“My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”
– Barack Obama to bank CEOs in 2009 (he sure protected them)
I’m only half kidding with the title here. No, I don’t think establishment Democrats are actually trying to lose, but I agree with the sentiment that they’d rather continue to lose to Donald Trump with someone like Hillary Clinton, than win with someone like Bernie Sanders.
The fight within the Democratic Party is very real and ultimately comes down to two groups with completely different understandings of reality. The big donor, Wall Street side of the party still wants to claim everything’s normal and fine with the exception of Donald Trump. As soon as he can be removed we can all go back to American exceptionalism; or so they claim. Easy peasy. In contrast, the other side acknowledges things are very, very rotten and huge change is imperative. To summarize, one side wants to go right back to the Presidency of Barack Obama (with some added militarism), while the other is saying the status quo needs to go.
Forget for a moment what you think of leftist populist ideas, they’re at least willing to admit our country is systemically broken and corrupt, while the other blames everything on Trump and Russia. This isn’t a minor difference within a happy marriage, it’s the sort of conflict that ends in divorce. We remain in a justifiably populist moment in American history, and corporate Democrats want to fight right-populism with Hillary Clintonism. That’s never going to work.
One of the main reasons Trump won is he simply came out and publicly admitted that things are fundamentally broken and big change is in order. You can point out it’s all talk and that Trump’s a fake populist, but if the other side refuses to even acknowledge reality, who do you think’s going to win? We saw in 2016, and we’ll see it again in 2020 if Democrats keep up this nonsense.
Just in case you have any doubt.
NBC/WSJ poll— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) July 23, 2018
35% of Americans have a positive view of the Republican Party.
And of the Democratic Party? 34%.
Democrats. It’d be funny if it weren’t so sad.
Shifting gears a little, the inspiration for this post came after reading a recent article published by NBC News describing a conference held over the weekend for establishment/corporate Democrat co-hosted by billionaire real estate developer Winston Fisher. Something akin to Burning Man for the Democratic donor class.
Here are a few of the more cringe-worthy excerpts from the piece, Sanders’ Wing of the Party Terrifies Moderate Dems. Here’s How They Plan to Stop It:
COLUMBUS, Ohio — If Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading a leftist political revolt, then a summit here of moderate Democrats might be the start of a counterrevolution…
That anxiety has largely been kept to a whisper among the party’s moderates and big donors, with some of the major fundraisers pressing operatives on what can be done to stop Sanders, I-Vt., if he runs for the White House again.
But the first-ever “Opportunity 2020” convention, organized here last week by Third Way, a moderate Democratic think tank, gave middle-of-the-road party members a safe space to come together and voice their concerns.
The gathering here was just that — an effort to offer an attractive alternative to the rising Sanders-style populist left in the upcoming presidential race. Where progressives see a rare opportunity to capitalize on an energized Democratic base, moderates see a better chance to win over Republicans turned off by Trump.
Establishment Democrats continue to go unicorn hunting.
For the left, Third Way represents the Wall Street-wing of the party and everything wrong with the donor-driven wet blanketism they’ve been trying exorcise since 2016. Thom Hartmann, a liberal talk radio host and Sanders friend, once called the group’s warning about Sanders “probably the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard,” before ticking through all the investment bankers on Third Way’s board…
And they worry the angry left will cost Democrats a rare chance to win over those kind of voters, including Republicans who no longer want to be part of Trump’s GOP.
These fools are sticking to the absurd strategy of appealing to mythical Republicans who don’t like Trump, but would vote for someone like Hillary Clinton. Newsflash, these people don’t actually exist in numbers in the real world.
Finally, not only do these “third way” types have a lot of money, they’re willing to fight dirty. We already saw this in the rigged 2016 DNC primary against Sanders, but they’re now preparing to turn Russiagate on those who won’t fall in line.
As I noted last week:
What many people are missing is the fact that the corporate establishment Dems are using Russia to keep the more progressive elements of their own party in line and quiet.— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) July 19, 2018
Radio host Doug Henwood also recently picked up on this sleazy behavior:
We’re seeing Dem pundits even accusing Bernie Sanders and other insurgents within their party of being Russian agents, witting or unwitting. Their indictments of Trump for treason make them sound like demented right-wingers at the height of the Cold War.
This obsession does relieve mainstream Democrats of concocting an attractive agenda that might win an election or two, but to do that they’d have to tack left, and Goldman Sachs wouldn’t like that.
This Russia obsession’s a win win for the establishment though – subdue Trump and the domestic left insurgency all at once.
Meanwhile, these people will distract with almost anything to avoid addressing the sober reality facing young people in this country.
Expect more of this sleazy behavior from establishment Democrats. Billionaires aren’t used to losing.
* * *