US Democratic Party still doesn't understand why it lost to Trump

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Kittamaru, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    I see that the Democratic Leadership still thinks status-quo fatcat candidates will, somehow, magically resonate with middle class voters who feel that the government is up for auction, rather than election...

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  3. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    They won the election and lost the Electoral College.
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  5. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, but they lost a lot of votes backing a big money candidate... it seems they don't yet grasp the idea that a lot of people don't believe millionaires and billionaires don't really know what it means to be one of the middle-class, working paycheck to paycheck to keep above water.
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  7. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    Obama was also big money. And Trump won, so sucking the Wall Street teat doesn't seem to matter.
  8. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    Maybe the character assassination efforts worked especially effectively this time.
  9. Neddy Bate Valued Senior Member

    That's strange. To me, Donald Trump seemed like the "millionaire/billionaire" candidate who never knew what it was like to be middle class, working paycheck to paycheck. Did you think, due to him declaring bankruptcy numerous times, that he was living from paycheck to paycheck, meanwhile Hilary Clinton was the "millionaire/billionaire" candidate who would never know what that was like? That seems like a strange viewpoint to me.
  10. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    The problem is, Trump Supporters bought into the "Oh he isn't accepting money from wall street" bullshit.

    Donald Trump has never wanted for anything (except, perhaps, a brain) in his life. I only wish I could have started my own business "with a small loan of a million dollars" from my father.
  11. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    But, like Hitler, he speaks the idioms of the people, so they identify with him. Americans tend to accept the Calvinist notion that if you are rich, you must have deserved it.
    cluelusshusbund likes this.
  12. Neddy Bate Valued Senior Member

    Yes, he was able to finance his own campaign because he had plenty of money. But wasn't your point in the OP that the Democrats were making a mistake by running a billionaire candidate? I don't know anything about this billionaire candidate, but he could conceivably finance his own campaign, right?

    Yes, that sounds about right, but that is rather different to what I got out of the OP of the thread.
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The Dems will probably lose trying to imitate the Republicans. People will vote for the real thing.

    His being a billionaire is not the essential problem. This is:
    He's from Illinois, he claims progressive values, and he backed Clinton against native son Obama and progressive standard bearer Sanders both?
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

    And the Republicans still can't figure out why they won. (And it sounds like they are beginning to regret it.)
    iceaura and cluelusshusbund like this.
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    #condemnation | #history
    #condemnation | #history
    #condemnation | #history
    #condemnation | #history

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Click for incompetence.

    To the one, as some have noted, it does still kind of work. Sort of.

    To the other, while I do assert fundamental differences 'twixt liberal and conservative, look how disappointing the experience of electing unvetted nowcomers in order to inject change has actually proven for conservatives: Unworkable policies, flip-flop, and corruption as if they were old hands.

    (Sports metaphor juxtaposition: The Seattle Seahawks got astoundingly awful reviews for their draft class in 2012, with one reviewer issuing a C- during the draft, and revising down to a D the next week. Six of the ten players selected in that draft played in the Super Bowl at the end of their second season, and came home champions. After that, every team in the league pored over that draft in order to figure out what Pete Carroll knew that nobody else could figure out. And it's one thing if you draft the USC quarterback and he just can't get it done; there is a sad joke about USC quarterbacks. But Republicans have gone through about eight years worth of ridiculous gambling on "Tea Party" and other new-revolution candidates who show the Party is superstitious enough to not draft the USC quarterback, but when they pick the guy who never played football because, hell, who needs to trust the stats—I mean, after all, have you seen what happens to USC quarterbacks when they hit the NFL?—it's because there's this guy who goes to the one of the right churches, and we like the cut of his jib, so why wouldn't we send him up to the Show?)

    (Parenthetic note to the parenthetic note: Tim Tebow works, too, but for a different juxtapository framework. Or is juxtipository not a word?)

