Sunday, February 9, 2020

James Carville Rips the Democratic Party

James Carville 

James Carville went on a rant on MSNBC about the current Democratic presidential race. Most of what he said from a strategy perspective makes sense. It is actually instructive for libertarians as to how to promote ideas (Of course, Carville's positions are different from libertarian but his strategy is sound).

Here are key snippets from a follow-up interview by Vox:
Look, the turnout in the Iowa caucus was below what we expected, what we wanted. Trump’s approval rating is probably as high as it’s been. This is very bad. And now it appears the party can’t even count votes. What the hell am I supposed to think?


We have candidates on the debate stage talking about open borders and decriminalizing illegal immigration. They’re talking about doing away with nuclear energy and fracking. You’ve got Bernie Sanders talking about letting criminals and terrorists vote from jail cells. It doesn’t matter what you think about any of that, or if there are good arguments — talking about that is not how you win a national election. It’s not how you become a majoritarian party.

For fuck’s sake, we’ve got Trump at Davos talking about cutting Medicare and no one in the party has the sense to plaster a picture of him up there sucking up to the global elites, talking about cutting taxes for them while he’s talking about cutting Medicare back home. Jesus, this is so obvious and so easy and I don’t see any of the candidates taking advantage of it.

The Republicans have destroyed their party and turned it into a personality cult, but if anyone thinks they can’t win, they’re out of their damn minds.


Look, Bernie Sanders isn’t a Democrat. He’s never been a Democrat. He’s an ideologue. And I’ve been clear about this: If Bernie is the nominee, I’ll vote for him. No question. I’ll take an ideological fanatic over a career criminal any day. But he’s not a Democrat...what I’m saying is the Democratic Party isn’t Bernie Sanders, whatever you think about Sanders...

here’s what I do know: Sanders might get 280 electoral votes and win the presidency and maybe we keep the House. But there’s no chance in hell we’ll ever win the Senate with Sanders at the top of the party defining it for the public. Eighteen percent of the country elects more than half of our senators. That’s the deal, fair or not.

So long as McConnell runs the Senate, it’s game over. There’s no chance we’ll change the courts and nothing will happen, and he’ll just be sitting up there screaming in the microphone about the revolution.


By framing, repeating, and delivering a coherent, meaningful message that is relevant to people’s lives and having the political skill not to be sucked into every rabbit hole that somebody puts in front of you.

The Democratic Party is the party of African Americans. It’s becoming a party of educated suburbanites, particularly women. It’s the party of Latinos. We’re a party of immigrants. Most of the people aren’t into all this distracting shit about open borders and letting prisoners vote. They don’t care. They have lives to lead. They have kids. They have parents that are sick. That’s what we have to talk about. That’s all we should talk about.

It’s not that this stuff doesn’t matter. And it’s not that we shouldn’t talk about race. We have to talk about race. It’s about how you deliver and frame the message.


Here’s another stupid thing: Democrats talking about free college tuition or debt forgiveness. I’m not here to debate the idea. What I can tell you is that people all over this country worked their way through school, sent their kids to school, paid off student loans. They don’t want to hear this shit. And you saw Warren confronted by an angry voter over this. It’s just not a winning message.

The real argument here is that some people think there’s a real yearning for a left-wing revolution in this country, and if we just appeal to the people who feel that, we’ll grow and excite them and we’ll win...


With a lot of these candidates, their consultants are telling them, “If you doubt it, just go left. We got to get the nomination.”


And then Biden gets in and blocks out good candidates like Cory Booker or Michael Bennet or Steve Bullock by occupying this mainstream lane. There just isn’t enough oxygen and they couldn’t get any traction. But these are serious people, professional people, and they could’ve delivered a winning message.


Mayor Pete has to demonstrate over the course of a campaign that he can excite and motivate arguably the most important constituents in the Democratic Party: African Americans. These voters are a hell of a lot more important than a bunch of 25-year-olds shouting everyone down on Twitter.


ht Brad A.


  1. Decades ago I heard someone, and it may have been Murray Rothbard, say that that Libertarian Party ought to become the home for victims of the state, for those who are encountering legal roadblocks or predation of all kinds, a coalition of the disaffected.

    To do that would mean finding out what they think and how they think about and then talking to them in their language about it and not coming across as ideologues, even if that's where we're coming from. A lot like what Carville says. Did the LP do this? No.....

  2. Scott is spot on! Trump got into office by trying to resonate with the disaffected. Delivery though is the Wil-O-whisp in politics, and for real libertarians there is an instinctive knowing that you cant deliver difference against the deep state and to buy into that state of mind is antithetical to common sense.