On January 20, 2005 George W. Bush was sworn in for a second term. He had successfully eroded our civil liberties with the PATRIOT ACT, gotten us into an oil war with Iraq, and was already starting to rattle sabres with Iran. Virginian Terry McAuliffe was the chair of the DNC during this election. The Republican party gained another 4 seats in the Senate for a total of 55 seats and another 5 seats in the House for a total of 232 seats. Terry McAuliffe was then replaced as the chair of the DNC by Vermonter Howard Dean. In 2006 we got the House, along with 6 governorships, and in 2008 we got the first Democratic trifecta since 2 January 1995. The future looked very bright. We had a young and popular President who supports universal health care, free community college, and expanding AMTRAK. If this wasn’t good enough, he also was the first person of color in the office. He preserved more land than any other President in history, and he wouldn’t have been able to do any of that if it wasn’t for Chair Howard Dean’s leadership. We had a majority of State Legislatures, briefly had a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, and over 300 seats in the House. Howard Dean had done a phenomenal job of historic proportions.
In a fairly unorthodox move, he stepped down after providing the biggest victory for progressive politicians in American history and he was replaced by Virginian Tim Kaine. A few things went very wrong at that point. Democratic politicians who did not cooperate on major issues, including health care, education, and transportation, were not held accountable for their votes by the party. As a consequence there was no party unity on major issues and the Republicans got a majority of governorships in a census year as well as a majority in the House. By doing this, they were able to gerrymander many different states, guaranteeing continued Republican dominance of the House for the next 8 years.
Kaine rightfully stepped down after that defeat which he had engineered. He engineered it by continuing to support Democrats who stepped away from the party line, which made a lot of voters feel like there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans. By giving them that much leeway, he significantly weakened President Obama and many voters, myself included, feel betrayed to this day. Tim Kaine significantly contributed to the animosity of the Democratic National Committee by Progressives by allowing too much leeway for members of Congress. We live in a country which uses first past the post, and because of this we have a two party system. We don’t have a third party to hold conservative Democrats accountable. If he had held Democrats accountable by guaranteeing that they will be primaried if they do not support the President, they would have towed the line and we could have gotten a majority in 2010 by expanding our turnout.
He was replaced with Floridian Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She followed Tim Kaine’s strategy which follows four major tenants:
- Do not support state legislative races. They need to raise money first on their own in order to get any support. This is what I heard from my party leaders in my local legislative district.
- Members of Congress have almost complete leeway in how they vote. If a Democrat votes against the party line, oh well.
- Do not rile Republicans. This means if they decide to gerrymander states and erode federal laws regarding voting rights and other critical laws, that is their right in our Jacksonian democracy. Do not exercise our power to bring rogue states in line with Federal law using the courts.
- We must appeal to the median voter.
In 2014 we lost the Senate as a result of these policies, and as a direct consequence of Wasserman Schultz’s utter incompetence and fear of doing something meaningful, combined with having Tim Kaine as Vice President, whose biggest legacy is the Speakership of both John Boehner and Paul Ryan, Hillary Clinton lost the Presidency in 2016. As a consequence of the actions of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh are probably both going to be on the Supreme Court until around 2050.
After working in politics for 5 years, my conclusion from talking to thousands of voters is that median voter theorem is complete bullshit.
Also, a consequence of having some political experience under my belt is I believe very strongly that every inaction when you are in a position of power is itself an action.
She is still in the House today after engineering the election of Donald Trump through her cowardice. I do not believe she is qualified to be a canvasser for the Democrats or any left of fascist initiative after her gross incompetence and negligence put us in this situation.
Fortunately, for the people in her home district, there is a fantastic opportunity to end the career of the person who put Donald Trump in power through her actions. Over the last week on her twitter account, Jen Perelman has endorsed paid family leave, has spoken out about moderates trying to rehabilitate the image of the war criminal George W. Bush, she is the co-chair of her local League of Women Voters, and an attorney.
But most importantly, she did not engineer the election of Donald Trump.
If you are able, please donate to her campaign today https://secure.actblue.com/donate/jen2020.
If you are able to donate or not, please follow her on her Twitter @JENFL23.