Trying more of the same and expecting different results.
On the campaign trail, Barack Obama repeatedly emphasized that the November 8 election would be a referendum on his legacy.
Yes, yes it was.
If ever there were a final smack down to end a disastrous eight-year presidential tenure, last week was it. But it should hardly come as a surprise. Since Obama’s ascension to office in 2009 amid the gospel of Hope ‘n’ Change™, he has been an albatross to Democrats not only in the halls of Congress but also in governors' mansions and state legislatures across the country.
Since Obama took office, Democrats have lost a net total of 10 U.S. Senate seats, 63 House seats and 12 governorships, but also roughly 900 state legislative seats.
This is hardly a short-term setback from which Democrats can simply bounce back. As The Wall Street Journal notes, “One result of Mr. Obama’s tenure is that Democrats lack a deep bench of younger candidates for federal office, including the Presidency in 2020. A third of all House Democrats will now come from a mere three states — California, New York, and Massachusetts.” That’s astounding.
When you consider that, as of 2014, 44 U.S. senators and more than 200 House members were former state legislators, this reality becomes a painful indicator to Democrats that their immediate congressional future looks bleak.
Ironically, what’s not yet clear to Democrats is the reason for their stunning and repeated losses. Indeed, at a press conference earlier this week, Obama claimed, “I believe that we have better ideas, but I also believe that good ideas don’t matter if people don’t hear them and one of the issues that Democrats have to be clear on is that, given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere.”
That’s right, it’s not bad policies; it’s bad PR. As if Democrats don’t have a massive super PAC in the form of the Leftmedia.
And as one Democrat strategist put it, “We have to take the time to figure out what happened. It’s obviously much more than cyclical.”
You don’t say.
While they take time to discover the obvious, Democrats are still blaming everyone and everything but themselves, including FBI director James Comey. Meanwhile, the Leftmedia pinned Hillary Clinton’s loss on a “white-lash.” Because not voting for a white woman is racist — perhaps, we suppose, because her husband was the first black president.
The alternative explanation — that Americans may actually be rebelling against the Democrats' increasingly radical left-wing policies — is simply unimaginable.
But rebelling they are.
ObamaCare, the pinnacle of Obama’s achievements, is crumbling, executive overreach has extended further than ever, and Americans are generally fed up with the government. But Democrats aren’t willing to swallow that pill.
And instead of thinking that perhaps they’ve veered too far left, Democrats are now debating among themselves whether to head even further left — as evidenced by the fact that Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, a radical black Muslim member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, has launched a credible campaign to be the next DNC chair. Ellison launched his career as a member of the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam, and he’s a man who likened 9/11 to the Nazis' Reichstag fire — in other words, an inside job meant to create a pretext for going after Muslims. And Democrats are considering putting him in charge of the party.
Reason’s Scott Shackford writes, “As the Democratic Party struggles to figure out what it’s going to stand for now, we’re going to see a lot of ‘progressive vs. centrists’ framing.” But as progressives aim to drive the party even further left, tomorrow’s centrists will likely be today’s leftists.
Only in a party that’s already pivoted sharply left could socialist Bernie Sanders gain a credible foothold, only to be bested by an establishment candidate who holds some positions even more radical than Sanders'. Shackford explains, “[W]hat made Sanders remarkable as a candidate was not that he was a democratic socialist getting open popular support from Americans … [but] that there were parts of his ideology — his foreign policy and support for privacy — that were less interventionist than Clinton.”
You’d think that after repeated and crushing defeats under the Obama banner (and now Clinton’s), Democrats would begin to tie the defeats to that banner. Instead, they’re waving it even higher, because naturally, if we as Americans disagree with them, the error is not theirs, but ours. Perpetuating the attitude that cost them this election is unlikely to win them the next one. So by all means, Democrats, keep up the good work.