Friday, June 02, 2017

The Democratic Party And Working Class Voters-- Post NAFTA


How can Democrats not CRUSH someone who voters describe this way?

The American Prospect published an excellent series of essays this week that should have been published by the DNC, DSCC and DCCC, three hopeless organizations refusing to pull their collective virtual heads out of their asses after a decade of letting down the American people while they concentrate of the mostly worthless careers of their own self-absorbed leaders. The one I was immediately drawn to was Democrats Need to Be the Party Of And For Working People-- Of All Races by Robert Griffin, John Halpin and Ruy Teixeira. If you're a regular DWT reader, their arguments should sound pretty familiar already. Short version: "Democrats need to reach out to all types of voters across a large swath of the country," not obsess over whether to prioritize "reach[ing] out more to white working-class voters, or appeal more to independent and conservative-leaning suburban whites." 
In 1980, the white working class (WWC) composed about 70 percent of the eligible voter population. As a result of the changing racial composition of the country and the rising rates of educational attainment, the next 36 years saw this group decline by 25 points-- down to 45 percent of all eligible voters. While the WWC is still the largest race/education group in the country, it ceased to be the majority of eligible voters around 2010.

...Clinton made gains among white, college-educated voters while Trump gained among white, non-college voters. Multiple sources of data and accounts confirm that, compared with Romney, Trump improved his margins within the WWC while losing ground with white, college-educated voters. According to the National Election Pool exit polls, these figures were just about a positive 14-point shift and negative 10-point shift, respectively.

...[R]ather than debating whether Democrats should appeal to white working-class voters or voters of color-- both necessary components of a successful electoral coalition, particularly at the state and local level-- a more important question emerges: Why are Democrats losing support and seeing declining turnout from working-class voters of all races in many places?

This is just a hypothesis, but in an era of widespread political cynicism, economic and cultural anxiety, and distrust of both business and government, the Democrats allowed themselves to become the party of the status quo-- a status quo perceived to be elitist, exclusionary, and disconnected from the entire range of working-class concerns, but particularly from those voters in white working-class areas. Rightly or wrongly, Hillary Clinton’s campaign exemplified a professional-class status quo that failed to rally enough working-class voters of color and failed to blunt the drift of white working-class voters to Republicans.

The Democrats’ strength on social and cultural issues helped them build a national popular-vote majority with high levels of support in deep-blue cities and states. But after eight years of Obama, Democrats were simply unable to make a credible case to working-class voters of all races, in the states and regions that mattered most, that they could deliver on working-class voters’ core economic needs or represent their values and concerns.

Donald Trump played this card perfectly, first taking over his own sclerotic party and then successfully stitching together a targeted Electoral College victory by promising serious change and embodying a completely different approach to politics than either traditional Democrats or Republicans could offer.

Examining the Center for American Progress’s post-election survey, a full 50 percent of Trump voters said the most important influence on their vote in 2016 was that they wanted “to vote for Trump and the chance to shake up the political establishment,” compared with 29 percent who voted mainly for the policy agenda of the Republicans and another 21 percent who said they voted mainly against Clinton. A similar percentage of Trump voters (50 percent) said they strongly agreed with the idea that “Ordinary people’s opinions are more honest and correct than those of experts in politics and the media,” compared with only 29 percent of Clinton voters. Although it’s likely these attitudes did not dominate other racial or economic considerations that drove people to Trump, the overall conditions for populist voting were clear throughout the entire primary and general election cycles.

Democrats can chew over tactical improvements to their campaigns and outreach, but in the absence of a broad party unifier like Obama, they desperately need to reexamine the public face, leadership, agenda, and ideological approach of the party, given this larger populist context. Voters are in no mood for traditional politics carried out by people they feel are out of touch with their everyday needs and values.

The party needs to rediscover its roots as a working-class party, one that was initially exclusionary of people of color but that today can and must represent the interests and values of working people of all races. As the party fights Trump and his brand of divisive right-wing populism, the party needs to bring in more working-class candidates and leaders who can credibly talk with their communities about common economic and social challenges, can forcefully take on the corporate interests that harm these communities, and who can be trusted to fight for the well-being and security of all working men and women.

