Maybe the Democratic Party establishment is just petty and incompetent

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
― Upton Sinclair

It's easy to blame corruption for the reason why the Democratic establishment consistently gets everything wrong. In fact, they get things wrong so consistently that it's hard to imagine it otherwise.
But as George Carlin put it, "It's a big club, and you ain't in it!"
It's natural to forget that corporate groupthink when you aren't part of that group.

Consider what was "common knowledge" not so long ago.

"The lesson of Sanders’s performance may be less about the growing appetite for left-leaning policies than about the unlikely bedfellows that underpin many presidential campaigns."
- Dan Hopkins,, Jul. 11, 2016

"Why are the Bernie Sanders people so determined to make trouble for the Democrats?"
- Bill Schneider, July 26, 2016

"many Democrats were convinced they didn’t need Ellison to harness grassroots excitement. It’s not just Sanders’s backers who are energized, they argued. And officials said they are confident that most of the Sanders/Ellison wing will come back into the fold"
- Jeff Stein, Vox, Feb 25, 2017

You can almost feel the lack of a clue.
I'm sure that there was universal agreement at those Washington cocktail parties that Sanders' supporters were just ignorant and naive voters that Bernie had misled. They just needed to blow off some steam.
...and they deserved some shaming for not being sufficiently loyal to the party.
After all, no one at those expensive, insider cocktail parties ever admitted to doing anything wrong. So the reason the Dems lost must have been the fault of "them".

It's "common knowledge" that you must go to the center to win elections.
Never mind that for some reason Republicans never do that, so why do they keep winning?
Never mind the horrible record of the centrists.
So what is an establishment Dem do when history proves your basic assumptions wrong?

when this advice does not work, history is retroactively re-written to fit it.

In 2006, the New York Times (3/12/06) claimed that the Democrats lost the 2000 election because Al Gore “unmoored himself” from Bill Clinton’s centrist politics to run as a “populist scourge of Big Oil and Big Healthcare,” and therefore “drastically underperformed.” Yet while he was running, media were presenting him as a thoroughly “pragmatic” politician (Economist, 8/10/00). Indeed, the Times itself reported that Gore’s “centrist agenda” (8/15/00) was so conservative that his support from the Democratic base was wilting (8/17/00, 9/9/00).
...And going further back, both Mondale and Dukakis’ losing presidential bids pushed the Democrats to the right as well. In real time, the New York Times (5/8/88) had praised Dukakis’ “pragmatic, centrist approach.” When Mondale ran, similarly, the Times (7/22/84) depicted his 1984 campaign as “a shift from liberal positions of 1976 and 1980,” noting the only mention of “liberalism” in his platform was to denigrate it. But as FAIR’s Jim Naureckas (Extra!, 9/92) noted, “When the ‘pragmatists’ lose badly with their centrist approach, they are repainted after the fact as radicals, so the strategy of tilting to the right can be tried again and again.”

But then those leftists kept acting out. And organizing.
This was completely unexpected, and that has caused a lot of confusion and tension for the establishment.

A series of tweets by CNN's Jake Tapper revealed that the moderates still don't get it. "House Democrats appeared unified in their votes this week but I've spent the day talking to a bunch of them and many are extremely frustrated," Tapper said. "Other House Democrats are conflicted about having to defend the Squad given things they've said and done. House Dems cited: talk of supporting challengers to incumbent Dems in primaries, AOC's use of the term 'concentration camps,' anti-Semitic comments by Tlaib & Omar." (According to dictionaries, AOC is right. Neither Tlaib nor Omar are on record saying anything anti-Semitic.)

From what I can tell, the difference is a matter of respect. The Dem establishment respects the Republican establishment, so when the Repubs defeat the dems it's all part of the game.
The Dem establishment has absolutely no respect at all for anyone on the left, especially poor people. So when the grassroots fights back, the Dem establishment looks at it like getting bit by your pet dog.

A Times columnist remarked: "It is simply a fact that leftists, as well as the generally disaffected, need to be courted just as moderates do." But the establishment right-wingers in charge of the Democratic Party are not only not courting leftists, they keep actively snubbing and insulting them.

The leftist insurgency can no longer be ignored, and this has caused the arrogant, insular establishment to act out in petulant ways.

On Friday, one senior Democratic source reportedly told Fox News' Brooke Singman the effort would be futile. "No one is afraid of those nerds," the source said. "They don't have the ability to primary anyone."

First of all, they DO have the ability to primary people. Secondly, notice how the media is quoting an anonymous source.
The Democratic establishment is using anonymous sources a lot these days, because they are cowards.

