What does one do when it is clear that that the Democratic Party's leadership is out of step with the national reality. Individual activists and loyalists must not only point out the flaws but build a coalition to mitigate the shortcomings.
Many within the Indivisible Movements and other Progressive movements are doing just that with or without the core leadership of the party to engage the entire populace. The admonition in this piece must be understood if Democrats are ever to win a Congressional and Senate majority again.
Chuck Todd and Cook Political Report Dave Wasserman pointed out something many loyal Democrats have been screaming for some time now. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.
I agree with most of the discussion except for the statement implying the Democratic Party should abandon identity politics. Identity politics is at the core of the party for very necessary and specific reasons. What is vital is the fusion of identity and economic politics in a real world manner. The plutocracy implicitly uses identity politics to segregate and then insert wedges to keep control of the masses by the few. Democrats use it to enlighten and destroy the wedges.
Chuck Todd calls out Democratic failure
Chuck Todd: Looking at President Trump's approval numbers and the historical fact that the first midterms are not kind of the president's party, Democrats might be forgiven for getting an idea that 2018 is going to be a banner year for them, but not so fast. The piece, I didn't have an issue with. It was watching the reaction to the piece that was amazing to me. Because what you're writing is if the Democrats continue on the same messaging and identity politics trajectory that they're on, and the Republican stay on this trajectory, we are headed for this geographic chasm here. That will be a nightmare for the Democrats. Is that a fair way to read your piece?
Dave Wasserman: Well look. This coastal coalition is not working right now. I think Democrats could have a phenomenal year in 2018. They can win the house. I believe that. But in order to do so and in order to hold their losses down in the senator or break even, they'll have to overcome a historic geographic disadvantage. You know Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by two point one percent. She lost the median House seats by three-point-four, the median Senate seat by three-point-six. I went back a century and looked at the data. I've never found a geographic bias in either chamber that high.
Chuck Todd: Are they the victim of a geographic bias or did they create their own geographic bias. I guess I look at this and say, well this is what you do when you stop campaigning. They didn't even bother to recruit a candidate in Alabama special Senate election. I'm telling you on September 15th they're going to realize they made a mistake there. They're not even trying to compete in some parts of this country anymore. They don't even pretend otherwise.
Dave Wasserman: Well look at who the Democratic Party's leaders are right now, Nancy Pelosi from California, Chuck Schumer from New York. Hillary Clinton won those two states by a combined six million votes, double her national margin. Now I'm saying there's anything terrible about either leader's legislative strategy, but when it comes to the party's branding and the party's "messaging," look at the results in 2016. And it's not a coalition that can win the breath of House and Senate seats that the party ten or twenty years ago could.
Chuck Todd: So as Democrats read, do they look at this, should they just simply say, oh this is what gerrymandering did to us. Is that what Democrats should say or should Democrats sit there and lambaste their own leaders going, you know this race to the coast race to urbanize America race to cultural change race to demographic has been too fast for middle America and they don't want to acknowledge that yet?
Dave Wasserman: Well look gerrymandering plays a role absolutely. But when I hear Democrats cite those statistics that I've laid out in the article and say it's all gerrymandering, well look at the Senate. Right? And Donald Trump even despite losing the popular vote, won sixty Senate seats out of a hundred if you go by his map. He won thirty states. Look at Democrats' geographic concentration on the coasts and in big cities. And look, the Senate has always had a bias toward smaller more rural states. But only until recently has that had such profoundly negative consequences for Democrats.
Chuck Todd: So here we are. Now eight years ago we were writing about the Republicans demographic problem; they're never going to be able to win national elections again, and they're only going to be able to win House elections and midterm elections and all of this. Because they have a demographic problem and it's not as bad in midterm years. Everybody knew that Democrats had a rural problem and this is something they have to worry about in midterms. Demography versus geography, who's got the tougher hill to climb right now? Which party?
Dave Wasserman: Well, coalitions change over time. And one of the fascinating aspects of politics has been that when parties have transformed, they've gone for a new face that is, outside the stereotype of what you'd think of as the party's coalition. Donald Trump is the last person you would have thought of as part of the traditional Republican coalition in 2016. My question is can Democrats find a new leader in 2020 who's outside the stereotype.
Chuck Todd: And people forget Barack Obama actually was outside that stereotype, not just because of race, but he was also outside the stereotype on ideology the assumption was oh no you got to get some southern conservative Democrat if you want to win the White House.
Dave Wasserman: Right.You've got to bend the geographic curve.
Also published on Medium.