Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Taking a Soft Left

If 2016 was a bad year for to be a liberal, then 2017 burnishes that. There have been five special elections for vacated seats in congress, and all five were retained by the GOP. The Democratic Party tried four completely different strategies in all four races, and despite a relatively narrow loss for Jon Ossoff in Georgia, they were all abject failures.

Unfortunately, the Democratic Party as it stands now is aging and out of touch. The 2014 midterms and the 2016 election both exposed the lack of bench depth. President Obama is retired more or less, and party luminaries like Sec. Hillary Clinton, Charles Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Dick Durbin are all on the wrong side of 65. It is a party whose platform should appeal to millennials, a group that is more keen on social issues than any other generation in American history, and the Democrats are muffing it.

Even though we still have plenty of time to speculate, the field of candidates in 2020 so far isn't offering much promise. Martin O'Malley, the man who finished a distant third in the 2016 primaries, is not only perceived as too moderate, but has a history of race issues. Corey Booker has foot-in-mouth disease and too many corporate ties. Warren might be the most suitable, if she's willing to run, but she'll also be 71 years old on Election Day. Barring some minor miracle, we could very well be stuck with President Trump until 2025, when he'll be 78 and even more unintelligible than he is now.


1 comment:

  1. The thing about those House races, though, was that they were all to replace people Trump had picked for his cabinet. And he'd picked them - no doubt with some combination of Pence, Ryan, and McConnell feeding him names - because they were all from previously safe GOP districts. It says something that the Republicans even had to break a sweat.

    As for the Democrats, the race hasn't really started yet. In 2016, there was a basically two candidate race that could have been engineered to appeal to progressive activists as a David vs Goliath fight. The result was that even when Hillary won the primaries decisively, the most vocal parts of the left were denying her legitimacy. With a multipolar race I don't really see this happening again.

    Since Trump wasn't considered a serious threat in '16 and still won, many think he's exempt from the laws of gravity. Make no mistake, he can definitely win again, especially since he doesn't need the popular vote. That said, even in relative economic boom times, the man's massively unpopular.