Politics, et Cetera
A publication from The Political Forum, LLC
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
They Said It:
When individuals come together to form the new society, “the individual particularly of each contracting party is surrendered to a new moral and collective body which has its own self, life, body, and will.” The will of each individual is no longer that individual’s own, but becomes common or general, and under the direction of the spokesmen for the whole. In moral society, one “coalesces with all, [and] in this each of us puts in common his person and his whole power under the supreme direction of society’s leaders.”
In the new society, the leadership expresses the “general will” and enacts policies that are best for the whole, thus enabling all individuals to achieve their true interests and their true freedom. The requirements of the “general will” absolutely override all other considerations, so a “citizen should render to the state all the services he can as soon as the sovereign demands them.”
Yet there is something about human nature, corrupted as it is now by reason and individualism, that militates and always will militate against the general will. Individuals rarely see their individual wills as being in harmony with the general will’ consequently the “private will acts constantly against the general will.” And so to counteract these socially destructive individualistic tendencies, the state is justified in using compulsion: “whoever refuses to obey the general will, will be forced to do so by the entire body; this means merely that he will be forced to be free.”
Stephen Hicks, explaining the Rousseau-ian Social Contract in Explaining Postmodernism, 2004.
ELECTION 2014: ATTACK OF THE CULTURAL HEGEMONY.
As you may have seen, we had a few quick thoughts on the election last Wednesday morning (http://thepoliticalforum.com/?p=1372). Today we would like to expand on those impressions by addressing the potential long-term social and political effects of the 2014 contest.
Obviously, what happened last week was a disaster for the Democratic Party as it is currently comprised. The question now is how bad a disaster? Or, to put it another way: Did the electorate make a conscious decision to reject the Democratic Party as it is currently comprised? Do the Democrats have the ability to reflect on that loss and make changes that will mend the rift between them and the electorate? Or will they delude themselves into thinking that the election was a fluke, a loss caused by tactical, rather than strategic failures?
As prelude to this broader discussion, we would like to mention, just briefly, the fact that the wave of despair currently breaking over the Democratic Party broke as well over the GOP just two short years ago, when Barack Obama and a handful of presumably vulnerable Democratic Senators were reelected. After having been blown out in two of the previous three elections as well and after having ceded reelection to a deeply vulnerable president, the Republicans had cause to despair, and many on the political Left and in the media encouraged them to do so. The Grand Old Party, it seemed, was drawing to a close, and only a complete transformation – making Republicans more like Democrats – could possibly save them. Republicans needed to completely rethink their policies, entirely overhaul their outreach, utterly rebrand their ideology, and sorrowfully make amends for their past actions. Or so we were told.
We mention this for two reasons. First, we think it’s important to remember that two years is an eternity in national politics. There is no guarantee that the political forces that determined this election will determine the next. If anything, recent history suggests otherwise. In 2000, remember, the electorate was nearly evenly split between Republican and Democrat. Two years later, and then again two years after that, the rough parity persisted, with Republicans gaining a slight – but only slight – advantage. Beginning in 2006, though, the electorate would grow schizophrenic, if you will. In 2006 and 2008, the Democrats won overwhelmingly. In 2010, the Republicans won overwhelmingly as well, only more so. In 2012, Barack Obama was reelected as the Democrats surged again, only to be drowned by another Republican tidal wave last week. Back and forth in wild swings seems to be the emerging electoral paradigm. It is not unreasonable to think that the pattern will continue in 2016. We happen to believe otherwise – for reasons that we will explain presently – but we expect that the conventional wisdom will favor a Democratic resurgence in 2016, and not without good reason.
The second and more important reason we mention the poor Republican showing two year ago is because we think that it served as a watershed of sorts for the party, although neither the media nor the elected members of the Democratic Party are likely to see it as such. In 2012, the Republicans lost for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the key reason, though, was an inability to articulate either a policy platform or a coherent ideology. This was more than your usual Inside-the-Beltway communication problem, mind you. It was not a failure to communicate in the Barack Obama sense, which is to say a failure to explain to the not-very-bright public how wonderful his ideas are. Rather, the GOP suffered from both a lack of explainable ideas and a lack of candidates to explain them. The Party was exposed as shallow, unthinking, and woefully inarticulate.