FAIR contributor Adam Johnson and Justice Democrats communications director Waleed Shahid observed, other anonymous sources are not very different in content, because corporate media are generally granting anonymity to sources in the Democratic establishment looking to run opposition talking points against progressive lawmakers and organizations.
Another anonymous source in The Hill(7/12/19) branded Ocasio-Cortez as “a puppet” of “elitist white liberals,” in a report on Justice Democrats’ plans to primary incumbent Democrats belonging to the Congressional Black Caucus. The nameless aide went on to say, “It’s offensive that these elitist white liberals feel like they can undermine the foundation of our party.”
Axios (7/14/19) took the unusual step of granting anonymity to a poll, revealing neither who conducted the survey nor who (selectively) revealed its findings—other than “top Democrats.” Writer Mike Allen wrote that the polling group’s name was withheld “because the group has to work with all parts of the party.”
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chuck utzman

TULSI 2020

of the Capitalist Party. Win or lose there is always some bogeyman to fund raise off of. Kind of like those non profits where 90% of the funding goes to the officers and "overhead".

Right now these leeches are nervous because they've run out of credible villains to blame. After 50 years of deliberately ineffective legislating (for us) blaming the voters isn't flying. We voted for dems to do their job, and they didn't. It's becoming apparent this crop of dems isn't going to either.

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ggersh's picture

Maybe the Democratic Party establishment is just petty andpathetically incompetent

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tRump amerika's last president

Prez tRumpet blows hard, nothing comes out


@ggersh One side is "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." I prefer the other edge; "Never attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by malice." Put another way, they really did mean to do that.

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it is all one party. Extreme RW vs R-Centrist factions

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I think it’s fair to say that the left-punching, bullying behavior of establishment Democrats in August of 2019 is now already around the level it was at in October of 2016. If it’s not at that level yet it will be soon. The 2020 election is still very far away, so we can bet that things are going to get much, much more hostile between the two factions in the future.

The beltway pundits were able to choke down their rage and vitriol for a few months of the presidential race, hoping against hope that the Sanders campaign would be eclipsed by fauxgressives like Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg and kill his numbers in the polls. As soon as it became clear that this wasn’t going to happen, the friendly mask fell off and the claws came out.

That’s good. Now it’s a clean, fair, honest fight: toe-to-toe, gloves off, and no holds barred. Without the false container of civility and politeness, narratives are much harder to control, and populist narratives have an easier time emerging. Neera made a major miscalculation.

Very interesting indeed.

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Wally's picture

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit

. . David Sirota, Briahna Joy Gray, and many more top publicists and organizers on the team pulling together and moving forward and growing a critical mass of one million movers and shakers -- AND MORE!

And the establishment is depending on demonstrated failures like Neema Tanden, David BoNk, Adam Parchedmenko, et al. They have a lot of money and a lot of dirty tricks up their sleeves, to be sure.

But who ever thought an ArmandoKos could be so grotesque to an extent where he even wound up getting skulled and crossboned fired from his Kos position and a timeout????? Seems like he didn't get banned. (edit/update)

We've gotten under their skin and they are flipping out. Who knows? Maybe some might even come to their senses? I'm not going to go too far here, though, and expect too much from most of them.

But guess what? Now they are very much outnumbered.


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k9disc's picture

Can't be incompetence if they keep winning and leading during this Democratic Decade of Fail.

More generally, Dunning said, “Whenever you see somebody acting in what looks like an incompetent way you have to ask yourself if they actually perceive themselves doing a different task than what you think they're doing, and being very competent in [that task].” He cited an example from his own experience, a dean at a university he had observed, who “would speak in non sequiturs,” hardly a sign of intellectual competence, “until I realized this task was to outlast everybody, just so he got his way, and that he was brilliant. But if you thought his task was to bring many minds in together, and come to an understanding … no, that was not the task.”

They are highly competent, and obviously, doing a great job. It's why they STILL run the Democratic Party.

We have got to get past this question, and I know it's kind of tongue and cheek, gj, but we need to answer with a resounding "Nope!" to this question of incompetence and also to the "corruption" charges.

These people are doing a great job. They are doing exactly the work that Big Corporate & the Oligarchs pays them to do. We must realize that in order to change it.

Chalking it up to incompetence and corruption is to place it squarely in the realm of human frailty.

American politics doesn't suffer from human frailty problems, it suffers from systemic, corporate sponsored rot. It is by design and is built into the system. That must be removed before we move on to issues of human frailty.

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu


We have got to get past this question, and I know it's kind of tongue and cheek, gj, but we need to answer with a resounding "Nope!" to this question of incompetence and also to the "corruption" charges.

Sure, losing to Repubs was an acceptable cost in order to keep the working class down.

But what about the incompetent way that they've mishandled the progressive insurgency?
They've repeatedly missed chances to throw the true left a bone, and instead managed to antagonized the grassroots instead. Instead of doing their job by embracing popular movements on the left in order to neuter them, they've first dismissed and ignored the insurgency, then totally rejected it and allowed it to grow independent of the Democratic establishment.
Now it's beginning to take on a life of its own. What could have been limited to Bernie is now a mass movement.

This is a major f*ck up by the establishment by any measure.

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