The Democratic Party Remains on the Verge of Collapse

Michael Krieger

You don’t need to be a genius to see that the Democratic Party doesn’t really stand for anything when it comes to the issues that matter most to U.S. voters. This is a topic I’ve written about incessantly since last year’s embarrassing loss by status quo, corporate media, donor-favorite Hillary Clinton, and it was highlighted once again in a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll with the response to the following question.

Despite the dire implications of the above, the brain-surgeons leading the party remain committed to running on “Trump works for Putin, let’s start a war with Russia” while ignoring the multitude of very important issues people really care about — you know, like oligarchy and increasing economic insecurity.

To give you a sense of the degree of cluelessness, read the following excerpts from a CBS News article titled, Democrats Split Over Core Message to Voters as 2018 Midterms Loom:

NEW YORK — House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley hesitated when asked about his party’s core message to voters.

“That message is being worked on,” the New York congressman said in an interview this past week. “We’re doing everything we can to simplify it, but at the same time provide the meat behind it as well. So that’s coming together now.”

The admission from the No. 4 House Democrat – that his party lacks a clear, core message even amid Republican disarray – highlights the Democrats’ dilemma eight months after President Donald Trump and the GOP dominated last fall’s elections, in part, because Democrats lacked a consistent message.

That’s not exactly true. Democrats have consistently been yelling about Russia, and it’s not doing them any favors.

The soul-searching comes as Democrats look to flip at least 24 GOP-held seats necessary for a House majority and cut into Republican advantages in U.S. statehouses in the 2018 midterm elections. Yet with a Russia scandal engulfing the White House, a historically unpopular health-care plan wrenching Capitol Hill and no major GOP legislative achievement, Democrats are still struggling to tell voters what their party stands for. 

For now, at least, Democrats are waging a tug-of-war largely between the Russia investigation and the GOP’s attempts to gut the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Notice what’s not on the list. Oligarchy, Wall Street crime, imperial wars or unconstitutional police state surveillance.

Now here’s the most clueless thing you’ll read all day.

“We need to be talking about impeachment constantly,” said Scott Dworkin, co-founder of the recently formed Democratic Coalition Against Trump. He warned on Twitter, “If you’re an elected Dem & you’re not talking impeachment or 25th amendment then find a new party.

Great advice, I suggest people take it. 

Meanwhile, in case you still don’t grasp the contempt with which most Americans view corporate Democrats, a new poll from Bloomberg shows Hillary Clinton is now less popular than Donald Trump. But keep doubling down on a losing strategy Dems, your big money donors demand it.

From Bloomberg:

For a president with historically low poll numbers, Donald Trump can at least find solace in this: Hillary Clinton is doing worse.

Trump’s 2016 Democratic rival is viewed favorably by just 39 percent of Americans in the latest Bloomberg National Poll, two points lower than the president. It’s the second-lowest score for Clinton since the poll started tracking her in September 2009.

The former secretary of state has always been a polarizing figure, but this survey shows she’s even lost popularity among those who voted for her in November.

More than a fifth of Clinton voters say they have an unfavorable view of her. By comparison, just 8 percent of likely Clinton voters felt that way in the final Bloomberg poll before the election, and just 6 percent of Trump’s voters now say they view him unfavorably.

Instead, their comments often reflected the ongoing angst among Democrats about how best to position themselves against Trump and Republicans in 2018 and beyond. Many said they wished Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont had won the Democratic nomination, or that they never liked Clinton and only voted for her because she was the lesser of two bad choices.

Looking forward to 2018, we need to see the midterm election in historical context. As such, typical opposition party gains combined with the high unpopularity of Donald Trump, means our base case scenario should be to expect a huge sweeping win for Democrats throughout Congress. Anything short of this will be considered a total failure, and from my seat, there’s a good chance Democrat gains may disappoint. If so, the party will have nothing and no one to blame but itself — it is truly self-destructing before our very eyes.

