Democratic Denial


    ( – promoted by lowkell)

    Never underestimate the power of denial.

    Democratic excuses for last Tuesday’s election disasters are pitiful. Placing blame on President Obama’s leadership or the vagaries of mid-term elections ignores the election of a Republican governor in Maryland, a Republican state house in Minnesota and the near-defeat of Democratic businessman Mark Warner in Virginia. Democrats now control fewer state legislative seats than at any time since the Civil War. Republicans are on a long march to dominate American politics – and Democrats are to blame.

    Two statistics are all we need to know. First, median household income in America continues to fall. It is down 10% since 2000, with no sign or recovery. Second, the employment rate of Americans aged 18-65 is also down 10% since 2000. It also continues to fall.

    Middle-class, working Americans live in economic turmoil. Their vision that a middle-management career would provide a home in a good neighborhood, college tuition, vacations, healthcare and retirement suddenly evaporated along with middle-management. Millions of Americans, reared in the pre-planned Industrial Age, are ill-equipped to realign their skills with the fluid expectations of the Information Age. As our economy continues to evolve this problem will endure.  

    Republicans offer a solution: less government; lower taxes. This is a terrible solution; trickle-down economics don’t work and deregulation just gave us the Great Recession. However, the Republican “solution” is politically preferable to the Democratic solution – which doesn’t exist.

    In the 1960s, a common bumper sticker read, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” Average Americans may not demand that government create jobs, but they understand that taxes and regulation impact job creation. They understand that one-third of the job force has given up trying to find a job. They understand that average working Americans earn 10% less today than 15 years ago. They understand that the Democratic Party has no strategy for aligning government action with economic growth.

    The measure of merit in political economics is not the Dow Jones Industrial Average – it is median household income. Democrats must convey a clear and concise strategy for middle-class driven economic growth. When the Democratic Party proves its dedication to this standard it will regain the votes of America’s middle class.

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      Ever since we Democrats decided the answer to Reaganism was to move to the center (or center-right), the party has not had a coherent message. The old Roosevelt coalition is gone; however, there is a new coalition out there that enabled Barack Obama to win in 2008 and 2012. Even so, in low-turnout elections a coalition of young voters, women, the base of the party (if they bother to vote), and minorities cannot win elections. In mid-term elections the party must reach white Americans with a message that resonates economically. That message must have a populist twist. I am flabbergasted that the party in this election didn’t stress an increase in the minimum wage, an appeal to working women by stressing equal pay for equal work, a program for making college more affordable for working class and middle class Americans, including a program to help people pay off college loans, a promise to solve the immigration dilemma. Such a message appeals to ALL Americans, including the white males who have deserted the party. Instead, all we heard was that the Democratic candidates were not Barack Obama.

      If we simply become the party of minorities, we will have to wait until 2040 to know we have a winning coalition. We need a philosophy of governing that defines us as the party of progressives. Right now, we are simply promoting the policies of  “Rockefeller Republicans,” calling ourselves the party of the people, but kowtowing to the power of monied interests, hoping to get campaign contributions left over after they fund Republicans.

    • kindler

      Has any Democratic party leader offered to resign yet?

      How long do we have to wait for some accountability?  We need a message and a strategy. We have neither, just drift…

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      Here’s a succinct answer to what has happened to the Democratic Party from a guy who is partly the reason the Dems did so well in 2006 and 2008.

    • cliff

      Dean’s got some of the issues right. But… he’s in the tank for Hillary as the solution. Funny for a Doc, the diagnosis was pretty good, but the prescription makes the disease worse. Too bad, he was a big part of the ’08 Blue tide.