The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher rightly noted that the Republican Party is slowly being dragged down by plague of Zombie Reaganism. Democrats should not gloat because their party is threatened by an equally-destructive malady known as Zombie Clintonism.
Clinton Zombies; like Reagan Zombies, mindlessly hold onto a set of hopelessly outdated beliefs that are totally inappropriate for today’s America. Then like Reagan Zombies they are shocked when they lose elections to horrendous candidates such as Donald J. Trump – who at least pretended to be in tune with the times.
Clintonism can best be described as the belief that the only way Democrats can win elections is to become “Republican Light,” by adopting a Reaganesque platform of small government, low taxes and entitlement cuts. That worked back in the 1990s when we had a great economy with lots of job creation. It goes nowhere in today’s America of income inequality, manufacturing job loss, retail apocalypse and wage stagnation.
Nancy Pelosi Zombie Clintonite
Disturbingly Clintonism is still the official ideology of the Democratic Party and many of its’ leaders. A classic example is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California).
Pelosi reaffirmed the Democratic establishment’s opposition to Single Payer healthcare in February, The Observer reported. The former Speaker of the House made that move in spite of a 2016 Gallup Poll that found 58% of Americans want Obamacare replaced with single payer.
Tone-deaf Nancy also ignored an April 2017 Economist/YouGov Poll that showed most Americans supported “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American.” She also seems to be unaware of a Morning Consult/Politco poll that showed 44% of all Americans said they would support “all Americans would get their health insurance from one government plan.”
Pelosi should jump on such numbers and launch a major push for single payer instead she treats the concept like Kryptonite. Nor is she alone, Hillary Clinton did not even mention such potentially popular Democratic ideas as expanding Medicare to everybody over 55 on the campaign trail. The concept was not even mentioned in a single ad even though it appears in the Democratic platform.
Hey Democrats Voters have Rejected Clintonism
Another and perhaps destructive example of Zombie Clintonism is the obsession with former FBI Director James Comey and Russian interference in the Presidential election. With their focus on Russia the Clinton Zombies are ignoring the following obvious facts:
- Hillary Clinton was a terrible presidential candidate who ran a horrendous campaign.
- The ethical concerns that Trump and company raised about Clinton were absolutely true and totally valid.
- The Democratic Party ran a horrible campaign with a lousy strategy and poor intelligence gathering.
- Voters rejected both Clintonism and Reaganism during the 2016 elections.
- Only Donald J. Trump and Jared Kushner seemed to notice this new reality.
Zombie Reaganism is an Opportunity for Democrats
The saddest part of this is that Zombie Reaganism is presenting Democrats with a tremendous opportunity.
Zombie Reaganism is the belief that small government, tax cuts and entitlement slashing will lead to prosperity. That thinking sort of worked in the 1980s when we had a strong manufacturing job base and a booming retail sector. Today it only generates more income inequality, largely because tax cuts only benefit investors in today’s economy.
Many observers including Dreher have noted that the American Healthcare Act; the House Republicans’ Obamacare replacement will take coverage from millions of Americans. It might also cost House Republicans’ their seats by enraging voters; especially rural whites. Yet a majority of House Republicans voted for it, largely because of tax cuts it contained.
Zombie Reaganism has done even greater damage in Kansas were Republican Sam Brownback is now the second least popular governor in the nation. Brownback; who has followed a policy of mindless tax and entitlement cuts, now has a disapproval rating of 66% according to The Kansas City Star.
Brownback has become so toxic that just being associated him can almost cost somebody an election. Brownback ally Ron Estes needed help from Republican big guns; such as Trump and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), to win an April 11 special election in the Fourth District of Kansas.
Estes’s opponent; James Thompson, came within striking distance of victory (6.8%) in a rural district that is 82.8% white – without help from the Democratic establishment. Thompson did that by dumping Clintonism and running an old fashioned Democratic campaign; that emphasized such issues as a $15 an hour minimum wage.
Zombie Clintonism, not Trump is Democrats’ Biggest Problem
The situation in Kansas’s Fourth District shows us that Zombie Clintonism; and not Trump, is Democrats’ biggest problem. This was apparent during last year’s primaries when large segments of the Democratic base rejected Clinton and embraced U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).
Sanders ran as an old-fashioned Democrat; attacking the billionaire class, promoting a scheme to tax the wealthy to pay for free college for the middle class and trumpeting single-payer healthcare. He even attracted groups that are not supposed to vote; such as young people, college students, urban professionals, Hipsters and gasp rural working class whites, to Democratic politics.
Sanders’ success is reminiscent of the popularity of microbrews; real beers that actually taste like something, at the expense of light beer and watered-own brands like Budweiser. Voters; like beer drinkers, prefer the real thing to the watered-down corporate imitation. It is no coincidence that microbrew-loving Hipsters are huge Bernie fans.
Despite Sanders’ success; and several polls indicating he was capable of beating Trump in the general election, the Clinton Zombies in the Democratic establishment went with Hillary. The result was Donald J. Trump in the White House; possibly because a large percentage of the Democratic base was making a protest vote against Hillary.
More recently, the Democratic establishment ignored both the Fourth District special election in Kansas and Thompson. The reason for that was the Clinton Zombie thinking that the only voters who matter to Democrats are white middle class suburban soccer moms and inner-city blacks. Everybody else; including the rural whites and Hispanics, in the Fourth District of Kansas is expendable.
If Democrats want to start winning elections again they need to figure out how to kill Zombie Clintonism immediately. Unless Zombie Clintonism dies; and gets replaced with something real, the Democratic Party will become a permanent minority.