A funny thing happened after that election, though: the younger members of the GOP’s Washington contingent took it upon themselves to formulate and articulate ideas. John McCain, perhaps the least inquisitive and least articulate Republican presidential nominee in nearly a century, derided his young colleagues as “wacko birds” only to discover that these wacko birds – Senators like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Mike Lee – held the key to the GOP’s future. These four and a few others, including a few wacko birds from the House, began creating a coherent, intelligent, and very inclusive reform agenda.
At the same time – and just as importantly with respect to the election – they encouraged other young, smart, articulate, and idea-oriented Republicans to run for office. And so, in 2014, instead of inarticulate insider fools like Todd Akin, the GOP recruited Nebraska’s Ben Sasse, with his Harvard BA and his Yale PhD; Arkansas’s Tom Cotton, who graduated from Harvard law and then joined the Army, serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan; Joni Ernst, a Lt. Colonel in the Iowa National Guard with a Masters in Public Administration; Cory Gardner, a young and exceptionally energetic and talented young Congressman; and Ed Gillespie, a guy who worked his way up from Senate parking lot valet to chairman of the Republican National Committee. All but Gillespie won. And while Gillespie lost his challenge to Virginia’s incumbent Mark Warner, he made a very close race of what most experts expected to be a rather uneventful reelection blowout and, in so doing, made himself the frontrunner to be the next Governor of Virginia.
For most of the last two years, all of the national press corps has focused on the disunity in the GOP and the apparent need for the party to remake itself or die. Ironically, the party did indeed remake itself, but it did so without the media noticing, largely because it refused to remake itself along the line that the media and the Democrats advocated. Rather than change their ideology and their superficial image, the Republicans changed their approach to politics, choosing to believe that sound ideas, articulated well, could attract voters.
And they were right.
The challenge for Democrats will be to address their own electoral inadequacies with as much thought and as effective execution. For our part, we’re dubious about the Democrats’ prospects for a variety of reasons. It strikes us that the rhetoric coming from the leaders of the losing party suggests that they are not especially interested in the notion that they need to change. Rather, they are more interested in having the electorate change. And they intend simply to hold on until demographic “inevitablilities” make that change for them. Indeed, as The Hill reported yesterday morning:
Democrats aren’t planning a shakeup despite the thumping they took at the polls on Tuesday.
Leaders in both the House and the Senate — including Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — are expected to retain their spots atop the party in the next Congress, while the White House, in similar fashion, says it will keep its top staff largely intact.
“The president is somebody who doesn’t make personnel changes just for cosmetic reasons,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday.
The decision to stick with the status quo sends a clear message that Democrats believe Tuesday’s disastrous outcome was caused by factors beyond their control, and that they see themselves as best suited to steer a comeback.
This, we think, is the biggest takeaway from last week’s election – but more about that in a minute. In the meantime, we’ll run through some of the other effects of the election, which, when added together, give us the sinking feeling that the Democrats are content to keep plugging away with the same strategy and the same set of tactics that proved disastrous not just last week, but over the course of the last two years as well.
All of which brings us to . . .
Takeaway #1: Immigration was a disaster for Democrats in this election and will continue to be going forward.
Of all the issues that the so-called experts insisted the GOP had to address, the one at the top of the list was immigration. The GOP is too old, we were told, too white, and too hostile to the “emerging majority.” The only way to rectify the situation would be for the party to pass comprehensive immigration “reform” and at least make a show of supporting immigrants and their families. Not to do so would be a huge mistake for the Republicans, marking them as anti-Hispanic for evermore.
Good thing that the Republicans didn’t listen to the experts.
As it turned out, immigration policy was hardly the boon the Left expected. Indeed, it was likely the opposite. Let us be clear about this: Most Americans welcome new immigrants. Most Americans are more than happy to welcome immigrants from Mexico and Central America. Most Americans would like to see something done about the millions of illegal immigrants already living, working, and raising families in this country. At the same time, most Americans – including, or especially, legal immigrants – hate the idea of winking at the violation of the law, rewarding someone for doing something that is illegal. Most Americans know that the political class has its own agenda, and that this agenda has little or nothing to do with “helping” anyone but themselves, much less the poor immigrants to this country. And lastly, most Americans know that the beneficiaries of any comprehensive “reform” plan are all but certain to be a handful of politicians and their corporate cronies.
