Why the Democrats Need to Rebuild The Party from the Ground Up
I had been a progressive democratic activist inside the Party for the last decade. I fled in disgust after Clinton chose Ken Salazar to to run her transition team. If the Party is to rebuild it will have to do it without my efforts at this time. It will need to demonstrate that those we put in power ten years ago can be defeated so that new leadership emerges.
When Howard Dean became the leader of the Democratic Party he was progressive as evidenced by his 50 state strategy that lead to stunning victories in 2006 & 2008. The party rejected him after a few years along with his effort to organize strong local party structures. This election cycle the party was lead by generals (the DNC) that did not realize that there was no one in the brigades. Keith Ellison has connections to the Party’s base, has had for years and he fully embraces a 50 state strategy. Also, folks are independently organizing themselves outside of the Party, mostly for defensive positions against the onslaught that the Radical Republican Party is about to unleash, but also to win future elections. Marrying these two forces will return our democracy to the People.
The Democratic Party lost and the Radical Republicans won because the Democratic Party was too weak to block the shenanigans used to limit the votes of their base. Cross Check disallowed registered voters from voting. ID laws prevented others from even registering. Republicans eliminated opportunities to vote by reducing times and polling places. And then faulty election practices kept the vote from being accurately counted. These suppression tactics worked because the Democratic Party was not strong enough to resist.
The Democratic Party lost and the Radical Republicans won because the Democratic Party was unable to counter unpredictable events. James Comey’s letters had a measurable effect on undecided voters the last week of the election. During the convention the DNC fired its leader and much of its top staff, because they cheated and got caught and that weakened an already weak party. The Party lost because the candidate’s campaign made strategic errors that the local parties were not strong enough to correct.
I wanted the Democratic Party candidate to win this election because of the horrible things that the Radical Republican Party is about to do. I believed Sanders was a stronger candidate as evidenced by most polls. Ours is a two party system for winning elections. Third parties have a positive role to play even though they are in search of the same voters. For example the Libertarians and the TEA Parties revitalized the Republican Party, turning it into the successful if radical party it is today.
The left is not responsible for 2016 election defeat. The left put the Democratic Party in position to be able to run a close election through our efforts in 2006, 2008, and 2012. And if the Democratic Party elites had enacted the Employee Free Choice Act and Single Payer Healthcare in 2009 then the Radical Republican Party would not have had electoral victories in 2010. Ronald Reagan and Bush Senior put a thousand bankers and politicians in jail after the Savings and Loan debacle. If the Obama administration had put bankers in jail, and had protected the 7 million families that lost their homes the 2010 election would have been different.
This election was about Clinton only because 2/3 of the electorate did not like her. But that did not distinguish her from Trump who had worse ratings. This election was about the failures of the Democratic Party and its failure to standup for democracy.