Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Dems Stay Losing

So by now you've probably heard that the Democrats lost (again) in last night's special Congressional race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Repulican Karen Handel.  Yes, the race was in Georgia, and yes, the district is one that Trump won in 2016.  Nevertheless, looking beyond Georgia, there is a pattern forming nationally where Democrats attempt to go after seats occupied by Republicans and voters time after time shoot them down.  To the Democrats' credit, the conventional wisdom does say that when you have a sitting president polling at a dismal 35% approval rating, and the opposing party controls a Congress that has an even lower approval rating, then your party should be a shoe-in.  But it's just not happening for the Dems.  They stay losing.  But why?

Part of the reason is that they truly haven't learned the real lesson of why they were trounced in 2016.  They laughed at Trump - hell, we all did.  But Trump continued to play on the fears and anxieties of just enough people to eek out a narrow victory that has earned him the title of "President Trump."  He spoke in simplistic terms, often limiting his thoughts to just 140 character sound bites (the character limit of Twitter).  Meanwhile, Dems didn't really offer great ideas; they simply said "well at least we're not that guy."  And the few ideas that they did offer to the people were as dense and indecipherable as html code, made by educated people for educated people.  They refused to go to the rust-belt and talk with the blue-collar voter.  They looked down their noses at the working class crowd, labeled them "non-educated" and tossed them in with the Trump crowd automatically.  But in the end, it was the so-called "non-educated" people in the rust-belt states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania who handed Trump, and his brand of dumb-it-down politics, the ultimate win.

So what are we to take away from this string of losses for the Democrats in this post-Trump era where nobody seems to like Trump?  The people may be disappointed with Trump's inability to deliver on much of his campaign platform (not to mention his uncanny ability to continuously step on his own feet with nationally embarrassing headlines on a daily basis), but they're still not buying whatever it is that the Democrats are selling.  This is a party that refuses to change course even when the course clearly is not working.  Say what you will about the Republicans, but at least when they got trounced in 2008 they gathered, regrouped, and came back stronger than before.  The Dems on the other hand, if given the chance, would actually put the same old folks like Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House if they were to actually win it.  And worse yet, they wouldn't see anything wrong with this.   

The sooner Democrats figure out that they're not winning for a reason, the more of a fighting chance they may have come 2018.  The truth of the matter is, Barack Obama saved the Democratic Party from itself in 2008 and again in 2012 because he was not the typical Democrat (the Right loved to portray him as such and then some, but that's a whole other blog post).  Obama was an anomaly. A glitch in the matrix, if you will, that only occurs once in a blue moon.  What remains now is the regular old Democratic party, unpolished and without an international rock star to lead it to victory.  They now have to confront the ugly reality that people are still frustrated with their financial situations in life, and the Democratic party's platform is not exactly helping them. 

Unless something miraculous changes between now and 2020, don't expect to Republicans to lose the White House or the Congress any time for the foreseeable future.
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