Civil War on the Left, Part 12

Time to update our Civil War on the Left series, which is set to run longer than Cats. Paul has already dilated Sen. Charles “Chuck” Schumer’s tergiversations from the White House party line about Obamacare, but this is likely just the beginning of the bloodletting on the left as 2016 approaches and it becomes apparent to desperate Democrats that Hillary Clinton is a really terrible presidential candidate. The problem is becoming so obvious that even the mainstream media are taking notice (or perhaps serving as an early warning system).

The Atlantic’s Molly Ball—the same Molly Ball who was shocked to discover that Tom Cotton likes The Federalist—took in the Center for American Progress’s recent election post-mortem conference, producing a weak report on the real problems besetting Democrats. But there are still some unwitting gems to be gleaned from her prose, such as:

[CAP president Neera] Tanden’s takeaway from the election was that too many candidates didn’t address voters’ central concerns.

Maybe because the central concerns of the core of the Democratic Party—mostly cultural and elitist, like opposition to the Keystone pipeline and obsession with the “war on women”—aren’t the voters’ central concerns. How do address the voters’ central concerns when you don’t care much about them?


[Former Ohio governor Tony] Strickland told me Democrats have spent too much time developing small-bore messages for niche audiences without painting a larger picture of their vision.

The modern Democratic Party is all about small-bore messages for niche audiences—especially niche audiences with a grievance and a claim on the treasury.

Why not campaign directly on inequality and call for wholesale redistribution of wealth? Why not go Full Piketty on us? Oh that’s right—the idea is massively unpopular, even with working class voters whose incomes have stagnated under Obamanomics.


Like the Republicans after 2012, Democrats have announced they are planning a self-critical examination of this year’s electoral failure, though it appears to be focused on tactics, not policy. Announcing the review, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said, “We know we’re right on the issues. . .”

Really? Which ones? Right now most of the issue-by-issue polls show American voters expressing more confidence in Republicans to address the problem—even health care. No wonder the “war on women” was the leading issue for endangered Democrats.

Start up the popcorn machine. This is going to be fun to watch.


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