“The Democratic Party’s in disarray.” That is what Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) told Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart.
Dingell’s observation about the Democratic Party is reflected in the following headlines.
In What’s Wrong With the Democrats?, Franklin Foer describes the strategy that the Democratic Party has been using. Then he says this:
“Anyone who examined the strategy that the Democratic Party has embraced ever more tightly in recent years could see its essential precariousness. And anyone could see that investing such grave hopes in the person of Hillary Clinton—who had lost the party’s nomination to a little-known senator in 2008; who had struggled to win it against a little-known socialist eight years later—was particularly risky.
But liberals’ fears were softened in 2016 by a widely shared belief: that the candidacy of Donald Trump would shatter the Republican Party, at least in the form in which we had long known it. His trail of wreckage would force a painful reckoning with the party’s shortcomings—the narrowness of its coalition, the cloistered cluelessness of its elites, its intramural disagreements about the future of the nation. After a season of Trump’s destruction, the party would lie in rubble.
Foer goes on to describe the so-called “Resistance” that has developed within the Democratic Party.
“Leaderless and loud, the Resistance has become the motive power of the Democratic Party. Presidential hopefuls already strive to anticipate its wishes. Elected officials have restructured their political calculus to avoid getting on its wrong side. The feistiness and agitation of the moment are propelling the party to a new place.
But where? The question unnerves Democrats, because the party has no scaffolding. All the dominant leaders of the last two generations—the Clintons, Barack Obama—have receded. Defeat discredited the party’s foundational strategy—or, at the very least, exposed it as a wishful description of a more distant future, rather than a clear plan for victory in the present. Resistance has given the Democrats the illusion of unity, but the reality is deeply conflicted.”
All of the above bad news for Democrats is coming from a Democrat.
Foer isn’t the only Democrat to scold the current Democratic Party. In a December 2016 Huffington Post blog post, Miles Mogulescu writes this:
“The democratic congressional leadership isn’t just old. It’s an abject failure. Democrats have lost one of every five House seats they controlled in 2009. And they’ve lost 12 Senate seats since then.
And the national Democratic leadership did much to make Trump’s victory possible. They cleared the field to insure that the least popular and most flawed Democratic nominee in history, Hillary Clinton, would be the Democratic standard bearer. They provided no viable economic message to the voters. If Democratic leaders want to know why Trump is president-elect, and Republicans control all three branches of government, they should look in the mirror.”
In a commentary for Roll Call, Walter Shapiro writes, “What is undeniable is that the Democrats are long overdue for a period of reckoning about who they are and what they represent. The problem is not messaging, consultants or Nancy Pelosi. It is that the Democrats (and, yes, that definitely includes Bernie Sanders) have to wave good-bye to the 20th century.”
Regarding the 2016 presidential election, Shapiro writes, “Hillary Clinton — who like her husband was shaped by the three GOP landslides of the 1980s — embodied the dangers of combining Democratic political caution with a lack of personal charisma. As a result, it is already hard to remember a single major policy animating her 2016 campaign.”
In Dems face identity crisis, political reporter Amie Parnes writes the following:
“A string of House special election losses culminating in Democrat Jon Ossoff’s disappointing defeat in Georgia last week has only intensified the scrutiny and second-guessing of Democratic strategy, to say nothing of the hand-wringing by party activists craving a victory.
Parnes ends her article with this:
“Asked how the party rebounds and lures both working-class and progressive Democrats, Manley admitted: “I don’t have the faintest idea in this point in time. I’m still trying to digest what happened.””
So, conservatives and Republicans can sit back, relax and enjoy the show as the Democratic Party implodes.