Come on, people, Dems aren’t our saviors

It hasn’t been that long since I Demexited after a lifetime as a yellow dog Dem, registered independent, and voted for Donald Trump.  Like a lot of people, I’m still unpacking it all – the campaign, the choices, what island to now land on.  Not a Republican, surely never a Democrat again, and “independent” doesn’t really have a home in this two-party system.  

All my adult life, when progressive values were under siege, threatened, by hard right Republican policies, I’d think, well, not to worry – the Dems will save us.  Then came 2016, and the primary debacle, and Wikileaks, and Clinton, sauntering haughtily toward the White House with, “girl, we don’t need no stinking message, it’s your turn” churning in her brain, and in the brains of her loyalists – and I changed.  Contrary to popular belief, this sea change I, and others, went through wasn’t just sour grapes that the DNC had its thumb on the scale for Clinton hard as hell and Bernie suffered for it.  Bernie might or might not have beaten Trump – that, we’ll never know.  No, what changed was my belief that Dems were the good guys.  I lived in a utopia – everything Dem = Good, everything Republican = Bad.  I don’t know what I am now, but the one sure thing is that I now have an opportunity for re-growth and a hardened eye toward who the good guys really are – and aren’t.

The most astounding thing about the 2016 election and Trump’s win is how many people still believe that, if only Clinton were in office, things would be sweetness and light and all about doing the right thing and flower power and moonlight and roses.  Far be it from me to burst that particular bubble, but no – we’d be having special prosecutors and investigations and the same sort of obstruction from Republicans against Clinton that we’re now seeing by Dems against Trump.  It would be business as usual, with Clinton surrounding herself with her closest personal allies and those who did their best to screw over Bernie Sanders (Podesta, Abedin, Palmieri, Mills, Samuels, Tanden – I would have included Mook, except the book “Shattered” indicated she hates him) – only their side lost, so the business of today is tea-party-channeling Dem obstruction of everything Trump.  There are no words to describe my horror when I heard the Dems in the House this week singing some way wrong version of “Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey, Goodbye” around the House healthcare vote – first, because it was pettiness taken to an insanely juvenile, humiliating level, and also because that’s what I’ve been saying to the Democratic Party for the past year.  And these are the same people who crucified Ted Cruz for reading Dr. Seuss during a long-winded speech on the Senate floor.

The Democratic Party has gone about this all wrong.  They ran a terrible candidate, who ran a terrible campaign, who didn’t lose because of misogyny, Russia, Comey, or because some witches cast a spell on the American electorate.  She lost because people couldn’t stand her and couldn’t trust her, and they can’t stand her or trust her now.  She’s setting up a PAC, joining the “Resistance” movement, pretending relevance when even progressives are begging her to STFU and go away.  I echo that sentiment – but more importantly, hyping her as some hybrid, grass-roots “leader” of the Democratic Party is, first, laughable, and second, only shoots down any hope the Party has to resurrect itself into something palatable for the millions who rejected Clinton, the Establishment’s preferred candidate.  Look at the Democratic bench for 2020:  Elizabeth Warren (considered a sell-out by many for not endorsing Bernie Sanders in the primary), Bernie Sanders (who, though wildly popular, would, again, not get Democratic Party support), Cory Booker (a Clinton lap-dog from way back), Martin O’Malley (never a popular choice by the Dems), Joe Biden, Al Franken, Andrew Cuomo, Kamala Harris, even Tom Perez . . . the list goes pretty much on, but there’s nothing to see here.  Each and every potential 2020 candidate has one thing in common: They’re pure establishment candidates (with the possible exception of O’Malley), not even close to the Sanders wing of the party (except for, well, Sanders, who isn’t a Democrat).  And despite her stated claim that she won’t run for president again, nobody should ever rule out the walking ego that is Hillary Clinton – you can almost hear the wheels spinning in her brain, that after four years of Trump, it might really really this time be her turn.  (Ever hear any serious mention of Nina Turner, Tulsi Gabbard, Keith Ellison, any of the Bernie progressive wing?  Me, neither.)  The Resistance movement (or whatever it’s calling itself) is one of the most mundane, lame, garden variety nothing-burgers out there.  Their stated agenda is to obstruct everything Trump does – which sounds pretty familiar, since the Tea Party invented that concept in 2009 when Obama took office.  But so what?  They sing snarky songs on the House floor, stage some protests, let Trump know they don’t like him.  Does this build a brand?  Does this make up for the multitude of mistakes they’ve made, for their failure to back the working class, their failure to openly advocate for single payer, their dismal record on jobs, their self-serving sucking up to the healthcare industry (hello Senator Feinstein), financial industry (nice try, Pelosi), Big Pharm (nice gig, there, Booker), lobbyists of every stripe, their failure to promote a plan for and message of success for this country?

After losing about 400 friends on Facebook during the 2016 campaign and another few hundred after people learned that I, a long-time, loud-mouthed, activist, Dems-can-do-no-wrong progressive, had voted for Trump, I changed.  Dems aren’t the good guys, and Dem loyalists – those feverish types like Peter Daou, who thinks the media should apologize to Clinton, and that we should just overthrow Trump and install Clinton in the White House – are destroying any chance that the Democratic Party may have to ever get it together.  Dems are, actually, veering closer and closer, in my mind, to being the bad guys.  They’re a bunch of false-flaggers.  They don’t take responsibility, won’t admit they need to change, are petty, narrow-minded, small-tent, rude, hostile, bitter – and dumb.  They’re looking at 2020 candidates who are just incarnates of who they looked at in 2016 – and look how that turned out.  They conduct “unity tours” and talk about progressive values, try to convince people they’re the grown-ups in the room, all while singing stupid shit on the House floor.  Dems did at one time have a brand:  They supposedly stood up for the little guy, were big on social policies that helped the poor and downtrodden, liked economic equality and equality for women and all those other positive things.  Now, all they have is an urge to break shit, not build shit.  Blanket obstruction only works when there’s a goal and organization – and at this point, I’d be shocked if the Democratic Party, as it stands, could organize a one-car funeral.

I was duped for a long time by the hype that the Dems stood for what I stood for.  My disgust at what they actually do stand for, and who and what they are willing to back at all costs, led to my Demexit and vote for Trump.  And there’s one more thing (goodbye, 500 more Facebook friends):  I still have no regrets, about either Demexiting or voting for Trump.  It’s what the Dems deserve, and what they will continue to deserve since introspection isn’t their thing.  They aren’t, folks, here to help us.