If not, the Democrats risk ceding the mantle of political change, and possibly losing more elections, to a demagogic billionaire who talks about populist disruption while doing little to help workers and their families, and much to aid his wealthy cohorts.
That drew into the essay by Ed Kilgore in the same issue, The Outlook for 2018 and 2020, a look at "how the white working class figures in to the Democrats’ electoral prospects." Kilgore reminds us all that the results in the 2018 midterms and, obviously, the 2020 general elections "will determine whether the horrendous outcome of the 2016 elections represented a wake-up call for progressives, or a nightmare that has only just begun. If Democrats do not make significant gains in the states in these two elections, Republicans will dominate another decennial round of redistricting that could place not only state legislatures but also the U.S. House out of reach until 2032. The odds of Republicans earning a 'lock' on the House go up even more if Democrats don’t win a significant number of seats in the midterms and the next presidential year."
The 2018 picture for the House is immensely complicated, but it helps to understand that the racial and educational cleavages that were so important to the 2016 presidential election are crucial to the House landscape as well. A comprehensive demographic analysis of House districts by Ron Brownstein and Leah Askarinam provides some useful signposts:
From the presidency through lower-ballot races, Republicans rely on a preponderantly white coalition that is strongest among whites without a college degree and those living outside of major metropolitan areas. Democrats depend on a heavily urbanized (and often post-industrial), upstairs-downstairs coalition of minorities, many of them clustered in lower-income inner-city districts. They also rely on more affluent college-educated whites both in cities and inner suburbs.
Tellingly, Brownstein and Askarinam suggest that the presidential patterns in 2016 are actually converging with what we’ve been seeing in House races and were not some sort of anomaly attributable to the distinctive characteristics of the presidential candidates. Unfortunately, they note that Republicans have a congressional significant advantage:
[W]hites exceed their share of the national population in 259 seats, and Republicans hold fully 196 of those-- which puts them on the brink of a congressional majority even before they begin to compete for the more diverse seats. And there are 244 districts where the white share of college graduates lags the national average, and Republicans hold 176 of those. (Most of them overlap with the districts where the number of minorities is also fewer than average.)
Indeed, the Republican majority in the House now depends very heavily on overwhelming strength in the 176 districts with both low diversity and low levels of college education.
Back in 2009, when the Democratic caucus still featured a large number of rural, culturally conservative “blue dogs”-- like John Tanner of Tennessee, Ike Skelton of Missouri, and John Spratt of South Carolina-- Republicans held a modest 20-seat advantage in these districts. After the 2010 election, the GOP exploded their lead in the low-diversity, low-education districts to 90 seats. The gap widened again to 125 seats in 2014, and edged up to 128 after 2016. The Republican success in hunting the blue dogs nearly to extinction presaged the big margins Trump marshaled from small places, particularly in interior states, to overcome Clinton’s advantages in the largest urban centers.
It’s doubtful that many of these “lo-lo” districts have a sufficiently large Democratic voting base to make a Democratic comeback possible, even if the party’s performance among white working class voters improves significantly.

But Democrats have actually done better than they did in their last landslide victory year of 2008 in districts at the other end of the diversity/education spectrum:
Compared with the 111th Congress from early 2009 to early 2011, when Democrats last controlled the majority, the Democratic Party has actually widened its advantage in the districts high in both diversity and college-educated whites (from 50 seats then to 66 now). Since then, Democrats have lost ground modestly in the high-diversity districts with fewer-than-average white college graduates (from a 28-seat advantage to a 20-seat edge now). The party has also skidded somewhat more sharply in the districts with low diversity and large numbers of college-educated whites (from an advantage of 19 seats then to a deficit of five now).
The most obvious targets for each party in 2018 are House members in districts carried by the other party’s presidential nominee in 2016. These districts also tend to be “stragglers behind enemy lines” in demographic terms, as Brownstein and Askarinam put it.

