The NYT Magazine: A Post-Obama Democratic Party in Search of Itself

The New York Times is hands down the best newspaper in America (world?). Just fantastic work covering one of the most historic administrations in American presidential history, investigative reporting (Uber, Weinstein, etc), and general political analysis. But the bias is stunning. 

This morning The New York Times Magazine is out with a fantastic long-form essay on how the Democrat Party is struggling, bigly, to remove itself from the odious shadow of former President Obama. But instead of emphasizing the analysis, critical the long-term future of the “Party”, they bury it far down the website, in favor of the humanities:

* * *

The article is well worth the read in full, but the current state of the Democrat Party can be summarized as follows:

  1. Democrat Party “leadership” believes the 2016 loss was due to presentation, not content
  2. “Only three times in the last century has a president’s party not suffered electoral losses midway into his first term,” with those losses averaging 32 House seats
  3. The “Party” believes Trump has politically pooped himself enough to where the odds favor regaining control of the House in 2018

* * *

The current version of the Democrat Party is in existential trouble. Politics are inherently cyclical, but human ingenuity and the perpetual pursuit of a higher standard of living are not. Voters vote with their pocket book – “It’s the economy, stupid” – and the current version of the Democrat Party simply has no economic plan.

As outlined on these pages ad nauseum, Trump is a NY Democrat, and has been his entire life. He has outflanked the Democrats by leveraging this fact, and the only hope the Democrats have of defeating Trump and the “Republicans” at the policy level is to out-Trump Trump. My proposal for out-Trumping Trump at the presidential level, that I will continue to reiterate ad nauseum: run Jamie Dimon in 2020.

The path to out-Trumping Trump at the grassroots level is demonstrated well in the closing section of The NYT Magazine essay (my emphasis in bold):

“In mid-August, I spoke to Ian Russell’s latest client, a telegenic Marine veteran and two-term state representative from Lewiston, Me., named Jared Golden. Lewiston today is a hollowed-out exoskeleton of a textile mill town. ‘Our way of life is under attack here,’ Golden said. ‘We’re a classic case of the America that’s being left behind. The social-identity issues that have been emphasized in Portland don’t resonate in rural Maine. It’s damaged the Democratic brand here, to be honest. We’re a community of hard-working people who may not be highly educated, but that doesn’t mean we’re not intelligent. The majority of the folks here voted for Donald Trump, and I can tell you that the description of them as a basket of deplorables is just dead wrong.’

“Golden told me that his neighbors had until recently thought of themselves as Democrats. Golden himself still is. When we spoke, he had just decided to run in Maine’s Second District against the Republican incumbent, Bruce Poliquin. Golden would be the fifth Democrat to enter the race. He seemed to have little use for the national party’s ‘A Better Deal’ pitch, telling me, ‘It’s going to take more than a glossy new policy document to take back the U.S. House.’

“What, then, would it take? A few days after I spoke with Golden, Ian Russell traveled to Lewiston and shot his candidate’s announcement ad. It mixes twilit images of small-town Maine with footage of the candidate in combat fatigues; later, he jogs down a country road wearing a T-shirt that says, “Pain Is Weakness Leaving the Body.” The ad excoriates the Republican incumbent but also bipartisan trade deals and unnamed political leaders who push ‘issues that don’t impact your life.’

The word ‘Trump’ is not mentioned in the two-minute ad. Nor is the word ‘Democrat.’

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