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Where the Democrats went wrong

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, November 12th, 2016 - 90 comments
Categories: International, us politics - Tags:

Not selecting this guy.

90 comments on “Where the Democrats went wrong ”

  1. Ad 1

    Such a sweet idea, but Bernie appealed to the same educated white people that Hillary Clinton did. And look where that got us.

    Democrats need a candidate for morans.

    • save nz 1.1

      Wrong again AD.

      Bernie would have won. And a real partnership between Bernie and Clinton would have definantly won.

    • chris73 1.2

      I think the Democrats need to stop treating the people as morons

      1. Celebrity endorsements don’t appear to work
      2. Ignoring your voting base doesn’t work
      3. Calling potentially half the people in your country deplorables doesn’t work
      4. Assuming you have the votes and not bothering to campaign doesn’t work
      5. Assuming all women will for for a women is…actually quite sexist

      • Ad 1.2.1

        It all works. Just not quite enough this time.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.2


        The only electoral cohort that came even close to “half” were those who abstained, or were prevented from voting by Republican voter suppression laws and direct intimidation. Clinton and the serial rapist shared the remainder – with her in front (just) – about 25% each.

      • locus 1.2.3

        chris73… treating people as morons is the MO of those – mostly the extreme right and morally compromised – who favour the slanderous and dirty politicking of Trump, and which is delightedly promoted by the click driven money-making media

        • Colonial Viper

          who favour the slanderous and dirty politicking of Trump

          How about all the Clinton supporters who continuously used tabloid sexual innuendo, sneer words and accusations of child rape against Donald Trump.

          That’s not “slanderous and dirty politicking” in your books?

          • locus

            none of what you refer to made the slightest headline in any of the papers I read

            the tabloid innuendo you refer to, was I assume encouraged by – the racist, mysogynistic, sexually abusive language that was actually recorded coming out Trump’s own mouth

    • All the data available to date shows that Hillary voters had lower average incomes than Trump voters.

      Trump did not win off the backs of the poor disenfranchised working class. He won off the backs of authoritarian middle class white people.

      • Olwyn 1.3.1

        “Authoritarian middle class white people” from the rust-belt towns?

        • Colonial Viper

          Clinton supporters are avoiding looking at the obvious. I did a post on this. A super majority of non-college educated whites, men and women, voted Donald J Trump.

          Democrats have lost that white working class vote for now. If Trump does what he does right, Democrats will also lose much more of the black and Latino working class vote in 2020.

      • Ovid 1.3.2

        And a severe drop in turnout compared to the people who elected Obama in 2008 and 2012. Trump’s numbers were roughly the same as Romney’s.

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.3

        Trump did not win off the backs of the poor disenfranchised working class. He won off the backs of authoritarian middle class white people.

        Maybe you should take a look at the queues of people who lined up at Trump rallies all throughout the country, take a look at the type of people they were, and get yourself a reality check.

        • mickysavage

          How about you count and do a reality check?

          • Colonial Viper

            New York Times – why Trump won: White working class votes


            Whatever gains she made among well-educated and Hispanic voters nationwide either didn’t occur to the same extent in the key battlegrounds, or were overwhelmed by Mr. Trump’s huge appeal to white voters without a degree.

            Bear in mind that white median household incomes in the USA are 70% higher than black median household incomes IIRC.

            Most blacks voted Clinton, most whites voted Trump.

            That skews Trump’s apparent income figures upwards.

            Trump’s opportunity: consolidate his white working class appeal and extend it into the Latino and black working class. Entrench his support in the rustbelt/mid west states.

            The Democratic Party long abandoned/long ignored the white non-degree qualified working class.

            And this week a supermajority of them male and female turned their backs on Hillary Clinton and voted for Trump.

    • KJT 1.4

      Bernie also appealed to white and black working class.
      Democrats have abandoned them.

  2. left for dead 2

    testing…Good morning all.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    The issue is that the Democratic hierarchy and the DNC were intestinally incapable of accepting anyone else except Hillary Clinton, the ultimate status quo candidate in a change election year.

