Responding more to some themes I’m seeing in the media and social media as they conduct their instantaneous, uninformed postmortems.
I read a lot of leftist commentary, and of course there’s been a smattering of “Bernie woulda won.” Right, the Socialist Jew would have gone down gangbusters in this cycle. There’s very little doubt that the Wikileaks ratfucking depressed some turnout, but that’s not saying Bernie would have won; that’s saying that beating Bernie hurt Hillary. Bring up Joe Biden, and maybe you’re talking about someone who might have carried it.
Likewise the people who think of Hillary as a “tragically flawed” candidate; give me a fucking break. I have zero doubt that Trump is going to make good on his pledge to try to put Hillary in jail, but that’s because if he doesn’t, no one is going to fucking remember any of Hillary’s so-called “scandals” unless there’s a constant barrage of biased media hatred banging the drum. Also, he’s a motherfucking tyrant, and that’s how tyrants do. History is going to forget about 95% of the bullshit that seemed oh so fucking important on Tuesday, and 2016 voters will look even more astonishingly ignorant than they do today.
Meanwhile, the endless cries of “What should the Democrats dooooooo?” are ridiculous, especially when it’s from non-Democrats offering “advice.” We just lost a razor-thin election folks, and no one would be saying shit if the percentage point had gone the other way in a few key states. Sure, we could analyze our navels endlessly and re-examine the beating heart of the Democratic party; much more accurate to say that the margin was pretty much up to the antics of James Fucking Comey. The GOP is facing serious, endemic, and critical divisions in their coalition of Neanderthals. We have a much more minor conflict between our resurgent progressive wing and our more moderate mainstream; our “divisions” shouldn’t eclipse the fact that everyone agrees on the mainstream position, but some people want to take it further.
Aside from that, there’s one more distinction: we have a common enemy and fuck all to do between now and the next election. My prescription is to take a page out of the British playbook and form a shadow government; make it damn clear each and every time a Republican policy attacks the poor and middle class exactly why their policies are harmful, and make it equally damn clear how a Democratic proposal and a Democratic Congress will do better for them. If we believe our policies our better because they’re reality-based, get that information out there. Every damn day, not just during an election, when 96% of the coverage is horse race.
Beyond that, trust in being right. The Republicans haven’t had to put together a governing coalition for years, and the last time they did, not only did they fuck it up so badly we still haven’t cleaned up the mess, but they did so quickly. Each third of the Republican party wants policies that will fuck the other two-thirds (and of course, the rest of America). We’re about to be served a platter of war, recession, race hatred, misogyny, and attacks on anyone born without a trust fund.
The core thing the Democratic party should be thinking about now: the GOP wing of the media is going to spend the next two years telling their viewers how tasty their shit sandwich is. These people don’t read the same damn newspapers we do. Your job: reach them with your message. Find low-information voters who are getting fucked and teach them why it’s important to be a high-information voter.
We believe our ideas are better and their ideas are shit. Their ideas are about to fail explosively, miserably, and catastrophically. Be ready for that.
While we’re on that topic, we keep hearing about how the Democrats (and the news media) need to learn how to “listen” and “reach out” to those special, special snowflakes in “flyover America.” (I put that in quotes because I’ve never once heard anyone seriously use the term “flyover America” except when someone is saying that other people shouldn’t use the term “flyover America.”) Those people are hurting, poor things, and we must pay extra-special attention to them.
Bullshit. We pay attention to them, and it’s called “every Democratic platform since 1932.” Rural America seems to be dying because rural America has been dying for over a century and a half. We ain’t gonna to fix that in policy; urbanization is a worldwide trend. And we should acknowledge that if the tolerant people live in cities and the intolerant people are rural, it’s because the intolerant people fucking want to stay intolerant, and they’re never going to be our voters. We don’t reach them because we don’t want them. But try to get a message to their kids.
Here’s the deal: right now, most people are focused on how we’re about to lose the gains of the last eight years. The thing is, we’re going to lose the gains of the last eighty if the mainstream Republicans carry through on their threats, and barring wizardly usage of the Senate filibuster, they’re going to. That’s before we get to Trump’s platform or whatever the Freedom Caucus and Pence get into their precious little heads. If you can’t form a platform that defends a century of the progressive agenda, which all Americans grew up understanding as “America,” you don’t deserve to lead a political party.
Finally, let’s be extremely fucking clear about who is now explicitly a Republican. I don’t know how many Republicans are neo-Nazis, white supremacists, misogynists, or currently race-bashing women in hijabs, but I’m pretty fucking sure that it’s large enough to have been well over Trump’s margin of victory. Republicans want to say that “not all Republicans” are like that? Time to put your money where your mouth is and repudiate all of this shit. Because we are going to shame you like shit-stained baboons until you do. These people—and we’ll leave it to the social scientists to eventually tell us their numbers—are extremely fucking happy that your agenda won. When literal neo-Nazis are cheering on your guy, it is fucking time for you to say, “Shit, are these really the people I want to publicly associate with?”
Democrats need to reach out to sane independents and Republicans not because it’s a good strategy, not because it might help win an election, but because it’s the American thing to do. Republicans own those people until they say otherwise.