I don’t expect the dems to win the senate, but even with gerrymandering they may still win the house in 2018.
This is good because then we can get legitimate investigations into Trump and put the brakes on his agenda.
However it is disappointing on a meta level, what motivates the public to hand power over from one party to another.
If the democrats do win, it’ll be because the gop covered up treason and criminal behavior by Trump, took health care away from tens of millions to fund tax cuts for the rich, refused to act like an independent branch of government, etc. Who knows what else they’ll do in the remaining 19 months.
Why did the gop lose in 2006 and 2008? Wars of choice, terrible economic policy that collapsed the global economy (although Clinton deserves some blame for this too), screwing up Katrina, corruption, etc.
Why did the democrats lose in 2010? Passing health reform. They stopped the job losses with the stimulus.
I guess my point is that, for the gop to lose an election they have to fuck everything up royally. For the Democrats to lose they have to not be perfect.
It sucks. I fully expect the American public to hand the house back to the gop in 2022 even if the dems win it in 2018 and 2020. This really is a center right country and the only time the democrats win on a national level is when the gop fucks things up too much.
I agree with the gist of this. What you’ve described is the inevitable consequence of being a party that is economically technocratic and socially liberal.
You win elections in a democracy by making a majority of voters feel like you have their backs, and will elevate their status. We all get that. But there’s a corollary that many don’t get, which is that people want to feel special compared to others. They want to feel like you’re choosing them. The others can be immigrants, or non-Christians, black people, or rich people.
Since LBJ, Democrats have basically sold promises to help working class people while promising benign neutrality to non-Christians, racial minorities, and immigrants. That worked, more or less, as a formula. Republicans ran on elevating white Christian natives. That too works, just as it works for conservatives all over the world when you substitute whatever the dominant characteristics of a society are. Though, as a Republican, you have to make sure you don’t end up making arguments that are ultimately about helping foreigners, which is why the Iraq War became so unpopular once the lies about WMD were revealed and the defense became more about nation-building for Iraqis and getting rid of Saddam for Iraqis.
What doesn’t really work, it seems, is economic policy that is technocratic and social policy that demands equality for all, with a focus on people who aren’t in the majority. If that’s your platform, you need a perfect storm of conditions and extraordinarily talented politicians to pull it off.
I don’t expect Democrats to abandon demands for social equality (though that probably will happen at the margins in some places). But I do expect they will abandon being economic technocrats. They will adopt the Sanders platform. And it will probably work, even though it will cost them some corporate support. That result it too bad, in my view, since I think such policies are ultimately wrong-headed. But it’s what the political dynamics are forcing.
I think the biggest obstacle Dems have to overcome is the “liberal elitism” identity that tends to snub the mainstream. Democrat supporters don’t exactly come across as stable — yes, neither do many Republican supporters, but their behavior is based on what they perceive as threats to their way of life. Democrat supporters want to upend and change old behaviors too fast.
Trump, as unstable as he’s demonstrated to be, stands for defending the homefront — wall, banning Muslims, American first — that resonates with America’s heartland. Maybe if Democrats stick with issues that elevate family care, such as health, education and job creation, they can get somewhere. Otherwise, they’ll have to settle for waiting until the heartland generation dies off.
One thing that this MB makes abundantly clear: Democrats are not going to learn how to win if they keep blaming the Republican every fucking time they lose. The GOP is what it is. That is not going to change. Deal with it and figure out a winning strategy. If they can’t do that, they don’t deserve to win.
The Dems should continue to point out that a huge part of the GOP advantage is structural, not based on public opinion. Those structures need to be changed. We shouldn’t have partisan gerrymandering. We shouldn’t have racist voter suppression. We shouldn’t have an electoral college. We shouldn’t have an 18th century House of Lords where Wyoming gets the same power as California. We shouldn’t have Russian interference.
But it’s also true that they need to figure out a winning strategy. It’s just that a lot of people saying that from the center are going to be disappointed to learn that the winning strategy is abandoning the center on economics. I predict you’ll be bemoaning the Sanders-ization of the party, John Mace, but they’ll just be doing what you’re asking of them.
The problem is the gop does very well with identity politics, which the democrats can’t really (and shouldn’t) adopt. The democrats can create narratives of the rich vs everyone else, weak vs strong, etc but that doesn’t have the broad appeal the gop narrative of white vs non white, Christian vs non Christian, traditionalist vs egalitarian, etc narrative does.