    • Jenny 3.1

      Unfortunately it had to take a pugnacious bully to upset the planned Establishment Coronation.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        It’s also going to take a pugnacious bully to drain the Washington DC lobbyist/corporate bought swamp. So I think he’s right for the job.

        • Jenny

          Quiet possibly, but more likely, repurpose it into something much worse.

          • marty mars

            actually I’m sure someone said the deep state had probably endorsed trump at the last minute which is the main way he got over the line – so trump is as establishment as anyone else – of course he’s really just a better liar or maybe a glove puppet for putin and/or the deeeep staaate – hard to know – one thing we DO know is he is a disaster for the environment, of that we can be 100% certain.

        • Stuart Munro

          My US friends say “Sure Trump is gonna clean house. But he’ll dirty it up just as fast with his own crew.”

          There is little reason for optimism where Trump is concerned.

          • The Lone Haranguer

            And my American friends (who have been saying for over a year now that a Trump victory was absolutely inevitable) are wildly optimistic about Trump being great for America.

            Only time will tell us which group was on the money – tho my mates are one up on predicting the election result.

    • Ovid 3.2

      Dan Carlin said pretty much the same thing in his most recent podcast. And Cenk Uygur from the Young Turks.

    • KJT 3.3

      Trump is beyond awful, but he is a result of Republican intransigence and Democrat refusal to take account of ordinary people, in their catering to the establishment.

      50% of the USA didn’t vote, as their Government no longer represents them in any way shape or form.

  4. Andre 4

    I’m not convinced.

    Trump got just a wee bit less vote than Romney or McCain, Clinton got a lot less than Obama. To me, that doesn’t make a wave of enthusiasm for Trump, it means there was just a lot less enthusiasm for Clinton. Most of the old tribal loyalties held, most of the Republican “never Trumpers” came home in the end. The few “never Trumpers” that held out were compensated by the few alt-right deplorables that no responsible political party should ever seek to attract.

    When voting means going out and standing for hours in line, you need to be motivated to do it. That’s generally the experience in poorer parts of cities, not so much in wealthier suburbs or rural areas.

    As I understand it, minorities in the primaries weren’t enthused by Bernie and generally went for Clinton. If they weren’t fired up in the primaries, why would they find a lot more enthusiasm in the general? Who really thinks those voters that found Trump’s brash siren song would have been more attracted to Bernie’s socialism? Remember socialism is still a dirty word to most older people in the US, and what little data we have suggests older people leaned Trump, younger people (who aren’t so negative about socialism) leaned Clinton.

    I have still never seen a good explanation of why the Dem elite were so enthusiastic about Clinton, to the extent that other credible candidates never even put their hands up. Were they simply so attracted by her experience and high approvals at the end of her State time that they underestimated how much the stains from previous smear campaigns would show? Particularly under sustained fresh attack from the right and far-left?

    Is the lesson that “change” is always a powerful argument and that Clinton was “too experienced”? The argument that change is best brought by someone that thoroughly knows the existing system may be too difficult to get across. Maybe there’s a Goldilocks level of experience. Sanders, McCain, Romney, Kerry, Gore had all been in the system a long long time.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Lots of people on The Standard defended Clintons nomination as the Dem candidate. A big mistake IMO.

      And the American people punished the Democrats by not only putting the White House, the Senate, the House, and 3 more state governorships in the Republican tally. They also de facto have given the Republicans control of the Supreme Court.

    • Macro 4.2

      “When voting means going out and standing for hours in line, you need to be motivated to do it. That’s generally the experience in poorer parts of cities, not so much in wealthier suburbs or rural areas.”
      Good points Andre. I too think that the lack of commitment to the democratic process – with the difficulty of voting and the complexity and gerrymandering of districts (particularly by the Republicans in 2010 with the REDMAP) – by the US in general, makes their promotion of world wide democracy laughable.
      Until they can get their own house in order, they have no business trying to tell others.

  5. Jenny 5

    “The Democrats cannot rebuild by pointing fingers at Hillary Clinton and her campaign, which as the Keys demonstrated, were not the root cause of her defeat,” he said. “The Democrats can rehabilitate themselves only by offering an inspiring progressive alternative to Republican policies and building a grass-roots movement.”
    Allan Lichtman


    To which I might add, a movement has to be built around something, and no movement can be built around Business As Usual.