    (Parenthetic note on the parenthetic note to the parenthetic note: Apparently note. I looked it up and got two hits from people who also needed that form of the word, a discussion board thread about music amplification and another discussion board post having someth8ing to do with not liking anal sex but doing it anyway.)​

    Nonetheless, who are liberals going to come up with? The really smart writer with a history of bad behavior toward women? The really smart lawyer save for the fuckup where she took part in a massive tax swindle that made her famous? The seemingly smart everyday woman who steams her vagina because some celebrity newsletter told her to cram it full of jade and squat on a porcelain diffuser throne? How badly can we go calling someone up because they're a charismatic labor organizer?

    Fundamentally, I'm not going to disagree that there seems something shruggingly amiss about continuing to tap the same candidate pool simply because the Party hasn't absolutely run out of rope.

    Thus, here are two questions I can't answer at this point:

    (1) What does it look like if we actually do so poor a job of candidate selection as Republicans in the Tea Party Period?

    (2) How do we avoid such mistakes as to seemingly damn voters to eternal futility?​
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Who said anything about "unvetted"?
    And why would you regard the success of the Republican takeover of US political power as "disappointing" to them?
    We are still in the window of a couple of more or less clear events and issues useful for screening the initial candidate pools.

    Suggestion for national office: There were something like 135 Democratic politicians of proven local electability who stood up and voted against the granting of discretionary war powers to the W&Cheney administration in 2002 - profiles in courage, which is to say an obvious but very public and pressured vote.

    Tap one or two of them, maybe. See what they look like. More to the point, don't tap anyone who folded under that pressure without a damn good excuse and an early public reversal of judgment, and don't fill your Party pool and working establishment with their supporters.

    At the very least, give the Democratic politicians who have proven their ability to hold to basic minimal Democratic principles of governance when under pressure first crack at promotion, first chance at TV time, exposure to national journalists, introductions to national audiences, Party support. Call that "vetting".

    That would narrow things down considerably. And the Dems would never field another Clinton type again.
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    I guess I can go back and assemble the list, but there were Tea Party candidates who voted for this or that, or resigned in disgrace, and so on and so forth. In comparative experience, who thinks the voters are following the Democrats through those sorts of debacles? After all, the scandal doesn't even need to be true to take down a Democrat.

    And if the knee-jerks are not disappointed, why do they blame everything on other people?

    It's one thing to find themselves in control of the government, but it turns out they really didn't know what to do once they got there. Even the #Deplorables are starting to waver just a little, because Republicans just can't manage to be effectively deplorable enough.

    It's not a terrible idea, but I confess I've never quite understood your perception of how voters relate to candidates:

    No, seriously, talk to Democratic voters about that. They've had decades to liberal up.
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The knee-jerks are not the winners here. They're the tools.
    We seem to have a difference of opinion as to who "they" is. The lack of interest in governing, by the faction who just got a fairly solid grip on US governance via the Republican Party, was a given. "Their" major interest is in wrecking US governance, so they don't have to pay taxes or obey regulations and can hoover up some taxpayer cash. Things are going fine, from their pov - not perfectly, but certainly improving.
    The Democratic voters don't seem to be the problem. It certainly wasn't a groundswell of US Democratic voter enthusiasm that led to Clinton's candidacy, for example - meanwhile, the US non-voter is on average more liberal than the voter, and the voter is more liberal than the candidate.

    As the redoubtable Molly Ivins put it: "This is the center, you fools. What are you afraid of?"
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    And in the decade since her passing, the answer has become even more clear: Perpetual rightward drift.

    Think back for a moment to Sylvestre Reyes holding out, talking tough, and then buckling, so that the Democrats of 2007 were more conservative than the Republicans of the 1970s when FISA originally passed.

    Yeah, that was after she died. Neither has she witnessed the steady rightward drift of the last decade.

    She makes a good point, but you're treating it far too simplistically.

