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Can Democrats Think Strategically About Trump Country?

Can Democrats Think Strategically About Trump Country?

Ryan Cooper

Democrat Conor Lamb seems to have eked out a narrow victory in the special election in Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district — which President Trump won by 20 points in 2016. Far too much time, money, and attention has been lavished on this race — after all, this district is literally going to disappear when redistricting goes through before the 2018 midterms. But Lamb's victory is still a pretty impressive demonstration of just how much wind is at the Democrats' back.

…“it is inarguable that Democrats need a workable economic program that spreads economic benefits far and wide — and that means torching the old neoliberal orthodoxy.”

This was Bernie’s plan. On his campaign’s website he indicated how his initiatives were to be funded with surprising specificity. He was the grownup in the discussion and as such a threat to the entrenched establishment that is content to vacillate between the neocons and the neolibs that give it cover for its further ossification of class structure. This shit is real folks. Upward mobility is threatened like never before in America. Other places in the world that facilitate it will ultimately eat our lunch, take our lunch money, and mock our outdated military mindset. Grow up America, if you can.


“But Lamb’s victory is still a pretty impressive demonstration of just how much wind is at the Democrats’ back.”

There is nothing remarkable or new about this - it’s precisely how the system is supposed to work to keep serving elites while getting the periodic stamp of approval from the common folk. The Republicans are the more open corporate tools, so after a cycle or two under them, the common folk are so disgusted and horrified, they vote for Democrats. The Democrats are more covert corporate tools, so after a cycle or two under them the common folk are so despairing and hopeless, they stay home from the polls. Then the Republicans can take over. Rinse, repeat. It’s been this way for decades under these parties while life for most Americans becomes increasingly unbearable, and the voting options increasingly repulsive.

The parties haven’t changed. They can’t change, because the class they serve only demands more. All this talk about “Democratic strategy” is mostly about the BS they say to get into office. The actual product will be the same. The only thing that has changed is that both parties have lost so much credibility it isn’t clear whether Democrats even have enough “wind at their backs” to get into power again.


Place this quote in the same context as her “deplorables” comment and it sounds like she’s saying she should be considered the winner because she got more of the votes of the only people who count–those with the money. Also keep in mind she kept pointing out that she “won” the popular vote, making it clear she thought she should be considered the winner, even if she did not actually get the award.

Then place the quote in the same context as Romney’s 47% remark, and you wind up with the conclusion that the two parties agree whole-heartedly where it matters.

Ordinary people aren’t worth shit.


I get the intent of the article I do, but here is the rub.

Party, ultimately really doesn’t matter to oligarchs now does it?

Isn’t that the whole clucking point?

I agree, if the distinction of Corporate State Democrats is made.

That same take down that you speak of, of progressive ideas and movements, exists within the Democratic Party, of Corporate State Democrats taking down Democrats siding with those ideas and movements.

No Labels is the latest version of the DLC, and should be targeted and messed with at every turn. This organization is definitely worth paying attention to and countering. A few million opposing “members” joining as a Trojan Horse project is a worthwhile endeavor, getting their social media tools, turning the tables on their messaging within their system, getting kicked out.

Wash, rinse, repeat. Am I advocating dropping Greens and only working on turning the tables on Corporate State Democrats? No.

All fronts.

Parties change. Elect more progressive candidates across the country, and the party will change. Think about Lamb. He defended the ACA, which I know you do not like. Same with Jones in Alabama. If that’s the base level of the party politically, that is substantially to the Left of where the party was just a decade-and-a-half ago.

Now, I am not pretending all is good, the bank bill being recent evidence. However, that bill goes nowhere, especially in its current form, if Democrats held the Senate and a few more progressives were in it.

You argue as if the current power center of the party doesn’t act against progressive movements, that the state of that power structure flows from the voters.

I completely disagree on that major point.

The power structure once moved against civil rights. What happened once pro-civil rights Democrats took the majority? History shows nothing is inevitable.

That’s frankly a different argument.

I argue that Corporate State Democrats and Republicans operate as one defacto party, as in oligarchy, or plutocracy.

As you might note, I also advocate turning the tables on Corporate State Democrats within the Democratic Party structure.

Plus, I advocate generally supporting progressives or those defined by No Labels (the new DLC) as “extreme leftists” whether they are Greens, or otherwise.

All Fronts.

One problem among many is one cannot say “Democrats” as a monolithic force or entity; the various factions are fractured. Some devoted to business-as-usual sell themselves and us to big-money profits above all else - corporate, banker, Wall Street, insurance/“health” industry and other parasites feeding off the American body - the trump regime the extreme example of corrupt self-interest and using the people to enrich the 1% few while destroying any semblance or remnants of dedication to the Common Good in society and governance to serve common greed.

The “progressive” wing politicians, the more moral wing, have their warts on various issues, and the entire American political system is rigged for continuance of vulture capitalism, endless wars, wage/debt slavery, financial usury and environmental exploitation & pollution - parasites and profits above all else!

