>
Opinion

The Democrats - Owning Themselves Since 2016

|
Posted: Mar 08, 2019 1:08 PM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent the views of Townhall.com.
The Democrats - Owning Themselves Since 2016

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

It’s hard to believe that the Democratic Party has managed to shred itself so quickly after so many years of unwavering support from media and culture outlets. The Clintons - perhaps the shadiest political dynasty of our modern age - enjoyed nearly absolute cover when it came to news of their misdeeds; news that should have made anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty even just slightly curious. Look at what Bill Clinton has survived even in the era of #MeToo. Even if you don’t believe the rape charges against him, the Lewinsky fiasco and the Clinton’s ensuing, merciless take-down of both her and Linda Tripp should be enough to at least earn them the Louis C.K. treatment. And yet, they thrive thanks in no small part to an adoring media who have never been quite willing to follow up on the more problematic areas of the Clinton regime.

All this is simply to say that the Democrats have had it made in the shade for years when it comes to public image. The narrative has been solidified for decades now - Republicans BAD, Democrats RIGHTEOUS AND GOOD. It’s such a strong narrative it is blatantly accepted without questioning - not just at home but even by most of the international media.

Suddenly, Democrats seem to be embroiled in one bad look after another. Imagine your position on the humanity of our Jewish brothers and sisters being so questionable that you actually have to declare to the nation that you don’t hate Jewish people. There was a time when such a move for the Democrats would have been unthinkable. 

So what the hell happened?

In a word…Trump.

To be fair, Trump’s election delivered a major shake-up to the GOP as well but that’s no surprise and the GOP has been fielding negative narratives for decades. But Trump’s election seems to have shaken loose some previously secure moorings when it comes to the donkeys and their allies in the media. It’s almost as if the glow from Orange Bad Man™ has suddenly lit up their darkest corners and the ensuing rage is blinding.

The recent “blackface” scandals in Virginia; The Covington Catholic mess that illuminated the left’s demonization tactics and the rift between Pelosi, Feinstein and the New Green Deal peddlers…these are all examples of how the traditional media collusion has not been enough to protect the party from the bruises and scratches brought on by these revelations. 

The real problem is that the Democratic Party decided awhile back - probably with the election of Obama - to go all-in on identity politics. They took it up as a winning issue and for awhile it was. It soothed their rabid base and played well against the backdrop of the media’s narrative on the GOP. The party leaders maintained the traditional do-nothingness of bureaucracy while feeding the base just enough scraps to keep them hungry and motivated. But the problem with teasing wild animals is that eventually they do more than growl. Eventually they bite, and the Democratic “fringe” base has finally closed their jaws and bitten the hand that feeds them.

Pelosi and her aging colleagues underestimated the power behind that bite, and they certainly grossly underestimated the hunger of the base. Instead of satiated they became emboldened. The cage to the lion’s den has been knocked down and the Pelosi-era Democrats are right in the path of the charging wildlife. 

The Democrats’ braintrust has overplayed their hand and now they suddenly find themselves at the mercy of the “fringe”. One might say that they are the fringe now. In fact, the Democrats overplayed their hand so incredibly badly and their strategy was such an utter failure that it drove half the country to electoral rebellion.

And that is how we got Trump.

Their rage over Trump’s “stolen” presidency was so palpable that instead of rejecting their failed strategy of hyper-identity politics they doubled down. 

Cue the lions.

Now they find themselves in the unenviable position of having had aided the election of a new breed of Democrats who were raised in bigotry but never called to account for it because their “identity” overrode their humanity. Ilhan Omar may say publicly that her degrading language about Jews and Israel is nothing more than intellectual criticism but it’s ignorant to pretend she hasn’t come out of a culture in which the demonization of Jewish people is so normal it is nearly unremarkable. Unfortunately that’s exactly what the Democrats did, thinking they could control the flow of information like they always do.

Now, with people like David Duke expressing public support for Omar, it is painfully obvious that the Democrats have gravely miscalculated.

Nancy Pelosi - once a formidable and steely leader for the Democrats - has suddenly become impotent in the face of the identity politics wing of the party. One can barely remember an occasion when she’s walked back her position on anything and yet here she is this week very publicly walking back her comments on anti-Semitism and excusing Omar’s comments.

Joe Biden was forced to acquiesce to the identity politics wing and apologize for suggesting that Mike Pence is a “decent” human being. 

The Democrats have been so laser-focused on “owning” Trump since his election that they’ve instead ended up owning themselves…in the most tragic of ways. 

Now with this vote on anti-Semitism that has hilariously devolved into a vote on all the bad things in the world (oooh, risky!) and Mitch McConnell’s insistence that the Senate Democrats go on record with their support for the absurd Green New Deal, America (and by extension the mainstream media) is being forced to look at the party that brought us the first black president in a whole different light. They chose to judge their party influencers on what identity box they could check off instead of the content of their character. Now it’s blowing up right in their faces. 

Unfortunately that means that Americans are the unlucky bystanders forced to absorb the ensuing shrapnel. 

When the #Resistance began back in 2016 it seemed like a glorified temper tantrum. Democratic leadership mistakenly believed it was a winning strategy. Instead, they spent so much passion and energy trying to “own the Cons” they just ended up owning their own damn selves.

Spectacularly.