    The problem with your point about a groundswell is that you can't seem to tell the difference 'twixt a groundswell and market response to a shiny new thing. One of the reasons Mr. Sanders lost is because he didn't have enough shiny baubles; you know, like policy details. The lack of shiny new things stimulating the swell left the movement flaccid, or, at least, insufficiently swollen, to do the job. Honestly, if our best shiny thing is a seventy-something fake socialist grumpus who loves guns but hates women and policy details, there's a reason the market fascination was insufficient groundswell to gratify.

    Even you have noted, when pressed and prodded from the (ahem!) "right" direction, that we don't know how well Sen. Sanders would have held up under the full power of the right-wing attack machine in a nation where all you have to do is say "communist" and people start to freak out. Or maybe I'm wrong; maybe that was someone else, because you never really want to seem to consider such aspects when pretending Democratic voters are ... what? Victims of some conservative (née centrist) plot?

    The center, historically, is unstable and growing more so. The center is generally undefined except as reaction. The center is what brings us perpetuation of bigotry, war and torture for the hell of it, tax breaks for the rich, and, for instance, where I come from, a twenty-year campaign expressly against mass transit. Consider a place like Minnesota, where the legislature pissed off apparent swing voters in other states by finishing up the marriage equality question. When voters in Minnesota took the lead alongside their American neighbors in three other states, DFL decided it was time to finally get on the damn trolley. And that actually makes the point: Why isn't DFL more liberal? That is to say, there is a difference between the question of whether any of us like a particular compromise or whether we understand why the politicians are making it; and it's true that, across the spectrum, the statistical trend suggests that comprehension generally disregards other perspectives; you know, as in, I don't have to like it but it makes sense. These days, more and more voters and advocates seem less and less either capable or willing to even acknowledge such aspects.

    And I get, you know, that maybe you don't think a candidate elected who broke promises, acted just like any other politician, or even did so extraordinarily enough to face prosecution for lying about mileage, is all that significant, but it does add up, and it is important to pay attention to. Alabamians, for instance, don't care that Judge Moore is a liar who took a large salary from a charity he said he wasn't taking any money from. But remember how much of the both-sides bullshit coming from the politicians and the People—the voters, and also advocates outside the moneygoround—who support them masks a conservative admitting they made a mistake.

    Try it this way: A voter backs a new candidate because he says all the right things about the people the voter hates, like women, queers, people of color, and above all, Demmykratz and the guv'm'nt. That candidate wins, immediately breaks promises by voting for legislation previously opposed, engages normal fundraising, cuts bargains with lobbyists, and essentially becomes a basic, template legislator. And then, of course, the corruption emerges. Yeah, we actually knew he was an adulterer, but just like everyone knew about Harvey, or Father Adam, or whatever, we forgot to actually talk about that on the front side because something about hating America or white people or Christians just happened to come up—and can only be ex nihilo, at that, y'know—but now there's a scandal. Or, come on, we knew he was a corrupt attorney from reading the briefs trying to keep a man in prison for a crime he didn't commit simply because he was black. Or, you know, we knew he owned a business that overlapped with his policy platform. And when it breaks, instead of looking at their own selection criteria, they do the perfectly human thing and fall into ego defense, very commonly seeking solace in hopeless notions that both sides do it, they're all the same, and nothing will get better if they try something else next time.

    And it's not that Democrats aren't corrupt; it's just that a lot of this particular aspect of political corruption is taking place in particular corners of the marketplace for particular reasons. And among all the other humanity setting such questions to variability, there is also basic function, and in this context it is not at all surprising that the political movement celebrating the lowest instincts among people should produce similar results in the officials they elect.

    We should also note that "Democratic" principles are not the same as "democratic" principles. I, too, grew up on the notion of Democrats as liberals, but they never really have been. Communism was never actually what my Reagan-Republican father taught me during the Cold War; one of the great puzzles about understanding what I was reading had to do with recognizing and shaking off that fake template. Democrats have, since '68, been centrist at best, and with the center drifting rightward over recent decades, the Party is essentially a conservative-centrist organization.