    During the presidential election campaign where, though it was virtually ignored by Clinton, who never properly never challenged Trump on this issue, Climate Change is one of defining issues between Trump* and the Democrats.

    Because of this the Democratic Party couldn’t do better than coming out in support of Standing Rock, which is a movement that embodies the protection of the environment over corporate profit.

    Bernie has done it. He has visited Standing Rock.

    To regain any shred of credibility and to heal the rifts between the Party and the base. the Clintons the Gores and the other leading Democratic Party establishment figures need to visit Standing alongside Bernie Sanders. Otherwise the Democrats will continue to be riven with divisions that will make building a “grass-roots movement” nigh near impossible.

    The American people need to see them standing there, alongside Bernie.

    • Jenny 5.1

      *(Notice I said “Trump” and not the Republicans. The reason. Even the establishment Republican Party insiders know that climate change represents a deadly near and present danger. [Not that they want to do anything about it that might affect Business As Usual])

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    What will happen in OUR election?

    Will we have a Bernie Sanders?

    • Jenny 6.1

      A damn good question.

      A better question might be, can Andrew LIttle transform himself into a Bernie Sanders?

      • Jenny 6.1.1

        There are signs that this could be possible.

        Climate justice and social justice are closely entwined, both mean challenging the status quo. And one inevitably feeds into the other.

        Andrew Little declared at the Green Party Conference that, A government he led would become a world leader on climate change.

        And long time Labour Party insider Phil Goff as Mayor of New Zealand’s biggest city has just voted down deep sea oil drilling.

        These are very hopeful moves for the Labour Party.

        • Richard McGrath

          So the Auckland Council will have to cancel their scheduled deep sea drilling programme?

      • Grey Area 6.1.2

        An even better question would be would the current Labour MPs allow him to, even if he could (which I doubt). Andrew Little to me is a genuine person making a good fist of a difficult job. But he’s not Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn.

        • Jenny

          An even better question would be would the current Labour MPs allow him to, even if he could…..
          Grey Area

          By this standard even Bernie Sanders was not Bernie Sanders. (Who was blocked by the Democratic Party establishment.)

          Andrew Little could do worse than to take a page out of Trump’s play book, who defied the whole Republican Party establishment, virtually telling them all to go to hell.

      • Anne 6.1.3

        …can Andrew LIttle transform himself into a Bernie Sanders?

        He is already more than half way there Jenny. He is saying exactly the same things as Bernie Sanders. Problem is: the msm are bypassing the message in order to concentrate on putting words into his mouth he never used, or misinterpreting (on purpose) words he did use. So his message is not getting through to the populace.

        He continues to move around the country talking to people at every opportunity but that of course is not enough. How do you force the msm to play fair?

        • Richard Rawshark

          Trump them with lawyers.

        • Jenny

          Oops! Sorry Anne, I pasted this in the wrong place.

          How do you force the msm to play fair?

          • Jenny

            Politics, like life, is not fair.

            Words to live by:

            Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if you take take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up—if you do these things, then next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today and—what started here will indeed have changed the world—for the better


            • Anne

              Yes Jenny. I go along with that quote. It’s hard sometimes when your enemies (be they personal or political) are determined to cause you to fail but the answer is to never give up. It’s my past experience that it makes you are stronger person in the end.

        • Blaming the media is a mug’s game. This is 2016. We have many other channels to use, like Facebook, Twitter and party websites.

          • Stuart Munro

            Traditionally blaming the media has been quixotic, however dishonest they were. But the media are no longer monolithic – they are increasingly vulnerable and may perhaps be brought into more of a semblance of neutrality.

            They know – no-one better – that their clickbait cynicism and bias is losing them their market share. There are fewer cushy outcomes for laid-off journalists every day.

