Is the Democratic Party no longer relevant? | The Tylt

Is the Democratic Party no longer relevant?

After losing Congress and the presidency in 2016, followed by two special election defeats in Georgia and South Carolina, some observers say the Democratic Party is toast. Democrats have lost elections at the local, state and national level, and according to TIME magazine's latest cover, "Democrats are in their worst shape since 1929." But others argue Democrats aren't finished yet―they are the backbone of the resistance against President Trump, and will make a huge comeback in 2018. What do you think? 🐴

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The 2016 election was a devastating one for Democrats, resulting in the GOP winning the presidency and both houses of Congress. The Democratic Party has done a lot of soul-searching in deciding on the best path forward, but Philip Elliott claims in TIME  that the party is as divided as ever.

On the surface, the Democratic Party has been united and energized by its shared disgust for Trump. But dig an inch deeper and it's clear that the party is divided, split on issues including free trade, health care, foreign affairs and Wall Street. They even disagree over the political wisdom of doing deals with Trump.

While Democrats claim to have learned from the last election, Elliot argues there is "still no sign" they will recover.

Meanwhile, there's still no sign the Democrats have learned the lessons of the last [election]... these days the party seems to prize ideological purity over Clintonian pragmatism. "There is no confusion about what we Democrats are against. The only disagreement," says strategist Neil Sroka, "is what we're for."

Even former Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has said "the current model and the current strategy of the Democratic Party is an absolute failure," which is in part why he continues to identify as an Independent. 

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But not everyone is so convinced the Democratic Party is toast. 

The Democrats have stood up to President Trump at every turn—on the Muslim ban, on health care, on DACA. Democratic mayors and governors are uniting to deal with climate change and protect citizens from deportation. Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris continues to challenge Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Democrat Adam Schiff is out in front on the Trump-Russia investigation. Sen. Chris Murphy is fighting for gun control measures. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is leading the charge against the Republicans attempt to repeal Obamacare.

Ed Kilgore argues in New York Magazine there is evidence 2018 could be a wave election for Democrats. While Kilgore acknowledges the Democrats face a challenging road ahead, he points to the growing momentum on the Left as a good sign for the party.

...looking beyond the base, Democrats seem to have an enthusiasm advantage. The big legislative product of the Trump Era so far, the American Health Care Act, is very unpopular to the extent people understand it, as reflected both in polls and in the hostile environment Republicans are encountering in meetings with constituents. And the firestorm over Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey is probably not going to help the GOP.

Kilgore also compares 2018 to the 2010 midterm election, in which Republicans gained a majority in Congress.

Electoral waves tend to build slowly. In the last really big wave election, in 2010, an awful lot of Democrats who looked safe at the beginning of the cycle wound up in the crosshairs, and in the end, Republicans gained a shocking 63 net seats.
So there is at least some reason to believe a big shift along the lines of 2006 or 2010 could be in the works, particularly given the president’s persistently poor approval ratings.
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Some have criticized the party for its weakness—celebrities appear to be better messengers for liberal causes than Democratic leadership.

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Others feel the Democratic Party has gotten too conservative, and no longer represents the progressive left.

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And some are discouraged that the Democrats seems to be united only in their opposition to President Trump, while standing for nothing.

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Still, many Democrats believe their party is far from irrelevant and will survive just like it has in the past.

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FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Is the Democratic Party no longer relevant?
#DemsAreAJoke
A festive crown for the winner
#StandWithDemocrats