politics and power
The Democrats’ Distorted Coalition
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  • ——————————

    The problem with the Democrats and Liberals is that their ‘ideals’ go against fundamental human nature. Their ideals are based on humans the way they should be, not humans the way they are….

    • Fred

      I disagree. I don’t believe that their ideal of human nature is any more desirable than it is possible. Nietzche described it quite well:

      One still works, for work is a form of entertainment. But one is careful lest the entertainment be too harrowing. One no longer becomes poor or rich: both require too much exertion. Who still wants to rule? Who to obey? Both require too much exertion.
      No shepherd and one herd! Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.
      ‘Formerly, all the world was mad,’ say the most refined, and they blink…
      One has one’s little pleasure for the day and one’s little pleasure for the night: but one has a regard for health.
      ‘We have invented happiness,’ say the last men, and they blink.

      • Curious Mayhem

        I often think of this passage (from Zarathustra) when I read or hear about present-day campus lunacy.

        • Fred

          Yeah, I got a PhD in lit in the 90s, and even back then I was struck by the irony that the postmodernists considered themselves Nietzcheans but politically represented exactly the leveling tendecies Nietzche so despised.

          • Curious Mayhem

            Not just leveling, but “ignorizing” — creating a generation that resembles the future Eloi of H. G. Wells’ Time Machine.

  • Nevis07

    This is a good piece by Jason. A few things that this makes me wonder about.

    First, the Democrats seem to have shifted even further left on the progressive platforms since the election, so I’m not sure they’ve recognized the argument Jason is making here.

    Second, I think that the issue of immigration is perhaps the most important issue they’re getting wrong (within the larger identity politics platform). Democrats effectively tried to breed their political base into power by bringing in lots of foreigners that are largely dependent on government aid and which vote heavily for Dems. It’s sort of like saying ‘we don’t like white people in flyover states’

    Third, by engaging in identity politics and particularly Hillary Clinton’s description of “deplorables”, I think it will be a difficult thing for Democrats to rebrand their image to much of the country to in the hopes people forget about Clinton’s comment and that feel deeply insulted by their constant labeling as racists, bigots, etc.

    • ——————————

      “I think it will be a difficult thing for Democrats to rebrand their image to much of the country to in the hopes people forget about Clinton’s comment and that feel deeply insulted by their constant labeling as racists, bigots, etc.”

      And the Repubs need to make sure “much of the country” never forgets….

    • Eurydice

      Oh, I think they would like white people just fine if they could be counted on for an easy vote.

    • Jim__L

      The Leftist echo chamber simply won’t allow any deviation from their party line. They are incapable of having discussions that allow for diverse points of view.

      A Google engineer was recently fired for politely and thoughtfully pointing out that Google fires people for politely and thoughtfully expressing “wrongthink” at Google.

      https://diversitymemo.com/

      It’s about time to take these people down politically. Freedom of speech — freedom of *anything* — and the health of our democracy depends on it.

  • QET

    The Democratic Party is just one vehicle by which the Left seeks to impose its certainties on the nation. In fact it is probably the least preferred vehicle, because a political party exists to conduct politics, but the Left’s principal objective is to depoliticize every institution it can. So it prefers the federal courts to either Congress or the Executive, and prefers the Executive to Congress. The Supreme Court and the Presidency are institutions where a single person or two or three people can completely negate politics by pronunciamento. And the Left has de facto control of the federal government already through its control of the administrative state. And since most of our politics are conducted by and through the media, including social media today, and the Left most assuredly has control of that, then again, the Democratic Party’s relevance is highly questionable to the programme of the Left.

