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Sun Jan 8, 2017, 06:40 PM

 

What went wrong with the Democratic Party? Three big failures that led to the current debacle

To an extent that is rarely true of an opposition party, Democrats can claim a mandate of resistance. Donald Trump lost the popular vote by a large margin, he’s incredibly unpopular and the Republicans have broken norms around using any tools available to gum up the opposition party’s agenda. In a welcome development, Democrats have largely avoided their classic debate about whether they should throw women or people of color under the bus in order to remain electorally competitive (though some pieces in this genre have slipped through).

But while “resistance” is a welcome posture for Democrats, it’s one that very few have clearly defined. Most autopsies have focused on Hillary Clinton’s campaign failures and messaging, but these are ancillary to the more structural failures of the Democratic Party over the last few years and offer only limited help to understand what’s coming next. Next week, I’ll discuss some principles for Democrats going into the future. But before Democrats can go forward, it’s worth understanding what’s been going wrong.

Mistake 1: Focusing on Perception, Not Power

Throughout Barack Obama’s time in office, Democrats have proved incapable of fighting back against Republican subterfuge because of their commitment to “respectability politics.” For example, James O’Keefe released a selectively edited video which he claimed showed that ACORN (a nonprofit organization that organized, mobilized and advocated for low-income communities) had advised him on how to buy a house and use it as a brothel. Rather than rallying in defense of ACORN, “an overwhelming majority of Democrats” voted with Republicans to cut off funding for an organization that had been “instrumental” in campaigns for living-wage ordinances, increasing the minimum wage and ending predatory lending.


[link:http://www.salon.com/2017/01/08/what-went-wrong-with-the-democratic-party-three-big-failures-that-led-to-the-current-debacle/|

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Reply What went wrong with the Democratic Party? Three big failures that led to the current debacle (Original post)
lancelyons Jan 2017 OP
Trust Buster Jan 2017 #1
George Eliot Jan 2017 #2
Trust Buster Jan 2017 #3
SMC22307 Jan 2017 #5
uponit7771 Jan 2017 #8
Warren DeMontague Jan 2017 #9
uponit7771 Jan 2017 #10
Warren DeMontague Jan 2017 #11
uponit7771 Jan 2017 #12
Warren DeMontague Jan 2017 #13
snowy owl Jan 2017 #23
LenaBaby61 Jan 2017 #36
Warren DeMontague Jan 2017 #38
TheFrenchRazor Jan 2017 #45
uponit7771 Jan 2017 #41
Warren DeMontague Jan 2017 #42
uponit7771 Jan 2017 #43
LenaBaby61 Jan 2017 #34
uponit7771 Jan 2017 #44
TheFrenchRazor Jan 2017 #46
Garrett78 Jan 2017 #17
Warren DeMontague Jan 2017 #22
snowy owl Jan 2017 #24
SMC22307 Jan 2017 #15
snowy owl Jan 2017 #26
SMC22307 Jan 2017 #48
riderinthestorm Jan 2017 #47
SMC22307 Jan 2017 #49
uponit7771 Jan 2017 #7
JHan Jan 2017 #33
lastone Jan 2017 #35
Warren DeMontague Jan 2017 #4
bravenak Jan 2017 #27
NWCorona Jan 2017 #31
Warren DeMontague Jan 2017 #37
bravenak Jan 2017 #39
uponit7771 Jan 2017 #6
Garrett78 Jan 2017 #25
LenaBaby61 Jan 2017 #40
Garrett78 Jan 2017 #14
snowy owl Jan 2017 #28
Me. Jan 2017 #16
Garrett78 Jan 2017 #18
Me. Jan 2017 #20
Garrett78 Jan 2017 #32
snowy owl Jan 2017 #29
Me. Jan 2017 #30
SMC22307 Jan 2017 #19
Rex Jan 2017 #21

Response to lancelyons (Original post)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 07:07 PM

1. There is only one thing that went wrong in the 2016 presidential election and had little to do with

 

the Democratic Party. The greatest threat of our time spent 18 months on the campaign trail attacking practically every demographic in this country while lying all the way. Yet, 46% of eligible American voters couldn't be bothered to perform their civic duty. In my opinion, the main problem does not exist within the Democratic Party. The problem is that so many of our fellow citizens care so little that they couldn't be bothered to vote even as a mad man threatened their country. We have an American people problem folks. The denial can no longer be sustained.

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Response to Trust Buster (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 07:15 PM

2. The op tells precisely why so few people voted. They gave up on the democrats.

In my view, that's what this post is trying to lay out.
Lectures on one's civic with won't bring them bsck.

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Response to George Eliot (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 07:20 PM

3. Sorry, I'm not buying it. You didn't have to be a fan of the Democratic Party to know that Trump

 

represented an existential threat unlike anything we've witnessed in our time. The 46% of eligible voters that could not bring themselves to confront this threat let our country down. This election was a referendum on the state of the American people IMO. We received our answer.

