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Democrats Shouldn’t Squander Their One Advantage


Democrats Shouldn’t Squander Their One Advantage

Bill McKibben

The Democrats were given one great gift last year. Even as they lost state legislatures and control of the Senate, even as they surrendered governors’ mansions and somehow turned over the White House to a moral midget, one thing broke their way. And if they squander it now, as their establishment leadership seems inclined to do, then shame on them.


The time to make that pitch was when Sander's had a shot at the nomination, not after the party establishment belittled the millennials and showed them in no uncertain terms how little the party valued them. Sorry, Bill the millennial vote has left the Democrat's building and it will take much more than Ellison to bring them back and even Ellison as the DNC chair is a long shot at this point. Let the Democratic party die and get on with a replacement.


The advantage claimed to have been gained by the Sanders run in attracting those young voters has already been lost when the DNC insisted those young people had to support Hilary R Clinton.

They were betrayed and it is going to take more then a few vague promises to listen more closely this time around to get them back. Shame on anyone that supported the Candidacy of HRC,


The Democratic Party is in great shape in the Northeast and on the West Coast. But this past election suggests that like the Republicans it may become a regional party. Basically we will have two parties each mainly representing specific regions of the US and neither representing the entire country. But perhaps because of the regionalization of politics no party can represent the entire country. The battle is largely over the Midwest and it seems that the Democrats are losing that battle. Although they are making inroads in some states that are considered Republican. I wouldn't count on young people to be the answer for the Democrats. Sanders was hawking a lot of free stuff. Most of the enthusiasm appeared to be about getting the freebies.


In a way it is funny -- that you with your DNC-vetted talking points, think you are making a positive difference.

You and yours are dinosaurs.


Considering that the DNC just stocked their "war room" full of Clinton insiders on the eve of the upcoming election involving Keith Elison I think the Democrats buried their advantage along with the last shreds of credibility they have.


This is neither right nor fair. Sanders never argued that, for example, tuition-free college was free to society. Rather, his argument is that it's an investment with positive payback -- it more than pays for itself in the long run. And to suggest that the young only supported Sanders because of so-called freebies fails to capture the broad range of issues that Sanders championed and those young voters supported -- not the least of which was getting real about climate change -- another issue requiring upfront investments with long-run paybacks. There is really no evidence that "most of the enthusiasm appeared to be about getting the freebies."


Always right on target Mr. McKibbon. I hope they hear what you and so many of us are saying but I don't think it will matter, they preferred Trump to Bernie so.
I believe the Green Party or even another party needs to be built to take on the two parties of the 1%. The Dem's won't let go of the power and profits associated with the club you mentioned.
After what the young people witnessed during the primary, rigging and lack of vision, they would not be easily swayed into the Democratic party as it is now. I feel violated and angry that I sent Bernie my money all the while they were screwing him. Won't forget that when they ask for money again.
The answer the DNC, gave to the judge in the DNC lawsuit said it all. Paraphrasing slightly, The Sanders supporters knew we where working for Clinton, so they have no right to sue since they knew what we were doing. Can you believe the hubris it takes to say that? The lawsuit is slow but ongoing by the way.
I want to hear more about a vibrant new party that the young people can believe in. The Dems are useless.


You must be part of the East or West coast liberals and their pragmatism. To elite to get your hands dirty so you pontificate about the crazy, fringe lefties that do so much yelling. I bet you think Obama was a good president?
Bernie wasn't hawking free stuff, like education, healthcare, climate change, corruption, he was trying to rebuild this country into something we can be proud of and catch up to the rest of the industrialized world. Your attitude is part of the problem because you marginalize the most important issues. Liberal is not progressive.


Bill, you and I are brothers from another mother. People, I hope you read all of Bill's thoughts here in this article, and specifically his reference to how the Democratic Party Establishment intentionally works to screw the chances of any true 'progressive' who isn't in their 'inner circle'. Well, the Democratic Party Establishment can circle jerk themselves into oblivion, for all I care. They are the party of the 'status quo', endless wars, increasing income inequality, and words, endless words with no action. And they screwed Bernie who I have absolutely no doubt at all would be our President -Elect at this very moment had they not colluded with the DNC and the MSM to keep his message from getting to the majority of America. Out of principal, I personally will never again vote for an Establishment Democrat. Ever!