            • Well Fed Weta

              Stuart, it is my view that ‘the people’ don’t actually want neutrality. The most popular news network in the US is Fox, who are openly pro-right. Their main competition, CNN and MSNBC, are both pro-left. The MSM are losing market share to alternative news delivery, such as blogs, virtually all of which have a declared bias. The days of a neutral media are, in my opinion, long gone.

              • Stuart Munro

                Friend of mine did some research on this – taught a group of journos at three papers a quality metric for reporting – timeliness, accuracy, balance, depth & so on. Lifted their circulation by 70%.

                It’s like comedy and tragedy – people don’t want the mental effort of serious drama – but they remember and prefer serious over cheap ‘entertainment’.

                There’s no point in following invented news – truth is stranger than fiction so ultimately made-up stuff is boring.

                Fox succeeds because things like Murdoch’s influence prevent real journalism from competing. The truth does not serve Murdoch’s neo-liberal ends – so he gradually destroys the validity of his business. It’s almost Grecian.

        • Colonial Viper

          He is already more than half way there Jenny. He is saying exactly the same things as Bernie Sanders.

          – where has Little attacked the conduct of the banks and the financial sector?
          – where has Little attacked the effect of neoliberalism and free trade policies?
          – where has Little attacked the obscene wealth of the mega-rich?
          – where has Little advocated for increased taxes on millionaires and corporations?
          – where are the crowds of thousands following Little around to hear him speak?

          Sorry Anne, Little ain’t no Bernie Sanders.

    • Peter 6.2

      ( Will we have a Bernie Sanders? )

      I don’t think there’s a snowballs chance in hell. The Labour party IMOP no longer represent the left.

  7. Siobhan 7

    The clock is ticking for neo liberalism bulshit progressives.

    The question is do the ‘morans’ rebel first…and deliver us a big pile of crap like Trump or whatever Fascists are climbing to power in Europe.

    Or do we, the Leftists or Progressives, or even Centrists…take the initiative, ‘grow some’, turn on our supposedly benevolent, lesser of two Evils, overlords…and deliver candidates of REAL DEEP STRUCTURAL CHANGE TO THE WHOLE ECONOMIC MODEL>

    Turn Labour Left.

    And vote for the Left wing candidate who doesn’t scream in horror at being labeled a Socialist or any related label.

    (or keep to our bubble and sit around like stunned mullets when Trump or Brexit or whatever-next rolls in to town)

    • Richard Rawshark 7.1

      “Or do we, the Leftists or Progressives, or even Centrists…take the initiative, ‘grow some’, turn on our supposedly benevolent, lesser of two Evils, overlords…and deliver candidates of REAL DEEP STRUCTURAL CHANGE TO THE WHOLE ECONOMIC MODEL>”

      I’d back that, had enough of a government and it’s more of the same year in year out, the system is not working, is it? anyone here think the western political system in it’s current formats working?

      • Garibaldi 7.1.1

        Yes Siobhan, but it won’t happen with this bunch of neolib labour MPs. I think we are banging our head against a brick wall around here telling Labour time and time again to mend its ways. Many of the commentators here cannot see the need for a change in direction.

    • KJT 7.2

      “Morans” = ordinary people who see that the current arrangements are definitely not working for them and their children’s future.

      Who can see that no one in the establishment, or current political parties, want to know.

      Who see that the only way to change BAU is to chose someone outside the tweedledee and tweedledum establishment.

      No matter how repugnant.

      Not “morans” but entirely logical people.

      The same will happen in New Zealand, unless we get alternatives that differ, in reality not rhetoric, from the current “take of your leg and still take of your leg but use some anesthetic” alternatives. ( Nod to D Cunliff).

  8. Morrissey 8

    Obama’s cowardly, pathetic attempts to curry favour with the extreme right only earned him contempt from all sides. Look at the following two photographs. The first shows him with Raoul Castro….


    The second shows him shaking hands with Donald Trump….


    Why did he fear to be seen shaking hands like a man with Castro? Because he was imagining what Fox News would do with the footage. It’s a perfect example of the sort of vacillation that has made the last eight years such a wasted opportunity and a disappointment.

  9. Richard Rawshark 9


    History has repeated.. and we said it would NEVER happen again.

    warning offensive content.

