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andym's Journal
andym's Journal
December 20, 2016

I just can't understand how the worst major party Presidential candidate in American history

could have possibly won the election, albeit only in the electoral college. According to Polifact he only tells the truth about 15% of the time. He ran a divisive campaign and still won. He should have lost in a rout of the magnitude of Goldwater, Mondale or McGovern. Instead he won by 74 electoral votes (not counting the defections). The only good thing is that he did not have any coat tails, beyond preventing Democrats from taking the Senate and a few more seats in the House.

Yet this is the reality. He is the President and the GOP controls the House, the Senate and about 2/3 of the state houses and governorships in the USA. They also are about to control the Supreme Court. Many people have bought into the conservative agenda that freedom from government taxes, regulations and "interference" that the GOP is not going to be eclipsed anytime soon. Social safety nets and the principles of the New Deal have been demonized by the GOP for years. In 2009 DUers were babbling about a progressive majority. Many articles have been written even this year about demographic changes favoring Democrats and yet the Democratic Party is in retreat except on the West coast and Northeast. And now the country and the world will pay a heavy price.

So what are they practical next steps? What are the priorities? What really needs to get them accomplished? How to fight the power of the rich bent on manipulating the uniformed with misinformation, especially given Citizens United is not going to be struck down by a conservative Supreme court.

December 6, 2016

Why did Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party not gain the White House and Congress?

Three years before this election, it appeared that Hillary Clinton would be the strongest Democratic candidate for President and the Democratic Party had an excellent chance to win the Senate, and gain back some of the lost state governorships and roughly 1000 legislative seats across the country that had been lost since 2010. The House was probably not winnable due to gerrymandering after the 2010 election. It was clear that demographically the Democratic Party was in the process of gaining electoral strength in the Southwest, and would have at least a national popular vote advantage, as well as a blue firewall across the Midwest in the electoral college.

So what happened? The GOP and its rich backers had a plan. Really a continuation of the plans they've had since the election of President Obama. They had blocked and then denigrated everything President Obama tried to do or did since he was elected, stirring their base with a barrage of misinformation via Fox, the internet and talk radio.

Then they identified Hillary Clinton as the key target early, and began attacking her through congressional investigations in 2013, complimented by their media and sympathizers to destroy her favorability and trustworthiness polling through slander and innuendo. And it worked. By mid 2015, they brought her favorability below 50% from over 60% in 2012, and below 40% by mid 2016, thanks to the FBI investigation, which they lucked out on, since it appeared to corroborate all of the nonsense they had brought to bear--- even though no charges were brought, the damage was done. What they hadn't counted on is that the GOP would nominate someone with even lower favorables. so Hillary was still leading in the polls throughout the whole cycle and went on to win the popular vote by 2%. It was Comey's last minute machinations which stole just enough momentum to swing the election.

What about the rest of the Democratic Party? It has been on the decline since 2010. Why? 1) organizational-- GOP and especially it's billionaire influenced organizations had a plan to take over local governments across the country with coordinated support, in order to gerrymander elections for a decade or more. See http://www.democraticunderground.com/1016164776 2) ideology--By means of their very powerful mass media and internet presence, the shadow of Reagan and the idea of government as evil has been growing even stronger and the idea of government serving the common good that has powered the Democratic Party since FDR has been steadily weakening. 3) attack ads and slander--Citizen's United gave even more power to those who know how to win by slandering their opponents. Examples, Strickland in Ohio and Feingold in WI were defeated after polling ahead of their opponents until the attack ads began. The ads began early on Strickland and he was basically out of the running by midsummer. The ads ran late against Feingold, who had a 10% lead as late as October 1, before being branded as part of the political "establishment" by a series of misleading ads. Given that most voters (maybe 60%) are relatively uninformed these tactics work well. 4) Weakening the top of the ticket. By weakening the top of the Democratic ticket, the GOP destroyed any coat tail effect that could have thrown a monkey wrench into their plans.

The GOP retained the Senate, only losing a few Senate and House seats and generally did better than expected.
So what can be done?
1) Match or exceed the GOP in local and state political organization.
2) Ideology. Need to strengthen communicating the message that the government can be an agent of hope and change, that is making our lives better economically and socially
3) Media and slanderous ads. Either need to reciprocate, or find a way to neutralize the power of the GOP smear machines

The wild card in any plans is Trump, whose effect is as unpredictable as he is himself

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Member since: Fri Sep 26, 2003, 09:31 PM
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