Edsall Again

Many Democrats, dazzled by the incompetence of the Republicans in Washington,  have concluded that a Democratic wave is certain in the future, beginning with a return to a Democratic House in 2018.

They forget the farce of 2016 when those inept Republicans swept into full power in Washington, led by the worst presidential candidate since Buchanan. According to Tom Edsall, in today’s NY Times, the Democratic Party is in worse shape than you thought, and he proceeds to demonstrate that point by analysis of the voting last year, especially the voters who switched from Obama to Trump.

What the autopsy reveals is that Democratic losses among working class voters were not limited to whites; that crucial constituencies within the party see its leaders as alien; and that unity over economic populism may not be able to turn back the conservative tide.

Equally disturbing, winning back former party loyalists who switched to Trump will be tough: these white voters’ views on immigration and race are in direct conflict with fundamental Democratic tenets.

Some of these post-mortem conclusions are based on polling and focus groups conducted by the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA; others are drawn from a collection of 13 essays published by The American Prospect.

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For all the harm he has done, continues to do and proposes to do, Trump has successfully forced Democrats to begin to examine the party’s neglected liabilities, the widespread resentment of its elites and the frail loyalty of its supporters.

Read “Listen Liberal: or Whatever Hppened to the Party of the People?” by Thomas Frank. if you want to find out how we got there.

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