Roger L. Simon:
Chuck Schumer has been much remarked upon, even praised in many quarters, for stating the obvious – that Hillary Clinton should stop blaming the sun, moon and stars, and, of course, Russia for her demise and look to herself for her failure to win the presidency. She was a wretched candidate with the no obvious reason for running. Indeed, the Wikileaks from her campaign operatives are rife with emails searching for some justification for her candidacy other than gender.
The New York senator is clearly correct in his criticism but he has a larger unacknowledged problem that is ultimately far more serious: Hillary’s loss didn’t occur entirely due to her own ineptitude. She is not alone. Her party has no useful programs anymore. As Gertrude said of Oakland, there’s no there there. All they have is Trump bashing and, with the help of their media pals, that’s all they do – and the country knows it.
Yes, as we also all know, the Republicans have their issues, to put it mildly. For a party controlling practically everything, they are remarkably inept and self-destructive, but at least, beneath it all, they have the potential to come together and move forward. (Who knows if they will?) For the Democrats it is another matter. They are hamstrung on all sides.
On the left, they have the Bernie Sanders contingent. At first glance these people are stuck in 1968, but in truth they are stuck in (roughly) 1932 or is it 1867? (The publication of Das Kapital.) Bernie’s ideas are ye olde and moribund. He doesn’t even seem to understand (or admit) that the Europeans – whose version of socialism he continually touts – have been deserting that system right and left for years, going more free market than the USA currently is, particularly in the area of corporate taxes.
Bernie is Margaret Thatcher’s admonition about socialism eventually running out of other people’s money writ large. Sure, some young people are seduced by his seemingly idealistic palaver (actually it’s the reverse) but if he – or a younger clone – does run in 2020 one word will spell disaster for them: Venezuela. All socialist roads sooner or later point that way or to something even worse – The Soviet Union, China, etc. It doesn’t take a genius to point that out, nor to demonstrate the catastrophic deficits his proposals engender. (Hillary, scared of alienating his supporters, was terrible at this.) And the young people who vote – those concerned about jobs, not the sad Social Justice Warriors who have, unwittingly, already given up on life – will react accordingly.
This reliance on reactionary identity politics is the root of the Democrats’ problem – a Faustian bargain that like all such agreements turns out badly in the end. LBJ’s original plan may have worked for the party (until now) but it has been a disaster for African-Americans whose communities and family life have been hurt significantly rather than helped.