All of which is to say that the electorate, as a whole, saw through the ruling class’s immigration pretenses and understood what was really going on Inside the Beltway. And they rejected the ruling class’s arrogance and presumptiveness. As the Left-leaning Mickey Kaus noted in the days after the election:
FIND THAT MESSAGE: Obama’s policies were on the ballot — we have it on good authority (Obama’s). That includes “comprehensive immigration reform,” as embodied in the Chuck Schumer’s Senate “Gang of 8″ legalization + immigration increase bill. So how did it do? Let’s see:
Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas voted for the Gang of 8 bill. He’s GONE.
Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina voted for the Gang of 8 bill. GONE.
Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado voted for the Gang of 8 bill. GONE.
Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana voted for the Gang of 8 bill. She will probably be GONE after a January runoff.
Alison Grimes supported the Gang of 8 bill in Kentucky. DEFEATED.
Michelle Nunn supported the Gang of 8 bill in Georgia. DEFEATED.
Greg Orman supported the Gang of 8 bill in Kansas. DEFEATED.
Bruce Braley supported the Gang of 8 bill in Iowa. DEFEATED.
Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Mark Warner of Virginia voted for the Gang of 8 bill and BARELY SURVIVED against longshot challengers.
Do you sense a pattern in there somewhere? Schumer would probably be chairman of the lucrative Banking Committee if he hadn’t pushed his amnesty bill.
The good news for Democrats is that they no longer have to worry about Chuck Schumer’s ability to push any more immigration bills. He’ll be the “ranking member” in the next Congress, rather than the Chairman, and will thus be muzzled.
The bad news is that Barack Obama is still president, and he seems either not to have learned anything from last week’s results or not to care. He is just as determined as ever to use executive action to supersede the Congress and thereby to rewrite the law. This weekend, Obama told CBS News that “I’m going to do what I can do through executive action,” which is to say that he is entirely unconcerned about the effect that such actions will have on the country and on his party. He wants what he wants. Or, as he told CBS in a revealing bit:
I preside over a process in which the Senate produced a bipartisan bill. I then said to John Boehner, “John, let’s get this passed through the House.” For a year, I stood back and let him work on this. He decided not to call the Senate bill and he couldn’t produce his own bill. And I told him at the time, “John, if you don’t do it, I’ve got legal authority to make improvements on the system.”
The truth of the matter, of course, is that Barack Obama, the President of the United States, does NOT preside over any such process. The idea that this is his show to run, that he can and should determine what the Congress does and when, and that he can blackmail and strong arm the leaders of an entirely separate branch of government to do his will is absurd. Worse than that, it’s indicative of an authoritarian mindset. There is a reason, after all, that Obama waited until after the election even to contemplate this move. And that reason, of course, is his understanding that the public, as a whole, hates both his immigration plans and the idea of him employing them unilaterally, in defiance of a co-equal branch of government.
We understand what Obama hopes to gain by this, i.e. more Hispanic votes long-term. But we don’t think that he understands what he stands to lose. The American people will sanction a great deal in their politicians, but they will not sanction open and far-reaching contempt for their views. The last time Obama demonstrated such contempt was during the health care reform debate. That contempt earned him the 2010 GOP wave. Note that his current bout of contempt will take place after, which is to say in addition to, an electoral drubbing. Executive action in defiance of the Congress and the will of the people has the potential to cripple the Democratic Party for a long, long time. The handful of Hispanic votes Obama earns for his party will all but certainly overwhelmed by the torrent of “independent” voters he alienates for as long as a generation to come.
Takeaway #2: Democrats are every bit as bad – if not worse – at the abortion aspect of the culture wars as are the Republicans.
Two years ago, you may recall, Republicans like the aforementioned Todd Akin made fools of themselves and their party by trying to pontificate on even the minutest details of abortion/women’s health care policy. No one expects Pro-Life politicians to keep their mouths shut and not talk about the issues that affect them most deeply. But voters do expect all politicians, Pro-Life or otherwise, to refrain from saying stupid, callous, and ridiculously fanciful things in defense of their positions. Moreover, voters expect politicians to be honest about the shortcomings in their policies and not simply to ignore them or try to wish them away with magical thinking.
