Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

November 9, 2018

Why Democrats are so okay with losing

Filed under: Counterpunch,two-party system — louisproyect @ 2:37 pm

Mikie Sherrill, the true, new shining star of the Democratic Party–not Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


Ever since the Democratic Party abandoned its New Deal legacy and adopted the neoliberal centrism associated with the Carter presidency and then cast in stone by the Democratic Leadership Council in 1985, each election loss has generated a chorus of remonstrations in the left-liberal press about the need to run “progressive” candidates if the party wants to win. The latest instance of this was a post to the Jacobin FB page that stated: “By running to the right, Democrats insist on losing twice: at the polls and in constructing an inspiring agenda. Bold left-wing politics are our only hope for long-term, substantive victory.”

The question of why Democrats are so okay with losing has to be examined closely. In some countries, elections have huge consequences, especially in Latin America where a job as an elected official might be not only a source of income for a socialist parliamentarian but a trigger for a civil war or coup as occurred in Costa Rica in 1948 and in Chile in 1973 respectively.

In the 2010 midterm elections, there was a massive loss of seats in the House of Representatives for the Democrats. In this month’s midterm elections, the Democrats hoped that a “Blue Wave” would do for them what the 2010 midterms did for the Republicans—put them in the driver’s seat. It turned out to be more of a “Blue Spray”, not to speak of the toothless response of House leader Nancy Pelosi who spoke immediately about how the Democrats can reach across the aisle to the knuckle-dragging racists of the Republican Party.

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  1. Very sharp analysis, and an excellent example of your political science research skills, and your experience. Nicely written, too; crisp.

    Comment by manuelgarciajr — November 9, 2018 @ 7:05 pm

  2. Right on, Louis! Kick the bastards again!

    Comment by Kurt Hill — November 9, 2018 @ 7:52 pm

  3. Reblogged this on James' Ramblings.

    Comment by jamesbradfordpate — November 9, 2018 @ 7:56 pm

  4. Nicely put, Louis! Thank you for your diligent efforts!

    An example, to your points in the article, in Georgia, “A group of Georgia voters filed an eleventh-hour lawsuit Tuesday seeking to block Secretary of State Brian Kemp”. (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/georgia-voters-file-lawsuit-seeking-block-kemp-overseeing-election-results-n932566)

    Notice that? A group of VOTERS, NOT useless Democrats! And the law suit was filed on Tuesday, on the election day. Poor voters must have thought that something so obviously egregious would be countered by the Dems MONTHS in advance, but, seeing how spineless the Dems are, finally decided to file a law suit themselves. By election day, all the damage had already been done.

    I mean … This is so crazy. The fact that the person running for a government position is also in charge of all the electoral machinations to do with the outcome of the results — including finalizing voter registrations, putting in place the actual machinery of registering the votes, deciding on the number of polling stations for each district, deciding which districts get the machines that work and which get the machines that don’t, etc. _ all that in this country, is almost as bad as what we have in Iran. And the Dems did not see a legitimate point of any litigation in any of this? Of course they didn’t. They just don’t see the need to actually have to do anything for the people.

    Comment by Reza — November 10, 2018 @ 1:47 am

  5. I’ve heard the phrase that progressives must “work inside the Democratic party” since the 1980’s. That party has continually drifted toward war, open borders (not good for renters and lower income labor) , outsourcing and low tariffs, a pretend climate change position, gay rights, divisive anti-white rhetoric, and economic policies that work for the wealthy. The Republicans and Democrats WHEN IT COME TO POLICY are the same party. Climate change is certain to ruin society for those under 35 but someone has convinced that group that Trump, racism, and fascism are the causes to fight. Obama budgets 1 trillion for the modernization of nuclear weapons and he’s considered “progressive”. You are correct in your observation that Democrats are useless but are foolish to put such focus on Trump. If he were to be removed from office today, the left would celebrate and you’d still have the same corrupt people in charge. Climate change and/or nuclear war are the two issues that really matter. The others pale in comparison if living in a functioning civilization is a concern. Drop all the divisive side issues until you deal with those two. We need a VERY big tent so drop all the insults regarding other issues because the opposition is very powerful. Or one can play pretend and fight all this “isms” and end up really screwed within the next few decades.

    Comment by Mike — November 10, 2018 @ 5:15 pm

  6. Mike, you are kind of stupid, aren’t you?

    Comment by louisproyect — November 10, 2018 @ 6:02 pm

  7. Depressing to see these young Democratic Party politicians bragging about their military service or, good god, working for the CIA. I’ve seen a couple of their ads and I get the feeling that they really believe they’re better than the rest of us. “As a Navy helicopter pilot I never flew Republican missions or Democratic missions.” No, of course not – both parties voted for war; they were Republican AND Democratic missions.

    Comment by Brian Gallagher — November 10, 2018 @ 9:07 pm

  8. Louis, tell your daddy his article about Andrew Jackson was interesting. You on the other hand should stick with the toys and let daddy write his own comments.

    Comment by Mike — November 11, 2018 @ 12:13 am

  9. Mike, my daddy died in 1970.

    Comment by louisproyect — November 11, 2018 @ 12:41 am

  10. My mom died in 1967. We lived poor. She was 37 with a family of 5 kids and I was 12 and the eldest. My father turned into an angry drunk that was so into name calling that my little sister still can’t get past it to this day. Probably why I’ve never been into the name calling thing. “Worthless, stupid, good for nothing, useless, hey boy, spell ” procrastinator”, what are ya good for? “If you are a stud like me ….” I heard them all every single day until I left home and entered the Marines just after high school. My blood pressure still goes up when I think about those times………Anyway, I’m truly sorry about you losing your dad. It’s a raw deal for a kid. I hope your mom treated you nice. ……. For what it’s worth I ended up lucky. I found a women that completely changed my outlook on life. Still with her and am so grateful every day………………Anyhow your comment about your dad made me want to share.

    Comment by Mike — November 11, 2018 @ 1:23 am

  11. All those “ands”. Darn it, I should probably do a little editing before I click send. Wouldn’t want a really good writer to read it and think I was stupid. 🙂

    Comment by Mike — November 11, 2018 @ 1:29 am

  12. Good points, Brian. I’m a bit skeptical of a “resistance” which can, for example, correctly damn the appointment of Jeff Sessions one day, but then demonstrate in the streets for his retention the next. People rightly ask WTF?

    Comment by Kurt Hill — November 13, 2018 @ 2:22 pm

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