Can the Democrats learn and move on from Clinton?

In the US the Democrats are in disarray after not only an embarrassing loss to Donald Trump but also their failure to win majorities in either the Senate or Congress.

Trump should never have been able to win the presidency, but alongside other factors the Democrats managed to make a mess of their selection – Hillary Clinton – and their campaign.

Is there any sign of learning from their mistakes and rebuilding their chances?

Howard Kurtz at Fox: After Hillary: Are the Democrats ready to move beyond Clintonism?

The question now: Has the Democratic Party moved on from Clintonism?

Both the left and right are asking that question as the party tries to rebuild in the Trump era. I have no idea who might emerge for 2020, given the strikingly thin bench, or whether the party wants to go further left or try to recapture the working-class voters that it lost to Trump.

It seems the Democrats haven’t really had that debate, even with the low-profile chairman’s race won by Tom Perez. But some in the media are starting to examine the rubble left by 2016.

It’s not that Hillary herself has a political future. In a Rasmussen poll, 58 percent of likely voters don’t want her to run again, while 23 percent would like to see that.

But a Clinton-like candidate might face the same lack of excitement for a program of incrementally improving government, even without her flaws as a candidate.

On the other hand, a Bernie-style populist could connect on issues like trade, but might simply be too liberal to win a general election.

But surely the Democrats can come up with someone fresher and newer than Clinton or Sanders.

Salon: To win, the anti-Trump resistance must learn from the Clinton campaign’s mistakes

What’s interesting is how Salon sees Clinton as having blundered by pretty much running as the anti-Trump:

“Of all the strategic blunders made by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, the most consequential — apart from neglecting the Rust Belt states — may have been the campaign’s ill-advised decision to portray Donald Trump as an outlier in the GOP who did not represent true Republican values.

“In the early stages of her campaign, Clinton went out of her way to defend the Grand Old Party’s reputation and highlight some of the conservative critiques of Trump, so as to emphasize her opponent’s uniquely ‘deplorable’ nature.”

That “backfired spectacularly,” the piece says, by alienating progressives and boosting Trump’s underdog status.

“The grand irony here, of course, is that liberals — not leftists — are the ones who have started to sound increasingly like alt-right conspiracy theorists. While alt-right Info-Warriors spew their conspiracy theories about the deep state’s planning a coup against Trump or about former President Barack Obama’s wiretapping of Trump Tower, liberals have gone in the other direction, embracing their own overwrought conspiracy theories with an all-powerful Vladimir Putin at the center of it all.

“But Putin is not responsible for the Democratic Party’s losing control of nearly 1,000 state legislature seats and all three branches of government during the Obama years.”

It is yet to be proven whether Russia interfered with the US election but even if they did the Democrats should have been able to benefit from the allegations. Remarkably Trump won despite being linked with Russia.

Clinton was a poor choice but even then a decent campaign is likely to have succeeded. Trump didn’t win by much (a few hundred thousand votes in a few states made the difference).

The Democrats are in a mess of their own making.

Labour in the UK are also in a self inflicted mess.

Labor in Australia have been in disarray for years.

Labour in New Zealand is trying to make a comeback after struggling after Helen Clark lost in 2008 and stood down, but they are still languishing in polls and have conceded reliance on the Greens to try and compete in this year’s election.

Are these all coincidental messes? Or are left wing parties losing their way in the modern world with no hope of success unless they rethink and rebrand?

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  1. Boston Globe: For Democrats, 2018 won’t be easy

    Donald Trump won the White House and Republicans hold majorities in the US House and Senate, but Democrats have held out hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    History suggests that by the time the midterm elections come along, the party not holding the White House will make significant gains. Just as Republicans took over Congress in 1994 and 2010 two years into a new president’s term, so too would Democrats take over Congress in 2018 and push back on Trump’s agenda.

    That isn’t likely to happen.

    Democrats need a tremendous amount to go right politically next year for them to even have a shot at a majority in either house of Congress.

