There is a strange dichotomy happening in the Democratic Party about the course the party should take in it’s response to Donald Trump’s presidency and the shocking intransigence of Republicans in the face of the assault on the nation’s Institutions and norms.
On the one hand, there is the tried and failed strategy which says: do not say or do anything which will garner any backlash, regardless of what Republicans do we should maintain the greatest degree of decorum and normalcy.
That strategy has not worked, yet the establishment wing of the party is hell-bent on continuing on that path from which the majority of it’s younger voters have long veered.
The strategy which I have personally labeled the Republican-lite strategy has been disastrous for the party on several fronts.
The party has absorbed monumental losses in Governor’s races over the life of this approach, even in deep blue states like New York, New Jersy, Connecticut, Massachutes and others. (It is important to consider that there are hardly ever any statewide officeholders in Red states)
Additionally, Senate and House seats, as well as offices all the way to dog-catcher have been swallowed up in Republican Tsunami-like avalanche of wins……..and gerrymandering.
Equally as consequential is the alacrity with which the Democratic party has chosen to jettison it’s most articulate leaders at the slightest opportunity. Just ask Former Senator Al Franken how that feels.
The Republican party has in the highest office the most despicable person probably ever to hold that office and yet the Democratic party seemingly is mindlessly focused on being nice.
Noted Presidential Historian and Author, Jon Meecham noted that the aberration which is the Trump Presidency is a backlash to the Obama presidency. Yet Meecham argues that twenty years from today Americans will live in Barack Obama’s America rather than in Donald Trump’s America.
Meecham believes that what is happening is the last gasp of the Strom Thurmond, Richard Nixon, Pat Buchanan vision of America.
I hope Meecham is right, yet I hardly believe that…..that can ever become a reality if the Democratic Party continue to fail so miserably even at the most basic of its responsibilities.
It is an open secret that millions of Bernie Sanders supporters did not turn up to vote for Secretary Hillary Clinton. As consequential as that has been and will continue to be for America it is important to understand the circumstances which allowed for a 74-year-old previously unknown Socialist Vermont US Senator to split the Democratic vote.
As I tried to articulate on previous occasions, rather than see the answers in the problem the Democratic party continues to double down on the very same Republican-lite approaches.
Party elites brushed aside the earthshattering win of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York’s 14th District over Joseph Crowley the establishment longtime candidate, labeling it as a sign of not here the party is going but a sign of where the Bronx is going.
The several other wins in which the Democrat who prevailed in their respective primaries did not fit the traditional clean-cut white guy mold has done little to awaken the Democratic party to the reality that maybe…… just maybe, grassroots Democratic voters want clear lines of demarcation between the two political parties.
The rise of Stacy Abrams in Georgia, Ben Jealous in Maryland and Andrew Gillium in Florida and finally yesterday, the win by African-American City Council member Ayanna Pressley In Boston Massachutes, are also clear signs that Democratic voters are not content with the status quo.
Pressly’s defeat of ten term Democratic US representative Michael Capuano all but guaranteed herself a seat in the US House of Representatives, there is no Republican vying for that seat.
This is momentous on several levels not the least of which is that Ayanna Pressley will become the very first African-American woman to represent her state in the US Congress.
I hope for the sake of the United States and indeed the World that there will be a blue wave come November 6th. There are literally tens of millions of people feeling the same way, waiting for that day to exhale.
But what if when the votes are counted Republicans still control the House and Senate, still control the Governor’s mansions they did and even picked up a few?
And oh, please don’t forget that Donald Trump will still be President.
Does anyone believe that a Democratic Party led by Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi is going to save the Republic? Charles Schumer’s only interest is that Donald Trump is sticking it to the Palestinians and being the water boy of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Look, it comes as no surprise to me that Schumer the leader in the Senate, is merely a patsy, a shadow of former Democratic leaders like Harry Reid or even Tom Daschle.
Schumer is no more ideologically bound to the principles of Democratic orthodoxy that Joeseph Leiberman was. Leiberman the Democratic Senator from Conneciticut was the Vice Presidential running mate of Former Clinton Vice President Al Gore who was seeking his first term as president in 2,000.
No sooner had Gore lost the electionLeibermen began to hedge his bets and sided with the George Bush White House.
By the time Barack Obama emerged as the Presidential candidate for the Democratic party against the now deceased Senator John McCain of Arizona in 2008, Joe Leiberman had all but left the Democratic Party and had changed his party affiliation to Independent. A total betrayal to the Democratic voters of the state of Connecticut who had elected him more than once.
It came as no surprise that Leiberman who had been a lifelong Democrat prior, would not support the first African-American to have a real shot at the presidency, a mere eight years after he himself was on a Democratic ticket for vice president of the United States.
The fact of the matter is that for the likes of Leiberman and Schumer total fealty to the state of Israel in a presidential candidate and ultimately a President of the United States trumps everything else, including giving the leadership required to Democratic voters they positioned themselves to lead.
In an age when Republicans have turned into Right-wing fascists, Democrats continue to act Republican-lite, Progressives are crying out for leadership. There is presently no leader in the Democratic party with clout except Barack Obama. He will not be running for any elected office ever again.
If establishment Democrats continue to make the same mistakes of tippy-toeing around what’s happening, unable to harness the power of the resistance, Donald Trump and his far-right party led by the renegades in the House and Mitch McConnell in the Senate will continue to pack the courts and change the face of America into the white ethnostate they so desperately dream of.