There have been many stories about the Democrats’ 2014 election postmortem report, and their conclusions that the party needed to find away to appeal to rural white voters again. The bast comment I saw was on Facebook:
“The report calls on the party to further explore why groups, such as white southerners, are abandoning the party.” Hmmm … I would say that mocking them as inbred, Bible-thumping crackers and accusing them of racism and homophobia at every opportunity might have something to do with it. But that’s just me.
The author referred, of course, to the infamous “bitter clingers” remark by then Senator Barack Hussein Obama, (D-IL), while campaigning for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination:
You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
If you spend any time looking through the liberal websites, it won’t take you long to find that same attitude amongst the more urbanized people who inhabit them. To much of the American left, the rural white voters really are a dismissible group of people. Too bad for the left that they still get to do something radical like vote. The notion that rural white voters might have different beliefs for reasons other than being frustrated simply does not occur to them; they are so absolutely certain that they are right about everything that other people seeing things differently can only come from somehow being a victim of something, or just plain stupidity.
This was the report in The Wall Street Journal:
Democrats’ Review Finds Party Ignored Congressional and State Races at Dire CostIn the Obama era, the Democratic Party successfully has won the White House but all too often has ignored down-ballot races that determine control of Congress and state legislatures, according to a preliminary report by a Democratic National Committee task force charged with rebooting the party following the disastrous 2014 election.
Since 2008, party has lost seats in House and Senate and in state legislatures
By Laura Meckler | Updated Feb. 21, 2015 12:13 p.m. ET
At the same time, the party has failed to focus on core values that voters can relate to, instead putting forth a list of disjointed policy recommendations.
“We need a cohesive, values-based narrative that quickly and succinctly defines our beliefs and helps voters identify with who we are and how we best represent them,” Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, a member of the task force, said in releasing the draft recommendations in Washington.
The report comes as Democrats face the new reality in Washington and around the country: Republicans are in charge of both houses of Congress and most state legislative chambers. It tallies up the losses since 2008: 69 House seats, 13 Senate seats, 910 state legislative seats, 30 state legislative chambers and 11 governorships.
The task force recommends creating a “National Narrative Project” that will work with party leaders, activists, and “messaging and narrative experts” to create a “strong values-based national narrative that will engage, inspire and motivate voters to identify with and support Democrats.”
Also urgent, the report said, is the need to recruit strong Democratic candidates over the next three elections to win back state legislatures, so the party can have more control over the redrawing of congressional seats following the next Census.
“We need to build our bench,” Mr. Beshear said. The report recommends identifying and nurturing a new generation of Democratic candidates and advisers.
More at the original.Your Editor was particularly amused by the story due to the presence of Governor Steve Beshear (D-KY) on the panel. I suppose that Mr Beshear’s presence was inevitable, given that the Bluegrass State is the only one in the South in which the Democrats control a single state legislative chamber, making my former — and future — home state the lone bright spot in the South for Democrats.
But, the obvious question is: what kind of Democrats? Kentucky voters actually increased, slightly, the Democrat majority in the state House of Representatives, but, at the same time they were doing that, they gave Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) a huge majority against Alison Lundergan Grimes, and Mr McConnell carried counties in eastern Kentucky that he had never carried before. The very simple fact is that Kentucky Democrats are moderate to conservative Democrats, the same kind of Democrats who used to control state governments throughout the South, the kind of Democrats conservatives can respect.
The key for the Democrats to regain rural white voters is simple, and obvious: the party must move closer to the philosophies and views of those voters, and that, of course, is anathema to the more liberal elites who control the party, and their heavy bloc of voters in the northeast.