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Jerry Shenk


Democrats: What's Next?

by Jerry Shenk
 

President Barack Obama's footnote in history is assured, but Hillary Clinton's November electoral failure set a wobbly capstone on his non-monumental legacy.

Beginning in Obama's first mid-term, by January, the Democratic Party will be shut out of power in Washington and their down-ticket ranks decimated in state houses across America. Democratic dreams of stacking the Supreme Court with activist jurists have been thwarted for a generation -- at least .
Following the inevitable finger-pointing, and after emerging from the denial stage of grief, Democrats will face difficult decisions.

An internal struggle for party power and influence has been brewing for years. Obama came out of nowhere in 2008, but, despite his presidency, in large part, the party apparatus has been dominated by the Clintons. In fact, along with Obama's unpopular policies, Hillary's "inevitability" was a primary factor leading to the party's disarray — and to a very thin bench with few prospects of producing viable national candidates any time soon.

This year, in a throwback to the 1990s when Democrats arose as one to defend conduct they would have indignantly condemned had the offender been a Republican, elite Democrats and liberal media stacked the deck for and openly worked to nominate a corrupt, incompetent member of the same family.

Party-elite Clinton operatives herded the Democratic rank-and-file into line and then forced the American public to choose between Hillary and another imperfect, but less-compromised candidate.

David French: "While history is replete with leaders whose vices were excused for the sake of their brilliant virtues, this generation has excused vices for the sake of elevating a man and woman of little virtue."

If this has become an acceptable way to conduct their political business, then the Democratic Party's rot goes far deeper than anyone imagined.
Hillary's loss was both a public repudiation of the Clinton syndicate and -- because Hillary was openly running for his third -- of Obama's two terms. There was always a yawning gap between Obama's personal approval ratings and the public's conviction that the country is on "the wrong track."

Now, the Clintons are finished and Obama leaves office in January. Who's left? Obama's unpopular policies annihilated Democrats in state elections, so there is no state-level "bench" from which to draw. Hillary was considered inevitable for so long that the party never thought it needed one. Now, party leaders are old, white and out of ideas. Can you name even one young, talented, nationally-recognized Democrat?

Democrats appear blind to the facts that their vaunted, albeit self-proclaimed "leadership" is only a propaganda device to allow the party to organize society in ways that enhance their power and influence, and that Americans have been rejecting that notion since Obama took office.
The Democratic Party, arguably, has suffered an institutional breakdown. If its extreme left-wing collects the fragments, nationally, at least, Democrats may languish in the political wilderness for decades.

It need not, but only they can decide if things will end that way. So, Democrats, what's next?


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