October 28, 2016

When Hillary loses, will Dems go to Bernie or suicidally double down?

In 1992 the Republican party began to fly off the rails, pursuing a conservative culture war that only appealed to middle and upper-middle class residents of red states. With the abrupt takeover of the party by the Trump movement (not the man, but the millions who voted for him), it is once again viable and poised to win.

Will the Democrat Establishment and the base of its voters learn the lesson and gravitate toward Trump's appeal of populism and America-first, or will it double down on corporate elitism and globalism?

The past couple months suggest that it is committing even stronger to failed Clintonism. The war-mongering against Russia is ridiculous enough, and the stupidity is compounded by what the war would be fought over -- deposing Assad and controlling Syria. The entire Democrat mainstream is intensifying the plan for the United States foreign policy apparatus to be a globalist policeman / dictator.

Trump on the other hand favors detente with major powers and otherwise extricating ourselves from all these damn pointless entanglements. And so did Bernie.

While the Democrats have not been as rabid about pushing the TPP and other de-industrializing trade deals, they are still all on board and not bad-mouthing anything about them. Trump and Bernie are both staunchly against such policies, and have been for years -- the fact that the Democrat mainstream is staying silent amounts to running away from the direction the country as a whole wants to go in.

Trustbusting (especially in the media sector), re-instating Glass-Steagall, ending the revolving door between politicians and lobbyists, term limits on Congressmen -- on and on down the line, Trump and Bernie represent the changing direction of the voters, while Clinton and her ilk are either keeping mum or actively resisting the changes.

The only major policy that Trump and Bernie differ on is immigration, and Clinton is not pushing so hard on that issue because she knows there is minimal support for open borders and amnesty. Otherwise she would be hammering it over and over.

Instead, she and the rest of the mainstream Democrats have shifted to an intensified moralizing liberal crusade, akin to the shift in 1992 among Republicans. Remember that Reagan did not run on social and cultural topics, but on the economy, the government, and foreign policy. Obama likewise did not represent a triumph of a liberal culture war -- rather, the repudiation of neoconservative policies in the economy, government, and foreign policy.

The Democrats have misread what the Obama wins were all about, assuming they were an endorsement of hardcore liberal culture warring. The Republicans made that same mistake in 1992, and they would still be fighting that losing battle if it weren't for Trump.

That suggests that the Democrat party is in for a few decades of increasing irrelevance, until it is shaken up by an America-first populist.

Bernie went a decent length in that direction, but was bad on the crucial matter of population composition and citizenship -- and he and his supporters were weak on that issue because a piece of their brains was still stuck in liberal culture war mode. Deporting illegal immigrants will disproportionately affect non-white and non-American people, ergo racist and untenable.

The conventional wisdom among Democrats will become that Bernie was just a less racist version of Donald Trump, and since Trump = Hitler, we can't have Bernie or his movement. They just need to keep trying harder at pushing the liberal side of the culture war, and sometime they'll win back the White House.

Expect something as out-of-place as Bob Dole in the 1996 race -- when his best chance was closer to '76. I wouldn't be surprised if after Trump's 8 years in office, the Democrats nominate a geriatric Howard Dean, whose campaign anthem will be the Rock Against Bush soundtrack from 20 years earlier.

What concrete signs are there, if any, that the elite politicians, the large donors, and the solid base of the Democrat party has shifted toward Bernie rather than away from Bernie in the past month or so, realizing that's the only way to give Trump a run for his money? I don't see it.

I know people will say that the colossal failure of Crooked Hillary Clinton will sink that wing of the party, but that could be wishful thinking. Remember what happened when Bush got clobbered in '92 -- they doubled down and drove themselves further and further into irrelevancy.


  1. Random Dude on the Internet10/28/16, 7:41 AM

    I don't expect any real change from Democrat party leadership. I actually expect Democrat leadership to embarrass themselves by trying to push for impeachment in the first few days. They will try to filibuster any of Trump's initiatives. This behavior will continue until the 2018 midterms when a couple dozen Democrats get replaced by Republicans if Trump's base is still enthusiastic enough.

    The good news with the 2018 midterms is that most of the new Republicans getting elected will be Trump Republicans aka nationalist Republicans. Cucky globalist Republicans might actually get primary'd out of their seats instead. After the 2018 midterms, Trump should have a more accommodating Congress.