  • WigWag

    Northing proves Jason’s point more than the current debate taking place amongst Democrats about whether abortion should be a litmus test for Democratic candidates. See,

    http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/344196-dem-campaign-chief-vows-no-litmus-test-on-abortion

    and

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/opinion/trump-democrats-abortion-litmus-test.html

  • Gary Hemminger

    totally on the mark article. The progressives only care about power as an afterthought. What they care about most is:

    1) Open border, sanctuary cities
    2) Global warming
    3) Identity politics
    4) Limiting speech to what they agree is not hate speech
    5) Anyone that doesn’t agree with 1-4) is a bigot, racist, homophobic, xenophobe

    and when they continue to lose national elections due to their ideology they will continue to push that they won the popular vote and that the system is unfair to them.

    • Jim__L

      Are you kidding? They’re so drunk on power that they are looking for ways to get power *totally on their own terms*, tramping on everyone else’s rights as they go.

      This is why they depend on the Courts to push through their agenda.

  • Beauceron

    I watched earlier this year as the DNC Leadership Conference, hosting the debate for the new DNC leader and discussions on how to win back the white working class voters who voted twice for Obama and then switched to Trump, pretty much came out and said, “we don’t need white people” and doubled down on the identity politics that have so harmed their electoral chances.
    They may be right. But in the meantime, I just wouldn’t consider voting for them under any circumstance.

    • D4x

      Wait until they decide they do not need any more blonde-haired women 🙂

  • Suzy Dixon

    Basically you can’t rely on costal mega cities to win you national elections, and if you could then we’d have a major problem. Thankfully, 10 cities can’t determine the outcome. That wouldn’t be representative at all.

    • Unelected Leader

      Jerry brown is a great example. He talks about wanting the Democratic Party to be a “big tent” party. That’s the problem. It’s a tent that’s so big it’s full of contradictions. You can’t put socialists in the same tent with investors. You can’t put advocates of Medicare for all (a large percentage of the dem base) in the same tent as healthcare insurance CEOs who make $70,000 per day! You can’t put workers in the same tent as those advocated more trash trade policy that hurts workers, like Clinton’s NAFTA and obama trying like the devil to ram the Trash Pacific Partnership through at the eleventh hour.

  • FriendlyGoat

    You didn’t know what Republicans stand for on health care until you saw them try to legislate the subject. You don’t know right now what they stand for until you see them attempt to legislate tax reform and budgets. It’s not an accident that Congress is headed straight into the tax subject with no details out there for public consumption. Lots to see—–coming soon.

    • Boritz

      You have to pass it to find out what’s in it. This is not how conservatives traditionally approach things but they’ve been taking notes.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Before Republican tax reform gets passed, someone is going to notice that 1) It ain’t revenue neutral and 2) virtually all of the benefits go straight to the top. I don’t think they actually have the Senate votes to do their wish list——because is it going to stink TOO BADLY. We’ll soon see.

        • Anthony

          “Digital technology empowers real-seeming fiction of the ideological and religious and scientific kind….” (something to muse over – but make time, a very long read: https://theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/how-america-lost-its-mind/534231/

          • FriendlyGoat

            Thanks. I went flying through this in order to acknowledge your thoughtfulness in sending it over—–but will want to read again more slowly. It’s one of the best things I’ve seen but not because it reaches a conclusion. It helps us understand both the depth and width of the craziness now in control of our country—-and not just in politics. As you know, I would have wished that our churches would have been the balance wheel for correction of extreme Leftism and for avoidance of extreme Rightism. There doesn’t appear to be any sign at the moment that that either can or will occur anytime soon.

          • Anthony

            The piece requires rereading to just digest the contents (so much context, history, and perspective). A couple key takeaways (among very many): 1) “Neither side has noticed but large factions of the elite left and the populist right have been on the same team.” 2) “The short answer is because we’re Americans – because being American means we can believe anything we want; that our beliefs are superior to anyone else’s, experts be damned. Once people commit to that approach, the world turns inside out, and no cause-and-effect connection is fixed. The credible becomes incredible and the incredible credible.”

            Read the piece again (when time permits) and we’ll compare notes concerning its depth and width – but I’m sure your affirmation has not been missed.

