Thursday, June 8, 2017

Democrats Moving to Left

Democrats have rage, but as of yet, no victories. In Kansas and Montana congressional replacement elections, they got close, but still lost. Some party leaders recognize the problem. Just being against Donald Trump is not enough. It will not win over independent and moderate swing votes. Also, the Democratic agenda must appeal to voters that are not part of the party’s core issue and identity politics.

Unfortunately, the party lacks new leadership that appears capable of offering innovative directions or believable solutions. Joe Biden was an interesting candidate in the 1980s and 1990s, not in the 2020s; Nancy Pelosi should have retired in 2010; and Hillary Clinton may blame James Comey and the Russians, but it was her e-mail server and poorly conducted campaign that is mostly to blame for 2016 loss.

And then there is Bernie Sanders, whose primary challenge did much to expose Clinton’s flaws, now offering his bankruptcy-inducing single-payer plan, which dominates the current Democratic Party’s health care debate. The party is moving dramatically left on issues, which will ill-position it for the 2018 or 2020 elections.
  1. Single-Payer. Rejected in Colorado (80% to 20%) as a massive tax increase for government-run health care and now proposed in California with no idea how to pay for the $400 billion price tag. Democratic Party leadership is moving rapidly to endorse it.
  2. Hydrocarbons. The party has moved from all-of-the-above energy sources and subsidies for renewables to full-out war against hydrocarbons. No contributions, no representation and no involvement from traditional energy industries, its constituents and dependent regions.
  3. Sanctuary Cities. Immigration reform or border security is no longer part of the Democratic discussion. How to thwart immigration enforcement is now the exclusive topic.
  4. $15 Minimum Wage. Forcing a federal minimum wage of $15 favored by labor leaders and poverty advocates is becoming the party’s official position. 
The Democratic Party should normally pick up seats in a new president’s first mid-term election. When a president is highly polarizing and at 40 percent approval, there is opportunity for sweeping gains. But, with few new leaders and a D.C.-driven agenda from the ideological left winning 24 House and 3 Senate seats and some new governorships could be much more difficult in 2018.

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