  10. Jenny 10

    “He continues to move around the country talking to people at every opportunity but that of course is not enough. How do you force the msm to play fair?”

    Anne, the MSM would sit up and take notice, as if given an electric shock. If Andrew Little joined Phil Goff in declaring that a Labour led Government would, “from day one”*, send the deep sea oil drillers and seabed miners packing.

    • KJT 10.1

      That would be being a true Labour party. Something the “don’t scare the horses” Labour caucus would fight tooth and nail.

      It is the sort of thing that is really required to fight AGW.

      Labour, and the US democrats, were both to much part of the establishment to do it.

      Now they have Trump to push against instead of a Government which pretended it was on the side of stopping AGW, but in reality continued to subsidise and fight wars to support big oil, we may see some real hard activism against climate change in the USA.

      The Democrats may even use it as a point of difference against the Repugs. LOL.

  11. Jenny 11

    *(to borrow a Trumpism)


    “The First Day Project”


  12. slumbergod 12

    Invite Bernie to come to NZ to compete at the next elections. He’d probably beat the useless choices we will have.

  13. Colonial Viper 14

    The disaster that Obama/Clinton has been for the Democratic Party

    At least 870 Democratic elected legislators and leaders lost since 2008.

    10% loss in Senate seats.
    19% and 20% loss in House and legislature seats.
    36% loss in state governors.

    The US Democratic Party has taken a body blow.


    • locus 14.1

      yes the rise of the conservative right is depressing, but don’t assume that this is a “body blow” to Democrats…. despite all the slanderous lies and conspiracy theories about Obama and Hillary, he won two elections and Hillary won the popular vote

      I predict that things will change drastically over the next 4 years from the Republicans’ and Trump’s reign and their regressive, illiberal, self-destructive politics…

      and the real ‘body blow’ will be to American society and the many many poor and minority groups who will suffer the fallout

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        despite all the slanderous lies and conspiracy theories about Obama and Hillary, he won two elections and Hillary won the popular vote

        While giving Republicans control of all the branches of US government, as well as 33 of the 48 state governorships.

        I see this election result as a massive repudiation of Obama’s legacy (which is going to be promptly dismantled next year).

        Obama and Clinton do not deserve a pass mark. Especially Clinton who lost states that the Dems had won for 30 years.

        • locus

          CV – you see it your way and I see it mine

          imo you have waged a bitter relentless attack on Clinton, Obama, Democrats, the Left and anyone who expresses disgust for the slanderous lies and prejudice-feeding awfulness of Trump

          I see the massive majority of Black, Hispanic and minority group voters who voted for Hillary over Trump (including the majority of all Americans who voted) as a sign that liberal, progessive and decent values are alive and well in the the US.

          I am also convinced that the Republicans got their support from the hatred machine they created that blamed Democrats, Clintons and Obama for every real or perceived problem or threat to their way of life.

          Now that the Republicans have control of everything and fail to make things better, maybe we’ll see a complete reversal in those statistics in 4 years time

      • Richard McGrath 14.1.2

        What slanderous lies about Hillary? Whitewater? Qatar and the Saudis investing in the Clinton Global Initiative? The “suicide” of so many people who have posed a threat to the Clinton crime family?

        • locus

          Richard, statements like “Clinton crime factory” are exactly what I meant by “slanderous lies”

          – and lets be very clear, the entire Republican machine has generated multiple unfounded and disproven politically motivated accusations about Hillary Clinton over the past 20 years

          Your utter disrespect for Hillary Clinton means you can’t even begin to see that Trump is in a league of his own when it comes to dissembling, hiding the truth and outright lying.

          The rate, volume, putrescence and malevolence of what Trump has said about his opponents over the past few months make him completely untrustworthy and unfit to be given any kind of responsibility for governing on behalf of all Americans.

          Trump has fed the seething hatreds of many Repubicans, his lack of transparency regarding his tax returns is instructive, his lies about his dealings with Russia, his illegal use of his ‘charities’, the slanderous and relentless birther conspiracy which he fostered. And I haven’t even started on Trump University fraud…

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