Twenty-three House Republicans won in districts carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016. Barack Obama only carried about a third of them in 2012. These districts are characterized in an analysis by Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball as having “higher-than-average numbers of college graduates and/or are more diverse than the average district.” Fifteen of them are in the Sunbelt, seven in California alone. There are other districts that Clinton narrowly lost, but made big gains over Obama’s performance. One of them is GA-6, where a special election is being held to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

The districts represented by Democrats that were carried by Donald Trump, as one might expect, typically have less diversity and a less educated white population. Half are in the Midwest; three in Minnesota.

An improved performance among white working class voters would obviously help Democrats minimize their losses in these twelve potentially vulnerable districts, and could also be pivotal in what might be close races in the districts where the big push will be among higher-educated white voters. In the end, a vote is a vote, but while an exchange of “straggler” districts would give Democrats a net boost, it would not be enough to gain control of the chamber.

From a macro point of view, Democrats will struggle to win the House so long as their performance among white working class voters remains as disastrous as it was not only in 2016 (a 35-point loss), but in the midterms of 2010 and 2014 (both were 30-point losses). These voters do not vote at as high a rate as college-educated white voters in either presidential or midterm elections, but they represented 36 percent of the electorate as recently as 2014. Yes, they are declining as a percentage of the population, but not fast enough to make losses on the levels Democrats suffered in 2014 and 2016 sustainable without favorable shifts elsewhere.

...The X-factor in 2018 will be turnout patterns. A Trump presidency in alliance with a GOP Congress could be the one thing that diminishes or even reverses the midterm “falloff” in participation by two groups that have recently become central to the Democratic electorate: young and minority voters. This year’s special and off-year elections could be a leading indicator of what might happen in the midterms.

The incessant intra-Democratic arguments over the catastrophe of 2016 don’t often pay enough attention to the future. But obviously a Democratic presidential win in 2020 is essential to avoid a catastrophic long-term decline of government as a positive force in national life. A GOP victory could produce a very conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court for decades to come; and (assuming Donald Trump or someone much like him is the GOP nominee) a Republican flirtation with serious authoritarianism and the massive disenfranchisement of Democratic voters. The very gradual demographic drift towards higher levels of Democratic-leaning demographic groups will inevitably continue, but just as in 2016, such trends cannot be relied on to produce victory.

The most plausible way to feel optimistic about the 2020 presidential race is to look at the positive popular vote totals from 2016, and the roughly 80,000-vote margin in three states that gave Trump his electoral college majority, and then to focus on simple ways to use party and candidate resources better to reverse this outcome. Certainly Democrats in 2020 are not likely to suffer from over-confidence, or from voters’ misapprehension that Trump is free from corruption or corporate influence.

But down-ballot races in 2020 could be just as important as the top of the ticket. It will be a precious opportunity to create a governing “trifecta” by winning the White House and both houses of Congress in one fell swoop. If as expected Democrats make gains in the House in 2018, another push in 2020 could get them over the top, particularly since presidential turnout patterns are normally more beneficent than midterms to Democrats. After the dreadful Senate landscape of 2018, Democratic will get a break in 2020, when two-thirds of the seats up are currently held by Republicans (though only two of them are in states carried by Hillary Clinton last November).

Perhaps most importantly, 2020 will be the final chance for state-level gains before the next decennial reapportionment and redistricting process kicks in. As with the House, the hope is that marginal gains in 2018 will be a springboard for improvements that bring Democrats near parity, especially in the states (e.g., Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas) where GOP gerrymandering has been so egregious in the recent past.

In terms of the white working class vote, improvements over the 2016 performance are to be expected, if only because four years of broken Trump promises to his supporters in this demographic group, along with favoritism towards the very elites he claims to despise, should have an impact if Democrats are minimally competent in publicizing these developments to working Americans.

