Over a year after the Democrats relinquished control of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Barack Obama’s legacy is being chipped away at, day after day. And it’s not just his legacy — it’s also the legacy that Democrats tried to build during their opposition to the Bush administration.
It’s almost like the last 15 years or so have been a failure for the Democrats. But don’t take my word for it — take Bernie Sanders’. At an event Wednesday, the socialist independent senator and rumpled Clarence Darrow impersonator from Vermont told an audience that “the last 15 years or so has been a failure” for the Democrats.
It’s almost like Bernie Sanders was reading my mind.
The remarks came during an appearance in Jackson, Mississippi at (of course) a “forum for economic justice” honoring the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s death, during which The New York Times speculated he was trying to court black voters.
“The business model for the Democratic Party for the last 15 years or so has been a failure,” Sanders told the crowd during a question-and-answer session.
“Now what happened, people sometimes don’t see that because of the charismatic individual named Barack Obama who won the presidency in 2008 and 2012.
“He was obviously an extraordinary candidate, brilliant man, but behind that reality over the last ten years Democrats have lost about 1,000 seats in state legislatures all across this country. And you’ve got significant numbers of states like Mississippi where the government, the legislature, the senators, are all Republicans.”
The rest of Sanders’ answer, fortunately for conservatives, proved that Sanders still doesn’t get why the last 15 years have been a failure for the Dems.
“Now how does this happen at a time when the Republican agenda is the agenda of the billionaire class and is at war with working people?” Sanders told the audience, dragging out a straw man big enough it’s usually found only out in the field, scaring off crows.
“How does it happen that a party that wants to give tax breaks to billionaires and throw millions of people off their health insurance actually win elections?
“So one of the things we have got to do, as I mentioned earlier, is make sure that the Democrats — you don’t win elections unless you show up,” Sanders said. “What we are doing is trying against a whole lot of opposition. You know, the establishment doesn’t go quietly into the twilight. But we are trying to open the doors of the Democratic Party to young people, to the millennials.”
So basically, the solution to everything is to turn things over to his supporters, who are even further left than the party became under Obama, which is how they lost those state legislatures in the first place.
I can’t picture a worse strategy for the Democrats than that. Oh wait, yes I can: infighting over identity politics.
“Few in the audience responded adversely, many of them having witnessed firsthand the decline of the state and local party,” The Times noted. “But the fact that his only mention of Mr. Obama was in reference to Democratic defeats, particularly during an event honoring Dr. King in a heavily black Deep South capital with a painful racial history, struck some critics as tone-deaf and even insensitive.”
did you mention that he was president much less that it was historic?
Because I saw you call him a ‘charismatic individual’—not even leader!
An ‘extraordinary candidate’—not even president!
And ‘brilliant guy’.
Perhaps your office will release a transcript of your remarks. https://t.co/VZ68UcVS2i
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) April 5, 2018
It might be a different, hippie-flavored brand of white supremacy from Trump's, but it's still ultimately what makes someone as overall unaccomplished as Bernie Sanders believe he can speak patronizingly about Barack Obama.
— Stephen Robinson (@SER1897) April 5, 2018
Bernie Sanders down in Mississippi today – IN MISSISSIPPI – giving a master class on expressing TOTAL ignorance of how black folks work.
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) April 5, 2018
Well, I guess trying to court black voters didn’t go over quite so well for Sen. Sanders.
Of course, nothing he said in his remarks regarding the former president was necessarily untrue — at the state level, the party’s lilt to the left during the Obama/Pelosi years resulted in a complete failure for the party, no matter who was installed in the White House. But then again, this is a party that’s proven itself more than willing to eat itself over concepts like privilege, identity and the defining-down of what constitutes “white supremacy.”
While some in their midst seem to be able to identify that the last 15 years has been a total failure, they still can’t figure out the why of it all — and with months to go until the midterms, that should be the most disturbing thing to Democrats of any stripe.
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