    Long answer short, they will suicidally double down. Democrats believe their future lies with non-whites, not with Berniebros/brocialists. 2016 is the last election where the Democrats will nominate someone white to be the presidential candidate. They might even make it a rule.

  2. "In 1992 the Republican party began to fly off the rails, pursuing a conservative culture war that only appealed to middle and upper-middle class residents of red states. With the abrupt takeover of the party by the Trump movement (not the man, but the millions who voted for him), it is once again viable and poised to win."

    Ag, this is completely wrong. 1992 was the year of the "Republican Revolution" which won back the House after 40+ years. A long march commenced through state governments (house, senate, governors) and so on.
    How successful they were in implementing socially conservative laws is another topic, but this was *very* good for the GOP.

    This very topic is what has so many of us so angry: values voters were used to implement a far right economic agenda and then, not just ignored, but *blamed* for not being even more popular! Laissez-faire Free Market uber-alles even at the expense of the citizenry (unfettered immigration, ignoring of American job loss).

    Even Donald Trump figured out that jettisoning most of the donor class interests, but honoring social conservatism, was the road to travel.

    P.S. 1992 and the Republicans' Return from the Wilderness is why Newt Gingrich will forever be held in such high esteem.

  3. Random Dude on the Internet10/28/16, 6:29 PM

    Now that the FBI is reopening the investigation, hopefully Trump supporters will be tweeting this like wildfire to Bernie supporters who were going to swallow their pride and vote for Hillary. If she is so corrupt that the FBI is back to investigate, it's the ultimate "where there's smoke, there's fire". It will also be enjoyable knowing that this will deflate the enthusiasm of an already flagging campaign. Combine that with Tim Kaine cancelling Florida rallies and it's just really hard to keep up the narrative that Hillary is winning this election. Trump should be receiving the upswing that you talked about. LA Times poll has him up by 1.7 points for yesterday. Hopefully that can end up somewhere around a 3-4 point lead overall for Trump. I want more but I will take what I can get at this point.

  4. No that was the 94 midterms. 92 was when Clinton defeated Bush to put the Republicans in the wilderness in the first place as the democrats already controlled Congress. That a sleazeball like Clinton could defeat a war hero who'd just won another one as President (speaking in terms of optics, I don't actually believe the Bushes to be any better than the Clintons) and that a plurality of the voters at one point were willing to opt for Perot over either of them until he derailed his own campaign should have rang plenty of alarm bells about what was going on in the minds of voters.
    The electoral dynamics of the culture war is something I'd like to hear Agnostic elaborate on, I find it curious that Pat Buchanan is the one famously associated with the culture war yet until June of last year no Republican came anywhere close to him in terms of identifying the importance and conservatism of the holy trinity of immigration restriction, protectionism and non interventionism and in prioritising issues that could and are now winning over blue collar white democrats.

  5. Bernie was anti-immigration, right up until the moment he ran for president, so it isn't too much of a stretch to suggest they see eye-to-eye on most of the major issues driving this campaign (albeit, Bernie saw it more narrowly as a jobs issue, while Trump sees it as an all-of-the-above including jobs, law & order, and terrorism).

  6. Bernie and Nader were OK on restricting immigration, calling it out as a naked attempt to import cheaper labor. But at least Bernie was for amnesty (Nader 2000 was too early for amnesty to be a major topic).

  7. So much good stuff coming out today. Trump surging again in USC poll, FBI re-opens investigation of Crooked Hillary, then at thrift store there's an awesome vintage leather jacket whose tag says MADE IN USA.

    The balance of the cosmos is being restored.

  8. The Dems will puff up their chests and rally their base by trying to obstruct the Trump agenda -- but they will suicidally choose the least popular things to defend.

    They will go over-the-top on re-igniting the Cold War, TPP, etc. And calling Trump a racist Nazi for wanting to deport illegals.

    The sensible thing to obstruct on would be his tax plan -- they should be pushing for higher taxes on the upper brackets. But they don't really care about that, its just a BS cudgel they use every four years (vote for Crooked Hillary or else the rich will get richer).

