When Nancy Pelosi (age 76) was reelected minority leader of the House of Representatives, I was scarcely surprised. As her colleagues well know, the net worth of this great spokeswoman for ending income inequality places her in the top one-tenth of one percent of the country. When your team’s in trouble and you’re completely out of ideas, the access to serious money, always important, suddenly becomes tantamount to a lifeline.
I bet they’d nominate George Soros (age 86) for president next time around, if he hadn’t been born in Hungary. He’s richer than Trump and you might as well go directly to the source for your cash flow, especially in tough times.
Regardless, there’s no question their Democratic Party and its ideology — liberal, progressive, whatever misnomer you want to choose — are out of ideas, flat out. That is the secret behind the failure of the Hillary Clinton campaign that no one on the side nostalgically known as the Left — once FDR’s party of the working class, now the party of the coastal rich — wants to admit. People, even her own staff, kept complaining that she didn’t have a reason for running (see WikiLeaks) and that’s because she didn’t.
Bernie Sanders (age 75) had something of an idea — “democratic” socialism — but where has that ever worked? Considering what’s going on in Europe these days, no one wants to advocate that bureaucratic nightmare with a straight face.
And speaking of Democratic Party fogeys and the coastal rich, how about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (69, can you believe it?) whose answer to his party’s ideological doldrums appears to be “laser-aimed boycotts” at the The Venetian (not other Vegas properties — gambling’s okay with “Cap”) because its owner, Sheldon Adelson, donated to Trump’s campaign. And then there’s Madonna (still only a spring 58), whose contribution to progressive political thought is to dress up like a clown and lambaste Trump by singing a Brittany Spears cover.
No wonder their party is in trouble. It’s not just the paucity of a “bench.” It’s the paucity of a brain.
Besides the catastrophic, to Democrats, state of affairs that 32 legislatures and 33 governorships out of 50 are now Republican, not to mention the presidency, the Senate, and the House, the real problem for the Dems, the real difficulty in coming back, is they have nothing substantive to offer anymore.
They are, indeed, the old fogeys of politics, honed in the crucible of 1968 and seemingly stuck there for the last 48 years, never revising a single thought, not even now that Tom Hayden is dead, except for the short period when Newt Gingrich put an economic gun to Bill Clinton’s head and things got better for a while.
All the Democrats have had to hold things together over that time is identity politics, the black vote, the brown vote, any other atomized vote you can think of. And now, gracias a Sr. Trump (yes, I deliberately/ironically chose Spanish), that may be headed for at least partial extinction. If Donald does even a decent job of what he’s promised, bringing employment back to minority areas, he could end up with 35-40% of their 2020 vote, in which case “Adios al partido democratico.” Democrats are the new Whigs. Good-bye, “Black Lives Matter.” Hello, “Diamond and Silk.”
Overstating? Maybe, but it’s more than possible. Democrats, liberal, progressives, etc. don’t have much in their quiver besides calling people racist and sexist — which, as even they know, they did more than ever in the recent election and it failed. How many times can you go back to the well on that one? (Well, in their case, about fifty times a day, but the law of diminishing returns, I think we can all agree, has been setting in for some time. The “deplorables” accusation will likely go down as one of the most boneheaded remarks ever made by an American politician, certainly one with a degree from Yale – assuming that means anything.)
And wait until the gays discover that Donald pals around with Elton John and was more or less in favor of gay marriage a dozen or so years before Hillary and Obama “evolved” on the issue.
So what’s left? Expanding the federal government? How’s that working out? Ever try to drive into downtown D.C. from outside the Beltway on a weekday morning and drive home the opposite direction at night? Good luck! And you thought where the 405 meets the 110 was a parking lot? The nation’s capital has become the new Los Angeles — with lousy weather and no surfing. Enough already. Who’s going to pay for this? (And what do these myriad government workers do all day when they arrive from their humungous commutes and finally plop down in front of their computers?)
My prediction — starting about a year from now, maybe sooner, maybe already, the Democrats are going to try to do a flipflop with the Republicans, accusing Trump of over-spending, blowing up the deficit, everything they’ve been doing themselves for the last thirty to forty years. This is one Donald himself must watch out for, because he has Mr. Fixit tendencies and wants to get everything done. At some point, this could backfire, but for now, I’m with him. In fact, I can’t wait. How many more days is it? Just think what short work “Mad Dog” Mattis (I know — I’m not a Marine and I’m not supposed to call him that) will make of this.
Roger L. Simon is an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, novelist and co-founder of PJ Media. His most recent book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already. (Get it for Christmas or Hanukkah or a “Seasonal Gift,” if you must)