  • Isaiah6020

    I blame 81% of white evangelicals. I’m not sure for what, but it’s their fault. Not 80%, not 82%, but 81%. I want the record to be crystal clear on this.

    • Andrew Allison

      You’re mistaken. It’s ALL President Trump’s faulr!

      • Fred

        Yes, but don’t forget, President Trump is all the fault of 81% of Evangelicals.

    • J K Brown

      I blame 81% of the secular (mostly Marxist) pietists. They split from the evangelicals about a century ago and continued their worship of the state above all else, even God.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    The Democrats have earned their time in the Wilderness, and they don’t seem eager to leave. That combined with the economic mismanagement and injustice of Blue cities and states, puts time against them.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Well, as long as they seem so happy banging their heads against the wall, I don’t think it would be polite to interrupt them, do you?

    • Jacksonian_Libertarian

      This is a better map showing how counties voted in 2016, the difference between dark red and dark blue is striking.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9d4495a5ec9108d3161dedb4ad93a4aea175db1d1b5e4d87dc7992dc0c2dfc91.png

      • Ken Moon

        I’d love to see a map that shows the racial composition of the counties overlaid with this map. And one with the concentrations of undocumented aliens.

        If you saw where the funding for the Democrats comes from, you’d see a very few, very small dark blue dots.

        The Democrats depend on the money of the super-rich, while pretending to care about the poor blacks, who they never bother to actually help, but giddily rile up to gain their votes. Also, one of their main goals is to add illegal aliens to their voters.

        Their only hope politically is to raise the number of those dependent on the government – what a sad, sorry goal. To say that they are willing to destroy American culture and the rule of law to garner these votes is incontrovertible.

        The worst thing is that the Democratic leaders love to accuse the Republicans of racism, while they live in their uber-rich, cloistered bubble, where it is just awesome to pay their illegal nanny/slave less-than-poverty wages to raise their children.

  • Eurydice

    This is like the old anecdote about the dog chasing the car – if he catches it, what will he do with it? It’s interesting to me that the political definitions and theories don’t mention the fundamental purpose of elected office, which is to represent the wishes of the people.

    • Tom

      “which is to represent the wishes of the people.”

      Not quite. It’s supposed to represent the interests of the people–who, if they think their interests aren’t being represented, can then choose new officeholders.

      • Eurydice

        Well, sure they can choose new officeholders, but not every day and whenever they feel like it. My point is that being elected is not the final goal or the purpose of the game.

  • Anthony

    Perhaps a little too formatted: Dems/Reps (despite five thirty eight and others valued contribution). What’s actually emerging are coalitions of voters constrained by America’s Two Party system. Neoliberalism has compelled both white working class voters and average middle class voters to question underlying consensus – Neoliberalism (Globalization). To perhaps better understand current American party dynamics see an old study (1976) about Middle American Radicals (MAR) by Donald Warren.

  • Angel Martin

    The late Phil Burton was the guy who joked that a particularly convoluted pro Democrat California redistricting was “his contribution to modern art”.

    When Democrats had a stranglehold on the Statehouses, congressional gerrymandering was seen as innocent political chicanery. Now that Repubs control most of the Statehouses, gerrymandering is an existential threat to the future of the Republic.

    • Ken Moon

      When this subject is raised by Democrats,, the Republicans need to respond with data, not just name-calling.

      How many strange-looking districts were drawn by the DOJ, to guarantee minorities were elected to Congress?

      How many districts were gerrymandered in the past by Democrats to help their party?

      And how many were gerrymandered by Republicans for the same reason?

      People want and need the truth. Both parties seem incapable of providing it. I’m not sure the public will stand for this much longer.

      If you still believe the old adage that the people are powerless, you are in for a rude, and ultimately violent comeuppance. Social media has changed everything, and those who fail to absorb this new reality are in for a horrific awakening, and very soon.

