main cycles (2014,16,18 and 20), and 2021’s results indicate that 2022 could be as bad as 1946, 1994, 2010 or 2014.
So, I am throwing the discussion open to readers. Why did the Democrats see basically a double-digit reversal statewide in both Virginia and New Jersey in one year and how could the party lose the Virginia House, dropping as many 7 or 8 seats? How could a Republican get elected in Seattle, and how could Republicans sweep statewide offices in Virginia after winning exactly ZERO statewide elections in the 2010’s in the state.
Have at it!
If the infrastructure bill could have passed it would have given Biden and the Democrats a boost, as it was the body politic still had the taste of Afghanistan in it mouth and maybe, the G20/COP26, which didn’t seem positive (a comment from the left?). In addition, I agree with James Carville, that the Democrats need to get a woke detox and cut the faculty lounge talk (from the right?).
Racism plain and simple.
Attacks on CRT worked.
Attacks on Covid lockdowns did as well.
Quit the woke **** and talk about issues that matter.
Something that maybe is getting a tad off topic but I have long thought that US progressives need to start having a better understanding that anti-neoliberalism actually is not the strong of a position in terms of public support outside of the US and UK. For example leaders like Clinton, Blair, W Bush, and Brown are now completely discredited among progressives and much of the general public but for example two of there contemporary counterparts Jean Chretien of Canada and John Howard of Australia are very much considered great leaders in the history books despite the fact both of them two were neoliberals. So this anti-neoliberalism thing doesn’t even have much salience in the Anglosphere outside of the UK and US.
To be clear there are specific reasons Australia and Canada’s economic performance diverged sharply upwards from the UK and US but that has only caused the public perception of Chretien and Howard’s legacy to zoom sharply upwards too. But I also get the sense that many Americans progressives don’t understand these differences and don’t really want to and we are just talking about inside the Anglosphere never mind the non English speaking world.
Abandoning family leave plus not passing infrastructure.
What is the point of Dem rule if they’re so bad at governing?
Why should anyone trust them?
I wish it was simple, but it’s not. Let me give you a few thoughts.
The most important change against the Democrats is that they are out of touch with the electorate. The Republicans are not really either, but the Democrats are the subject here. There is an old line that says that people won’t care what you say if they don’t think you care. There are essential things that I believe many people believe Democrats don’t care about, even many registered Democrats. Two are being a party of and by the people. Having correct ideas won’t get far without having a critical mass of people with you. In the US some 30% of people have college degrees. The Party is seen by many as an elite institution dependent on elite experts and consultants to inform them on politics, issues and policy. They are not seen as interested in the thinking or feelings of the working class and the poor of any identity classification. Look at the difference between working class and small business owners in Minneapolis from the liberal black spokespeople on the issue of policing. To really give the people a voice you do not speak for them but give them a platform from which they can speak. The Party has organizational sites all over the country but they are not used for listening posts, they are platforms for Party talking points. Don’t ask, don’t expect commitment. Engagement depends on participation and influence.
To reinforce this perception the Party continues to focus on national issues while avoiding local and state Party infrastructure and issues. If the Party doesn’t care about your local community, county and state it obviously doesn’t care about you. Republicans have done better at this.
We need a Party made up of people who listen to others, a Party not just for the People, but of and by the People.
Democracy in the US is on a death spiral. From the preacher man‘s failure to address Q non-conspiracies in his congregation to the GOP’s lie about election fraud, the public is confused and doomed. The media can’t differentiate between fascism and democracy. Mansion and Senema have both blocked voting rights act that would address the voter suppression problems in the states. The radical Supreme Court is tainted by Federalist Society members who are biased against women’s choice.
Anti-government groups from the Confederates to the skinheads to the proud boys, are allowed to flourish. These groups were fought against by World War II veterans as well as union soldiers, but now the GOP embraces them.
Unrealistically, the Covid plague has become a rally cry for anti-government groups founded by dark money under the banner of parents rights against so-called tyranny. However, DeSantis and Greg Abbott practice voter suppression and oppression of women’s choice with impunity, red state tyranny. The media never seems to call it out.
I am posting a portion of Heather Cox Richardson’s daily Letters from an American from the day after the election. It gives another perspective on the outcomes.
“The Virginia governor’s race almost always goes against whichever party is in the White House; indeed, journalist Eric Boehlert, who studies the press, noted that this pattern is so well established that in 2009, during President Barack Obama’s first term in office, when Democrats lost the races for governor of New Jersey and Virginia, the New York Times published only a single piece of analysis, saying “the defeats may or may not spell trouble for Democrats.” Boehlert noted that the New York Times has already posted at least 9 articles about Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe’s loss last night in Virginia.
And it was not altogether a bad night for the Democrats. In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy won a tight race for reelection, making him the first Democrat to win reelection in that state in 44 years. Progressive Michelle Wu became the first woman and the first person of color to win the mayorship of Boston in 199 years; Democrat Eric Adams became New York City’s second Black mayor. Cities across the country elected Democrats of color.”