Someone Tell the Democrats to Stop Acting Like the Political Equivalent of Unseasoned Chicken

 House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Capitol Hill on May 25, 2017 (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Capitol Hill on May 25, 2017 (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Leave it to the donkey party to act an ass and see an opportunity dangled before it and stupidly squander time debating whether or not an obvious winning strategy is worth pursuing.


Politico reports that Democrats are torn over how to handle what happened in Charlottesville, Va., the debate over Confederate monuments in general and the larger issues of racial tensions that each speaks to.

Apparently, while some want to actively push for votes on hate crimes and combating domestic terrorism, strategists stress that Democrats “should be careful about how deeply they wade into a fraught debate over identity politics—particularly one focused on Confederate statues that risks dividing the electorate.”


This is boring-white-man-in-a suit-that-needs-tailoring-speak for “Don’t scare too many racist white people.” To let these strategists tell it, they may be stepping into a Republican-designed trap. Meanwhile, it’s interesting that Politico reporters Elana Schor and Gabriel Debenedetti cite former Sweet Potato Saddam strategist Steve Bannon’s previous claims that Democrats lose when they peddle identity politics, without denoting that Bannon, the white nationalist who ran the site with the black-crime section, peddles identity politics his damn self.

That tablespoon of irony aside, they note that some Democrats think fighting over monuments is impractical given that it speaks more to symbolism rather than substantive issues related to racism like voter suppression. However, now that we’ve seen that people can be injured, if not murdered, over fights over Confederate monuments, the issue has since shown itself to be a matter of public safety. In other words, Democrats, get you some pols who can do both.

That aside, the piece ends with this dubious proclamation from a former paid Bernie Bro:

Veteran Democratic strategist and ad maker Mark Longabaugh, a senior adviser to Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, recommended that the party’s candidates “follow our values” when it comes to thorny racial issues.

“At the end of the day, America and most voters are pretty smart on this stuff,” Longabaugh said. “I don’t think Bannon is going to fool anybody with his outright racist appeals.”


Considering who is president and who came in second place in the Democratic primary, it’s pretty apparent that Bannon does indeed fool plenty of voters—including Bernie supporters. American voters aren’t that smart. We have a reality-TV star and real-estate-scamming thot as president. Let’s not bestow praise on an electorate that doesn’t deserve it.

Funny enough, data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study—an election survey of around 50,000 people—recently revealed that 1 in 10 voters who supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary ended up voting for that big bag of orange soda and misspellings in the general election.


Then there’s that fun li’l tidbit that highlights that, much on par with the double-duty deplorables, the Bernie-to-Bankruptcy Batista voters are just as delusional about white privilege and institutional racism as their deplorable brethren are.


Sanders has received a lot of criticism—notably from me and especially on this site—about the problems with his colorblind policy. Racism is an economic issue. As is sexism. As are homophobia and transphobia. The same goes for Islamophobia.

This is not hard, and I can help with the recipe for success. Talk about economic policy in all the aforementioned forms, rather than just “Jobs! Jobs! Jobs,” and voilà, you might actually put together a winning coalition.


Sanders never got that, which is why he lost. Democrats should know this by now, given that it’s not as if they’ve had that great a portion of the white vote in decades.

Yet, here we are once again being met with articles expressing Democrats’ anxiety over calling a thing a thing in an effort not to offend those racist fucks who don’t fuck with the Democratic Party anyway.


You know who does seem to get it, though? Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

CNN reports:

In the months since then, Warren has increasingly added a focus on racism and cultural issues to her signature economic populism over several major speeches—while also developing new relationships with black leaders across the country.

Among them is Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. The two spoke by phone, exchanged numbers and then met privately in Atlanta when Warren was in town for a progressive gathering.

“In order for us to make effective change, leaders have to be courageous. They have to be willing to take a stance ... willing to lose some things,” King said in an interview. “And she was willing to risk some things in this process, being silenced on the floor.”


After Hillary Clinton’s defeat, Jamelle Bouie wrote “Keep Hope Alive,” which argued that Democrats have a road map to winning in the age of 45 if they follow the template Jesse Jackson laid out in the 1980s.

