The Dying Donkey

“The top three House Democratic leaders are 76 (Pelosi), 77 (Steny Hoyer) and 76 (Jim Clyburn). The average age of the Democratic House leadership is 76. That’s even older than the 70-year old average of Soviet Politburo members in the age of Brezhnev, shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union.”
~Miles Mogulescu, Democratic Leadership Looks Like Old Soviet Politburo

“A party that is that detached from the wishes and demands of the electorate, and of its own discouraged and angry base, is not a party that’s going to be around much longer.
“At least one can hope.”
~Dave Lindorff, Democratic Leaders are a Craven Bunch of Idiots Bent on Self-Destruction

Even as the establishment maintains control of the DNC, the recent loss of power by Democrats has turned out to be unprecedented.

It wasn’t only that Hillary Clinton lost to the most unpopular candidate in recent US politics. She lost even many of the majority white areas that supported the first black president and who once voted for FDR. She also lost what was the most Democratic county in US history, a county that has been loyal Democrats for a century and a half. In addition, Democrats have lost control of Kentucky state government, the last Southern state where Democrats retained power.

But its worse than that. And it can’t be all blamed on her. Some of the biggest losses came during the Obama administration. Since then, the decline of power continues. The donkey is bleeding out, barely with enough energy to temporarily fend off the circling predators.

Some of this comes from voter suppression, gerrymandering, and other anti-democratic tactics. Even so, Clinton didn’t actually win the popular vote, not in any fundamental and meaningful sense. She won the most votes from those who voted, but that ignores that the majority of eligible voters don’t vote in most elections and haven’t for a long time. The reason she lost was because so many Americans don’t trust the Democrats any more than they do the Republicans.

Democrats have given up on fighting for the American public. They betrayed and abandoned Southerners, rural residents, poor whites, immigrants, and organized labor. Everything has become identity politics that has splintered the Democratic Party. Identity politics has simply become a cover for the neocon and neoliberal politics that now rule the DNC, what basically is Republican Lite. The American public have come to understand that and it isn’t what they want nor is it what they will tolerate.

Bernie Sanders may have been the last chance the Democrats had not just for victory but for survival. The DNC’s miscalculation might be a mortal wound. Political parties have come to an end before in American politics. It would be naive to think it can’t happen again. Waiting for Republicans to destroy themselves may not be a wise strategy, as both political parties could be taken down in the aftermath.

* * *

The Great God Trump and the White Working Class
by Mike Davis, Jacobin

But we should be cautious about dumping all the blame on Clinton and her troubled inner circle. If she had been the principal problem, then local Democrats should have consistently outperformed her. In fact, that seldom happened and in several states her vote was significantly higher than the hometown Democrats. The malaise of the Democrats, it should be clear, permeates every level of the party, including the hopelessly inept Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In the Midwest, in particular, the Democrats have largely been running on retreads, nominating failed veterans such as former Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett (who lost to Scott Walker in 2012) and ex-Ohio governor Ted Strickland (slaughtered by Rob Portman in the Senate race).

Meanwhile, for the gifted team around Obama, holding on to the White House, not strengthening the state parties, has been the relentless and at times exclusive priority. East of the Rockies, as a result, Republicans have surpassed their 1920 benchmark in state legislative seats. Twenty-six states are now Republican “trifectas” (control of both chambers and the governorship) versus a mere six for the Democrats. Progressive initiatives by Democratic cities such as Minneapolis (paid leave) and Austin (sanctuary) face the veto of reactionary legislatures. […]

It is no secret that the inadvertent ally of the Republicans in the Rust Belt has been Obama himself, whose lofty conception of the presidency does not include being the leader of the party, at least not in the old-fashioned, out-in-the-hustings style of an LBJ or even Clinton. In 2010, 2012, and again in 2014, Democratic candidates bitterly complained about their lack of support from the White House, especially in the upper South, Louisiana, and Texas.

Obama ended his presidency with the Democrats having lost nearly one thousand legislative seats across the country. Republicans legislatures are now targeting Missouri and Kentucky — possibly Ohio again, as well as Pennsylvania and New Hampshire — as the next right-to-work states. (In Missouri and New Hampshire right-to-work amendments recently had been passed by the legislatures but were vetoed by Democratic governors. Both states now have Republican governors.) You might call it the Southernization or Dixiefication of the Midwest.

