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Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Democrats and top-down leadership

As readers know I like driving with the top down on my 2010 red Mustang GT convertible.

But I am not sold on top-down leadership.

Democrats seem to be opting for that, or at least Jeet Heer, senior editor at the New Republic, is.

From Jeet Heer:

Democrats Need To Pick a Leader. Now.

The fragmented party needs a public face of unified opposition to Trump. Elizabeth Warren is the clear choice.
As president-elect, Donald Trump has quickly proven to be every bit the nightmare his opponents feared. He’s continuing to tweet absurd lies (such as his claim that he won the popular vote), and now he’s tapping extremists for high positions, like white nationalist Stephen Bannon, conspiracy-minded General Michael Flynn, and civil-rights antagonist Senator Jeff Sessions. What makes the lurch to the hard right all the more galling for Democrats is the fact that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2.5 million votes (roughly 2 percent). That means Trump—with Republicans controlling both houses of Congress—will be able to inflict a radical agenda on the country with minority support. (Just how little support is reflected in Trump’s favorability rating of 42 percent, a whopping 16 points lower than the norm for president-elects at this point.)
The time is ripe for a concerted, coherent opposition to Trump even before he’s inaugurated. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party is facing this national crisis leaderless. The hunger among liberals for an oppositional stance is strong—you can see it, among other things, in the grassroots protest of Trump’s elevation of Bannon to the position of chief counsel (which has resulted in a flood of phone calls and letters to members of Congress), as well as the success of Green Party Leader Jill Stein in raising money for her efforts to recount the vote in three key states.
He went on to recommend Elizabeth Warren:
Warren is perfectly suited to be leader of the opposition to Trump. I’m not the first to suggest this. On the most recent episode of their podcast Keepin’ It 1600, former Obama advisors Jon Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer bantered and worried over the Democrats’ leadership vacuum. Favreau lamented that “because Hillary is running around in the woods all day” and “Barack Obama has to play nice with Donald Trump,” Democrats were left with just Schumer and Pelosi. “Are those the only voices out there?” he asked. “I don’t know what to do here.” Pfeiffer responded: “This is a real challenge. I think Elizabeth Warren is going to have to be a very important voice. What you need is someone who has either the national stature or the leadership position to get press coverage, and you need somebody who can deliver a compelling message and is a compelling messenger.”
Now compare and contrast to the inauguration of President Obama eight years ago. Republicans were willing to give him a chance, allowing his Cabinet selections to go through, but they stood tall against the stimulus. They picked their fights.

But organized opposition -- the kind Mister Heer advocates -- came not from any back-bencher senator but from the people themselves. The Tea Party made clear that Obamacare was poison to any Republican, and no Republican voted for it out of the 190 Republicans congressmen and senators.

That is impressive.

The reward for Republicans was a historic election which saw a gain of 63 House seats (the best showing in 64 years) and seven Senate seats.

Now maybe the top-down management proposed by Democrats will work as Senator Warren sets the pace and picks what parts of President Trump's agenda she will contest.

But the more democratic and grassroots approach of the Tea Party helped win back the House, which Republicans have held for 14 of the last 18 years.


Have a little fun. Read "Trump the Press," in which I skewer media experts who wrongly predicted Trump would lose the Republican nomination. "Trump the Press" is available as a paperback, and on Kindle.

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  1. Me, I'm hopin' for Keith Ellison to head the party.

    1. I am for Ellison to lead the opposition, also. Natural fit for the job coming from Lutheran Minnesota.

  2. You're confused, Don. The Democrat leadership ain't top-down.

    That there's pants-down leadership.

  3. Why aren't these Democrats looking into the waste at the Pentagon?

  4. Presidential popularity has always been linked to the economy and the stock market usually looks 6 months ahead. If Trump's economy takes off as the market predicts, lifting all boats, there will be no grass roots Democrat uprising of any staying power as good times return Their long time power brokers will abandon them too. Wall Street, for example, supported Clinton partly because they rejected Warren's socialism out of hand. If they are making money, as they will under Trump, especially after he emasculates financial regulations like Dodd- Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley, she will never get their support. Her politics of envy will be poorly financed.
    Liberals always double down when they collapse. If they are not careful Trump could end up not only with Obama first term power in the house Senate, but also have control of the SC, leaving a waterless political wasteland for them and their media allies. But perhaps this is what they really want. They always hanker in their dreams to ride back into power like their childhood hero Che, on the back of a fire darkened jeep, flecked with blood. But, Good luck with that.

  5. Steve in GreensboroDecember 7, 2016 at 5:47 PM

    Heer must be a racist to choose Elizabeth Warren over Keith Ellison. Warren only gets 1 diversity point for being a woman, since she is not an Indian. Ellison gets 2 diversity points for being black and an Muslim. They both are insane, so their mentally ill diversity points offset.

    So for Heer to pick Warren (1-pointer) over Ellison (2-pointer) is clear evidence of his racism.

  6. What a pair - Warren and Ellison. The Double Gift that would keep on giving.

  7. Am I the only one who sees red when reading some journolister wannabe calling *my* president a liar?

    I bit my tongue through eight years of GWB-bashing, but I'm starting to wonder whether I'm going to make it through eight years of DJT without a battery conviction.

  8. Stock market closed up 297 today. Paul Krugman looks like an ass as usual. Trump's pick for EPA chief has enviro-whackos crying blood. Odds are Trump will get to appoint at least two SCOTUS justices, more if he can serve a 2nd term. Smart money is betting the US economy is going to explode. There is enough unused capital piled up by venture capital investors and manufacturing companies to light off a manufacturing Renaissance if Trump can get the gubmint the f*** out of the way.

    So far I'm still eating crow over thes election. I'll eat it every fricking day if we can get the gubmint off industry's back.

    1. One more shoe has to drop, and that is the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, which it will now do that Trump has won the election. The days of easy money will soon be over. How Trump plans to pay the interest on the 20 T dollar national debt that The Boy Wonder built up over the past 8 years will take some very creative government accounting.


    2. Justice Kennedy will retire if his previous statements are still in force.

  9. Either Ellison or Nasty Nancy has the true face of the party. Fauxcahontas is too pretty.

  10. Hard to tell who'd be more fun, Fauxcahontas or Keith of Minnestan.

  11. Top down is the only way for liberals. They are authoritarian by nature.

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  13. The dnc is like the guy who went crazy when he was put in a round barn and told to pee in the corner. Their communist high-tax globalist open-borders big government agenda has been getting creamed for several years, and Trump's yuge W was the straw that broke the camel's back. They are lying in a pile of ruins. To double down and be thinking that farther-left lunatics like warren or ellison are the key to their future shows their delusion, stubborness, closed-mindedness, and outright stupidity. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of collective communists.

  14. Yes, absolutely, what the Democrats need most is another old, rich, shrill, white lady to stand up there and scream in rage.

    Yes indeed! Please, make my day! --Burnsie

    1. The down side is I'll wear out my mute button.