CNN actually spoke to Jackson in the Warren piece:

Some black leaders say they see major differences in Sanders’ early 2016 candidacy and Warren today.

“When Sanders ran, he was very distant and had to learn how to relate to blacks,” said Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Warren represents a more diverse state, and “she does not talk with a strain; she talks with a comfort level and familiarity” in speaking with black leaders, he added.

Jackson said he and Warren speak “semi-regularly” and that the two have “open access to each other.” In July, he hosted Warren in Chicago for a speech to the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, a civil rights and political activist group he founded, where Warren hammered a legal system that fails to deliver justice when “black men and women die at the hands of those sworn to protect them” and warned of GOP efforts to restrict voting access.

In Warren, Jackson said he sees an economic message—and a delivery—that carries few cultural limitations. “The best news is that these issues affect whites in Appalachia and blacks in the Delta,” he said.


Sanders may be teasing another presidential run, but if he doesn’t learn how to make inroads with black voters, he’ll once again be a crotchety sore loser in yet another primary race. The same fate will await Democrats in general next year and in every election cycle thereafter. I’d like to think Democrats will listen to the professor, but they’re clearly not that good at listening to smart women in their party.

In this current horror show of a presidential administration, Trump, his minions and Republicans nationwide are being quite audacious in how they perpetuate racism, be it symbolically or in terms of legislation. It’s very clear what they believe.


The question is. what do Democrats believe and what are they willing to say? In recent months, we’ve seen the likes of Nancy Pelosi say that Democratic candidates should not be forced to toe the party line on abortion. And since then, we’ve seen Democratic hack after hack publicly opine on TV or in the op-ed pages of various newspapers that need higher standards that we shouldn’t be fixated on matters like trans rights and black people being treated equally on every level.

Why are so many of them so goddamn simplistic in their thinking? Why do they feel as if they have to grovel at the feet of the white working class at the expense of everyone else? Why is something as simple as conveying to the public that Robert E. Lee ain’t shit so hard a task for some of them? New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu did an excellent job explaining the issue in May. Send him on tour, Democratic National Committee.


If the Democrats don’t stop acting as if they have to be the political equivalent of unseasoned chicken to win, they are doomed. And I can’t deal with several years of Gargamel in the House, the meanest and oldest Ninja Turtle in the Senate, and Heathcliff in the White (Nationalist) House.

Get it together, dummies. This is not that damn difficult.

Michael Arceneaux is the author of "I Can't Date Jesus," which will be released July 24, 2018 by Atria Books/Simon & Schuster, but go ahead and pre-order it now.


KC Complains A Lot

It continues to boggles my mind that the lesson (white) Democrats learned from Trump’s election seems to be “we need to appeal more to the same racist people who voted for an open and obvious racist, and stop focusing on the identity politics that Trump used to ride a wave of white resentment to the Oval Office.”

This shit ain’t hard, man. Barack Obama provided a template to win the White House, handily, TWICE. If you get people of color to turn out to vote, the Democrats win. You get people of color to turn out by relating the larger issues the country faces to the struggles marginalized communities face every day.

Obama didn’t say it was time to get universal healthcare just because other countries have it and we should too because “???”. He relayed a personal story of watching his own cancer stricken mother deal with insurance companies. He advocated for a public option, but he never shied away from mentioning 1 in 5 African Americans didn’t have insurance or were under insured.

The candidate that manages to beat Trump isn’t going to shy away from the fact that he’s a racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic bag of used condoms. How the fuck can you beat Donald Trump without mentioning ANY of that? Hillary tried to beat him on his temperament and people thought that was just fine.

It’s infuriating to no end that after running the most openly racist campaign in history, his continued hiring of racist people, his open support of white supremacists, and the steps he’s taken to undermine people of color... we’re being told that the Democrats want to ignore that. And then if/when (probably when) Trump is reelected, they’ll turn around and blame black people for not showing up to the polls.

Kamala Harris and Cory Booker are in these streets talking about criminal justice reform and Trump’s racism and white liberals are gonna hate it when they start taking votes from whatever anointed white savior they’ve chosen.

And fuck Bernie forever.