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Response to Trust Buster (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 07:40 PM

5. This is about more than just Trump. It's about Republicans controlling...

statehouses and executive mansions at record levels. This just didn't happen in November 2016, it's been building for decades. It's about North Carolina going completely red in 2012 -- first time in over a century. Same with Kentucky now. Pay attention, people, there are more than presidential elections...

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Response to SMC22307 (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 07:42 PM

8. That can happen via gerrymandering and voter suppression

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 07:51 PM

9. fine, but stomping our feet and screaming "not fair" isn't gonna fix it. Even if it's not fair.

I don't understand the petulant insistence that there is NO ROOM for improvement in our party, its approach, its leadership. Obviously we can do better.

Look at Florida. Florida passed a medical marijuana amendment with over 70% of the vote, an initiative that Debbie Wasserman Schultz (the public face of the DNC) spent the past several years railing against, working with Sheldon Adelson to stop, etc.

You think that hurt us in Florida? I do.

We can't fix gerrymandering if we don't control those statehouses to begin with.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 07:53 PM

10. You're right, I advocate doing something strange.. very strange like ... calling the capital police

... on Mitch McConnel daily ...

that's above and beyond not approving shit.. I mean don't even approve toilet paper... shut everything down

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 07:55 PM

11. I guess.

Still, we need to win back some of those statehouses.

My humble suggestion to anyone that will listen, is we look to states where Democrats keep winning, and ask "what are they doing differently"?

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 07:58 PM

12. OK, how are we going to win back anything if Russia can hack every election?!? Are they going to ...

... hack less cause MiniPootin is in office?!

We're fucked, might as well start burning shit up to bring attention to this

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:02 PM

13. They didnt hack the election, they hacked the DNC's email.

There isnt any evidence, I've seen, that they hacked the physical vote count.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:42 PM

23. If DU people are poorly informed, we are lost. Thanks for good arguments.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 09:48 PM

36. There isnt any evidence, I've seen, that they hacked the physical vote count.

I don't see any evidence stating that the ruskies didn't use some type of cyber-technology to tamper with voting machines in just enough places to make sure Hillary lost MI, PA. FL., WI. even though all over this country Dems were being cross-checked, voter purged and voter suppressed and voter disenfranchised to death.

IMHO, tRumputin and ruskies had EVERY base covered.

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Response to LenaBaby61 (Reply #36)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 09:50 PM

38. it's tough to prove a negative.

But I do think we had problems in the Rust belt that weren't coming from the Kremlin. Our Party people on the ground were sounding alarms for months.

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Response to LenaBaby61 (Reply #36)

Tue Jan 10, 2017, 09:34 PM

45. when was there ever any meaningful search for this evidence? nt

 

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 10:45 PM

41. Please read the report, they hacked the state and local election board in serveral states and that

... is interference enough for a re-vote

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #41)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 10:47 PM

42. ..which report?

I'm not disputing you, but a link would be good.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #42)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 10:47 PM

43. really? the intel report

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 09:36 PM

34. OK, how are we going to win back anything if Russia can hack every election?!?

THANK YOU

We can get out and march/protest (Get arrested and called terrorists and fined per a tRumputin DOJ ), vote en MASS, phone bank (Which is what I did until blue in the face and until I couldn't put off oral surgery any longer just before November 8th), donate (Did that too when I could), register people to vote, and even "dance" so to speak until the walls come tumbling down in the streets...

BUT....

What do we DO if the ruskies can once again cyber-hack not only red states but next time BLUE states also" What do we do WHEN the GOP can voter suppress/voter depress, voter cross-check, voter purge on STEROIDS in 2018/2020 and is also ENCOURAGED and HELPED BY A tRumputin DOJ?



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Response to LenaBaby61 (Reply #34)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 10:53 PM

44. +1

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Response to LenaBaby61 (Reply #34)

Tue Jan 10, 2017, 09:35 PM

46. we need all paper ballots, all hand-counted, all the time. it's not that hard. nt

 

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:20 PM

17. While I think the article from the OP makes many good points...

I'm not sure there are lessons, per se, to be learned from CA, OR and WA. Those of us on the West Coast have Democratically controlled state legislatures and Democratic governors, but that's largely because progressive-minded people choose to live here. I'm a Midwest transplant myself.

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Response to Garrett78 (Reply #17)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:37 PM

22. maybe, yes. But it's undeniable that the electorate in general is trending in certain directions.

One area in particular is marijuana legalization- across the board, in state after state, it is increasingly popular. But our beltway leadership is stuck in this fucking loop from 2004, where they think they need to appeal to "values voters" and "soccer moms". It causes them to reflexively ignore questions of personal, individual freedom or treat them like a joke. And because of that, we end up ceding voters to the Libertarian Party, which strikes me as the height of fucking stupidity.

