The 43-year-old Ryan, who failed to unseat Pelosi as House minority leader last year, says that the Democrats’ brand is toxic, and in some places worse than Trump’s. Which is beyond pathetic.
The Republicans have a wildly unpopular, unstable and untruthful president, and a Congress that veers between doing nothing and spitting out vicious bills, while the Democratic base is on fire and appalled millennials are racing away from Trump. Yet Democrats are stuck in loser gear.
Trump’s fatal flaw is that he cannot drag himself away from the mirror. But Democrats cannot bear to look in the mirror and admit what is wrong.
“We congenitally believe that our motives are pure and our goals are right,” Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, told me. “Therefore, we should win by default.” But, he added dryly: “You’ve got to run a good campaign. In elections, politics matter. Oooh, what a surprise.”
As Ryan sighs: “If you don’t win, you don’t have power, and you can’t help on any of these issues we care about.”
Democrats cling to an idyllic version of a new progressive America where everyone tools around in electric cars, serenely uses gender-neutral bathrooms and happily searches the web for the best Obamacare options. In the Democrats’ vision, people are doing great and getting along. It is the opposite of Trump’s dark diorama of carnage and dystopia — but just as false a picture of America.
With Jon Ossoff, as with Hillary Clinton, the game plan was surfing contempt for Trump and counting on the elusive Obama coalition. Heavy Hollywood involvement is not necessarily a positive in Georgia, though. Alyssa Milano drove voters to the polls but couldn’t bewitch the Republicans. And not living in the district is bad anywhere.
Democrats are going to have to come up with something for people to be for, rather than just counting on Trump to implode. (Which he will.) The party still seems flummoxed that…