One honest Democrat has it right about party “brand,” but all wrong on Joe Biden
The honest Democrat. Conservatives consider it more than an endangered species -- we believe the animal is fully extinct. Try thinking back to a time when you seriously considered members of both parties to be on equal footing in terms of authenticity. Can’t do it? Neither can I. There were honest Democrats in the past, or at least men and women who prided themselves on relaying their version of the truth, no matter how attenuated it was from the facts. Off the top of my head, former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn and another politician from the Peach State, Jimmy Carter, earned credit for telling it like it was. Honesty should not be mistaken for effectiveness, at least in Carter’s case. The Georgia peanut farmer presided over several of the worst decisions in history (such as his horrific handling of Iran and his decision to cede the Panama Canal to a third world dictatorship), but still one senses that Jimmy was a decent man who was perhaps blinded to reality by his liberal views. Nunn, meanwhile, was one of the last of a dying breed, a “conservative” Democrat who voted on conscience rather than through party loyalty. As examples, Nunn voted in favor of school prayer, capping punitive damage awards and amending the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced budget. Such acts of open defiance against leftist orthodoxy wouldn’t be tolerated in today’s Democrat-land, populated as it is by elitist kooks and ideologues. They’re all socialists now. Some of them are just more “honest” about it. It goes without saying that this year’s election didn’t go overly well for Democrats. Sure, they’re gleefully declaring victory in the presidential race, but nothing is yet set in stone. The Trump campaign’s lawsuits go forward and all of America should hope that the fraudulent votes are tossed out to once again make the system seem capable of producing a solid result. Just below the top level, however, Democrats did awfully this time around. One Ohio Democrat was at least honest about it. Salena Zito reported on a conversation she had with Congressman Tim Ryan in his home state. Zito wrote at The Washington Examiner, “’Our brand is not good,’ [Ryan] said. ‘We have 70 million people who either hate us or are afraid of us or believe there is this vast spread of socialism in our party. It is why we lost so many seats in the House, or some seats were a lot closer than we wanted.’ “Ryan points to a quote he heard last week from Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report that he says summarizes how much elections have changed; ‘It used to be that all politics are local, now it seems that all local politics are national.’” Praise be. For years, many a smart conservative has pounded the notion that nationalizing elections is the only way Republicans could compete with Democrats. The liberal party will always be superior at promising federal goodies and slush money for local special interests, so why even try to outbid them? Democrats have more credibility on the big spender issue, and they don’t care a lick about fiscal responsibility, either. When was the last time you heard a Democrat federal office holder talk about the need to reduce his or her party’s wish list in order to save taxpayer money? Take this year’s back-and-forth over “relief” packages for the Chinese Communist Party (or Wuhan, if you prefer) virus and the devastating economic impact from a nation having thrown a collective panic attack and willfully agreeing to shut itself down? Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader (it feels good to say that!) “Chucky” Schumer consistently whined and griped about the proposed bills not being big enough. Democrats toss around figures as though the federal treasury prints Monopoly cash. A hundred billion here, a half a trillion there. To them, what difference does it make that our grandchildren’s grandchildren will still be paying off the largesse? Paying people not to work and ruining others’ businesses because of an unfounded health panic didn’t prove to be a worthwhile outlay of the nation’s depleted wealth. Aw, if only we could go backwards.
For what it’s worth, Republicans aren’t much better on the spending question, but they at least held the line on federal bailouts for state and local entities. There’s no reason to reward blue cities like Portland, Oregon and Minneapolis, Minnesota for failing to contain rioters and wanton destruction. These municipalities should suffer consequences from politically correct policies that destroyed their tax bases. Should citizens of red states be forced to subsidize blue state mismanagement?
It’s a national issue, which is entirely appropriate since Congress is a national body comprised of local politicians. Federal power has grown like a weed in a driveway crack on a wet and hot summer day, with Congress acting as the go-to for liberals and pork barrel appropriators who feel they’re not receiving their slice of the pie. Ryan can complain that citizens now view congressional and senate races in a different way, but it’s about time people grasped the concept.
President Donald Trump deserves the bulk of the credit for the change in philosophical orientation, and the GOP’s down ballot success in 2020 will eventually be attributed to the lead campaigner’s ability to bring out the masses, even in places where Electoral Votes weren’t a possibility for him. Trump correctly labeled the opposition party as socialists and enablers of anarchy and violence.
Joe Biden, brand ambassador for plagiarism, lies and swamp incompetence
But was Ryan right about Joe Biden’s being able to turn the tide and restore the Democrats’ brand? The Ohio congressman said, “Joe Biden has a moment to put a new name, a new brand on the party. If he can do that, we can stop our losses.” Here’s thinking it won’t happen.
First off, Biden is just as liberal as the most activist elements of the party. He only claims to be “moderate” because the center running lane showed the most promise for defeating Trump this year. During the Democrat primaries, you may recall, so-called “moderates” such as Ryan himself, former Maryland congressman John Delaney (remember him?) and Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard attempted to rally support behind an authentic centrist pathway -- and they all failed miserably.