There has always been a rather blatant and irresoluble contradiction at the heart of Pro-Life politics. Most Pro-Life politicians agree that life begins at conception, and yet most also concede that exceptions are needed in any laws banning abortion for cases of rape and incest. Life begins at conception and must be protected, in short, except when, for the sake of political expediency, we decide that it doesn’t and shouldn’t. That’s an incongruity that Pro-Life politicians are generally bad at explaining and thus tend to avoid discussing – except when they don’t.
Unfortunately, in the last election cycle, too may in the GOP tried to rectify the contradiction by simply eliminating the exemption. And in order to justify their seeming callousness, they insisted – as did good old Sr. Celeste Marie in the 8th Grade science “reproduction” section – that God doesn’t let rape victims get pregnant. In end, then, these politicians, who became proxies for the GOP as a whole, appeared insensitive, ill-informed, and flat-out crazy. And the Democrats easily won the “war on women.”
In this most recent election cycle, though, the Pro-Lifers generally avoided the abortion trap and instead resurrected the abortion “gambit,” we have discussed often in these pages. What this means is that rather than discuss their Pro-Life absolutism, Republican politicians focused on the practical features of their message and found points of agreement with the nominally Pro-Life electorate. In so doing, they not only reinforced their own reasonableness, but allowed the Pro-Choicers to take the offensive and to emphasize their own radicalness. And it worked like a charm.
The Democrats tried their damnedest to revive the “war on women.” But not only did the meme fail to work this time around, it actually made things worse. By focusing relentlessly on abortion, birth control, and their unalloyed support for both “on demand,” the Democrats reminded voters that the politicians’ positions on most such matters, and especially abortion, are radically different from most non-politicians in the country. The Pro-Choicers allowed themselves to fall victim to the trap previously occupied by Todd Akin, and thus they unwittingly portrayed themselves as callous, cruel, and uncompromisingly extreme. Wendy Davis’s drubbing in the race for Texas’ governorship was emblematic of the Pro-Choice side’s failures. She was supposed to be the woman who could turn Texas purple. Instead, she ended up losing by a bigger margin than did the previous two Democratic challengers. To add insult to injury, her old seat in the Texas legislature was won by a Pro-Life woman, who has been very outspoken on the matter. Wendy Davis failed miserably, and her entire party did as well.
Not that we expect Democrats to get this message or to abandon their “war on women” business anytime soon. They just can’t seem to shake this notion that the war is to their benefit. Of course, they also can’t seem to get their head around the fact that the electorate leans Pro-Life these days and has been growing more and more so over the last couple of decades. In their hearts, the Pro-Choice politicians know that they are right, and they’re not going to let any damn electorate tell them otherwise.
Takeaway #3: The current leaders of the Democratic Party are deeply and conclusively steeped in Leftist rhetoric and beliefs. The “Third Way” centrism of the Clinton era is dead, and the voters are unhappy about it. This will open doors and create opportunities for some individual Democrats, but will lead, ultimately, to chaos and failure for the party’s current dominant faction.
One of the key moments in this campaign took place just four days before the election, when the President was making his pitch for federally funded universal preschool. The President didn’t mean to say anything nasty or even provocative. He was simply trying to make the case for another entitlement. In so doing, however, he loosed his tongue and revealed more about himself than he likely wanted to reveal. Specifically, he said: “Sometimes, someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. That’s not a choice we want Americans to make.”
As we said, we don’t think that the President meant to say anything in any way controversial. He was talking about the things that matter most in his worldview and how they all fit together. But then, that’s sorta the point. In his relaxed and reflexive state, he said what he meant. And what he meant was revealing, to say the least. In a piece last week, the essayist and author James Lileks noted the following about Obama’s “gaffe.”
It is tempting to say that this exposes the Left’s hypocrisy on choice, but again, he probably didn’t know exactly what he was saying. But if he did — if this line actually represents his thinking on the subject — then, sure, we have a familiar refrain: Choice is important only if you make a certain choice. If people choose the wrong things, it’s for one of two reasons.
A) They are women who stay home because they are under the thrall of glowering men who believe Jesus personally escorted to hell the fashion designer responsible for women’s slacks, and while these women might seem to be pitiable, they actually laugh when you suggest they would be more fulfilled working in a mortgage office collating papers for the 7:45m.signing than taking care of children. They laugh. It’s like they never knew the pleasures of cleaning out all your office coffee mugs and finally getting the stains out.