    Doing some things right would also help.

  2. Brown

     /  12th March 2017

    The left in politics are like the science of climate change. The battle of reality has been lost but the battle in the media remains to be lost. Stacking education and media with progressive lefties for years will delay the loss in the media but lose they will. The reality is that socialism is dangerous because it plays into the hand of the human condition and rewards the lazy and dis-functional.

    • Gezza

       /  12th March 2017

      How do you arrive at the conclusion the Democrats are socialists?

  3. Blazer

     /  12th March 2017

    ‘The reality is that socialism is dangerous because it plays into the hand of the human condition and rewards the lazy and dis-functional.’…………sounds like property speculation and loan sharking….

  4. Trevors_Elbow

     /  12th March 2017

    Seems the Democrats are moving FINALLY into acceptance and regaining a sense of perspective. “denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance” We have seen all the anger, denial and depression – even forms of bargaining in the form of calls for impeachment. About bloody time too…

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  12th March 2017

    If Trump and the Republicans act sensibly the Democrats have little hope for the next 8 years. All they have is words and failure.

    • Gezza

       /  12th March 2017

      They certainly aren’t onto a winner letting Schumer pontificate, tut-tut & whine whine whine about everything the Trump crew does. I’m sick of his imperious nose sticking out from his spectacles already. He’ll bore voters to death rather than persuade them to elect Democrats at the next Congressional election. They need to find & promote a Justin Trudeau lookalike. I don’t think a female is going to swing it for them. Just my gut feeling though. And they need to focus on a few key issues when Trump or his team balls things up, not the plethora of things that wind a few people up but piss other people off.

  6. It seems to me that any attempt by Russia to interfere in a US election has to logically include some method of getting inside the minds of US voters to the extent that they vote for the candidate Russia wants to win. Do they really believe there is a way that could occur covertly? What would be the signs of an overt or covert campaign to persuade voting for a particular person? As an outside observer of the US I could not detect any obvious or not so obvious measures being taken by Russia to influence voter decisions. Can you?

    This brings me to the real questions that need to be asked and they are who funded the candidates campaigns? What foreign money flowed into campaign coffers? How much did the media organisations earn from whom during the campaign, and to what extent did this influence editorial policy for or against each candidate?

    To focus only on one candidate’s campaign and possible Russian influence in the absence of any evidence of collusion between Russia and the candidate (Trump) seems to either indicate extreme bias on the part of the DOJ/FBI, or alternatively a wider agenda that we are not privy to? Do you really believe that frequent pinging of a VPN in Trump Tower, apparently from two Russian Banks based in the US gave rise to a FBI investigation of Trump? Why wasn’t it investigated by CIA and NSA as lead agencies for foreign intelligence and security? I guess we need to see the details of the FISA warrant?

    • David

       /  12th March 2017

      Russia wanted Clinton to win.

      • David, I am fascinated by your conclusion. I would love to hear how you came to that conclusion especially as it opposes the MSM claims that Russia wanted Trump to win!

    • Gezza

       /  12th March 2017

      Why should we even care or speculate? US intelligence agencies are a freaking mass of mess. It’ll come out in the wash, one way or another, once the blood-letting settles.

  7. Back on subject. Is it within the capacity of the Democratic movement to recognise the need to change some of the fundamental approaches they have used in US Politics? Having big money behind them is a two edged sword – money being the root of all evil, they need to wash the grubbiness off of their ethical foundation of might is right. Who bestowed on the US the right to intervene in any country to impose their perception of right?
    Back to the political frame work of the US. Given the numbers and variety of the various ethnicities in the US and the multicultural nature of the country, is a 2 party political ethic the right model for the US. Why is being Independent really the only alternative? Should there be a US First Party?

    • Gezza

       /  12th March 2017

      Trump IS the US FIRST party. He just stole the Republicans off the GOP & they went along with it because he basically promised them jobs if they did.


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