James Carville is blunt. He’s energetic. He’s out there. He’s one of the architects of Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 campaign. The man knows how to win, and Mr. “it’s the economy, stupid” knows that his party’s left-wing shift could be electoral suicide. He has railed against what some in the Democratic Party have noted since their shocking 2016 defeat. The party is regional, not diverse, and insufferably condescending. The professional elite that dominates the urban bastions of the country is not enough to win an election.
Vox reached out to Carville, where the longtime strategist continued to vent his frustration, notably the Iowa Caucus debacle, where the narrative now is Democrats want to take over health care, but they can’t count votes. He was also not afraid to rip Bernie Sanders a new one, as well as liberals who hold the “urbanist” mindset that they’re better than everyone else (via Vox) [emphasis mine]:
Look, the turnout in the Iowa caucus was below what we expected, what we wanted. Trump’s approval rating is probably as high as it’s been. This is very bad. And now it appears the party can’t even count votes. What the hell am I supposed to think? [On why he’s scared to death about this upcoming election]
Look, Bernie Sanders isn’t a Democrat. He’s never been a Democrat. He’s an ideologue. And I’ve been clear about this: If Bernie is the nominee, I’ll vote for him. No question. I’ll take an ideological fanatic over a career criminal any day. But he’s not a Democrat.
They’ve tacked off the damn radar screen. And look, I don’t consider myself a moderate or a centrist. I’m a liberal. But not everything has to be on the left-right continuum. I love Warren’s day care plan just like I love Booker’s baby bonds. That’s the kind of stuff our candidates should explain and define clearly and repeatedly for voters and not get diverted by whatever the hell is in the air that day.
Here’s another stupid thing: Democrats talking about free college tuition or debt forgiveness. I’m not here to debate the idea. What I can tell you is that people all over this country worked their way through school, sent their kids to school, paid off student loans. They don’t want to hear this shit. And you saw Warren confronted by an angry voter over this. It’s just not a winning message.
I want to give you an example of the problem here. A few weeks ago, Binyamin Appelbaum, an economics writer for the New York Times, posted a snarky tweet about how LSU canceled classes for the National Championship game. And then he said, do the “Warren/Sanders free public college proposals include LSU, or would it only apply to actual schools?”
You know how fucking patronizing that is to people in the South or in the middle of the country? First, LSU has an unusually high graduation rate, but that’s not the point. It’s the goddamn smugness. This is from a guy who lives in New York and serves on the Times editorial board and there’s not a single person he knows that doesn’t pat him on the back for that kind of tweet. He’s so fucking smart.
Appelbaum doesn’t speak for the Democratic Party, but he does represent the urbanist mindset. We can’t win the Senate by looking down at people. The Democratic Party has to drive a narrative that doesn’t give off vapors that we’re smarter than everyone or culturally arrogant.
Leah wrote that Sanders hit back and called Carville a hack, which he proudly embraced, adding that at least he wasn’t a communist. On MSNBC's Morning Joe, Carville noted that Sanders is pretty much our version of the UK Labour Party's Jeremy Corbyn, who allowed their hyper-left-wing Twitter followers to dictate policy, which led to ruin. Carville thinks that could happen, and that Trump will be re-elected if that occurs. That's what he fears most. If I were a Democrat, that would worry me as well. Alas, I'm not. So, go sweat somewhere else.