Sobering time for Democrats

For Democrats the end of June was quite sobering. The Supreme Court, in a number of rulings, reduced the power of public employee unions and strengthened gerrymandering, and Anthony Kennedy retired. And they were also reminded that their allies in the anti-Trump fight were, in fact, worse than the Donald.

Just look at the reaction of never-Trump conservatives. George Will was so giddy when the Supreme Court curbed the power of public employee unions that he actually showed emotion. Joe Scarborough and his ilk were angry about tariffs and foreign policy but everything else, not so much. Democrats should be reminded that these forces are far worse than Trump on economic issues. Moreover, they are world-class advocates of military force, including on Iran.

Unless Democrats are willing to accept George W. Bush as their new mentor, they better start to realize there are worse positions that President Trump’s. As proven with Watergate, their dislike for Richard Nixon ushered in Gerald Ford, who installed conservatives like Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Cheney and the free market fanatic William Simon in the White House. Gone was detente and in its place was a new era of the “liberal” corporate state.

Indeed, in the election of 1974 a new type of Democrat was elected. Gary Hart, Allard Lowenstein and Jerry Brown were swept into state houses and Congress in a wave. They proved not to be “little Hubert Humphreys” as Hart boasted they would not be. Despite heavy majorities they did little and indeed, through the Jimmy Carter administration managed to push for deregulation of many industries. The working people became a voting bloc to be appealed to on election day. Other, more exclusive neighborhoods received their attention. This group of Democrats set the table for Ronald Reagan.

Indeed the identity of the party was so tattered that many traditional Democrats decided to vote Republican. Loving the harsh hand of the federal reserve is not exactly what old Democrats desired. Bill Clinton’s embrace of NAFTA and his laceration of the welfare protection for children completed the transformation. Now Democrats were mugwumps, well-educated liberal Republicans. Oh my word.

Suddenly, every time a new Republican was elected these denizens of the upper-class suddenly discovered that the last one had some decency.

When Ronald Reagan won, Richard Nixon enjoyed a comeback among this type of Democrat. After George W. Bush, suddenly Reagan was extolled as an example of “moderate leadership.” Forget that at the time, in their views, he was “Ronnie Raygun” who substituted catsup for vegetables in school lunches. After Trump won, all was forgiven from Hoover to Bush.

Which calls into question — what is a Democrat? Certainly not the previous GOP precedents, otherwise there is no reason to exist. So far, the Democrats are the good manners party, trying to show “civility.” Seems like a lack of ideas. Not everything revolves around social issues.

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