What Does Biden Mean Dems Should ‘Rediscover Who They Are?’
I wrote yesterday morning that he was considering running.
I argued maybe it could be a good thing though I’m not certain. Some Twitter friends were not excited over Biden.
I'm a hard none of the above.
— Melanie Jean (@princessmom122) April 30, 2017
I think Biden is better than Warren and much better than Bernie.
No. Biden was instrumental in giving Clarence Thomas Supreme Court seat.
— Leila Walsh (@LeilaWalsh8) April 30, 2017
But after reading some of his speech, I have some misgivings:
“Biden to Democrats: Rediscover what you are.”
‘I know it seems like we’re in a political death match we just can’t figure out how to get out,’ he tells an audience in New Hampshire.
“Yes, Joe Biden said, the Democratic Party is in crisis. And so is America.”
“But it’s not too late.”
“Returning repeatedly here to the combined 172,000-vote margin in the three states that decided last year’s presidential election, the former vice president said Democrats need to face how deep the problem is — not a fluke, not just about Hillary Clinton’s performance, not just about a campaign by Donald Trump that clearly disgusted him.”
“The cadre of people who were all ours for so long … they doubted whether we still remembered,” the former vice president said, in his first major political speech since the inauguration. “I’m absolutely positive they want to be with us, but we have to prove again that we understand that hopelessness. … We have to show them, we have to be the source of their hope.”
By they he means the White Working Class, I presume. See this presumes that we have to win back the Rust Belt and that Hillary ran a bad campaign. But it’s arguable that her campaign strategy will prove to be the prototype of future Democratic wins.
“Most people agree on one thing about the 2016 election: That the simplest way to describe what happened is that demographics did not deliver for Democrats. The party and the Clinton campaign had good reason to be confident that the vaunted “Obama coalition” — the nonwhites, young voters, single women, and college-educated whites who powered majority victories in the two previous national elections — would come through one more time, as Republicans had shown no signs of even trying to evolve culturally in sync with the preoccupations of those groups. But demographic destiny fell short of swamping Trump’s margins among blue-collar and middle-income whites.”
“This time around, demographic destiny did not materialize for Democrats. But demographic change marches on. While that is by no means alone a guarantee of future success, the party’s big challenge going forward will be to work to maintain its position on the right side of it — while also speaking more effectively to the anxieties of those who feel it is leaving them behind.”
Exactly. Just as Barry Goldwater got creamed in 1964, but his Southern Strategy was later the prototype for the GOP to win five of the next six elections.
Biden sounds like he thinks the future of the party’s success is the Rust Belt. But maybe it’s in the Sun Belt that Hillary made real gains in 2016: educated whites. minorities, and millennials.
The Goldwater example proves you shouldn’t be too Hegelian about wins and losses in politics. Just because a strategy fails once doesn’t necessarily mean it’s flawed. With Goldwater it was just getting its sea legs. Even the 2012 GOP contains the same lesson.
Ten days after the election, Glenn Greenwald eviscerated the Democrats for not being more like the 2012 GOP.
“Democrats have spent the last 10 days flailing around blaming everyone except for themselves, constructing a carousel of villains and scapegoats — from Julian Assange, Vladimir Putin, James Comey, the electoral college, “fake news,” and Facebook, to Susan Sarandon, Jill Stein, millennials, Bernie Sanders, Clinton-critical journalists, and, most of all, insubordinate voters themselves — to blame them for failing to fulfill the responsibility that the Democratic Party, and it alone, bears: to elect Democratic candidates.”
“This Accept-No-Responsibility, Blame-Everyone-Else posture stands in stark contrast to how the Republican National Committee reacted in 2012, after it lost the popular vote for the fifth time in six presidential elections. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called Mitt Romney’s loss “a wake-up call,” and he was scathing about his party’s failures: “There’s no one reason we lost. Our message was weak; our ground game was insufficient; we weren’t inclusive; we were behind in both data and digital; our primary and debate process needed improvement. … So, there’s no one solution: There’s a long list of them.”
“The RNC’s willingness to admit its own failures led to a comprehensive 1oo-page report, issued only a few months after its 2012 defeat, that was unflinching in its self-critique. One of the report’s co-chairs, GOP strategist Sally Bradshaw, warned upon issuance of the “autopsy” that “public perception of our party is at record lows. Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the party represents and many minorities think Republicans don’t like them or don’t want them in our country.”
But the irony is that the GOP may have written that autopsy, but they ultimately ignored it and doubled and triple downed on their appeal to angry white guys. No one is criticzing them for that now-as it worked in 2016.
That’s the point-such criticism if entirely Hegelian; Just like Hegel said, after the fact success tends to vindicate every cause and put every decision in a positive light.
But Hillary’s 2016 strategy will also look different depending on where the Dems go in the future and how successful they are.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.