    This is important to remember because as much as I sympathize with your desire to indict this problematic aspect of the Democratic Party's relationship with voters, there also comes a point where I must acknowledge that the problem I perceive is in no small part representative of the relationship 'twixt my own personal sentiments and aesthetics, to the one, and the living and historical realities of the Democratic Party, to the other.

    And, unfortunately, the general disrespect you show generations of Democratic voters very nearly reads like an intentional attempt to stunt leftward progress. Stop conceding the right-wing narrative just because you think it suits your moment. Please.
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Nonsense. The rightward "drift" had been underway her entire adult life. Dramatically. She saw it. It was the direct subject of her frustrated complaint.
    Trump is not new, not bizarre, not out of the blue. This horrible clown scene has been standard Republican politics since 1980, has dominated the Party since Rush Limbaugh leaned into his first mic, and has been basically running US politics since 1994 (Clinton pushing the Reagan agenda - how can we ever thank him enough?).
    The people she was haranguing were the rightward drifters themselves. And she was nothing if not perfectly clear about that.

    The answers were as clear in 2004 as they are now, and Ivins identified the crucial ones then - campaign financing reform, say.
    But as Ivins insisted and was well founded in doing so: they included recognition of cowardice and rationalization, and its role in politics - which nailed Hillary Clinton and the Democratic establishment to the wall, then and since.
    You keep trying to sell that bullshit, and it keeps on not appearing in my actual posts. Nothing remotely approaching that. Nada. Your imagination is not a reliable informant in these matters - read the damn posts.
    That's got nothing to do with any point of mine here, about groundswell or anything else. I said nothing about Sanders, implied nothing about Sanders.
    Are you imagining that Mollie Ivins was a Bernie Bro? That I was? That any of that would be relevant? What is this obsession with Sanders?

    Look: I'm perfectly clear, to the point of discourtesy, in my targeting of disrespect, and its not toward the Democratic voters I keep pointing out are being betrayed by people like the Clintons and their thirty year compromising, weaseling, damaging, right-drifting, progress-choking, Trump-enabling, Republican agenda abetting, political legacy. When I illustrate not the nature, but the longevity and historical roots, of my basic viewpoint with a quote from years ago like "This is the center, you fools", the center referred to is the American voting public, and the fools are the Democratic Party establishment that was even then, ten and fifteen years ago, lining up behind (of all people) Hillary Clinton.

    It's very likely - the smart money bet - that Clinton would have been beaten in 2000, 2004 (she couldn't even run against the failed War), 2008, and 2012. It's likely - the indicated bet - that the only reason she won the popular vote in 2016 was that the Republicans fielded a caricature, a walking joke.

    Which brings us back to this billionaire Clinton backer, who is one of the people Ivins was addressing - actually, individually, personally, he was there, addressing at the time. As she described them: "fools". The problem is not his candidacy for whatever. The problem is the Democratic Party establishment support for him. What are they doing? He's been vetted, and found wanting, after all - find somebody else. At the very least, make him demonstrate his conversion to sense and vote-attraction capability, before swinging into support.

    What's looming here is a third Party of frustration, and a large body of non-voters altogether (non-voters are more liberal than voters, on average). And what looms in the wake of that is Democratic Party defeat.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Okay, I'll tell you what: As soon as I stop laughing at the stupidity of that fallacious bullshit, I'll try to take the rest a bit more seriously.

    I mean, really, dude, fuck.

    She's dead, Iceaura. I dare you to explain to me how she's witnessed what has been going on the last decade.
  22. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    I'm sorry. I guess I'm just not yet jaded enough to accept "a caricature, a walking joke" as POTUS without considering it bizarre...

    Maybe it's just me, but all through election night and the following day(s) I felt like a Trump win was "out of the blue." Yeah, I know, you saw it coming a mile away and a decade ago but some of us were just too naive to believe that many people could be that stupid.

    I'm not alone, hence the term "Trump Derangement Syndrome." I think. Maybe. At least in my world. And the President says we are entitled to alternative facts, so nyaahh...
  23. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    They will sing any song you want to hear.

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