On the eve of considerable losses in the House for Democrats, pressure on House Majority leader Nancy Pelosi and Whip Jim Clyburn are increasing, while they remain bitterly defiant, and resist calls for them to step down and instead pass the blame to those under their leadership.
Rather than take responsibility for their losses and the razor thin margins in the Presidential race, in the midst of what many Democratic pundits claimed would be a “blue wave,” they instead have turned blame against those in their party who deviate from the DNC party line of “moderation.”
Pelosi, now 80 years old, and clearly in denial, touted Democratic wins and minimized just how razor thin the election is, despite what should have been perfect conditions for a big win, while the Republican incumbent Donald Trump faces 200k dead from Coronavirus and the worst economic collapse since the 1920s.
She spoke in generalities, offering no concrete get out to vote issues, instead saying Democrats should focus on, an “agenda of lowering health care, better paychecks, building infrastructure,” without offering specifics.
Jim Clyburn, also 80 years old, was caught saying, if “we are going to run on Medicare for All, defund the police, socialized medicine, we’re not going to win,” saying this despite the fact that 87% of Democrats, and 69% of independents support a Medicare-for-All type plan.
Joe Biden’s platform was highly tailored to moderate the majority of Democratic positions going into 2020, but in so doing, gave very little concrete alternatives to the last four years of Trump, or to the last four decades of economic stagnation for the working class and rural Americans.
While partisan loathing explains why turnout was as high as it was in highly-connected urban centers, Trump received historically record high vote tallies amongst ethnic minorities for a Republican presidential candidate, while many rural African Americans simply didn’t bother coming to the polls at all, the exact constituencies needed to win a Georgia Senate runoff election raised during the conference call.
What’s clear is that win or lose, the DNC and its generation of leaders have no intention to ever change the platform of the Democratic Party towards the policies preferred by the majority of Americans, despite this being the definition of “moderation,” and so its very base unsurprisingly chose to sit out 2020.
Instead of reflecting on this and reforming to more accurately mirror the “left,” including policies overwhelmingly preferred by most Americans, those aging leaders are trying to purge the newer elements in the party including those who seek to change the platform. In so doing, they secure not only the continued financial backing of financial elites, but continuity for their own power within the party, regardless of the consequences for those Democrats in more vulnerable districts, and catastrophic losses in vote share.
This cycle of endless pandering towards the illusive center of the American electorate, arguably a group that actually does not exist, will simply perpetuate, not only Democratic losses, but a trend of intractable “do-nothing-ness” that has characterized Congress for more than a decade.
Without shoring up their base with tangible and attractive policy proposals, symbolically reforming the Democratic Party to be less clearly an “elite focused” party, which it is perceived as by a majority of Americans, and putting the 1940’s generation of DNC leaders out to pasture, the party will continue to perform poorly.
Further, without ranked choice voting, which would provide clear alternatives to the deeply corrupt two party duopoly regime currently subjugating America, the two parties will face little pressure to change or reform as there are simply no other competitors. America needs ranked choice voting to save itself. The irony is, in order to institute such a system, it would likely require consent from the very two parties who would face a painful process of introspection and reform should it pass, making the future look very dark, indeed.
Staff writer: Ari B