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Posted by on Mar 21, 2014 in Featured, Politics | 3 comments

What’s the matter with Democrats? (The answer isn’t very comforting.)

Have Democratic voters gone to bed?

Have Democratic voters gone to bed?

Taegan Goddard has an interesting quote from Politico. Discounting the general sleaziness of Politico, the truth remains. Democrats are frozen in place.

“The claim has hardened into accepted fact among many Democratic operatives: Hillary Clinton is freezing the Democratic 2016 field as she waits until possibly late this year to decide on another presidential run. It’s virtually impossible for anyone other than Clinton to raise money or build a campaign infrastructure, the thinking goes, with Clinton hovering overhead.”

“Yet Clinton’s allies believe it’s not true — and increasingly they are saying so. In fact, they argue the opposite: that the former first lady is shielding other prospective Democratic contenders from months of attacks and scrutiny they’d probably face without her in the picture. There’s simply no need for Clinton to start a campaign this early, they say.”…Politico

The problem isn’t so much that Clinton is blocking other Dems from running. It’s that Dems don’t run. Or even walk. Or, possibly, breathe.

Here’s the thing: Democrats may have a bunch of useful political analysts, fundraisers, and activists hovering around within reach of Capitol Hill, but Democratic voters — and former Democratic activists far from the Hill — appear to have turned the lights off and gone to bed. It’s not that Republicans aren’t also fed up with Washington. It’s that Democrats have yielded to obstruction.

The bullies have managed to keep them off the schoolyard. All the steady month by month, off-year after off-year activism of the right has not taught any lessons to the left.

You don’t win elections by presenting candidates and platforms at the last minute. The grinding, endless efforts of political opposition to Obama’s presidency began well before his election in 2008, and picked up speed (as we later learned) on the day following his inauguration in January 2009. Opposition from the right never slacked off from that day and it widened to the extent that no Democratic seat on the Hill feels safe or is safe from well-funded opposition.

The Republican party has been somewhat more successful in diverting attention from its lack of cohesion and its weaknesses. It is notably more successful in its use of the media. In six years, what have Democrats done to develop innovative leadership and a more effective message for their own voters?

What to watch for: more earnest talk about the Democratic split into two parties: old Clintonian centrists vs. energized de Blasio progressives.

Cross-posted from Prairie Weather

Graphic via shutterstock.com