If everything goes well for the Donkey Party in 2020, perhaps progressives will return once again to speculating about the sufficiency of youth and minority votes for the future. But even in that happy contingency, white working class voters will have a moral hold on Democrats that is just as important as their political value. It is to be profoundly hoped that Democrats never again need to be reminded of that fundamental fact as they were in 2016.
The most important of the essays I read was by Celinda Lake, Daniel Gotoff and Olivia Myszkowski, Absent a More Progressive Economics, the Democrats Will Lose. "The staggering results of last November’s election," they began, "should be a reminder to Democrats that the racially diverse, young, educated, unmarried (women), and urban voters who comprised a significant portion of the Obama coalition do not constitute an inexorable path to Electoral College victory for Democrats. In 2008 and 2012, Barack Obama consolidated the Rising American Electorate (RAE), but also captured critical majorities in places like Sawyer County, Wisconsin; Luzerne County, Pennsylvania; and Macomb County, Michigan-- all home to significant numbers of white working class voters. These were just three of the 219 counties that flipped from Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016."

White working class voters have felt abandoned by the policies of politicians from both parties pushing a corporate globalization agenda that has devastated their economic well-being. Traditionally, Republicans have always been willing to trade American jobs for corporate profits made on the backs of cheap overseas labor," by gradually-- especially with the election of Bill Clinton and the rise of Rahm Emanuel and the New Dems-- Democrats were doing the same thing. Suddenly "their" party was more interested in rewarding wealthy campaign benefactors and the industries and interests they represent, than in helping ordinary Americans. That's betrayal-- and last year they took it out of the obvious target, Mrs. Bill Clinton.
To meaningfully re-engage the white working class with the Democratic Party’s agenda, a compelling narrative about how our platform provides genuine solutions to the growth of an American plutocracy is of critical importance.

Indeed, a CNN/ORC poll conducted in February of 2016 showed that the vast majority of Americans believe that the U.S. economic system generally favors the wealthy (71 percent) instead of being fair to most people (27 percent). The idea that income and wealth should be more evenly distributed among Americans has won the support of 60 percent or greater since 2012, but Americans are skeptical that government officials will act to protect their best interests. According to a 2015 Gallup report, 75 percent of Americans perceive corruption as widespread in the country’s government.

Not only have Democrats presided in Washington for significant stretches while these trends have developed; they have, in visible ways, exacerbated those trends, through, for instance, global trade deals enacted in the 1990s and the repeal of Glass-Steagall. This is certainly not to blame the Democratic Party for all the ills that have been inflicted on the country over the past 40 years, far from it. But too many times, our party has been guilty not just of sins of omission-- failing to stand up to the Republicans on critical issues, or even providing the GOP cover in some cases (as when some congressional Democrats supported the Bush tax cuts and the war in Iraq)-- but of commission, too. The Obama administration’s embrace of the financial industry early in his first term, combined with its decision not to prosecute any of the individuals and institutions responsible for the economic collapse of 2008, led to a new low point in the Democratic Party’s credibility as a check on Wall Street. In the 2010 midterm elections, voters who blamed Wall Street for the country’s economic problems preferred Republican candidates by a margin of 16 points, despite the Democratic Party’s efforts to deliver a message against Wall Street special interests.

Given this reality, it is not particularly surprising that the party has yet to articulate a clearer, more credible, and more commanding vision for the economic revitalization of the country, the middle class, and, more specifically, the hollowed-out communities in which many white working class voters struggle. The white working class’s sense of its economic isolation is compounded by a gap in cultural sensibilities: White working class voters, particularly baby boomers and older, tend to be less liberal on social issues than their more educated (and more urban) counterparts, whose support has been nurtured by the Democratic Party for the past several election cycles.

In a political environment where Republicans have shifted the terms of debate to stoke racist biases (nearly half of Trump’s supporters describe African Americans as more “violent” than whites) and sexist inclinations (67 percent of Trump supporters deny the role of sexism in America), the need for a forceful, serious, policy, and values-driven Democratic platform has never been greater. To be sure, Democrats have increased their support among college-educated whites: Hillary Clinton trailed Trump by only 4 points among these voters in 2016, whereas Obama lost this group by 14 points to Mitt Romney in 2012. But that gain was overwhelmed by Clinton’s abysmal performance within the white working class.

Far from being a call for Democrats to moderate their stance on such issues as a woman’s right to choose, gun safety reforms, and equal protection of civil rights for all Americans, our point is that when Democrats fail to offer a compelling economic vision and agenda, the opposition not only benefits from that failure, but is allowed the opportunity to shift the debate to areas where it enjoys greater advantages over Democrats.

