“Nothing to See Here!”: The Crackup of the Democratic Party

Last night’s Democratic victories in Virginia and New Jersey have caused pollsters and pundits to focus all of their attention on the potential looming troubles for the Republican Party.

The ruling class, of course, is only too happy to keep us fixated on the shellacking Republicans took yesterday. But overly focusing on Republican woes masks the myriad problems within the Democratic Party.  

Like Lt. Frank Drebin in “The Naked Gun,” the Democratic-media industrial complex are busy waving their hands and screaming, “Nothing to see here!” A closer took at the current state of the Democratic Party shows that it is in disarray, complete with men walking around on fire and fireworks shooting off at random.

Late last week, an explosive excerpt from former DNC head Donna Brazile’s soon-to-be-released campaign memoir was published that exposes some of the obstacles Democrats face. Brazile details the “mess I had inherited” from her DNC predecessor, now U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). Wasserman Schultz, of course, is currently embroiled in a scandal involving keeping IT staff member Imran Awan on payroll well after he was under investigation by Capitol Police.

Upon taking the reins, Brazile discovered that the DNC “was broke and $2 million in debt” and was burning through “$3.5 million to $4 million a month.”

Barack Obama “had left the party in significant debt” for personal short-term gain (the Democratic Party was decimated on both the state and federal levels during his eight years as its titular head). Hillary Clinton’s campaign compounded these issues by using the DNC as a personal piggy bank. Like the front organization known as the Clinton Foundation, which was nothing more than a money-laundering scheme for the Clintons to accumulate lucre, the DNC was made completely subservient to Hillary’s inevitable coronation.

As Brazile notes, typically when a nominee is chosen, “the candidate’s team starts to exercise more control over the party.” But prompted by Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) claim that the nomination was rigged in Hillary’s favor, she did some digging. She quickly discovered a Joint-Fundraising Agreement that was “signed in August 2015, just four months after Hillary announced her candidacy and nearly a year before she officially had the nomination.”

She continues:

The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings. I had been wondering why it was that I couldn’t write a press release without passing it by Brooklyn. Well, here was the answer.

Bernie was right all along.

Though Brazile comes out looking like the good guy, she is simply trying to save face. As a political commentator for CNN, she shared debate questions that would be asked in an upcoming CNN town hall with candidate Hillary Clinton. Inquiring readers may be interested to find out the position Brazile held prior to her second stint as head of the DNC in mid-2016. Why, she was its vice chair! So the idea that she was completely blindsided by what she discovered when she took over upon Wasserman Schultz’s exit stretches credulity to say the least.

As Brazile’s naked self-interest demonstrates, whether Sanders-style socialism or Black Lives Matters identity politics becomes the dominant strain in the Democratic Party, she wants a seat at the table. But no matter which coalition becomes ascendant, it’s difficult to see how the party will have any type of sustained success in the short-term.

The advantages pollsters thought Democrats would have in 2018 House races —yesterday’s results in Virginia and New Jersey notwithstanding—look to be vanishing. The Democrats’ wonder boy Jon Ossoff, whose campaign for Georgia’s sixth congressional district seat was the most expensive House campaign ever run, lost in what was billed as the first of many coming victories for the Resistance.

Although Democratic lieutenant governor Ralph Northam won big against Ed Gillespie (hardly a Trump enthusiast) in the Virginia governor’s race, Democrats were so concerned that Gillespie could triumph in a state Hillary won comfortably that even patently outrageous campaign ads suggesting Gillespie’s voters were murderous racists mowing down kids with battle-flag bedazzled trucks were tolerated. Perhaps this played well to a clueless Beltway base. But winning an election that was all but a lock for Democrats, and doing it in such a disgraceful manner, is hardly a positive sign for future electoral victories in places that will be more inclined to punch back.

Moreover, the DNC is even in worse shape than when Brazile took over. As has been documented in the few press organs that aren’t the Democrats’ lapdogs, Tom Perez’s tenure as head of the DNC is off to a rocky start.

As reported in the Washington Examiner, a year after losing to Donald Trump, infighting seems to be at an all-time high as the grassroots battle with the upper echelons of the DNC leadership for the soul of the party. Jack Kleeb, chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party, noted a general sense of frustration among the party faithful: “Whether you’re Clinton, Sanders, Martin O’Malley, whomever—you’re angry right now, you’re angry we’re losing elections, you’re angry we’re not raising money, and angry there hasn’t been some clear reforms.”

The Democrats currently have nothing to offer other than the same old agenda of open borders, redistribution of wealth, and globalism—all with a heaping side of identity politics. Rather than trying to appeal to the working class, they are doubling down on their belief of a coming permanent Democratic majority made up of a constellation of minority groups—a thesis put forward by political scientists John Judis and Ruy Teixeira, which Judis since has largely repudiated.

Whatever the spin from the entirely predictable blue state wins on Tuesday, the campaign strategy of saying that “Trump is evil” on endless loop doesn’t seem to be working anywhere that it wasn’t already gospel. Labeling Americans who disagree with you as white nationalists is not a winning approach. And magical thinking masquerading as cutting edge electoral strategy isn’t going to cut it either.

The Republican Party seems to be in the early stages of a metamorphosis in which a successful transformation will hinge on the ability of Trump and congressional Republicans to advance the project of making America great again. In order to fend off more losses in the 2018 election, Republicans must pass legislation that repeals Obamacare, reforms the tax code, and fully funds the construction of the wall on our southern border. They must live up to the promises they made to the American people in 2016.

The Democrats, with their general inability to perceive the lessons of 2016, will continue apace with pedal-to-the metal progressivism. Though this is unlikely to reap widespread short-term electoral success, its long-term viability unfortunately cannot be discounted; especially if Republicans do not put forward any serious effort to counter this program.

Donald Trump showed us that Republicans must fight in order to survive. If they want to keep the Trump train going full speed ahead past 2018, they have much work to accomplish.


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