Finally, I want to end with excerpts from a excellent interview by David Sirota of the Russian activist group Pussy Riot. It’s fascinating to see how it often takes overseas observers to accurately analyze our own collective madness.

From International Business Times:

One prominent anti-Putin activist who was jailed by the Russian government says, in a new podcast interview, that America’s political class is deliberately promoting an inaccurate picture of Putin to distract from the United States’ own domestic problems.

In 2012, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and two other bandmates from punk band Pussy Riot were imprisoned in Russia for daring to speak out against Putin’s regime. The case generated international headlines spotlighting the repressive practices of the Russian government. Tolokonnikova and her bandmates were released 21 months later. 

Sirota: Vladimir Putin is typically portrayed as an authoritarian thug in the American media. Is that the accurate way to view him?

Tolokonnikova: You see him exactly how he wants you to see him, and I think that’s a mistake. Because you just don’t want to really play his games. This image of being a thug is an interesting thing because if you read Masha Gessen’s book about Putin, “The Man Without a Face” it shows you how he constructed this image of being a thug, though he never been really was a thug… He was that person who been beaten on the schoolyard all the time, so he just decided to make his little revenge. So he’s literally man without a face when he came to power. He did know a little about politics, but he was bred by oligarchs and appointed just by chance. So he’s not as powerful as you think he is. It’s important. And don’t treat him as a strong man or thug or whatever you want to call him, cause he’s really a little insecure person. He’s even more anxious than I am, and he’s just trying to hide it under hyper-masculine bravado.

Sirota: Should the world be scared of Putin?

Tolokonnikova: I’m not terrified of him at all. I don’t think that you have to be terrified of him. He’s just a guy who claims that he has power, but I claim that I have power too and you have power… If you talk here about mainstream liberal media in America, which speak a lot about Putin, I think it’s just a trick, which is not easy to see… They don’t really want to talk about internal American problems.

Sirota: Do you believe the American political class and media exaggerate the threat of Putin for its own ends?

Tolokonnikova: Yeah. They’re just looking for a scapegoat and, you know, for Trump it’s Muslims and Mexican workers. And for liberal media in America it is Putin.

Sirota: What do you think is wrong with the way the American political discourse portrays U.S.-Russia relations?

Tolokonnikova: I think just the narrative should be different. I have questions about current narrative Democratic Party defending themselves and defending wealthy people who they do represent. And I think your narrative should be how oligarchs all around the world, they do unite, and though sometimes they don’t have a lot of things in common, they don’t have common views, but they have just one thing that they really want to do together to protect their wealth. I think you need to look at Putin and Trump from this perspective.

Sirota: Why do you think Russia has, so far, been unable to create a more functional government?

Tolokonnikova: Our history … Our government fooled Russian citizens all the time so Russian people, they don’t really trust politicians. They don’t really like to be involved in politics because they know they will try to do it. They will end up just even in a worse situation than it used to be. And you know partly American played its own role in creating a big crisis, which happened in 90’s, and Russians were really happy to buy it. They bought shock economy.

I’ve seen it in my own family, an example of my own family, we at some point in 1993, we didn’t have money to buy food. So it all creates feeling in Russian people that, if they will try to change something, they will end up being more poor than they used to be. Plus what happened in 90’s, we created this link in our minds that democracy means impoverishment and it means a liberal shock economy. We don’t really want to go back to that time. It’s a big argument of Putin that, “At least I can protect you and give you some sort to stability. Do you really want to go back to neo-liberal reforms, which [Boris] Yeltsin introduced you to?” And they say no…

All hypocritical things which been done by Western democracies doesn’t help. I think we would want to go there, but when we see a lot of hypocritical moves that America does, imprisonment, mass incarceration and worse, trying to establish your country as a world empire and world policemen. People don’t like it and they see it, even if they are in Russia. We are not dumb.

Pure gold.

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In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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