Republicans Now Control Record Number of State Legislative Chambers
by Barbara Hollingsworth, CNS News

Republicans added to their historic 2014 gains in the nation’s state legislatures with the addition of five state House chambers and two state Senate chambers in last week’s election, while Democratic control was reduced to levels not seen since the Civil War.

Republicans are now in control of a record 67 (68 percent) of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers in the nation, more than twice the number (31) in which Democrats have a majority, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

“That’s more than at any other time in the history of the Republican Party,” according to NCSL. “They also hold more total seats, well over 4,100 of the 7,383, than they have since 1920.” […]

“Republicans grabbed more of America’s statehouses and governors’ mansions during the Obama administration than at any time in the modern era,” the Washington Post’s Amber Phillips reported.

Last week’s historic flip of the Kentucky House – the last Democrat-controlled legislative chamber in the South – to Republican hands for the first time in nearly 100 years underscores the point.

In 2010, Democrats in the Kentucky House held a solid 65-35 majority. Six years later, the GOP now has a supermajority, and will control 62 of the chamber’s 100 seats.

“Democrats are now basically extinct in the South,” Phillips noted.

“Republicans bested expectations,” said Dan Diorio, a policy expert at NCSL. “Having already reached the peak of control in party history, Republicans will maintain a similar level of control in a year when many expected Democrats to net seats and chambers.”


Democrats Flip Zero Seats in Four Blue State Special Elections
by Andrew Kugle, The Washington Free Beacon

Democrats have failed since Election Day in November to take any Republican-controlled seats in four special elections in blue states, despite hefty investment from the Democratic Party.

Since President Trump’s election, there have been several state-level special elections across the country. The Republican State Leadership Committee, or RSLC, published a memo this week showing Republicans have won every district they previously held across multiple states that Democrats have won in the last three or more presidential elections.

Republicans kept their seats despite “hefty financial investments and high profile Democrats lending star power to state-level candidates,” RSLC noted. […]

In recent years Republicans have made significant gains at the state-level. The Democrat party lost a net total of 1,042 state and federal Democratic posts–including congressional and state legislative seats, governorships, and the presidency–while Barack Obama was president.

7 thoughts on “The Dying Donkey

  1. Here’s an article I read recently:

    Google translate:

    Anthony Rice lives in Youngstown, northeastern Ohio. There is a valley where there is a mile away from home, where there are many factories that offer a lot of job opportunities. But in the 1980s, most of the factories were removed, and many residents left there.
    Streets are scattered on several sides of the road, Anthony is one of them. The open space and the uninhabited house are full of blocks. Those who live in the house, inside the name and age of the household, Anthony can blurt out. They have been over seventy years old. He said: “Although few people come here, but we are also life is also good.Currently the shops can be seen everywhere, and now left a few left are the inconvenient elderly people, or have not sold the house Of people.
    The road is also in disrepair, potholed. “The last pavement was already a long time ago, and the government did not care about us, and we were getting used to it.”
    Youngstown is the largest city in Mahoning County. Trump lost the county with a weak gap, and Obama had previously won twice. This is partly due to a reduction of about 15% of the number of voters in Youngstown. These people are basically low-income young people, nearly half of African Americans.
    The Trump team used the plan in the United States to secure white support from the working class, the elderly group and the affluent suburbs, leaving only a few ethnic minorities and young whites. The program was a great success in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

    Youngstown voter turnout fell 15%. Source: Chris Arnade
    I asked Anthony how to look at the election, he said: “Most of the community did not go to vote, this matter is in fact nothing to do with us in the past we have a president, but now we are useless.Although I voted to Hillary But I do not mind that Trump won, though I thought he was crazy, and he was really bold and reckless, and some thought he would destroy himself.

