Some nervous lefties, having seen the handwriting on the electoral wall in November, are starting to have a breakdown. And where better to do it than in the pages of Salon? Here’s Bill Curry on the way forward:
The Democrats’ conduct since the midterm debacle is as sad and sorry as the campaign that caused it. The party’s leaders are a big problem. A bigger one is the closed system of high-dollar fundraising, reductionist polling and vapid messaging in which it is seemingly trapped. Some say a more populist Democratic Party will soon emerge. It won’t happen as long as these leaders and this system are in place.
Nancy Pelosi says it wasn’t a wave election. She’s right. It was the Johnstown Flood; as catastrophic and just as preventable. One year after the shutdown Republicans scored their biggest Senate win since 1980 and their biggest House win since 1928. Turnout was the lowest since 1942, when millions of GIs had the excellent excuse of being overseas fighting for their country.
Every Democratic alibi — midterm lull, sixth-year curse, red Senate map, vote suppression, gerrymandering, money — rings true, but all of them together can’t explain being swept by the most extreme major party in American history. Citing other statistics — demography, presidential turnout, Hillary’s polls — they assure us that in 2016 happy days will be here again. Don’t bet on it.
It’s all too, too delicious, so do yourself a favor and read the whole thing. Plus, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! Kicker:
My guess is that if you can’t take over the Democratic Party, you can’t take over the country — and that a declaration of independence should be followed by an actual rebellion. The Tea Party has shown you can work within a party and yet be highly independent. But whether to work within, against or apart from the Democrats is a call for later. Building a strong progressive movement is work we must do now. Obama had this right in 2008. We are the change we’ve been waiting for.
Progressives once provided Democrats with policies. Now Democrats provide them with slogans. Progressives say Democrats lack backbone and a bottom line, but progressives used to provide those too. Want politicians to get the courage of their convictions? It’s simple. First, get some convictions. Courage will follow.
“Courage.” Isn’t that what Dan Rather used to say? Stay brave, Democrats, stay brave.