    They want a war, though, and getting a more egalitarian tax structure won't provide that red meat to the liberal culture war audience.

  9. The Gingrich Revolution in '94 accomplished nothing of note for social/cultural conservatives -- the main results were the stiffer crime bill and chipping away at the social safety net.

    There was a popular mood against political correctness, but that was not coming from the Republican politicians. And it ended up going nowhere, just a vent for anger.

    Winning back Congress and Governorships makes little difference anyway, in this era of a supreme federal Executive branch. And the Republican Congressmen and Governors play right in to that charade -- if you hate the President, vote for us and we'll undo the whole thing!

    It's all performance art, not actual politics.

    This all traces back to the "culture war" mindset of 1992 and the Buchanan Brigades who pulled H.W. bush to the Cultural Right, when he was a moderate who hated "the vision thing".

    Over the years, Buchanan emphasized the populist angle more, but when he was actually in demand, it was just the culture war stuff that made him famous. Re-read the transcript of the 1992 GOP Convention speech -- it's all culture, no populism.

  10. The Cultural Right did shoot themselves in the dick, it wasn't just that the failures of the Wall Street lobby got blamed on them.

    They chose the most doomed topics to harp on, especially abortion. And as we learned before the Wisconsin primary, the Pro-Life Movement (TM) doesn't give a damn about the morality of *getting* an abortion, but only of *providing* an abortion.

    I wrote a post on that, and I couldn't have been the only non-movement conservative who was shocked by what the conventional wisdom and officially approved framing was.

    The other main topic for the movement conservatives was meritocracy, affirmative action, The Bell Curve, etc. But that was rooted in yuppie economics ("cognitive elitism"), which guaranteed that it would never connect with a large demographic base.

    So the Cultural Right was a self-defeating movement -- as was its senior partner in the party, the Chamber of Commerce lobby.

    The Cultural Right mistakenly relied on a majority of Americans being conservatives in the culture war (there goes the 100+ years West Coast bastion of the GOP), and the Chamber of Commerce made the same mistake in choosing their junior partner to be a movement that appealed only to middle-class-and-above people in red states.

  11. Lest the conservatives launch another round of self-defeating attacks, they should not view the Trump victory as a win for conservatism, or that Trump is going to change society in a more conservative direction from the White House.

    The government does not change the culture, only culture changes culture. If conservatives want there to be fewer abortions, they have to get out of their bubble and go missionize to people they consider in need of salvation.

    If they try to do an end-run around face-to-face earnest conversion, like trying to make Trump's administration go in a theocratic direction and wave a magic wand to make America more conservative, they will meet heavy resistance not only from the government and their fellow voters, but from those they are trying to save.

    Like, "You think I'm morally fallen, but you won't try to reach me and change my ways? You just want the government to write laws against what you don't like and have the police enforce them? Phony."

  12. Back to the re-opened investigation, our main goal now is to sow the seeds of doubt about whether she'll even be the nominee on Election Day -- can she be replaced with Biden or Bernie or Michelle Obama, should people write-in one of those names if not, etc.

    This is the other party's taste of last-minute doubt about their candidate's very candidacy. We went through that failed coup by the GOPe a couple weeks ago, and survived because nobody follows the loser GOPe.

    This would be the other way around -- the Establishment pick getting sabotaged by the grassroots favorites, which would therefore have a much greater chance at taking off than the failed GOPe coup.

    It'll feel like a reset on the whole primary nomination process, and confuse and demoralize the shit out of their voters. Maximize uncertainty, and they may not even bother leaving their homes (for the next eight years).

  13. >Michelle Obama

    Michelle doesn't have any serious pull outside of the risingly feral Black community, cat ladies, and SJW Millenials. Years of race baiting and otherwise spoiled antics hasn't endured her to the White Middle and Working Classes. And sorry, but there aren't enough Dindus to carry Angy Black Woman Candidate.

  14. Right, 1994 midterms, not 1992. Even the Speaker of the House lost re-election.

  15. My guess is it will be similar to what's happened to the UK Labour party.

    The ideological Left (nowadays mostly White SJWs and their CM handlers) will become more radical - partly to compensate for being wrong on mass immigration and unable to change.

    This causes a split with the coalition of gibs Left, career Left and Wall St. money.