    Did he be surprised if Trump won? “No, Obama promised a lot of things but did not do it all,” said Anthony, “and perhaps New York has benefited, but it is still dilapidated.”
    This is also true in many other places in the United States. Before the election, I had to drive 100,000 miles, this situation is not uncommon. From Nebraska to Louisiana, people of different races and believers have countless people who have no hope of election.
    Once you leave the big cities like Washington and New York, go out of the elite university campus that produces social and political ideas, and you will find another American.
    We do not call it a more “real” America – it seems a bit offensive – but it is a “different” America. It is a United States with different values ​​and experiences, with emphasis on community groups and beliefs, not professional status or educational background. It is a walk down decades of the United States, by the unemployment, dilapidated and drug damage. This situation makes life more difficult.
    In such an American, hope is fading away. People’s lives are full of change and are likely to be unemployed at any time. Education is a way out, but it must begin to fight for the opportunity to win. If you miss the opportunity, it means that your life will be “another American” look down.
    In these towns, “the United States is very great” and the like, listening to both empty and harsh. Trump came to these communities and conveyed a simple and angry message: “These are useless to you, let us completely overturn it all!”
    His arrival also conveys the same meaning: division and fear, which also exacerbates the ugly process of racial politics in American history. It also makes the minority, such as Anthony disappointed, unable to continue to support him. Anthony bluntly said: “Trump is not a racist, but he is surrounded by racial discrimination.” Some people do not vote by expressing their disappointment.
    66-year-old Hattie Wilkins witnessed it all. She was a steelmaker and now a union chairman and a community activist.

    Hattie Wilkins. Source: Chris Arnade
    She hates Trump, but does not like Hillary. She has been supporting the Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders in the primaries. Despite the disappointment and anger of Hillary, she voted for Hillary, because she was against Trump. She said, “I had to do it, though it was painful, but I still gave Hillary.”
    She said it was hard to convince the neighbors to vote, “I met many people, they do not like Trump and Hillary in any one, so did not go to vote.” Despite this, she still tried to make more people can Vote, and even try to persuade a drug dealer to attend. Despite the political enthusiasm is not high, Youngstown is still a close and friendly town, Wilkins has been living here. There are her colleagues, friends and circles. When asked why someone would vote for a person who was considered a racist, she said: “Those who vote for Trump, they can not see this is their ignorance, I am also trying Educate them. ”
    Leave the ballot aside, do I ask if she thinks they are still good people? She replied, “I think they are good people.”
    In the young voters in Youngstown, it is not difficult to find Trump’s fanatical supporters. George Beshara, the shopkeeper of The Gold Exchange, who was born and raised in Youngstown, witnessed the vicissitudes of the town.

    George Beshara. Source: Chris Arnade

    Beshara said: “In the 1980s, the collapse of steel mills led to Youngstown’s slump.” But he was optimistic, and Trump’s remarks were in line with his optimism. “We can develop some high – paid manufacturing,” he said, adding that once we have taxed steel and started manufacturing again, the opportunity is there.
    When asked if he would vote for Trump, he said without hesitation: “Of course!” Asked the reason, he said: “I think we all want some change.
    He said: “I do not think that only Trump so .This bad situation has been going on for eight years, no change, no growth, no GDP, everything is still the same way! Because social welfare has given you enough Of the money, so no one will go to work.I think that Obama makes people lazy, he let people do not work can survive, this is not the American dream expected.
    “It’s a huge democratic community,” he said. “If you were talking about the Republican Party 25 years ago, you might be shot!” Said Trump, who was amazed at Trump.
    However, many people who have supported the Democrats all have given to Trump. Bill Golec is one of the 60th of the year. He is a police officer, also opened a mower repair shop. After graduating from high school, he received a law enforcement degree and a small engine repairer license.

    Bill Golec. Source: Chris Arnade
    He supported the Democrats all his life, and when asked if he had given Trump, he replied calmly, “It was not advisable to give him, but it was impossible to give Hillary. Anybody ‘s.
    He also said that Trump was his first Republican to vote. He said: “This road I have been away for many years, it is the occurrence of a little change. Those who enjoy social welfare, better than my life. I also do two jobs. I also appreciate Trump in the car Factory effort in the United States, we need to work.
    Although Youngstown now has a lot of problems, but asked why he did not move, he was confused. For him, this question is stupid, because the answer is too obvious. He said: “I love here, my family are here.” At first his father died, he left to take care of his mother.
    In many places like Youngstown, this is the case: people tend to stay in the place of birth. For many people this is simple, and the health of the community also depends on this. Stay not only for life, but also to support the elders.
    And here is more diverse than we know. Which includes more and more Muslims.
    I went to the Islamic Society of Greater Youngstown to attend Friday’s week. I arrived in advance, to see the first person will shake hands to say hello to me. He hurried out of the door, but I met and stopped to welcome.