Obviously tuition wasn't free to society although it was never clear how it would be paid for since it seemed to require states to kick in money and get a tax on Wall Street trades passed by Congress. But it would be free for the students. Clinton also eventually adopted the same plan except with $125,000 income cap. Personally I liked O'Malley's approach the best. Sanders actually wound up supporting Clinton's heathcare approach of extending Obamacare and working toward universal healthcare coverage. There was actually very little difference between Clinton and Sanders in the end. They both opposed the TPP although Clinton does support free trade as do most Democrats. Sanders enthusiastically supported Clinton. It is fiction that there is that much difference between Clinton and Sanders. They voted the same in the Senate 93% of the time. Both supported the same military stuff except for Iraq. The reason for the all the enthusiasm was Sanders became a cult figure. Basically what you had was a personality cult. With Clinton the situation was almost the opposite. Her personality seemed to turn people off. But her politics came from the civil rights movement and the anti-Viertnam War movement. Her main issue was helping disadvantaged children. I guess if she called herself a socialist maybe should would have gotten wild support but she chose to go with the progressive label instead.


I suppose that would be about 47 percent Mr. Romney?


What an epic failure of observation.


Take heart: the abolitionists in the antebellum US were a very tiny minority here (not more than 5-10%), and were reviled by the vast majority of the population as "radical extremists" -- even by those few who felt "uncomfortable" with slavery, such as the free-soilers, and even -- initially -- Lincoln -- even someone as egalitarian as Walt Whitman! --which reminds me much of the liberal establishment wanting all these left-wing "radicals" to just pack up their bags and go away.

This has been building steadily since 2011. Just as abolitionist "radicals" had much to do with the collapse of the Whig party, the Dems will collapse, unwilling to change it's lukewarm ways. Good riddance to them.


Yes. They are called taxes and there's plenty of headroom to tax the wealthy to put the federal government back in good stead. The problem for Hillary is that she would have never taxed her funders -- as she declared about single payer health care -- "Not gonna happen!

Yes, just like K-12 and we would all be better off for it.

Classic Clinton triangulation which came too late without any conviction. Doubtful it would fit with her self-proclaimed style of the "art of the possible" which is a bullshit way of saying -- "Not gonna happen!"

Only because he was stuck between supporting Clinton or Trump and made a rational choice. He never stopped supporting single payer healthcare. She had no plan for universal healthcare only tepid bromides.

There was actually enormous difference between the two. Anyone who was paying attention in 2016 knew that.

Another Clinton triangulation that would, no doubt, have been thrown overboard had she been elected. Nobody really believed she opposed TPP.

Actually, it is clear fact that there are huge differences between them. Clinton is incapable of being the true progressive that Bernie is. She's a true blue corporate Democrat through and through, as her funding sources clearly show -- not to mention her Wall Street speeches.

This is irrelevant. As neither of them could control what came up for votes, this is a silly point.

Actually Bernie became an issues cult -- supported by people who actually want to radically change the system, not triangulate themselves around the edges while never offending their funders.

Yes, she tried to clothe herself with these issues, but her track record is one of carrying water for the establishment and, most ignominiously, Wall Street. Not to mention her militarist mentality wanting to invade any Middle East country that didn't dance to her tune. She's a hardcore neocon and would have been reckless with her foreign policy. All those children she wanted to protect she would have thrown under the healthcare bus because single payer was "Not gonna happen!" As for civil rights, she managed to cultivate minorities and got their leadership support early on, but she was no warrior for them.

Doesn't matter what she called herself. She's a corporate Democrat. She was never a progressive -- that was just another campaign triangulation.


The problem is that very few people are doing the dirty work building an alternative third party. The Greens have mostly gotten no where in terms of percentage of votes received in the presidential general election since 2000. So, unfortunately, this idea will only benefit the Republican Party which it is already doing as evidenced by the recent election. This has been the conundrum facing progressives like myself for a while. I've personally continued to vote Green primarily because there is a lack of more voices and alternatives to the Democratic Party. Whether this has had any positive effect is debatable but there appears to be no other alternative than voting third-party.


Totally agree. Even now the Dems are showing they haven't learned a thing. A new party has to be the answer. What we have to realize is how fast it can form. The "tea-baggers" caught the wind in just a couple years (yes, with massive help from big investors) - but the same could/will happen with a democratic socialist party that tells the truth and toes the line. Bernie's momentum would have already created a Yuge party if it hadn't been squashed. It can get there again.


The Democratic Party establishment learned once again that as long as the Party keeps moving to the right its corporate sponsors give it more money. Ever since the 1985 Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) formation the Party has prioritized sustaining and growing corporate funding over winning elections.


Yep. It takes two to tango that Overton Window tango.


Shame on anyone - including Sanders ....