There simply was no middle ground Democrat voters were interested in. The party’s real energy was behind the ultra-leftists in the presidential field, namely Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren, two candidates who didn’t shy away from promising socialistic programs to ex-out traditional institutions. Biden’s eventual running mate, Kamala Harris, was every bit as radical left as the Sanders/Warren wing. Kamala just bailed out of the primary race before the real damage was done to her “brand”.
Biden didn’t win the party nomination because he was “moderate”. He won it -- and perhaps the presidency as well -- because the news media coddled him and presented the old coot as the reasonable Democrat who could “bring people together” and “get things done,” and “restore the soul of the nation.” Biden never demonstrated any moderation throughout his 36-year senate career or eight-year tenure as vice president.
Grampa Joe the plagiarist “stole” the moderate label from Democrat candidates like Ryan who actually believed in what they were saying. Biden would blubber anything to get elected, and since he secured the party bid, he’s moved steadily left to accommodate Sanders and the radicals. “The Bern” himself said Biden would be the most progressive president of all-time. Was Sanders not telling the truth, or does the Democrat “brand” now equal socialism?
Second, Ryan is wrong -- Democrats no longer represent working people; that ship sailed long ago, piloted by Barack Obama and the wealthy elites in corporate America and on college faculties.
Middle and working class districts like Ryan’s will continue to move away from the Democrats because the liberal party’s electoral coalition doesn’t care about them anymore. Gone are the days when trade union members and policeman and firefighters sought representation from Democrats. Today, liberals would much prefer touting an agenda of abortion on-demand, “systemic racism” and environmental nuttiness like the Green New Deal.
It remains to be seen whether suburban college educated white voters are a Democrat mainstay, but President Trump accomplished something that heretofore seemed impossible -- convincing the “forgotten” Americans to abandon their lifelong political affiliations to go with an outsider. What do Democrats have to offer? Federally funded social experiments, “Green Jobs” that will never supplant the on-the-ground businesses in many regions and promises to listen to rioters and anarchists? Most people don’t think this way, and over 71 million people voted for Trump.
Biden may win the presidency because of the Democrats’ insistence on mail-in balloting, but it doesn’t mean Americans in between the coasts give a lick about transgenders gaining bathroom privileges in public buildings. Most “normal” folks will ignore the corporate interests competing to see which one is deemed the most “woke” with the reactionary crowd. There’s no way Democrats win these folks back.
Lastly, there will be no Democrat “brand” improvement because Biden won’t be permitted to coast on the Trump administration’s record for long. Everyone now knows the COVID-19 vaccine looks to be on its way and the economy is recovering remarkably from the Democrat-fostered shutdowns. The smartest thing Biden could do is lay off reversing too many of Trump’s policies. If that were the case, the economy would still grow and he might even receive some credit for it.
But without going hook, line and sinker for the leftist agenda, Democrats will turn on their own. Grampa Joe will blame anything that goes wrong on Mitch McConnell, Republican governors and whomever else he can remember, but will voters buy it? There’s bound to be a ton of pressure from the left wing to seize the initiative. Biden will go overboard. It’s preordained.
A new or rebranded Democrat party under Biden? Fat chance.
Thanks to Trump, many more minority voters are leaving the Democrat Party
Working class whites aren’t the only traditional Democrats who seem to have abandoned the party in droves. 2020’s election will be remembered for lots of things, but one of them will certainly be how President Trump, ruthlessly branded as a racist by his enemies, won a higher percentage of minority votes than any other GOP candidate since… well, a long, long time (1960?).
The trend will likely continue, as more African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians recognize the identity politics con foisted on them by the socialist Democrats. It was only a matter of time. Helen Raleigh wrote at The Federalist, “Minorities like me voted for Trump because we like his policies: lower taxes, fewer government regulations, and strong national security. American people, especially minorities, have seen real economic benefits during Trump’s first term. He stands up to socialism and promises, ‘America will never be a socialist country,’ and his unconventional foreign policy approach has brought a historical breakthrough of peace in the Middle East...
“We certainly don’t believe race and sex are the roots of nor the answer to every social ill. We are tired of identity politics, critical race theory, and cancel culture, all of which have sucked the fun out of life and shut down the exchange of ideas. We know our country has room for improvement, but it is not a racist nation. We take pride in being Americans and in all the progresses our nation has made, and we are tired of the left condemning our country’s founding and the American ideal.
“As long as leftists continue to weaponize identity politics and dress us down as if we are mindless cattle, their candidates will continue to lose our support.”
Mindless cattle -- that’s a good way to put it. Ever since FDR’s New Deal, Democrats have depended on minority votes to remain viable in many places. And as was demonstrated by February’s South Carolina Democrat primary, black voters have tremendous influence within the party. But there are signs that the liberal domination is ending. If Trump won 18 percent of black men’s votes this time, it might very well be 25 percent in 2024.
If Trump isn’t around to kick in the next four years, how will Democrats get away with branding all Republicans as racists? And if he actually does run again in 2024, who will stop him from taking an even higher percentage of other Democrat constituencies from them too?
Common sense says Democrats are in trouble, and they realize it. If they do end up with Biden in the White House, they’ll pat each other on the back figuring they won it all and their “brand” is just fine the way it is. But if they were being honest -- which is almost impossible for them to do -- Democrats would admit that their traditional battle plan just ain’t working.
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