So, the question “can Democrats think strategically” about anything, the answer is no. The establishment dominates and controls the process and candidates and has proven they would rather lose elections than support progressive/radical change that benefits the 99% to serve their big-money donor bribery and subversion - witness the sabotage of candidate Bernie Sanders to anoint the red queen who was hated and despised for numerous reasons, behaviors - probably the ONLY candidate trump could have beaten, yet the “Democrats” chose her. Another example is the two mid-term pathetic losses under Obama when nothing was done to figure out why and alter course accordingly - “Democrats” just didn’t give a shite why!

A timid, craven, corrupt, arrogant, sellout crowd with corrupt politicians at the helm - Schumer, Pelosi, Cuomo, and others; some serve the status quo, some who chose to “compromise” with evil rather than stand and fight for principle! There are always some that are constantly sabotaging or selling-out any possibility of real change and only putting out at election time or when public pressure is overwhelming…and even then they quibble, grovel, and “compromise” with evil as their mealy-mouthed MO.


Very well said.

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Why? If you went back to the 1920s and 30s, it would’ve been impossible to imagine a Democratic majority for civil rights. Almost the entire power structure of the party was oriented against them. That changed because the party changed once western and northern Democrats gained power in it. That didn’t happen by magic.

Also, establishments change too, right? The party changed in the 1930s big time in an economically progressive direction. That took getting people elected that changed it. The Democratic Party centered on the Old South wasn’t exactly a progressive dream.

You always ignore the reality that neoliberalism didn’t emanate from “the little people” demanding such.

The little people didn’t demand NAFTA, or the Telecommunications Act of 1996, or the Commodities Futures Modernization Act, or the Financial Services Modernization Act.

Nor did the little people ultimately demand that the ACA be almost entirely written by the monopolized “healthcare” industrial complex.

Thanks for sharing, I’m moving on at this moment on this topic. It’s been a long fucking week.

My point is it’s obvious these things can change. The idea that there is some immutable power structure is completely converse to history. I gave you two concrete examples of it above. It doesn’t mean change comes easy, but it does and can come.

On the week, I agree. It has been a long fucking one.

In these areas of the country where Trump did so well most of the voters are white. Many have good jobs and while personally are doing well they are not happy about their communities that are run down. Those that live in the many small towns that have seen rising HIspanic populations in the last couple of decades are even more unhappy. Probably for these Trump voters the most important issue is race and they saw Hillary Clinton has someone representing the needs of blacks not them. The Democratic party cannot embrace racism to get votes, that is what the Republicans have done and it is just wrong. Conor Lamb did very well in Allegheny County which as I understand it is a suburb of Pittsburgh and where things generally look pretty good. He lost the other three counties but still won. He was probably helped by not supporting gun control, only more thorough background checks, and by not supporting single-payer health care, just expansion of the ACA. By saying he would not vote for Nancy Pelosi for party leadership he showed he was not an extreme liberal. He did say he would support expansion of social security and Medicare which are popular positions to take with many people. And putting everything together it appears he won a very narrow victory.

I’m trying to point out the gargantuan block to such change in place, and that block has been put in place by those who have intentionally turned the tables of power in this country away from “the people” and toward super wealthy individuals and large corporations.

You would think that reality was a mere sideshow according to your arguments, and that the power structure of oligarchy is simply putting its finger to the wind of popular sentiment.

Look at the power structure in place right now. Mass surveillance, corporate control over almost all of the media, a coming gradual loss of countering that corporate messaging through loss of net neutrality (and spare me the argument that Corporate Democrats are going to save it) a militarized police force ready to beat down any mass movement in the streets, an ongoing assault (continuing largely on Obama policies) on public education in favor of corporate controlled education, a continuing “austerity” program of privatization of former publicly held assets such as utility companies, a MIC and burgeoning Security Industrial Complex, ever expanding wars of Empire, etc.

The only way things can change is to actually acknowledge what the power structure is, how insurmountable it is at present, and how that came about.

But you are selective in your preference to “history” as being notable in regard to the current power structure.

If I recall correctly, my particular recollection and analysis has something to do with 90s PTSD.

Not regurgitating a personal insult, which I accept you didn’t mean as such, but rather a major and repeated point of argument you have made.

Anyway, enjoy the rest of your day. On this one, take the last word.


I would add that No Labels (the new DLC) is heading the Project for a New American Austerity. This mind you, is put forth as being “Centrist”.

It a perfect example of what I assert again and again and again. It is oligarchy plain and simple, and it’s labeling (ironic isn’t it) of an “extreme left” is part and parcel to defeating any progressive movement aligning itself with, or within, the Democratic Party.

Again, enjoy your day. Last word is yours if you like.

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Who cares what the democrats think.

Let me take a guess. Democrats who want to win elections?

“Can Democrats Think Strategically About Trump Country?”

There. Fixed it.

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