When you have people arguing stooges like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich should have more say in Democratic Party matters, you know that things are not going well. Democrats tried to gather together for a ‘feel-good’ (aka wound-licking) retreat with party leaders and other Democrats. The purpose was to make everybody feel better about themselves, but things went wrong.
While members held upbeat sessions at the Hyatt Regency on this city’s Inner Harbor, progressives privately vented about being lectured to by a speaker from a moderate think tank. And several lawmakers worried that the Democratic leadership would be too dependent on consultants and data to chart a course forward, rather than focusing on a clearer vision for the party.
Then it gets better:
“We need to stop doing the autopsies, stop doing all this metric data stuff and listen to the visionary voices,” lamented freshman Rep. Ro Khanna of California, who represents Silicon Valley. He repeatedly suggested that liberal economic thinkers like Robert Reich and Paul Krugman should be included in the party’s conversations.
Khanna said Democrats could even learn a lesson from Trump’s extraordinary victory.
“He didn’t have deep-dive data. He bragged about not polling,” Khanna said. “He offered a vision based on what he thought was his vision.”
And Khanna is mistaken about Trump’s data operation. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, put in place, a sophisticated data operation that merely went unnoticed by the media. They assumed he didn’t have one because Kushner was not using established GOP firms to collect and analyze the data. Remember, the beltway press thinks if something doesn’t exist within the beltway, it doesn’t exist at all.
Democrats, of course, are in denial:
Democratic leaders, though, dismissed the notion that members are divided on the party’s way forward. Pelosi insisted that there’s no strife inside the retreat.
“Maybe it’s more fun to think there’s some deep division,” Pelosi said, brushing aside a reporter’s question about progressive unrest within the caucus.
Then comes the best part:
“I think this whole economic message thing is real overblown, and I don’t think it’s accurate. We have been losing blue-collar workers for years — 20 plus years — and our message has always been the right message,” Fudge told reporters.
“I think we have to look deeper. Because if we only talk about an economic message, we’re not going to win the next election. We have to figure out how to get to the hearts of these people.”
I love this. “Our message is right, but we’re still losing.”
The Democrats have been insisting for the last 4-5 years the country agrees with them and the reason they’re losing is they’ve just been poor messengers of that winning strategy.
They’re like that 80’s anti-drug PSA where the guy argues in circles as to why it’s no big deal he does cocaine:
“I do coke uh…so I can work longer. So I can earn more…..so I can do more coke.”
Democrats refuse to accept their message sucks. But please, leaders Pelosi and Schumer, keep thinking you’re a good message from victory. Republicans will just sit back and laugh.