Why Democrats lose (draft)

Just a minute ago, my man Tim Facebooked a link to an interview with State Sen. Nina Turner titled “Can Dems Learn From Their 2016 Mistakes If They Do Not Acknowledge Them?”

Here’s my response. It’s what I could write in about ten minutes and could be better said with more editing, but in the interests of contributing to the discussion here we go.

What mistakes? The party apparatus keeps getting paid.
These “mistakes” are a lot less puzzling if you let go of the assumption that the Democratic Party exists to win elections or to make life better for working people. If instead you assume that the Party exists to act as the “straight man” for the Republicans and to take up space that should be occupied by a progressive party, it makes a lot more sense.
I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories for two reasons:
  • They usually make no sense in terms of motivations. As Jamie likes to say, “Why would they be using ‘chemtrails’ for mind control when they already run your water supply? Why do things the hard way?”
  • They tend to require a really complex backstory to even try to explain. Way too many moving parts. Lots of coincidences.
But here’s the thing. This here “conspiracy” comes down to two REALLY OBVIOUS things that you can check out for yourself:
  • American politics is stuck in a two-party mold because of how the Constitution works. Strong Presidency, a Congress that doesn’t lend itself to coalitions, single-member House districts, etc. Second place counts for nothing, so you have to play for a majority, so there’s no room for a major third party. It’s called Duverger’s Law.
  • Rich and powerful people want politics to go their way and make them richer and more powerful. Duh.
Put those together and it makes sense that you’ll get one party that works for rich people and another party that gets paid to lose. Doesn’t that make more sense than Democrats—who literally make their careers by being good at politics!—pursuing policies that most people don’t want, shutting down their own progressive candidates, and not even contesting vote rigging, election fraud, and disenfranchisement?
It also explains why cities are run so badly even though they’re almost exclusively run by the enlightened Democrats. The party organization gets the bulk of its funding from people who want cities to fail.

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