On Wednesday, Salon published a remarkable piece based on documents it sprung from various places, including the inner sanctums of Republican organizations, that paints almost a complete picture of how that party got itself ahead in the long game of redistricting our politics to its complete advantage.
It is NOT “Democratic Ineptitude”. It is Democratic complicity in the corporate capitalist imperial Duopoly controlled by U.S. oligarchs, plutocrats and militarists.
I know this is wrong, but does anybody else have a overwhelming desire to slap the taste out of these pricks mouths? Especially the one on the left, he’s one of my jackass senators. Worthless to the core.
The true genius, the real reason that the oligarchy, through the Republican Party, was able to get away with this is more complex. Starting with the Powell memo in the 70’s America’s oligarchy launched a master plan to reverse the two decades of gains that America’s masses had made. Income inequity was at an all time low, while the polical power of the hoypoloi was at its peak. The plan was twofold. First, they needed to establish a conservative power base. Create a coalition between the GOP old money, the newly minted electorate made up of the old racist Dixiecrats that abandoned the democrats after 1965, and the evangelical crowd. You then finance that group with a network of shadowy PACS, and concentrate on winning local and state wide elections first.
Second, big businesses and finaceers would begin chipping away at the organizational and financial base of the Democratic Party, organized labor. The post WWII boom was coming to an end. The time was perfect to push for “free trade” agreements and begin off shoring the jobs of America’s middle class. Unions began to wane, and along with them the grass roots organizational skills of the democrats. As good paying jobs disappeared, people begin to work longer hours and begin borrowing money in an effort to maintain the lifestyles they had become accustomed to. People no longer have union halls to meet at. They no longer have time for PTAs and bake sales and block parties. The masses go into survival mode. The Democratic Party sees its funding cut off. A new organization within the party, the DLC, convinces the powers that be that the only way to replace the money that used to flow from Big Labor was to buddy up to Wall Street and other uber wealthy sources. The democrats changed their entire ethos, believing now that you can be fiscally conservative and socially liberal at the same time. The DNC is now seen as sells outs among its old base.
All the while, the GOP, with bottomless buckets of cash from the Kochs, solidify their support among the faithful by cultivating the Culture wars and convincing enough of America’s lower class “deplorables” to vote against their own best interests.
Fast forward to 2018. The GOP has thrown its Hail Mary pass. The only thing left on the docket is to defund Medicare and privatize social security. They have pushed the political discourse in the nation so far to the right that the democrats believe their only chance to win back the House, and some measure of respectability is to run a bunch of center/right, blue dogs. At the end of the day the democrats have become what could be best described as Nixon Republicans. And the GOP and the Kochs and Mercers of the political world now see their plans come full circle. In the end they didn’t just beat the democrats, they assimilated them.
Sorry, but this is ridiculous nonsense. Republicans are the only ones who figured out how to gerrymander?
What those documents actually show is that Democrats lost so many seats in state legislatures and rural districts after 2010 that they rendered themselves politically irrelevant in some states, and a distinct minority in others, Congress included. They lost those seats not because the party is “inept”, but because it generally inspires contempt and despair in the voting public. It can’t get people to come to the polls. Republicans, left in control, gerrymandered.
This entire narrative about the Democratic party being inept, “caving”, “spineless” and lacking courage is absolute crap. If anything, Democrats are only incrementally less ruthless and corrupt than Republicans. The Democratic brand just happens to be in the toilet right now, because it requires them to pretend sometimes that they care about ordinary people - and that level of acting is hard to pull off when you are screwing said people.
When Democratic legislators are in the majority they gerrymander too.
Here in PA we have 18 congressional districts. Democrats statewide recovered more votes than did the republican candidates, yet the GOP won 13 of the 18 seats.
Tell us again how gerrymandering is not an enormous problem.
(Oh, the same thing happens in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia and North Carolina)
“Tell us again how gerrymandering is not an enormous problem.”
Well, that’s a creative interpretation of my post.
Let’s not leave out Republican ineptitude.
And let’s not leave out Democratic ruthlessness.
It is true that the Republicans have paid more heed to local politics than the Democrats. That does have advantages. It is true that it would have been difficult for them not to, and that this must have to do with some sort of ineptitude on the Democratic side. Republicans had internecine conflicts going on within the party–the tea party and so forth–way beyond what happened with the Democrats during the same years. So they had to pay attention. But then the DNC also filched and diverted funds donated to local candidates to support the Clinton nomination. And a good part of those funds actually went to Donald Trump’s nomination campaign, apparently because it was felt that he would be more of a softball candidate than the rest of the mutton smarming around the Republicans’ nomination debates.
It’s probably true enough that this was incompetent.
But it ought to be noted that the primary quality in this incompetence was to be too ruthless with regard to perceived self-interest for the parties or the candidates’ own good.
From 2007 on, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and associates purged the party of left and progressive opposition, gerrymandering districts to put down progressive challenges within the party. It may have been incompetent to not notice that doing so would tend to favor Republican over Democratic candidates on election day. But the challenge they feared was not from Republicans, but from Democrats.
This is certainly ruthless, however inept it may also be. And, either way, it left them without popular candidates.
It was nothing if not ruthless to collude with major media to distort primary results and announce a victor well before primaries had finished, to bar speakers and persons of one camp from access to the nomination process, to sell the attention and policy of a sitting president for primary campaign funds, to take campaign money from foreign governments, to swipe money from local candidates to one nomination campaign–on and on.
It is a common falsehood that the Democrats are spineless or inept or soft or whatever, the Republicans fierce but vicious. This has nought to do with anything except the principal lie that each party tells to win. The Republicans are rich folk who say that if your boss and rulers get rich, that helps you somehow. The Democrats are rich folk who say that they do not favor the system that makes them rich nor work for the corporations that pay them.
“Inept” is an excuse for worse.
There doesn’t seem to be an end to the excuses for the Democrats.
So explain this:
Obama forms the Catfood Commission who conclude that entitlement cuts will be necessary because of budget deficits. Obama goes on to propose his Grand Bargain because of budget deficits.
Yet this week, the Democrats vote to approve a decade of gaping budget deficits.
The Democrats have no brand. No message. No coherence. They stand for nothing.
Inept is the reason I laugh at people who talk about taking the Democratic Party back from within. Even if they were able to take back control of the National Party, it would take them at least nine or ten election cycles to purge the ineptness out of the entire party, from the national down all the way to the local parties. That is twenty years of not only fighting the republicans in every election cycle, but it’s also twenty years of fighting your own party every election cycle. It’s a total waste of money and time trying to take the Democratic Party back. Instead dumping the Democrats as they have dumped the workers and the working poor of this country and starting a Workers Party that doesn’t just pay lip service to but speaks out loud for workers and the poor of this country is the best way for us to take back this country. Face it when it comes right down to it, the amerikan worker and the poor out number everyone else in this country by at least three to one!