Recent face-to-face conversations with working class voters in Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania conducted by Working America in the weeks following the election underscore the intense economic anxiety that pervades their communities and their lives. Working-class Trump and Clinton voters alike reported that they wanted the president-elect to address jobs and the economy first, with Trump voters expressing more urgency (37 percent said that the economy and jobs are the most important issue, compared to 21 percent of Clinton voters).

For some white working class Trump voters, their perception of the candidate’s focus on bringing jobs back to their communities took priority over their serious misgivings about him. As one white working class Trump voter from the Pittsburgh area told Working America: “Trump’s an asshole. But sometimes you need an asshole to make things better and shake things up.” Both Obama in 2008 and Trump in 2016 tapped into an intense desire for change and spoke to pervasive economic anxieties; this thematic commonality helps to explain the crossover appeal of two otherwise completely different politicians for some white working class voters.

For the last several election cycles, we have urged Democrats to develop a vision for the American economy that addresses the deep-rooted concerns of the working class and provides solutions to the scope of the challenges we face. Trump’s ascent to power on the strength of a white working class supermajority, though he was the most disliked presidential candidate in history, reminds us that this economic message and policy agenda is more important now than ever.

Given the Democratic Party’s historic deficits with this demographic group, it is unlikely-- and unrealistic-- that Democrats will be able to make up all the ground that has been lost with white working class voters by 2018 or even 2020. As such, the Democratic Party’s efforts should be structured specifically to engage the white working class voters that Obama won in 2008 and 2012 that Clinton then lost in 2016-- the voters living in swing counties like Sawyer, Luzerne, and Macomb. Such efforts must not come at the expense of (re)engaging the sometime voters among minorities and the young—significant swaths of the country who do not regularly turn out to vote, whose patterns of voting are irregular, or who no longer feel a sense of loyalty to the Democrats; we look forward to that discussion as well.

According to estimates by the New York Times and the New Republic, the election was lost for Clinton by between 77,000 and 110,000 votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Making up this difference will be key if the Democrats are to build back from what is a historic nadir of political power at all levels of government.

The Democratic Party will require a robust economic vision that appeals to the appetite for populist reform; a forceful push-back against Trump policies that hurt working Americans; and a commitment to campaign-finance reform and removing the influence of big money in elections, which voters believe is the first step to implementing economic-- and other types of needed-- change.

Economic proposals will not be enough. The Democratic Party’s historic strength, dating back to the New Deal, has been to offer a vision of government that actively works to protect working people and makes their lives better. A central appeal of the current economic populist agenda focuses on the importance of limiting the power of big money in politics. Especially in the aftermath of the Citizens United ruling, Americans of both parties wish to restrict the political influence of the hyper wealthy. A February 2016 poll conducted by Rasmussen Research found that 76 percent of Americans believe that the wealthiest individuals and companies have too much power and influence over elections-- a majority that holds across gender, age, race, and party lines.

Our own research in 2011 found that, above all other regulations, voters are interested in government oversight of the relationship between special interests and politicians (77 percent). A populist economic message is especially powerful when it hinges on a greater push for reform; by utilizing this frame, the Democratic Party should be able to draw contrasts that blunt the appeal of populism on the right.

Now that Trump is president, with policies favoring the plutocrats, the Democrats should be able to turn his populist message against him. Part of that pushback should be grounded in clear, broadly disseminated articulations of how his administration’s actions are hurting all working-class Americans. It will be especially important for the party to gain an edge from his administration’s inability to deliver on promises for a better economy with good-paying jobs.

Additionally, the Democrats face the real challenge of embodying the values of working Americans through their candidates, their professed values, the scope of their policy agenda, and their commitment to action. A crucial step in this process must be purposefully cultivating and supporting candidates who resonate with working class Americans, even if they lack the financial heft that has characterized the prototypical Democratic candidate in recent years.

