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Wed Nov 30, 2016, 07:46 AM

 

How the Democrats could win again, if they wanted Thomas Frank

What makes 2016 a disaster for Democrats is not merely the party’s epic wipeout in Washington and the state capitals, but that the contest was fought out on a terrain that should have been favorable to them. This was an election about social class –about class-based grievances – and yet the Party of the People blew it. How that happened is the question of the year, just as it has been the question of other disastrous election years before. And just like before, I suspect the Democrats will find all manner of convenient reasons to take no corrective action.
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But first let us focus on the good news. Donald Trump has smashed the consensus factions of both parties. Along the way, he has destroyed the core doctrine of Clintonism: that all elections are decided by money and that therefore Democrats must match Republican fundraising dollar for dollar. This is the doctrine on which progressive hopes have been sacrificed for decades, and now it is dead. Clinton outspent Trump two-to-one and it still wasn’t enough.

Neither were any of the other patented maneuvers of Clintonism. With Hillary carrying their banner, the Democrats triangulated themselves in every way imaginable. They partied with the Wall Street guys during the convention in Philadelphia, they got cozy with the national security set, they reached out to disaffected Republicans, they reminisced about the days of the balanced federal budget, they even encouraged Democratic delegates to take Ubers back and forth from the convention to show how strongly Democrats approved of what Silicon Valley was doing to America. And still they lost.

This is important because winning is supposed to be the raison d’etre of centrism. Over the years, the centrists have betrayed the Democratic party’s liberal base in all sorts of ways – deregulating banks, securing free trade deals, signing off on Wall Street bailouts and the Iraq war. Those who bridled at all this were instructed to sit down and shut up because the Clintons and their triangulating ilk were the practical ones who would bring us victory.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/29/how-the-democrats-could-win-again-if-they-wanted?CMP=fb_gu

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Reply How the Democrats could win again, if they wanted Thomas Frank (Original post)
That Guy 888 Nov 2016 OP
DonCoquixote Nov 2016 #1
vi5 Nov 2016 #2
alarimer Nov 2016 #3
Larkspur Nov 2016 #4
yurbud Dec 2016 #5

Response to That Guy 888 (Original post)

Wed Nov 30, 2016, 07:57 AM

1. the term Clintonism will cause issues

especially in light of the fact that whatever you may say about her, she was better than Trump. I would use a term DNC-ism. Simply put, if there is not a shift in power NOW, we do damage. Note for all the hide trolls, I did not mention a name, though heaven knows I did not need to.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 30, 2016, 08:36 AM

2. Better than Trump for the country.

 

Not better or good for the Democratic party. And I don't say that because she was a bad person or anything less than eminently qualified. I say that because her style of politics put a stranglehold on the party as a whole and shifted direction in a very unhealthy, very costly way.

I personally disliked Obama's "reach across the aisle" politics and the idea of putting his opponents within arms reach of power by keeping them close. But in hindsight I prefer that to Clinton's style which of surrounding herself and filling the party with blind loyalists (even though I do understand why someone who has been through what she has might feel the need to do that).

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Response to That Guy 888 (Original post)

Wed Nov 30, 2016, 11:11 AM

3. Really like Thomas Frank

But we couldn't talk about it before the election (not that it would have done any good) because he "bashed Democrats".

This is a salient point for me:

I doubt it. Liberalism today is an expression of an enlightened professional class, and their core economic interests simply do not align with those of working people. One thing we know about professionalism is that it exists to shield insiders from public accountability. If coming up with a solution to what ails liberalism means listening to people who aren’t part of the existing nonprofit/journalistic in-group, then there will be no solution. Liberals would rather lose than do that.


Professional liberals (in the press, at think tanks, and as advisers to campaigns) are completely and utterly out of touch with what people really want. And almost all campaigns surround themselves with such people. They are the ones who go on the chat shows (that is, when the chat shows invite as "balance" against the scores of right wing nuts they typically talk to). This is why I think Democrats as a whole need to abandon the focus groups and the white papers and just talk to people in the trenches: labor activists, activists of all stripes actually, people doing the organizing.

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Response to alarimer (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 30, 2016, 11:57 AM

4. Ditto

 

Frank has been a sober critic of the Democratic Party and its leadership and I have found his analysis honest and trustworthy.

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Response to alarimer (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 03:11 PM

5. that excerpt you posted even pulled its punch a bit: they aren't listening to a bunch of frappacino

sipping yuppies--they are listening to Wall Street. Period.

And when we notice, they don't listen to the rest of us, they tell us to shut the fuck up because the other guys will treat us much worse, which is true but doesn't make it better.

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