  • Andrew Allison

    There’s a very simple rebuttal to the territory representation issue: Do you REALLY want California to impose its so-called “values” on the entire country!

    • Ken Moon

      This comment is typical, but not at all helpful.

      I lived in California for about 5 years. The people are not strange creatures from another planet. Depending on where you are, you can find all sorts of opinions.

      And most people there tend to go along with the liberal vibe of the state.

      If, instead, one were born and raised in Mississippi, for example, they would probably reflect the local culture and political opinions there.

      This reality can cut two ways – if you truly believe in states’ rights and individual liberty, California should be allowed to run their business as their citizens see fit.

      If someone doesn’t like it, they’re free to leave to another state that more closely fits their sensibilities.

      The answer to how much influence any state should have on federal policies, is none.

      If the federal government were forced, by the citizens, to limit itself to what the Constitution requires, and the gov’t was taken away from their uber-wealthy NYC/Washington DC kingdom, and spread across the country, nobody would care who wins the fight among the politicians and their sad little bootlickers in the media, to call themselves President, Senator or Congressman.

      • Andrew Allison

        I’ve lived in California for almost 50 years, and think I know a thing -or-two about the State, one of which is that after the election the leaders of both houses of the Legislature issued a joint statement which said, in part, that it’s clear that the rest of the country doesn’t share California’s values. Why would anybody want California’s values (which have for example resulted one of the worst education systems, one of the worst business environments, and one third of the country’s welfare recipients) on the rest of the country?

  • ljgude

    I’ve been confused about my identity all my life. Never knew quite who I was. Sort of felt like I was living in a rerun of Kafka’s The Trial. But that all changed last year when I discovered my true identity during the campaign. Thank you Hillary. I’ll go to my grave deeply grateful for you telling me exactly who I am.

  • PierrePendre

    Geographic bias doesn’t stop the Dems winning elections. Media bias doesn’t stop the GOP winning elections. Winning elections depends on the conjuncture of the moment at which they are held. The Dems think they can win in 1918 regardless of other factors simply by demonising Trump every day. We’ll see if they are right. If the geographical bias were to be corrected somehow, Republicans would be entitled to demand a correction in media bias. Would the Dems trade the latter for the former?

  • Roy Frisvold

    True, the Democrats do a poor job at the states’ level, not even running candidates in many, many
    districts, especially in the West. However, voter suppression and voting machine fraud are significant
    in cutting Democratic votes, and unlike the straw man of “voter fraud,” cannot be dismissed.
    Note that Mr. Willick refers to the Democrat’s “moving culturally to the Left.” Culturally. Because
    the party core, the ex-DLC faction of the party, is pro-corporatist, corporate-financed, and touts a
    foreign policy even more hawkish, in its commitment to Israel, than the GOP’s. And even in “cultural”
    politics, Mr. Hillock is flat-out wrong as regards the Hillary Clinton campaign, which sabotaged the
    actual progressive elements in the party, and tried to woo what it felt were available “moderate”
    Republicans, while also appealing to legal minorities. That is a move to the Right, not the Left.
    A last absurdity: “Republicans…stand for…the development of home-grown sources of energy.”
    They most assuredly do not. Republicans stand for subsidy of fossil fuel energy, a retrograde attitude
    fueled by campaign contributions, not science or any concern for “conserving” people or planet.
    Solar and wind energy, for practical purposes, are “home-grown” as well, and have been a major
    source of jobs in this country.
    The comments about Democratic “elites” miss the truth entirely: the Democrats are a corporate
    party offering token opposition to the other corporate party, the GOP. As such, they need not be
    committed to political victory, but mere political viability. Cherchez l’argent in 2018, and see where
    the DNC puts its money, and where it fails to put any significant money at all.