In our post-election work, we’ve found that even Clinton voters have struggled to identify the Democratic Party’s vision for the country’s future. Formulating such a vision shouldn’t be all that difficult. A national survey conducted in 2015 for the Progressive Change Institute explored the public’s appetite for a number of far-reaching economic reforms and bold policy ideas, and found strong enthusiasm from the majority of voters. A proposal to institute fair trade that protects workers, the environment, and jobs enjoyed the support of 75 percent of voters. Similarly, more than seven-in-ten voters (71 percent) supported a Medicare buy-in for all Americans; a Full Employment Act (70 percent support); a Green New Deal and major infrastructure jobs programs (70 percent support each); taxing the rich at the same higher rate that President Reagan did (59 percent support); and breaking up the big banks (59 percent support). Our own research has shown that support for strengthening-- and expanding-- Social Security and Medicare will also be particularly important, especially giving the relatively advanced age of the 2018 midterm electorate.

The support for such economic reforms (the aforementioned are but a handful of examples) is buttressed by similarly widespread public backing for policies aimed at giving ordinary Americans a voice in their government again: a proposal to end gerrymandering receives support from 73 percent of voters; public matching for small dollar donations receives support from 57 percent of voters, and full disclosure of corporate spending on politics and lobbying receives support from 71 percent of voters. A laundry list of popular policy prescriptions do not a winning economic message make, yet these results suggest that the time has come to structure the Democratic Party’s agenda around robust reforms-- on dimensions of significant economic and political change.

Building political support is party the work of effective messaging. Our polling has shown that when we describe economic conditions through the lens of lived experience-- “can’t make ends meet” or “can’t pull ahead no matter how hard they try”-- instead of through abstractions, voters listen and often move to our side. Being explicit about causes of economic harm by referring to CEOs and other leaders provides clarity and generates support for our message, as well.

Goal Thermometer In many ways, the path forward for rebuilding the Democratic Party’s relationship with the white working class was articulated best by Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign. Sanders’s message centered on unabashed economic populism and a commitment to remove the influence of corporate money from our politics—and hence, our government. This message has also been championed by Elizabeth Warren, Elijah Cummings, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus as well. Indeed, the latest GWU Battleground Poll suggests that Senator Sanders remains well positioned to serve as a source of strength and leadership. A solid majority (56 percent) of voters hold a positive opinion of him-- a higher favorability rating than those of the other national leaders tested in the poll. Sanders and Hillary Clinton are virtually tied in terms of favorability among Democratic women, and African American and Latino voters are warmer to Sanders than they are to Clinton. While non-college educated white voters are split in their view of Sanders (40 percent favorable, 39 percent unfavorable), he far outperforms the Democrats’ 2016 presidential nominee as well as the image of the party as a whole among those voters. Again, we must remind ourselves that the (near-term) objective is not to win over majorities of these voters; it is to improve-- and measurably so-- on their declining support for Democrats in recent elections.

Sanders’s primary election successes in the states and counties that flipped from Obama victories in 2012 to Trump victories in 2016 further underscore the appeal of his progressive message, especially as we look toward targeting these swing votes in upcoming elections. In Wisconsin, for example, 21 counties that Barack Obama won in 2012 voted for Donald Trump in 2016. Every single one of those 21 counties were won by Bernie Sanders in the April 2016 Wisconsin Democratic Primary, which Sanders won handily.

In the Michigan Primary, which Sanders won narrowly, nine of the 12 counties that flipped from Obama to Trump were won by Sanders as well. Obviously, there are numerous problems in comparing white working class Democratic primary voters to white working class general election voters. Yet, this is far from the only evidence pointing to Sanders’ appeal among white working class independents, many of whom he successfully encouraged to join the ranks of the Democratic Party by participating in the 2016 primaries. In a head-to-head matchup between Sanders and Trump in our own April 2016 Battleground survey, Sanders bested Trump 51 percent to 40 percent. Among white non-college graduates, Trump beat Sanders 49 percent to 41 percent, but that margin is far smaller than the 39-point margin that Trump racked up over Clinton in November.

While Sanders’s personal popularity and influence is an important takeaway from these data, the more salient point is that the Democratic Party stands to gain politically when it returns its focus to issues of class, including the substantial and ongoing challenges of income inequality and the negative influence of corporate special interests on the lives of working-class Americans of all kinds.