B) They are delusional women who stay at home because they have internalized the messages beamed into their brains by an enormous phallic tower in the geographical center of the country, telling them not just to have children but to feel as though they should be around them for some reason.
If the president had said, “We want to make all choices available for women, so the individual may chose the path best open to her,” everyone would have nodded and yawned, knowing it was a pitch for more magic federal dollars for day care. Something along the Exalted Enlightened European model, where the state requires employers to provide a year of paid maternity leave: That bonding time is so incredibly important. And the state mandates free child care, because after a year, whatever.
That’s probably what he meant. But even so…
We’re not quite as generous as is Lileks, which is to say that we believe Obama meant what he said, even if he didn’t mean to say it that way. But then, of course, we remember when he declared that Roe v. Wade enables “our daughters” to “achieve their dreams.” We also remember when he declared that if his daughters “make a mistake” he doesn’t want them “punished with a baby.”
Obama probably didn’t mean to say those things in those ways either. But that doesn’t change the fact that he said them and that he continues to say such things in his unguarded moments. All of which provides still further confirmation that the man took in Leftist doctrine on life and family with his mother’s milk – proverbially and literally. He believes in the power of the state and the impotence of those outside the state, including, or especially, families.
He is not alone, of course. Indeed, the leadership of the Democratic Party is littered with Leftists whose beliefs are far out of touch with most of their fellow partisans, not to mention the broader electorate. Harry Reid, we’ll concede, is half doctrinaire Leftist, half politico-corporatist attack dog. But his counterpart in the House, Minority Leader (for Life) Nancy Pelosi, is likely to the Left of Obama, which makes her the perfect fit for her San Francisco constituency, but a terrible fit for the national Democratic Party.
Indeed, we would argue that the current troubles in the Democratic party can be traced back to twelve years ago this Friday, November 14, 2002, the day that Pelosi was elected Minority Leader, replacing the retiring Dick Gephardt. We recall watching the scene unfold, as Pelosi’s only challenger that day, the former Tennessee Congressman and dedicated Clintonian centrist Harold Ford, Jr., shrugged his shoulders at the caucus’s decision and slowly slunk out of the room. We remember thinking that the Democrats had just made an enormous mistake, passing over the young, charismatic, and African American Ford, for the old, batty, and hardcore Leftist Pelosi. We can’t say how the party might have fared under Ford’s leadership, but we do suspect that it would be in far better position today than it is under Pelosi’s.
As you may recall, in our immediate post-election comments, we noted that the big loser in this election was Hillary Clinton. Specifically, we put it this way:
Hillary Clinton’s path to presidency just became next to impossible. Political prognosticators and media players are loath to acknowledge this, but Hillary is a terrible politician. She may be a very smart woman and a fine lawyer, but she is a terrible politician. Certainly she is not half the politician her husband is. Indeed, the comparison between the two makes her look all the worse.
Now, consider for a moment what happened last night to Hillary’s husband. The candidates that he supported and for whom he campaigned tirelessly were nevertheless crushed. And nowhere was this more notable and embarrassing than his home state of Arkansas. Bill made three trips to Arkansas in the last month alone to campaign for Democratic Congressman Mike Ross, who was running for governor, and Senator Mark Pryor, both of whom Bill considers friends. And both men lost and lost badly. Bill Clinton couldn’t save them. In Arkansas.
That’s a big deal, we think, especially for Hillary. If Bill couldn’t recapture the magic in his home state, how could she possibly expect to? The answer is, she can’t, and she won’t.
Throughout the campaign, Democratic candidates from places like Arkansas, and Kentucky, and West Virginia all tried to distance themselves from Barack Obama by insisting that they are “Clinton Democrats.” This was supposed to reassure conservative voters and make them feel comfortable with a Democrat – just as they once felt comfortable with Bill. The Clinton Democrats who elected Clinton, in other words, would also elect the likes of Ross, Pryor, and Allison Lundergan Grimes, who used the term “Clinton Democrats” repeatedly in her defining her candidacy.
