The DNC Has No Idea What to Do

After eight years of Obama triumphalism and confidence in a Hillary sweep, the DNC has no idea how to identify themselves.

The future of the DNC “has yet to congeal around a positive vision” and their “trajectory right now is more uncertain than it has been since… the 80s.” Yet this is the party with the media in its pocket that was completely certain of victory in 2016. How did they lose their vision so fast? Or is it that, after being defeated, they realized they never had a vision.

This story tries to spin the DNC confusion as an opportunity. But it really shows that it is moving to the next two election cycles with a sincere disadvantage.

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The Chicago Tribune reports, “With an eye on 2020, Democrats jockey to define their party, and gain an advantage.

At stake in the rehearsals is nothing less than the future of the Democratic Party, which has yet to congeal around a positive vision. Party leaders privately talk about the next two years as a potential pivot point for what it means to be a Democrat, like the tumultuous 1968 Democratic convention or the business-friendly realignment that followed President Bill Clinton’s nomination in 1992.

“The Democratic trajectory right now is more uncertain than it has been since I started in politics in the 80s,” said Simon Rosenberg, a longtime Democratic strategist at NDN, a think tank. “And I think no one has a leg up.”

The questions are big ones – of style and policy – that can only be answered in the story told by the candidate who eventually captures the party’s imagination.

Some promote a vision of a youthful future, while others speak of their own wizened experience. Some use the language of the private sector, while others have begun to promote guaranteeing public sector jobs for all unemployed Americans. Some speak of class as the defining American divide, while others focus first on racial and gender inequality. Some are brawlers ready to take on Trump, while others pose as healers to call the country back to better angels.

They have begun to grapple with the sense that Trump’s presence has erased all of the old rules, even for Democrats, and that the party should consider looking outside the standard roster of governors and senators – perhaps to a businesswoman-entertainer like Oprah Winfrey, who has so far resisted calls for her to run, or a mayor.

“My theory of this election is you are going to basically have a swing back,” said Julián Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio and secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who has been traveling the country talking about “expanding opportunity.” “People are going to look for someone who can unite the country instead of divide it, someone they can trust.”

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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