Effectively engaging the white working class is an essential task for the Democratic Party, but we must also acknowledge that this work will go to waste if we ignore our base. The approaches outlined here can serve to energize the base as well as engage the white working class. By moving forward with an agenda that explicitly continues our commitment to racial and gender justice and opportunities for all, including immigrants, we will work to ensure that our base ratifies our message in future elections.

The path forward will not be easy, but neither is it as mystifying as some may imagine. A sweeping platform of economic and political change resonates powerfully with white working class voters and the young, diverse, educated, and urban voters whom Democrats must nurture and energize if it hopes to be successful in the 2018 midterms. Embracing this change will require not just political smarts, however, but political will. Democratic activists will need either to convince the party’s establishment of the necessity of this approach-- or failing that, actively work to replace it. For the Democratic Party, the stakes have never been higher and the challenges have never been clearer.

Iron worker Randy Bryce, the likely challenger to Paul Ryan in 2018, told us today that there's "no doubt about it-- working people are not getting adequate representation." He continued:
The major reason why we aren’t getting it is because WE aren’t making the decisions! Which one of your neighbors would vote to remove pre-existing medical conditions in order to be able to allow billionaires the ability to keep more of their taxes? If I’d ask any of my neighbors, they’d laugh at me.

What we have going on right now is an auction of the United States government. Actually, that which has not already been bought off is up for auction.

Ugly fact: Elections are almost always won by the candidate who raises the most money, not, by the person with the best ideas, or, who will make their decisions on what is best for working people.

Not only is it bad enough that decisions are being made that are speeding along the destruction of the American Working Class, but, those who are making the horrible decisions are hiding from those who voted them into office.

It’s been over 600 days since Paul Ryan has held a town hall! We the people of the 1st CD had to ask a neighboring Congressman (Rep. Mark Pocan) to attend an event in order to find out exactly how badly this new Ryancare health spectacle is going to hit us. (It’s worse than you think.)

Bottom line is that they don’t care. As long as those in office keep kissing corporate rings, they’ll get their blood money to keep a job.

The time is now to demand that working people are heard. Tomorrow may very well (literally) be too late.

Please. Be heard.

Together our voices can not be ignored.

Together, they will find that they have no place to hide.

This country is overdue to have “them” be comprised of “us.”

Who better to represent you than one of you?

Join me.

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At 6:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

should be post DLC. The party started betraying the working class, labor, nonwhites, the old, the young, the poor and women when they decided to take money from the corporations and billionaires in exchange for policy considerations.

It's been nearly 4 decades now. Why are we still begging the party to just talk nice to us? Why haven't we been demanding action and punishing betrayal? Why don't we have any actual altruists any more? Why is citizens-united still in force? Why is torture de-facto legal now? Why did we blithely start a war in a nation that didn't do anything to us and was not going to? Why are TBTFs TBTFer now? Why have we signed so many FTAs after the first one did so much damage to all sides? Why is Jamie dimon not in prison? For that matter, why is trump not in prison (for fraud, among other things)? Whatever happened to Sherman? Why is Glass-Steagall no longer on the books after it did so much good for so long?

Because democrats betrayed their charter as the party of the little guys.

Why do we tolerate this shit?

At 6:42 AM, Blogger Procopius said...

tl:dr. Do you get paid by the word? And as long as this was (I had to start skimming after about twenty minutes) I may have missed it, but I didn't see you mention once that Black voters in particular, and minority voters in general didn't turn out the way Hillary and the DLC (same as DNC, no?) thought they would. You think maybe it's possible they felt they were betrayed, too? I (reluctantly) voted for Hillary, and now I find myself regularly defending Trump. Not that any of his policies are defensible, but the unsupported accusations and stories that have to be pulled after a day and fscking anonymous "sources" infuriate me as much as twenty-five years of the same kind of treatment being dealt out to the Clintons. Dammit, if you want to accuse a sitting President of crimes and treachery, you better have some damned good evidence to back that up.


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