Politics & Policy

The Democrats Retreat from Reality

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer on Capitol Hill in September. (Reuters photo: Joshua Roberts)
Liberals cash in while the Left takes control

‘Retreat” is an appropriate description of what took place in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, this week. Senate Democrats took a break from not confirming President Trump’s cabinet to visit this historic city in a state the president won by 40 points. According to Politico the assembled were scheduled to hear from associates of the Clinton family and to “hold lessons on how to talk to real people.” Oh to be a fly on the wall.

I like to imagine Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer nodding sagely as Joe Manchin, the only Democratic senator with a modicum of common sense, asks a group of Trump voters to explain why calling people drug-addled unemployable racist misogynistic fascists is not, in fact, the best way to earn their votes. It’s moments like these when Barbara Boxer’s absence from the Democratic caucus would be most felt, I think. Faced with Trump supporters, the former California senator likely would respond with a hysterical and barely coherent monologue involving climate change, immigration, abortion rights, and gun control, all the while oblivious to the fact that these were the very issues that brought Trump to office. At least Boxer has pizzazz. These days the role of the clueless liberal proclaiming her moral supremacy over the déclassé is left to the nondescript, soporific, Dolores Umbridge-like Patty Murray. Here is yet another example of national decline.

“Real people” are what the Democratic party is sorely missing. By real I do not mean the members of a specific ethnic or religious or cultural or regional group but simply those men and women who are uninterested in the latest trend embraced by the Left. For the Democratic party to win again, it would need to recapture voters in the Midwest and Appalachia who supported Barack Obama twice but felt so disillusioned and dejected by the end of his second term, so utterly unenthused by the bland and corrupt technological illiterate the party nominated to replace him, that they embraced an outsider who promised to upend the system. The Trump era is just beginning, but so far Democrats have been much more willing to retreat into their ideological cubbyholes, or ascribe the election results to (take your pick) James Comey, fake news, or Russian subversion, than to acknowledge the power of nationalism and populism. It’s their loss.

The splintering of the Democrats is rather something to behold. I giggle when I consider the reaction of “real people” to the DNC candidates’ forum the other day. There could be no better display of just how far to the left the party is moving. First the location of the forum was changed after the Washington Free Beacon reported on the anti-Israel activism of its original host. Then the festivities opened with a performance by a slam poet that left our correspondent in a state of delirium. The first candidate to speak, a white lady from Idaho, said her job would be to “shut other white people down.” The evening will be remembered for laundering the word “intersectionality,” a piece of jargon originating in departments of comparative literature and gender studies, into American political discourse. Do not ask me what it means. “We did a poor job of communicating intersectionality,” one candidate said. “I’m a walking intersectionality,” said another. Millions of Americans have dropped out of the workforce, families struggle with addiction, crime is rising, and how do the men and women and non-binaries running for DNC chair respond? “Let them eat intersectionality!”

The DNC candidates might be insane but they know who butters their bread. All but one of them skipped the Women’s March for an elaborate donor conference at the lavish Turnberry Isle Resort in Florida, where they performed for the millionaires and billionaires gathered by skeezy Clinton operative David Brock. He is busily constructing a multimillion-dollar empire of outside groups to antagonize, oppose, and ultimately impeach President Trump. Brock says he is a former conservative Republican but I am beginning to think he is actually a GOP mole. His ascent coincides with the Democratic party’s decline.

Other liberals are becoming suspicious. “I met with him a couple times,” a former Obama administration official said of Brock last week. “He’s f—ing weird.” The former official likened Brock to the villain in Zoolander. “I don’t know what the f— [Brock’s network] did besides raise a ton of money,” the source went on, “and I don’t think the after-action report on 2016 says we need more David Brock. Probably the opposite is true.”

Unfortunately for our anonymous source, more David Brock is exactly what the Democrats are likely to get. Brock was there at the Senate Democratic retreat, along with fellow Clintonites Neera Tanden, who runs the Center for American Progress and its Action Fund, and Guy Cecil, who wasted $190 million dollars during the 2016 cycle. Always mimicking conservatives, Democrats appear to have developed a donor class of their own: washed-up D.C. consultants and hangers-on whose only expertise is convincing the well heeled to fund their institutions and campaigns. The members of this class are so busy raising and spending money, so busy theorizing about the Platonic idea of resistance to Trump, that they seem not to mind as the multicultural Left takes over their party. To whom will the American people turn, the America-First president in the White House, or the micro-aggression commissars at the DNC? There will be plenty to discuss at the next retreat.

— Matthew Continetti is the editor-in-chief of the Washington Free Beacon, where this column first appeared. © 2017 All rights reserved

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