Archive for The Democratic Party

Yes, the Democratic Party Has Changed, No It Isn’t Like the Republican Party’s Change

Posted in The Democratic Party with tags on October 19, 2015 by Rich Wilkins


A lot was made about how Jim Webb seemed out of step with the Democratic base during his debate performance, and he was the hero of the 2006 cycle, nine years ago. Some have made the point that the Democratic Party has moved politically, as the Republican Party has, in the last decade. It is true that both parties have moved. It is not true that there is much similar about that.

The one similarity both parties have is that they have changed to be more responsive to the people who vote for them now. That’s the end of the similarities. One party has simply begun to be responsive to their base, while the other has devolved into a dysfunctional mess. One has a policy agenda attached to their movement, the other does not. One has actually moved to their political pole, the other has simply made good on their rhetoric.

The Obama-era Democratic Party really hasn’t moved to the left the way many believe. Yes, it has changed, but it has changed mostly in that it now acts on it’s beliefs. Democrats talked about supporting LGBT rights for a long time now, but have become more effective in making substantial change under this President. Democrats have talked about supporting the environment and moving away from pollution-causing fossil fuels for a long time, but they have been more effective in causing that change under this President. Democrats have long stood for women’s rights, but have been more effective in changing government policy to help women under this President.

Democrats had to make good on their long-time promises because that is what the coalition that elected President Obama demanded. They’ve had to explicitly support policies that move along progress for key constituencies. It’s simply an extension of stated party beliefs. It’s the party making good on long standing promises.

What is happening on the right is not the same. They are not moving the policy bar on most issues. They are not talking about being more effective for their voters (it is arguable, but one could say they are for their donors). The movement on the right is movement toward an ineffective party that doesn’t even want to get things done. It’s essentially a movement towards an anti-government dystopia. Comparing this level of dysfunction to the movement on the left is an apples to oranges comparison.


Democrats and Liberals- Stop Beating on Donald Trump

Posted in 2016 Presidential Election with tags , on August 9, 2015 by Rich Wilkins


Donald Trump is a reprehensible person. The things he says about the President, women, Hispanics, and just about any other group he mentions, are ridiculous. They’re offensive. They’re beneath the Presidency for which he is running. You see though, that’s fine. He’s not going to be elected President of the United States. He’s still highly unlikely to even be the Republican nominee for President. Let’s be clear here, he’s winning the polls, but he’s not near 50%, their establishment wants him gone, and he’s only appealing to a segment of the GOP vote. Eventually someone will emerge to take him on, and they will win.

Democrats aren’t gaining anything by engaging Trump or even just what Trump says. He’s not going to be the nominee’s opponent. Hillary Clinton is highly unlikely to ever step foot on a stage with him to debate in 2016. He is an internal Republican issue that was created by internal Republican decisions and strategies that lead them here. He is the logical conclusion to the direction the Tea Party movement took back in 2009 and 2010, the byproduct of Boehner, McConnell, Romney, and others in the GOP embracing the hard-line movement conservatives in 2009 and 2010, and not shutting down things like the Birther Movement, Personhood Amendments, the Minute Men, and every other vile form nativist, angry conservatism. It is no accident that we went from Palin to Paul and Rubio, and from Paul and Rubio to Cruz and Lee, and from Cruz and Lee to Trump. Every two years, it seemed like even crazier people became the GOP darlings of the election cycle, and that was in fact the case. In their fear after President Obama’s 2008 victory, Republicans decided to get in bed with the “Birchers” in society to get back power in 2010. That road only had one logical conclusion.

Donald Trump represents reaches of society that we all like to pretend are less and less real. To be clear, I don’t even think he believes what he’s saying, I think he sees an opportunity and he’s taking it. There is an element within society that is being left behind in this world. The world is changing, be it racially, in LGBT rights, and economically around them, and they can’t keep up. Their response is to lash out against this “different” world and refuse to accept it. They hate “political correctness,” and really any other efforts to create a harmonious society, because they don’t understand it. Why are women working? Why are people speaking something besides English? Why do we have an African-American President? Why aren’t we all Christian? These questions puzzle them and confuse them, and they both can’t answer or understand them. They want to take nonsense positions, like science is bad, to assert their right to ignorance, their right to “drop out” of this emerging different society. Change scares them, so they embrace Palin, then Paul, then Cruz, and finally Trump. If we’re not careful, something similar to the Neo-Nazi rise in Europe could be the next stage in this response. At some point, Donald Trump won’t be enough of a response for some of these people.

It’s important that Democrats don’t respond and legitimize this as debate though. The simple truth is that what these people want cannot win a national election anymore, as we saw in 2008 and 2012. In fact, since 1992 (the end of the Reagan era), Democrats have won five of six popular votes for President, and four of six elections, and since 2000, they have a floor around 48%. What Trump and his supporters are pushing can’t win. There’s no point in treating it as a legitimate response from the opposition- it’s more a temper-tantrum from the ignorant and angry.

And it’s the Republicans problem, and one they haven’t dealt with yet. Just as Mitt Romney had to embrace fringe, crazy conservative positions to beat back the likes of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, the 2016 Republican nominee is likely to have to embrace some of the sick, twisted, sadistic views of the Trump team to win this nomination. To this stage, there is no evidence that the Republican base is ready to nominate someone who isn’t willing to at least engage Trump-style rhetoric, and they have forced their previous two nominees to turn their back on some of their most reasonable positions. John Kasich may sound reasonable now, or Jeb Bush may not want to be crazy on education or immigration now, or Marco Rubio may be trying to have it both ways on some issues now, but by the time the snow starts to fall in Iowa and New Hampshire, they will tell some wild-eyed questioner in a town hall what they want to hear. They will get on a debate stage and embrace some aspect of Trump-ism. They will appear at a rally with some reprehensible group or person that has no appeal beyond their base.

Donald Trump is a Republican problem, created by the Republican base. This is what their voters want, at least a sizable amount, and this is what they get. If some skilled candidate in their field can navigate around this man and win the nomination without taking a bunch of positions that the country as a whole doesn’t want, then so be it. If not, they will either get stuck nominating a lunatic, or force their best candidate to embrace the crazy positions that Trump is selling and advocating for now. Either way, it is not in the Democrats interest to cut Trump down early, no matter how offensive he gets. Frankly, the public should hear where the soul of the GOP is at now. Trump is representing an unelectable platform and tone that Democrats should only be so lucky to get to run against.

Sincerely GC

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