We recently discussed how minority leader Nancy Pelosi fought off a challenge after the disastrous election losses for the Democrats and then promptly declared that the “people [do not] want a new direction.” The statement was widely ridiculed as evidence of how out-of-touch the leadership of the Democratic Party had become and how insulated the members are from voters. Now, retiring Senate minority leader Harry Reid has suggested the same party line that there is no need to change direction after the election.
Reid insisted that the blame for the loss was on FBI Director James Comey and shadowy Republican donors. As we discussed earlier, the public has been consistent that they did not want an establishment candidate and particularly did not want Hillary Clinton. Clinton and Trump were the most unpopular politicians ever to be nominated for president and over 60 percent of voters viewed Clinton as fundamentally dishonest. None of that stopped the DNC from engineering her victory over Bernie Sanders who presented precisely the populist campaign that many voters were looking for. Clinton had the Democratic establishment and many allies in the media — everyone agreed except the public. That was enough . . . until the voters had their say on November 8th.
The Democratic establishment is frantically trying to spin their huge loss to one of the most controversial candidates in history. However, the level of group delusion is impression. Reid repeated Pelosi’s view that there was no need for change in the Democratic party, stating that “I don’t think the Democratic Party is in that big of trouble.” Really, you have lost both houses and a conservative Republican Administration is about to take office. The point for many is obvious. For the establishment, and particularly members, they are not in big trouble. They can count on preserving their positions and the party elite is well insulated against voters.
Reid and the other Democratic Senators have been criticized for leaving their party without critical minority powers after using the “nuclear option” — a move challenged at the time by many of us as incredibly shortsighted and unwise.
It is hard to see what it would take to constitute “trouble” for the Democratic Party but losing total control of both political branches would seem to concentrate the mind of most people.