    Friday worship. Source: Chris Arnade
    I began to explain my purpose to discuss politics and to avoid mentioning questions about Trump and recent administrative orders. He quickly interrupted me and said, “Well, you want to talk about Trump? I voted for him!”
    I asked him if he was teasing me, he said with a smile: “No! I may be a Muslim, but I am first a businessman, I am not stupid.” Many of the Muslims have voted here, secretly. We are American, we also There will be different ideas. ”
    House, 34-year-old Bruce Jones (Bruce Jones) quietly leaning against the wall and sit. He grew up in Youngstown, and many of his friends left to go to college. He was also active before he was addicted to heroin. He was sentenced to three years for theft, and now he was released from prison and he converted to Islam in prison.
    “When I was asked,” he said, “I am very fond of him,” he said, “when I was released, and after I was released, and when I knew Trump, Will lead the United States to revitalize. “When I mentioned the recent immigration problem, he glanced and said:” We are American citizens, I do not worry.

    Bruce Jones. Source: Chris Arnade
    Aiman ​​Salem is 54 years old and 15 years ago from Syria to study in the United States. He did not vote for Trump and explained carefully: “The community has a good reputation in Youngstown, and we respect each other regardless of identity and respect.” Like other Americans, I did worry about Trump I think he has a wrong position for our faith.
    He said: “I want to see more explanation and communication, but I will not be affected.I am a US citizen, I have a good job, and few people here will be affected.We certainly should accept the refugees, because Obama The wrong decision on the Syrian issue has led us to the Syrian problem now. ”
    I asked him if he was surprised by Trump’s performance in the area. He replied: “In the past 16 years, of which Bush was in power for eight years, Obama was in power for eight years, the US public gradually dissatisfied with the situation in the country … … my colleagues have to Trump vote, I have I can understand and realize their dissatisfaction.I do not like the way they vent, but I can see their anger about the economic problems.
    Over the past few decades, Youngstown has been slow down the road, but still a warm, friendly, and very strong community awareness of the city. Stay here means that the two mentality is troubled, one is to stay in a place to see you, the second is worried about the future may only be worse.
    One morning, I met Daisy, who was waiting for her relatives in the sun. She looked at me and took a shy smile. I used to say hello, she told some about her. She is now 18 years old, since the parents infected with drug addiction, she has been living with the grandmother. “I used to feel like hell,” she said.

    Daisy. Source: Chris Arnade
    She had a short time from the “hell” to escape, try to start a new life, but later returned to the grandmother. When I asked the election, she said, “I did not vote for anyone because they were all liars, and I could only pray that Trump was the right choice.
    When asked about the idea of ​​the future, she mentioned modeling and the army. Then there is a pause.
    She also said: “I want to do better, I want a healthy, wonderful life, I would like to see the sea.
    (Translation: Liu Ya Zhou; editor: Cui Puyu)

    • Basically, the message is many people didn’t vote or simply didn’t particularly care one way or another. They didn’t feel like they had any good choice. A lesser evil vote is still not a good choice.

  2. In the meantime, the Democrats are in collapse:

    Actually they’ll be in much bigger trouble soon.

    Lots of left wing voters are “done for good” with the Democrats. Perez got the DNC, which tells you all you need to know.

    • They are flirting with self-destruction. It’s possible they will survive and resurrect from the ashes. But that doesn’t seem like a prudent course of action. It’s betting everything on the hope for a miracle. Assuming they don’t simply collapse or become obsolete, they are damaged goods for at least another generation.

    • Many people keep wondering how bad it can get. But I fear it can get extremely bad before it finally collapses. The amount of suffering that will have to happen will be immense. I just don’t understand why those in power want to push us over the edge. What do they hope to gain from total breakdown?

Please read Comment Policy before commenting.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s