Fault Lines in the Democratic Party
July 15, 2013 - 5:39 am
Salena Zito explains:
The days of blaming Republicans for getting America into its economic mess have passed, mainly because Democrats are not accruing any credit for getting us out of it. In fact, Democrats don’t have much to brag about at all with Barack Obama’s presidency; if we continue limping along with slow growth for the next few years, they will be hard pressed to make the argument that their party is better for the country than the GOP.
Another problem for Democrats is that they have allowed Obama to build a separate machine with Organizing for Action (OFA), his leftover campaign apparatus, modeled on former presidential candidate Howard Dean’s Democracy for America.
The trouble with such candidate machines is that they fundamentally are not party organs; their supporters back the individual candidates who founded them, not the party.
The dirty little secret, which no Democrat ever admits on the record, is that the OFA exists essentially because the party is no longer working. So OFA has taken over the party and refashioned it from the ground up around Obama.
This will have a devastating impact on the party because it has enabled OFA to act as a predator, while the party has failed to groom its own partisan bench for the future.
Then there is the Michael Bloomberg factor: The New York mayor’s anti-gun lobby hurts Democrats by supporting only pro-gun-control elected officials, essentially shrinking the Democrats’ coalition.
Finally, there’s the disconnect that Democrats have encountered with blue-collar whites and Main Street voters. That began way back in 2000 with Al Gore’s presidential campaign, but it escalated with President Obama’s class-warfare-themed reelection in 2012.
That “disconnect” is precisely what the GOP failed to exploit with Mitt Romney (“the 47%”) and some of its wackier Senate candidates in 2012. But the rift is huge, as the Democrat party has been fully captured by Wall Street and the progressive left. The Republicans can and should be able to capture a weak majority in the Senate next year, but only if they find Man-of-the-People type candidates who can’t be painted by the MSM/DNC/OFA machine into creatures of Wall Street or of the wacky fringe.