Democratic Crack-up Continues in Unity Tour

Shattered is what happens when political parties become too disconnected from their voters. Even if you think the election was stolen, any Democrat who reads this book will come away believing he or she belongs to a party stuck in a profound identity crisis. Trump or no Trump, the Democrats need therapy – and soon. – Matt Taibbi

AT THIS point, it’s confounding.

Why aren’t Democrats as pissed at Hillary Clinton as many voters were towards Al Gore, or John Kerry, after their losses?

After all this time, the common theme from 2008 that the 2016 Clinton campaign cannot reconcile is that Hillary Clinton could not lead her own team either times. That’s why she lost. As smart and policy-ready as she was, Hillary Clinton couldn’t get enough voters to follow her.

Nick Merrill’s response to Shattered was bizarre. A pictorial of happy, peppy moments is hardly a convincing rejoinder when a woman as qualified as Hillary Clinton is beaten by a man like Donald Trump.

Speaking to Andrea Mitchell today on MSNBC, Anita Dunn didn’t find any beefs with the book, as she sat next to one of the co-authors, Jonathan Allen. Her one critique was that Vice President Joe Biden’s reasons for not running were deeply personal, which she felt Shattered glossed over.

The dysfunction that has followed Hillary Clinton in her political life revolves around the fact that she didn’t know how to make her own case. Blaming her campaign in 2008, or in 2016, is as easy as citing Russia, FBI Director Comey, Wikileaks, and Anthony Weiner’s penis, but it’s not very helpful all these months after a catastrophic loss.

When you total the losses by Democrats during the Obama-Clinton era, you’d think the Party would smell the fumes, even as they refuse to see the fire.

The Democratic crack-up continues through the weirdest, most discordant “unity tour,” starring a buddy team of Tom Perez and Bernie Sanders, two men who refuse to get on the same page.

Maybe that’s because one-half of this so-called Democratic “unity team” isn’t a Democrat. From The Hill, earlier this week

“No, I’m an Independent,” Sanders said when asked by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes whether he now identifies as a Democrat.

“If the Democratic Party is going to succeed — and I want to see it succeed — it’s gonna have to open its door to independents,” he continued. “There are probably more independents in this country than Democrats or Republicans. It’s got to open its doors to working people and to young people, create a grassroots party. That’s what we need.”

Sanders wants Dems to succeed, but won’t join the party he’s trying to rebuild. What does it say about the Democratic Party when their most highly sought-after surrogate isn’t a member of the party he’s fronting? Sanders was allowed to run in 2016 on the Democratic Party ticket even though he wasn’t a Democrat. Sanders says Dems need to welcome independents into the party, but even after Senator Schumer appointed him chief cheerleader, Sanders won’t join up. What does that say to the people he’s trying to recruit? Nothing good.

Meanwhile, Tom Perez, and many in the 2016 Clinton faction inside the Party, remain in a full-scale war against Sanders.

Looking for a roadmap for 2018 — or on how to get Jon Osoff elected in Georgia — it’s hard not to also think of what the tea party did in 2010, and how Obama and the Democrats failed.

The Osoff conundrum brings to mind what’s been the battle going back to 2004: the purity test. Does that mean West Virginia, and Senator Joe Manchin, who was invaluable on background checks and gun legislation, should be sacrificed, too? Senator Sanders would rather lose a seat over progressive purity than elect a Democrat instead of a Republican in a conservative state, or district.

Democrats lost the wider war in the Obama-Clinton era. Look at local races, state legislatures, and Congress. Now they want to sacrifice less than perfect candidates. I understand the philosophy behind it but it still leaves them without a coherent short-term plan, while they build a long-term strategy. Should Dems elect who they can in red states, and push them left, or just ignore the 50-state strategy for Sanders’ purity push?

This has been going on for over a decade.

It’s how Donald J. Trump rose to the White House.

In 2018, Democrats better hope being anti-Trump works for them as well as being anti-Obama worked for Republicans in 2010.

Right now, it’s all they’ve got.