The problem here is the Clinton Democrats no longer exist. They are a relic of a bygone era, every bit as extinct as dodo birds and wooly mammoths. The erstwhile Clinton Democrats aren’t Democrats at all any more. They’re Republicans. Or they’re independents. But they are NOT Democrats, and they never will be Democrats again. All of which is to say that Hillary cannot and will not win their votes. And that, in turn, means that she cannot and will not follow her husband’s path to the presidency. She’ll have to carve her own path. And she’s just not good enough to do so.
The people who killed Hillary’s presidential chances, we think, are the same people who killed off the centrist Clinton Democrats, the hardcore Leftists like Pelosi and Obama. They chased out of the party a group of people – working-class whites and the Scots-Irish – who had been the key to successful national politics since the turn of the 20th century. They took the party Left, and thus left behind the erstwhile core of the party’s support.
The only possible silver lining for the Democrats in this cloud is the ongoing political career of the peculiar, populist working-man’s hero James Webb. Webb, you may recall is a highly decorated Marine, an award-winning author, a former Republican Secretary of the Navy, a former Democratic Senator from Virginia, and the unofficial historian of his people, the Scots-Irish. He is also a guy who keeps popping up in Iowa and refusing to rule out further political aspirations.
In truth, we don’t think Webb is a likely presidential contender, but it’s fun to speculate. The guy has all the credentials the Democrats could want, save one: he is a centrist who mostly abhors the Left’s usual platitudinous dogma. All of which is to say that the characteristics that could help him win a presidential general election and win working-class whites back for the Democrats are the very same characteristics that would keep him from winning anything in the Democratic primary campaign. In any case, Webb strikes us as one of the few potential Democratic candidates who could win the presidency without having to reassemble the Obama coalition in its entirety. He could win the way Bill Clinton did, by appealing to the Left AND the center. Anyone else – including Hillary – will have to win by appealing to the Left exclusively, and then ensuring that the Left’s constituency groups turn out in higher than average numbers. And that will be an extremely tall order for any politician not named Barack Obama.
In the end, the biggest takeaway and the biggest challenge for the Democrats in the wake of this election is. . .
Takeaway #4: The Left’s problem, as we noted last week, is that it dislikes and disregards the electorate, even as it expects the electorate to accept its entreaties.
We won’t repeat here what we wrote last week about the Democratic leaders detesting the voters and believing them to be stupid, ill-informed, and unreasonable. We will, however, note a related phenomenon that suggests how the Democratic Party is likely to react to its electoral defeat.
If you read the mainstream commentary about the election; if you listen to Democratic politicians explain away their losses; if you see how Barack Obama and the rest of his party’s leaders declare their willingness to push on with their agenda despite the electorate’s rebuke of them, you begin to understand that the Democrats don’t really believe that their losses reflect poorly on them so much as they reflect poorly on the electorate. The politicians in Washington did nothing wrong. They were merely defeated by a confluence of circumstances that made it impossible for the voters to understand what is really going in the world.
Whether one uses the Marx-Engels term “false consciousness,” the Gramscian term “cultural hegemony,” or the updated Chomsky-ite term “manufacture of consent,” the sentiment is the same: people don’t think, act, and believe as we do and as they should, not because they have their own thoughts and have acted rationally, but because they have been brainwashed by dominant (i.e. bourgeois) culture.
When his fellow Kansans voted and thought differently from him, Thomas Frank wanted to know What’s the Matter with Kansas? When Senator Elizxabeth Warren (the darling of the far Left) decided that Americans were unwilling to “pay forward to the next kid who comes along” the fruits of their own labor, she concluded that they did not properly understand the social contract because of the depraved culture. And when the Democrats were rejected by the voters in a massive wipeout, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, to name just a few, insisted it was because the people didn’t understand; they didn’t “get” the problems facing the country – be they immigration, health care, abortion, or something else.
Given this attitude, this Leftist zeitgeist, it is not especially likely that the Democratic Party is going to change a great deal over the next election cycle. Why should it? The people are the problem, not the party.
Now, all of this is not to say that the Democrats can’t win in 2016. They most certainly can. But in order to do so they’ll will have to have some outside help. They will have to have the Republicans re-earn their title as the “stupid party.” That’s certainly a possibility, we think, but it’s hardly the election strategy on which we would want to rely if we were in the Democrats’ position.