Sunday, December 04, 2016
Are Dems In As Much Trouble As Media Want You To Think ?
The Democratic Party is in a lot of trouble after losing both the presidency and the Congress to the Republicans. That's what the media would like you to believe. They have bad-mouthed the re-election of Nancy Pelosi to be the Minority Leader in the House, called for a new direction for the party (especially concerning the choice of a new DNC head), and lamented the lack of future candidates among the Democrats. They would have you think the Democratic Party is close to death (like in the image above).
That's nonsense. They completely overlook that the Democratic candidate for president got over 2.5 million more votes than the Republican candidate did, that the Democratic candidates for the Senate got more votes combined than the Republican candidates did, that when the votes are all counted it is likely that will also be the case with House Democratic candidates (as it was in 2012 and 2014). They also overlook the fact that the Democrats gained seats in both the House and the Senate.
Did the Democrats lose the White House and both houses of Congress in the 2016 election? Yes. But that does not mean the [arty is an archaic and dying institution -- far from it. What it means is the Democrats, especially on the national level, did not effectively communicate their policies to the voting public, and show them how those policies were better than those put forth by the Republicans. That was an unforgivable mistake by the national party, but it doesn't mean those policies were wrong -- only that they weren't effectively communicated (and the media must take part of the blame by normalizing the horrid Republican beliefs, especially those of Trump).
The biggest mistake made by Democrats was in thinking that Trump could not win, and making the election a referendum on Trump and Clinton -- instead of beating the drums loudly for their policies. Those policies are supported by most of the public -- raising the minimum wage, closing the wealth & income gap, protecting the environment, raising taxes on the wealthy, making corporations pay their fair share of taxes, protecting Social Security and Medicare, amending Obamacare to cover more people and control costs, regulation of Wall Street (to prevent abuse of consumers and another recession), protect the voting rights of all citizens, provide for a background check on all gun buyers, and insure equal rights and more opportunities for everyone.
Those are all Democratic policies, and they are supported by significant majorities of the voting public. They are also policies that are opposed by the Republicans.
And the Republicans are preparing to go against the public's wishes on most of those policies. They are preparing to kill Obamacare, privatize Medicare, cut Social Security benefits and raise the retirement age, cut taxes massively for the rich and the corporations, balloon the deficit and the national debt, remove regulations protecting the environment, remove Wall Street regulation that protect ordinary Americans, kill off efforts to raise the minimum wage, and keep the tax breaks that encourage corporations to continue to offshore good American jobs. If they succeed in doing most (or all) of that, they will be doing serious damage to this country.
That's why I think it's not the Democratic Party that's in trouble -- it's the Republican Party. They just haven't realized it yet -- and neither have too many other Americans. And they can'y change direction. That party has been coopted by racists and teabaggers -- both of which are too stupid to see what they have done to their party. They won't allow any change in the Republican Party because they truly think that taking this country backwards to what it was decades ago is a good thing. They're taking the Republican Party (and the nation) off a cliff (just like similar thinkers did in the 1920's).
Jonathan Chart recently finished an article in New York Magazine by saying:
The party that needs to search its soul about whether it has the capacity to govern competently is not the one out of power. And what should concern Democrats is not whether they’ll get back in power but what will be left of the country when they do.
I agree with him.
(NOTE -- The caricatures of the Democratic and Republican symbols above and below are by the inimitable DonkeyHotey.)