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Response to Garrett78 (Reply #17)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:45 PM

24. WA isn't so safe. Our state house has several blue dog Dems-we pay the price by getting little done.

Big money behind Republicans here and red Eastern WA.

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:11 PM

15. Not at this magnitude.

Democrats now fully control a pitiful SIX states. When are people on this board going to admit there's a problem?

Obama carried NC in 2008. NC hated Obamacare and voted in Republicans in 2010. I blame Obama and the entire Democratic Party for not *selling* it. A Republican governor then won in 2012, while Obama lost. NC went fully red for the first time in over 100 YEARS. In 2016, North Carolinians booted McCrory (R) for Cooper (D) over HB2 job (and basketball tournament) losses. Meanwhile, Trump won -- BIG -- over Hillary. Republicans eliminated straight-party voting, and it bit them in the ass as far as the governorship... at least there's that. Where was the Democratic Party?


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Response to SMC22307 (Reply #15)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:46 PM

26. Agreed. Big changes are necessary and it isn't personalities. Policies have to change.

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Response to snowy owl (Reply #26)

Wed Jan 11, 2017, 12:55 AM

48. Messaging needs to improve and we need to put up a better fight.

Did the Democratic Party smack down Sarah Palin as she went on her granny-killing-Obamacare tirade? No. Ticks me off to this day.

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Response to SMC22307 (Reply #15)

Tue Jan 10, 2017, 10:21 PM

47. Yup. Agreed. nt

 

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #47)

Wed Jan 11, 2017, 12:58 AM

49. Thanks. I'm glad someone else on this board...

sees that there's a problem. So much time maligning one Bernard Sanders, when the Democratic Party is crashing and burning all around. Full control of a measly six states... it should never have gotten to this point.

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Response to Trust Buster (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 07:41 PM

7. +1

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Response to Trust Buster (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 09:31 PM

33. +1000000

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Response to Trust Buster (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 09:45 PM

35. You should read the whole piece

 

Before you respond...

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Response to lancelyons (Original post)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 07:29 PM

4. 4: Taking the West Coast for granted & ignoring cannabis/treating the issue like a big joke

where have we performed well as a party, even in off years? THE WEST FUCKING COAST.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:48 PM

27. We fucked up on this issue

 

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Response to bravenak (Reply #27)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:58 PM

31. Yup! A poster here mentioned Florida and medical Marijuana

And the effect of DWS's stance against it. It's something I didn't think about before.

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Response to bravenak (Reply #27)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 09:49 PM

37. I think part of the problem is, these beltway conventional wisdom consultants are largely

products of a bygone era, like the 80s and 90s when we got hammered on this "values" crap. Look how long it has taken us to finally push back on the fucking drug war. For years we had pols who tried to out-do the GOP in terms of racking up higher and higher mandatory minimum sentences for dangerous 'crimes' like smoking a joint.

Another good example is marriage equality. Round about 2004, we had members of our party falling all over each other to "protect traditional marriage". Even if that was where the votes were, then- and I still say the power of the "values voter" was overestimated even then- the problem with not displaying leadership even when it is politically inconvenient is, it looks worse when you finally come around to do the right thing.

It's another reason I like Newsom, even though I originally thought he was an overly-slick Marina yuppie; because he actually led on these issues when the "smart political money" said "you can't go there".

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #37)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 09:55 PM

39. We are always late to the damn party

 

We get scared that cons might say mean shit about us so we wilt like tired roses. Half the states will legalize before the party backs it.

I thought the same about Newsom, he seemed like a techy elitist. But he's cool.

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Response to lancelyons (Original post)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 07:40 PM

6. 4: Minimize effect of comey, russia and voter suppression in analysis and blame the victim

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:46 PM

25. The points raised in the article have to do with the Republican Party's ability...

...to engage in voter suppression and racial gerrymandering. If Democrats were winning more House and Senate seats (at the state level and the federal level) and stopped playing nice with the devil, those things would be more difficult to pull off.

The article also points out that Comey is in the position he's in because of the willingness of Dems like Obama to play nice with those who have no intention of returning the favor. The same goes for not making a bigger stink of the Russian hack back when we first learned about it, which was well before the election took place. Had the situation been reversed, you can be sure Republicans would have been up in arms...they wouldn't have worried about giving the appearance that they were trying to impact the election result.

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Response to Garrett78 (Reply #25)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 10:07 PM

40. Dems play too nice--even the Pres. who I still greatly admire/respect played too nice with the GOP.

"The article also points out that Comey is in the position he's in because of the willingness of Dems like Obama to play nice with those who have no intention of returning the favor. The same goes for not making a bigger stink of the Russian hack back when we first learned about it, which was well before the election took place. Had the situation been reversed, you can be sure Republicans would have been up in arms...they wouldn't have worried about giving the appearance that they were trying to impact the election result."

