Will Democrats Seize Opportunity or Choke on Donor Dollars?
The Republicans’ failed attempt at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has highlighted fractures in the party that have plagued them since the rise of the Tea Party. The Republican Party’s attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the far-right movement and block President Obama at every turn has backfired, as they must pivot from an opposition party to a governing party. This failure has also presented a rare twofold opportunity for Democrats while Republicans try to find its footing.
Donald Trump has expressed his willingness to work with Democrats to repair the ACA. Furthermore with President Donald Trump and Paul Ryan turning on the Freedom Caucus following the American Health Care Act debacle Politico reports that House Republicans will need at least 18 Democratic votes to pass any legislation . While Democrats may realize this opportunity, it will be for naught if they do not quickly understand what voters want.
In 2016, Democrats lost the White House by running an establishment candidate in a populist atmosphere. Even though Donald Trump is replenishing the swamp, working class Americans voted for him because he said he would drain it. While Democrats focused on Trump’s bigotry, sexism and political blunders, he promised jobs and won. Democrats stopped short of understanding that Trump’s anti-immigrant message resonated because working class White voters believe immigrants take the jobs that are still here.
With this realization, Democrats can choose to make the same mistake as Republicans under President Obama and become a party of opposition with nothing to offer or capitalize on having a president more beholden to his popularity than to the GOP by negotiating policies voters want. If House Democrats spend as much time writing and negotiating policies that matter most to Americans as investigating Russian influence, they will have a story to tell the rest of America in time for midterm elections that will help raise money and win.
With tax reform up for action, Democrats have the opportunity to outflank Republicans with their president. If they push for fair taxation that relieves working class citizens and makes big business pay its fair share. Americans believe both parties govern to the benefit of large corporations. Democrats must realize that even with massive donations from corporate-backed super PACs, voters outnumber donors and this is what cost them the White House. Pivot toward the people, push the president left, develop a story for midterm campaigns and bring home the White House in 2020.