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.
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?