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Divided Democrats Risk Midterm Defeat


Divided Democrats Risk Midterm Defeat

Sonali Kolhatkar

A newly leaked email from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) from last October revealed that in the wake of a horrific mass shooting the liberal party was urging members to sound like their conservative counterparts. “There will be time for politics and policy discussion, but any message today should be on offering thoughts/prayers for victims,” wrote Evan Lukaske, a member of the DCCC press staff, the day after the horrific Las Vegas massacre on Oct.


The issue is always the same. Party activists are always more extreme than the party as a whole, and the party, as a whole is more extreme than the electorate. This holds true for both Democrats and Republicans. It always comes back to the equation of how far down the spectrum can the activists move the party before they risk losing sufficient voter support to lose the election.

Although it is not popular, incrementalism is what moves the populace. The masses don’t like revolution, it disturbs their routine.


I understand your point about “incrementalism,” but acceptance of that point implies that we no longer believe that citizens can be educated by leaders–can be shown the wisdom of slightly more extreme positions.

Went to WA 8th Congressional Dist Dem debate two nights ago; approx five candidates who are preparing to run for the soon to be vacated Dave Reichert ® position. The front runner and favorite, Jason Rittereiser, vomited up the most Dick Cheney-like line of the evening in response to a question about reducing defense budgets and retraining Boeing engineers to make something other than weapons, and I paraphrase: We live in a very dangerous world, and we must continue to have the strongest military in order to protect ourselves.

Only one candidate of five suggested that Boeing could make a switch away from defense successfully, and that it might be a good idea to look at defense spending and militarism.

My point: I still believe that leaders can educate the American people on the wastefulness and hideousness of our military adventurism. It just pencils out, but for Dems this topic has become the third rail; simply the biggest elephant in any room ever conceived of by humanity.


It is hard to imagine just how fucked we actually all are.


Your smoking some seriously good shit to believe that load of crap. What leaders? There are none…NONE.


Kolhatkar left militarism, bloated pentagon budgets and de-humanizing, catastrophic militaristic adventurism off her list of issues.

Why do so many progressives turn a blind eye to this largest of all elephants in the room? Aren’t issues like these at the core of all the other things that ail us as a culture, a society?


No you miss it all entirely. The two party duopoly is a method to enslave you by making you think you have a choice when you don’t. The democratic party’s only purpose is to make sure no progressive movement or candidates attain power and they do it well.

As long as you think in terms of the Republicans/Democrats, instead of the haves and have nots, they will continue to enslave you. Wake up for christ’s sakes.


Well-put Dan_Harris! I’m with you.


Actually, when faced with a crisis, Americans are open to what could called revolutionary changes.

When Obama had a crisis to exploit, he showed the true colors of his party: Tax cuts, RomneyCare, bankster bail outs, trying to appease Republicans even as they openly admitted to wanting to destroy him.

But don’t worry, another crisis is right around the corner. That’ll be another opportunity for the Rs to privatize something.


Corporate Democrats’ “radical colleagues” ?

I guess that characterization is accurate within the context of a George Orwell quote: “In an era of universal deceit, telling the truth is a radical act” .


Gee, it’s nearly time for Lrx and KC2669 to clock in and “lesson us up” about why the Corporate Dems are the bestest.


Pretty good analysis. We will see in the upcoming election as the Republicans have now gone along with white supremacy and authoritarianism and are gutting social programs and environmental regulations. Have they gone too far politically or does the country really want fascism with a dictatorship. Is an American version of Nazi Germany along with air not fit to breathe and water not fit do drink what the American voters want?


Anyone calling the Democrats Republican-lite must not be following politics. That Republican Party has now been replaced by Trump’s Republican Party. The Democrats have nothing at all in common with this party of white Christian right wing extremists. The Republicans have pretty much entered John Birch Society territory and seem to be much closer to the white supremacists of the alt-right than the Democrats. Maybe it is time to update the progressive rhetoric as it seems to refer to a time before Donald Trump descended down that escalator in Trump Tower and declared he was a candidate for president. It is no longer 2014. It is 2018 and the facts on the ground have changed.


Wow. Three minutes’ alert. Well-played, sir.


Your “incrementalism” gave us Hillary Clinton, a compromised, corrupted, warmongering candidate with a smarmy personality whom Americans rejected in favor of the vapid egomaniac Donnie Trump. Try BELIEVING in something, not just playing the game and pounding in the lawn signs.


Will someone please tell this author that the Democrats are no longer a “liberal” party.


Dan the Man who tells it like it is.

Dan, you need to team up with Tom Steyer, and put your words here about enslavement to the Duopoly into one of his commercials, and run it 24/7 for the Zombies to see.


Amen to that Bro!


Much of what FDR accomplished was done in a reaction to the very real threat of Socialism. If we want progress for the majority of We the People, we need to get seriously cozy with socialist ideas, and we need to make them appealing to the majority of voters.

Incrementalism.Will. Not. Work.


The fact remains that the Democratic Party only pays lip service to its rhetoric. There is no real commitment to making progressive change. They continually move to the right, chasing after the Republicans who have sprinted to the right, apparently believing that you have to continue to be in the “center” of a spectrum that is wildly distorted to the right. This is not a basis for public policy. It’s simply the sound-bite approach to politics.

There is no mention from the Democratic Party leadership, for example, of an aggressive gun control policy, such as outlawing the sale and possession of weapons of war, such as the AR-15 – yes, we should go after those guns. There is no aggressive policy solution for climate change, such as a carbon tax, except in the occasional passing reference – there is certainly nothing approaching the (to borrow from Richard Clarke) hair on fire response that climate change cries out for. There is no leadership on single payer healthcare – instead we get these watered down bullshit proposals that leave the insurance and pharmaceutical industries in control. I could go on, but the point is made.

Instead, what we get are watered down mamby-pamby bullshit proposals that reflect the cowardice of the Democratic Party leaders. They simply don’t have the spine to strike out on a truly progressive framework.

The centrist incrementalism espoused by some here is simply a failure to recognize that the American people do not, in fact, want incrementalism. They recognize it as foil for describing all the things we can’t do, rather than things we need to do. This was Hillary’s biggest flaw – a lack of vision and a lack of courage. Bernie’'s success showed that Americans embrace strong progressive policies – the problem is they can’t seem to get anyone to vote for that will pursue those policies. Guess what causes that problem? It’s our entrenched political establishment. The Republicans are guilty of greed, malfeasance and bullying. The Democrats are guilty of a lack of vision and political cowardice.