JAKE NAILS IT: Democrats have become fond of blaming the Electoral College for Donald Trump's victory. As usual, they don't seem to possess a mirror that might show them pretty plainly who the culprit really is.
It was Democratic operatives who thought it would be a good idea to ditch Bernie Sanders just when he was really catching fire, and bet it all on the "safe" Hillary Clinton (who turns out to have been not "safe" at all, and represented a truly disastrous decision for both the Dems and the entire United States of America).
We had a preview of same here in Wisconsin in 2014's gubernatorial run-up, when the local Democratic geniuses had the opportunity to throw their weight behind firebrand speaker (and farmer! from the rural west of Wisconsin!) Kathleen Vinehout, a woman who was more than willing to take Scott Walker to the woodshed and call him on every single bit of bullshit he dribbled out (and, since nearly everything Walker says is bullshit, imagine how fun to watch it would have been). But noooooo.
Instead, they groomed Trek bicycle executive Mary Burke to take on Walker, ostensibly because her wealth and ties to the business community would somehow endear her to Walker backers. Epic fail. Burke, who had no stomach for confrontation, let the nasty, vindictive Walker walk all over her (pun intended). And we got a preview of the presidential race, when angry voters in rural Wisconsin--the same ones who swung the state for Trump--refused to abandon "their boy," Scott Walker... because he had given those highfalutin teachers and state workers what-for.
Economist Jake at one of my favorite blogs, Jake's Economic TA Funhouse, really has the whole thing nailed down. It's not just Katherine Cramer's "politics of resentment" (although I couldn't agree with Cramer more); equally important in the long history of Democratic failure against the far right is that the Democrats no longer have a coherent message (a failure that can be laid directly at the feet of their so-called leadership--see above).
No matter how unrealistic, racist or flat-out lying GOPs are, at least these individuals [rural and/or blue-collar voters] think they are getting an answer from them, whereas Dems are shrugging and saying “You know, if you retrain yourself, you might get a slightly better-paying job if some other newer technology comes in to your town.” Or even stating a fact like “hey, this Obamacare is great and more people are getting covered” when Joe Ruralguy was already covered, and now his insurance company is using the excuse of “Obamacare” to continue to jack up his rates or deductibles. That’s not what people want to hear, that’s not relating to their particular situation, and that’s not what they should expect to get as a reply from their elected officials.
You need to reach into people’s lives, and give them hope that there will be a reward to their hard work. They can see that corporate slimeballs and rich donors take more and more while the blue-collars work as hard as ever and fall further behind, so why don’t Dems STEP UP AND SAY “THIS SITUATION IS WRONG AND UNACCEPTABLE”?
Also, why aren’t Dems telling rural Wisconsin that the reward to investing taxes into public schools is because it makes for a better community that their kids would want to stick around in and raise their new families in. Instead, Republicans rob those schools of funding to funnel money into unaccountable voucher schools in big cities and suburbs, to subsidize schools that those parents are already sending their kids to. Maybe we should point out that being a decent person who pays their bills and believes in honest and clean government is an ethos that still has value in the 2010s, and that politicians should reward those values when they get into office.
Instead, the Anson Kayes and the rest of the suit-wearing consultant class say “Well, that’s not going to happen. big Big money is just the way the system is these days. Sorry about that, try this subpar option, since us urban educated types know the better way for you to succeed.” And you wonder why this party keeps losing when party hacks like that continue to pull fat paychecks from candidates as “experts”?
DEAR GOD Dems, clean house and throw these losers out!
We need to face facts. Americans have become a civics-challenged bunch. We are sated with our gadgets and our reality TV--which is why a reality TV star is now our President, and why, like most reality TV stars, he doesn't have the faintest idea of how to improve the lot of lower-income Americans. The GOP has coasted on this tide until it rules damned near everything--never mind that even a cursory examination of the facts (see Speaker of the House Paul Ryan) quickly illustrates that the GOP wants nothing more than an early death for the people who put them into office (again, see "politics of resentment"). We need to make the common man and woman in this country come to grips with actual reality. Beating up on teachers and snow-plow drivers and minor bureaucrats is not going to better anyone's lot in life. We need to show Americans who the real enemy is--and that would be the paymasters of the Paul Ryans and Scott Walkers. There's your agenda, Democrats. Now get to work, or get lost--while the rest of us create a real opposition party.
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