  • DiogenesDespairs

    Bottom line: This is not your father’s Democratic Party. It is a party dominated by an alliance of “Progressive” or even assertively radical ideologues and a variety of deep-pockets special interests, with heavy support in academia and the media. More and more people have been coming to realize that this alliance is leading the country in a downhill direction and is bad for the interests of the country as a whole and most of its citizens. It, and much of the GOP establishment, needs to be removed from power.

    The election of Trump, like him or not, was a big victory for this gathering movement. But it is not enough. There is still Congress.

    That is why everybody needs to do everything they can in the GOP primaries next year (the Democrats as presently constituted are hopeless) to replace RINOs with Constitutionalists, and then replace Democrats with Republicans in November.

    Dear reader, think what YOU can do to help make this happen, and then do it. Your country needs you.

  • J K Brown

    See if this sounds like the modern DemProg party:

    The parties of special interests, which see nothing more in politics than the securing of privileges and prerogatives for their own groups, not only make the parliamentary system impossible; they rupture the unity of the state and of society. They lead not merely to the crisis of parliamentarism, but to a general political and social crisis. Society cannot, in the long run, exist if it is divided into sharply defined groups, each intent on wresting special privileges for its own members, continually on the alert to see that it does not suffer any setback, and prepared, at any moment, to sacrifice the most important political institutions for the sake of winning some petty advantage.

    To the parties of special interests, all political questions appear exclusively as problems of political tactics. Their ultimate goal is fixed for them from the start. Their aim is to obtain, at the cost of the rest of the population, the greatest possible advantages and privileges for the groups they represent. The party platform is intended to disguise this objective and give it a certain appearance of justification, but under no circumstances to announce it publicly as the goal of party policy. The members of the party, in any case, know what their goal is; they do not need to have it explained to them. How much of it ought to be imparted to the world is, however, a purely tactical question.

    All antiliberal parties want nothing but to secure special favors for their own members, in complete disregard of the resulting disintegration of the whole structure of society. They cannot withstand for a moment the criticism that liberalism makes of their aims.

    Mises, Ludwig von (1927). Liberalism (pp. 175-176).

  • Ken Moon

    Your “unpacking” of what Democrats and Republicans believe is ridiculous.

    What about the millions of Americans who believe in social liberalism, environmentalism, homegrown energy, and nationalism?

    Of course, all of these labels are so broad as to be useless.

    But the general idea is that the Republicans are like the mean guy down the street who threatens everyone who pisses him off with his shotgun, and the Democrats are giddy about taking what little money you have, to give to their anointed group of oppressed people (while skimming 99% off the top to support their lavish, yet oh so morally superior lifestyle).

    There are lots of socially liberal Boomers, along with young people, who believe that the government, at all levels, is way too concerned about what people do in their spare time.

    If they want grow a little weed in the back yard, or fall in love with someone of the same sex, or build a nice AR-15 to take to the gun range, who the heck is the government (or more precisely, individual bureaucrats), to send militarized police forces to violently attack you?

    We also believe in Country and Family, and are very accepting about others’ spiritual/religious beliefs (as long as they don’t believe that killing us is a requirement of their faith), and we work hard.

    Did I mention that we value hard work, and we work hard? But ask MSNBC, and they’ll tell you we all sit on couches getting fat, oiling our guns, and beating our women (While smirking at their own superiority).

    What the Democrats and Republican need to fear is that a third party, whether the Libertarians mixed with the Greens, or even better, someone who finally demands the breakup of the DC establishment, will kick their stale, outdated butts. Imagine how popular it would be to demand the movement of the Ag Dept. to Kansas, Interior to Colorado, DOD to anywhere but DC, and the elimination, after decades of failed promises, to reduce the size and reach of the federal gov’t.

    The pillar of this winning party should be “Don’t Tread On Me”, IMO the most concise statement of what most Americans want from their government(s) ever uttered.

  • Pete

    “But until the Democrats can figure out how to actually seize back power, those ideals will keep losing.”

    The more Democrats lose, the more America wins.

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