    In states that are very white I can just about imagine the Greens replacing Dems but elsewhere they'll be perma split and effectively neutralized.

    Another factor is without the white idealist segment as party workers the Dems will become 3rd world very fast - ethnic nepotism and corruption will reign.

    As always the deciding factor long term will be demographics. If the percentage trends can be reversed a populist GOP could be in power for a long time. If they can't then the White Left becomes irrelevant anyway as 3rd world gibs politics will be enough on its own.

  16. I think we ought to look at the 90's through the lens of the Me Generation. By the 90's, Boomers hated street crime (thus why "super-predator" didn't raise in an eyebrow in the mid 90's), unions, and Big Gov. (civic engagement began free-falling in the 70's as Boomers are by and large only "get involved" in issues that directly affect themselves and their children). To a greater degree than before, Boomers began to profoundly influence politics and economics which made it more difficult for people to get along and solve problems.

    Unfortunately, the cynicism baked into younger generations has meant that a lot of Gen-Xer's and Millennials would rather just stay away from the bickering and preening that Boomer culture often descends into. We've degenerated as the striving ramped up. G.I.s got things done. Silents tried (to a fault) to build consensus and understanding. Boomers proved (in most cases) to be incapable of looking beyond themselves (and their children who of course are a key part of the Boomer self-concept). Gen X-ers grew up entirely in a mercenary and callous world. Millennials have been hit with conflicting signals their whole lives (thanks for losing the cig. vending machines and the Amber alerts, but why have McMansion building Boomers so failed to build an America in which economic, education, and job issues are handled with care?)

    So, in the 90's boutique striver issues began to dominate since so many Boomers (who never wanted for anything, be it money, opportunities, attention, love, etc.) had no desire to maintain a safety-net. Thus why Bill Clinton (and the Boomers who gave their generation-mate the benefit of the doubt) did so much to shred it in the 90's and beyond. I heard a '58 born talk show host express horror at how shitty wages were for so many blue collar people these days. At least he's aware of the problem though he no doubt would not consider himself to be a reason why people have gotten screwed.

  17. The Golden Don is primarily appealing to Boomers and X-ers sick and tired of PC and glib self-absorbed strivers. I've got a hunch that it isn't just Alpha males or unpretentious feminine women that Trump is appealing to; rather it's the kind of people who just don't give a damn about, as the English say, keeping up appearances. Thus why so many metal fans seem to like Trump (a Millennial YouTube metalhead persona guy said that Accept's Balls to the Wall is a Trump anthem). I know a 40 year old Gen X-er dude, used to have long hair, listened to metal, no BS or phony posturing personality. And he was with Trump from the beginning. We're not talking about alienated people per se either. He doesn't have tattoos (neither do I). AS Ag. has pointed out before, metal is about catharsis, not angst per se. Which is probably why it was so popular from 1983-1991, when Boomers and X-ers were looking to be empowered. Post '91, music culture became more about being numbed (bland, non-danceable pop), or agitated (Alt. aka shit rock). Steve Sailer totally missed the mark by comparing Trump to punk. "True" first wave punk was a short-lived fad that peaked in nihilistic 70's Britain. It was crude, sophomoric, unpopular (punk never moved units in the US) and too musically and hence emotionally one limited. Trump's persona has nothing in common with the ragged agitation of early punk. A better analogue is the exciting, dynamic, and exuberant momentum of 80's metal. Equating the "rebellious" attitude of punk with Trump doesn't match either. Punk was never populist enough to make a difference. Arena rock, disco, the more sensitive/melodic New Wave groups, and metal were far more popular. 80's metal produced a lot of richly textured and exquisitely played anthems to power, rage, revenge, etc. That's why it slowly crushed punk to death in the 80's (by 1985 Gen X teen rebels were listening almost exclusively to Slayer, Metallica, Dio, Iron Maiden, etc.) since punk by definition is a stylistic strait jacket that was never sophisticated enough to be of much substance.

    Nerdy naysayers might actually throw popularity in the face of these groups, insisting that a band only finds success by appealing to "sheeple". Earth to the "indie" (e.g. too shitty to be popular) fags: it's perfectly normal and healthy to listen to music that makes you feel excited, transcendent, and alive.


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