Photo: AP

Like an old-growth tree that moves pitifully slow compared to the deadly encroachments of climate change, the Democratic Party establishment is now bumbling about in search of where to go now. If only there were some... signs.

Despite an embarrassing presidential loss to a racist oaf driven by rising tide of inequality that is cracking up parts of our societal institutions that were once presumed inviolate, the Democratic Party itself has not changed much—it still consists of the same elected officials as last year, the same Congresspersons and Senators, the same fundraising apparatus and donors, the same lineage of party functionaries who see themselves as the rightfully appointed decisionmakers. The furious grass roots upsurge since the election has thus far failed to completely permeate the actual political party that is best positioned to take advantage of it. That is why we have, for example, a top Democrat saying that “the message is being worked on,” as if “the message” must be a carefully crafted patronizing trick rather than a simple explanation of how to help people who need help. That is also why we cannot shake the conviction by much of the Democratic establishment that the savvy and “pragmatic” move is to nominate a middle-aged white male centrist from a red state in 2020.

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That’s the fucking problem with Democrats. They mistake weakness for pragmatism. They mistake pandering for savvy. They always seem to imagine that the closer they edge to Republican policy positions, the more votes they will inevitably capture, due to math. They—the establishment, the ones in control, with all of the plugs plugged into the current power grid—are unable to imagine a world in which they lead voters to their side with bold, progressive policies, and by telling the truth. That is considered hopelessly unrealistic, by the circle of operatives that helped to lose to Donald Trump. The entire apparatus of Democratic operatives who spent decades accumulating power, riding their way up through the Bill Clinton and Obama administrations, are still there. And they did their best in 2016. And here we are.

After six months of scandals and embarrassments, Donald Trump is terribly unpopular. But according to a new Bloomberg poll, there is a political figure who is even more unpopular: Hillary Clinton. This is the result of the Democratic Party’s existing strategy. A candidate, the most inside of insiders, handpicked to run in an election with unprecedented anti-establishment sentiment, beaten by a buffoon who at least spoke his stupid mind, and who is now confirming everyone’s worst fears of what he would do in the White House, and who is still more popular than the Democratic candidate.

Democrats who have wielded power for many years: America is sick of your bullshit. Maybe let the grass roots give it a shot for once. You suck.