Fundamentally the Democrats are the party of people who feel left out of or as second class citizens in mainstream society (racial minorities, religious minorities, sexual minorities, etc and their allies) they can’t appeal to peoples desire to protect their privileged status like the gop can.
I’m not sure what a winning strategy is for the Democrats. As it stands, the country feels center right and I don’t know if that’ll change.
Unless the democrats create a narrative that appeals to the white working class enough to lose them by smaller margins (lose them by 20-30 points rather than 39 points like they did in 2016), and motivated their own voters, I don’t see Things changing.
Really, rebuilding the labor movement and making it as easy as possible to vote should be the primary goals of the democratic party. That’ll make winning elections easier in the future.
Yes, and all his supporters wear blinders, they selectively forget about the Cold War era, and dismiss all of Trump’s transgressions as the media trying to corrupt them.
If the Dems want to win, they have to look through the eyes of Trump’s supporters and cannot consider intelligence and reasoning. That’s too elitist. They also cannot use guilt as a motivator, like Hillary did. That backfired big time. Voters don’t like to be shamed.
IMHO the GOP has been very effective at promoting the message that the GOP is “us” and the Democrats are “them”. For true liberals this is an annoyance and they reject the notion. For the diehard right, this is just stating a fact.
But for the great squishy middle that message is effective - because relentless repeating a message works. The message has an effect because people have a natural propensity to want to be part of “us” and not part of “them”. So, as a consequence, as you point out the GOP has the leeway to fuck everything up, because (again human nature) we know we are human and make mistakes. Whereas (again human nature) THOSE PEOPLE smell funny and don’t speak correctly and wear odd clothes and are just not “us”. We minimize our own shortcomings and overemphasize those of the “other”.
So, the structural problems are definitely real, but the marketing problem seems as if it will always be an uphill climb for the Democrats, whereas for the Republicans it’s avoiding the downhill slide.
The Senate was set up to give the smaller states more of a voice. Therefore, each state gets 2 Electoral Votes, despite its size.
But the other Electoral Votes reflect the number of Representatives. These were supposed to be proportional to each state’s population; as states grew, the House would grow. In the early 20th century,Apportionment Actsput a lid on the size of the House; that’s the source of the present imbalance, not the Constitution. There was concern about an unwieldy house & Reps “losing touch” with their constituents. And the little states wanted more power, of course. These laws could be readjusted without Amending the Constitution but the eensy states want each of their citizens to be worth more than those big city folk…
Back to the main topic: Yes, the Trump Presidency has done permanent damage to the country. And the Ryan/McConnell creature is heinous. But I’ll still be glad for every Democratic win in 2018. My own Senator Cruz really needs dumping. And this last legislative session has made more Texans hope to replace Governor Abbott & our loathsome Lite Gov. Yes, there’s gerrymandering. But piss-poor turnout has always been a problem here–and that’s up to the voters…
That doesn’t make any sense at all. Why would a citizen in Montana, whose vote counts just as much as one in New York, not vote? Within New York, would people from Brooklyn vote but people from Watertown not vote? What sense would that make?
In countries that DO elect the President by popular vote, the phenomenon you describe doesn’t happen.
I think the real fear is the fear that “little guy” will lose his artificial advantage. This is often expressed as rural communities will not be represented because urban voters will suddenly have all the power, by which I mean equal representation.
If the vast majority of US citizens live in urban centers, I don’t see the problem with this (per the 2010 US census, ~80% of the US population lives in urban areas). I do understand why it is a scary proposition for those who will lose their disproportionate influence.
The current situation does mean that we do not live in a representative democracy, where one vote is the same for each citizen, nor do we live in a society where “majority rules”.
Perhaps if the DNC cannot frame our strategy moving into 2018, we need to take up a “MoveOn” type movement and create our own. If they will not lead, we will have to push.
There is no way in hell the democrats will win for a long time. people are SICK of them and their known criminal ways. Now you got these sickos out shooting people and libtard hollywood stooges trying to stir people up to kill the president.
Dems still don’t have an effective response to the great backlash rhetoric you outline here, which has been going on since the late '60s. I don’t expect them to craft one anytime soon.
Do they reject it? Maybe the party leaders do, with calls for unity and appeals to historical progress like civil rights, feminism, or labor movements. But it’s hard to identify with traditional America if you reject it as racist, sexist, imperialist, etc.