The Monday morning broadcast of MSNBC’s Morning Joe featured the Democratic Party becoming a punching bag for bad fundraising, bad leadership, and having absolutely zero sense of direction. For a party that has high hopes for the 2018 midterms, it could end in disaster if they don’t get their intraparty squabbles in order—and neither side wants to budge. The Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren wing is committed to pushing the party to the Left, while the Obama/Clinton wing wants to prevent a Leninist takeover of the party.
Extremely smart pundits: Ha ha, Trump is finished!— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) August 20, 2017
RNC: We are getting so many donations we don't know what to do with them. pic.twitter.com/OJ6WCGLCZQ
The New York Times’ Bret Stephens commented that he doesn’t know what the Democratic Party stand for other than hating Trump, noting that voters see them as contemptuous of ordinary Americans and their struggles. On top of that, there is a push from the hard Left to relegate white working class voters to their fate, something that Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) rejects. These voters are not die-hard Republicans; they’re swing voters, which Boyle noted by referencing the fact that Obama won Luzerne County and Scranton twice, even John Kerry was able to win in these areas.
Former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. hit Democrats on the lack of messaging, noting that in the 23-24 districts that Democrats think they can pick off from the GOP, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is less popular than Trump. The polling is awful. He admits that without a local message and messengers to build a campaign around, it’s very hard for Democrats to win a majority. Also, there’s the other gut punch from Third Way, which noted that if Democrats were to turnout every Clinton voter who voted for a Republican member for Congress in 2016 and have them flip their vote, it still wouldn’t be enough to win back the House.
As Cortney wrote yesterday, the Democratic Party has been in a fundraising rut, posting its worst July month in a decade. This is due to the Republicans building a massive small donor base akin to that of President Barack Obama that’s keeping the war chest well stuffed. Another thing the MSNBC program touched upon was the notion that the Democratic brand is just a disaster. Axios’ Jonathan Swan noted this, noting the party has just been thrashed over the past year. He added that there is energy outside of the party, with groups like Indivisible, but that energy hasn’t translated into election wins; we saw that with Georgia’s special election. Again, we’re back to who's the leader and what direction the party is going to take because, as he said, a Cory Booker presidency would be very different from one with Elizabeth Warren behind the Resolute Desk. And yes, I just threw up a little in my mouth thinking about those results.
The New York Times’ Yamiche Alcindor also touched upon how the Democratic Party is leaderless, and that they still have yet to find their new identity. Right now, she added that it seems to be a fight between whether an old Democratic socialist is going to become the face of the party, or an equally aged liberal from New York (Schumer). That’s not necessarily very motivating. Alcindor also touched upon the Democrats’ thin bench and the need for fresh blood to takeover from a leadership team that’s increasingly looking like the participants of Bingo night at a retirement home.
In all, it was quite a thorough trashing of the Democratic Party. Both wings of the party think their direction is right. There will be no compromise here. I think it’s safe to assume the progressive blood sports will continue, so grab a beer or two.