All of THIS ^^^^

Fight, fight, fight and not roll over should be at the top of the Dem bucket list leading up to 2018 and beyond....but...

I'm Not sure of what Dems can do, especially if voter suppression/voter disfranchisement and ALEC are all "encouraged" to reach epic levels by 2018 with help from a tRumputin DOJ, and if the GOP expands upon the Senate with that 60 Seat PLUS majority, we're in trouble the likes of what we've never seen before as a political party, and that's 2 years before 2020 arrives.

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Response to lancelyons (Original post)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:07 PM

14. Good (albeit embarrassing) article. I'm still miffed about what was allowed to happen to ACORN.

Grow a spine and stop kowtowing to those who have no intention of compromising.

And not even putting forth a candidate in a district that was won by Clinton is just pathetic.

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Response to Garrett78 (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:48 PM

28. Me, too. And remember the black official that Obama fired without knowing full story.

She was invited back because her farm policies were fair and people let him know? Oh. So many mistakes.

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Response to lancelyons (Original post)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:14 PM

16. Oh, So Now Salon's Concerned

After how many Hillary bashing pieces they published by so called writers with an agenda? Now they think they should tell us what went wrong and what Dems should do.





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Response to Me. (Reply #16)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:26 PM

18. I disagree with some of the narratives that have followed the 2016 election.

Such as the "working class whites/economic messaging" narrative and the "anti-establishment" narrative. Those narratives collapse under the weight of facts and critical thought.

However, the article from the OP makes a lot of really good points. Points that directly impact, among other things, the Republican Party's ability to engage in voter suppression and racial gerrymandering. The article is less about Trump vs. Clinton and more about the state of the Democratic Party nationwide.

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Response to Garrett78 (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:32 PM

20. I Respect Your Point Of View But Think They Have A Lot Of Nerve

They and H.A. Goodman did far too many hit pieces on HRC and by extension, the party for them to now think they have the right to a say. There seems to be a lot of that going on lately.

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Response to Me. (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:58 PM

32. I think purists who discard the good for the perfect can be problematic. However...

I'm not sure the likes of Salon had much impact on Trump's electoral college victory.

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Response to Me. (Reply #16)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:50 PM

29. You're blaming Salon? Enough with blame.

Only intellectuals read Salon. Intellectuals didn't vote for Trump.

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Response to snowy owl (Reply #29)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:55 PM

30. First Off

I believe it's my option to blame if I so wish

And second...it is my opinion that you are off the mark where Salon is concerned

3. A post blaming blame...really?

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Response to lancelyons (Original post)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:26 PM

19. Mistake 2: Unrequited Bipartisanship

Oh, Lordy, how many times on this board were Obama, Pelosi, et al. criticized for that?

....

The failure of Democrats to realize how deep the Republican commitment to opposing their agenda runs has led to strategic errors. Take the earliest battles of Obama’s presidency, when he extended a hand to House Speaker John Boehner, only to have Boehner leave the table at the last minute. Or granting concessions (more than $1 trillion in spending cuts, with no tax increases) to the Republicans during the high-stakes debt ceiling negotiations in 2011, which only emboldened Republicans to pursue the tactic again in 2013. As the Onion perfectly satirized, “Obama: Debt Ceiling Deal Required Tough Concessions by Both Democrats and Democrats Alike.” In a Health Affairs article, Helen Halpin (who advised the Obama administration on the development of the Affordable Care Act) and Peter Harbage note that Sen. Max Baucus spent “months” trying to forge a bipartisan bill, sapping precious time that Democrats simply didn’t have.

This flows from the Democratic desire for bipartisan policy, but also from a technocratic disposition. Many liberal commentators are holding up Trump’s support among beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act to claim that the idea that policies would become entrenched is fundamentally wrong. In fact, it’s right — the problem is that ACA was not properly designed to mobilize political support for it. The administration failed to use the exchanges to register voters (as they were required to by the National Voter Registration Act). Where the Medicaid expansion passed, it did indeed mobilize turnout.

Research is further establishing the feedback loop between progressive policy and Democratic vote share, not debunking it. The fallacy lies in believing that programs will simply mobilize people by dint of their existence. In reality, of course, most Americans aren’t schooled in policy. Institutions like unions and community organizations (like ACORN) traditionally mobilize these beneficiaries. Social Security privatization didn’t work because groups like the AARP have cropped up to defend these benefits.

....

http://www.salon.com/2017/01/08/what-went-wrong-with-the-democratic-party-three-big-failures-that-led-to-the-current-debacle/

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Response to lancelyons (Original post)

Sun Jan 8, 2017, 08:35 PM

21. The few holdout pragmatist seem to think repeat failure is an option.

 

Thankfully they are on the way out.

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