Biggest losers: Far left and NeverTrumps

The biggest winners last night were ordinary Americans, who rose up by the millions to smite the establishment with their righteous anger.

Not since the election of Andrew Jackson in 1828 has the common man made his presence felt so strongly at the ballot box.  There have been other populists who ran for president  William Jennings Bryan and Ross Perot come to mind but their quixotic quests fell far short of victory.

If the common man was the big winner last night, the biggest losers have to be the Democratic hard left and NeverTrump Republicans.  United in their hate for Trump, both groups lost power and influence as a result of their sometimes hysterical opposition to last night's winner.

Jim Newell writing in Slate pronounces the Democratic establishment dead:

The midterm losses? That was just a bad cycle, structurally speaking; presidential demographics would make up for it. The party establishment made a grievous mistake rallying around Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t just a lack of recent political seasoning. She was a bad candidate, with no message beyond heckling the opposite sideline. She was a total misfit for both the politics of 2016 and the energy of the Democratic Party as currently constituted. She could not escape her baggage, and she must own that failure herself.

Theoretically smart people in the Democratic Party should have known that. And yet they worked giddily to clear the field for her. Every power-hungry young Democrat fresh out of law school, every rising lawmaker, every old friend of the Clintons wanted a piece of the action. This was their ride up the power chain. The whole edifice was hollow, built atop the same unearned sense of inevitability that surrounded Clinton in 2008, and it collapsed, just as it collapsed in 2008, only a little later in the calendar. The voters of the party got taken for a ride by the people who controlled it, the ones who promised they had everything figured out and sneeringly dismissed anyone who suggested otherwise. They promised that Hillary Clinton had a lock on the Electoral College. These people didn’t know what they were talking about, and too many of us in the media thought they did.

[...]

Whoever takes over what’s left of the Democratic Party is going to have to find a way to appeal to a broader cross section of the country. It may still be true that in the long term, Republicans can’t win with their demographics, but we found out Tuesday that the long term is still pretty far away. Democrats have to win more white voters. They have to do so in a way that doesn’t erode the anti-racist or anti-sexist planks of the modern party, which are non-negotiable. If only there were a model for this.

The few Democratic leaders who remain are going to say that it was just a bad note struck here or there, or the lazy Bernie voters who didn’t show up, or Jim Comey, or unfair media coverage of Clinton’s emails, to blame for this loss.

As for the NeverTrumps, we confidently tried to overturn the GOP convention, only to find little support outside the pundit class.  When that didn't come about, we tried to capitalize on Trump's unpopularity in the party by pushing the amatuer McMullen on voters.  His campaign was an epic fail, as he couldn't qualify for ballot access in 16 states. 

We NeverTrumps somberly predicted a GOP apocalypse the end of the party.  It didn't happen, as Republicans kept the Senate and had minimal losses in the House.

Those disgruntled GOP voters began to come home.  And yesterday, they held their noses and voted Trump.  In the end, the NeverTrump movement had close to zero impact on the election.

Were we wrong?  That, of course, remains to be seen.  Trump could still be the disastrous president we NeverTrumps believe he will be.  But it is humbling to realize that so much of what we believed to be true was untrue.  And liberals like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and we NeverTrumps had better understand where we figured wrong if anything is to be salvaged from our debacle. 

The biggest winners last night were ordinary Americans, who rose up by the millions to smite the establishment with their righteous anger.

Not since the election of Andrew Jackson in 1828 has the common man made his presence felt so strongly at the ballot box.  There have been other populists who ran for president  William Jennings Bryan and Ross Perot come to mind but their quixotic quests fell far short of victory.

If the common man was the big winner last night, the biggest losers have to be the Democratic hard left and NeverTrump Republicans.  United in their hate for Trump, both groups lost power and influence as a result of their sometimes hysterical opposition to last night's winner.

Jim Newell writing in Slate pronounces the Democratic establishment dead:

The midterm losses? That was just a bad cycle, structurally speaking; presidential demographics would make up for it. The party establishment made a grievous mistake rallying around Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t just a lack of recent political seasoning. She was a bad candidate, with no message beyond heckling the opposite sideline. She was a total misfit for both the politics of 2016 and the energy of the Democratic Party as currently constituted. She could not escape her baggage, and she must own that failure herself.

Theoretically smart people in the Democratic Party should have known that. And yet they worked giddily to clear the field for her. Every power-hungry young Democrat fresh out of law school, every rising lawmaker, every old friend of the Clintons wanted a piece of the action. This was their ride up the power chain. The whole edifice was hollow, built atop the same unearned sense of inevitability that surrounded Clinton in 2008, and it collapsed, just as it collapsed in 2008, only a little later in the calendar. The voters of the party got taken for a ride by the people who controlled it, the ones who promised they had everything figured out and sneeringly dismissed anyone who suggested otherwise. They promised that Hillary Clinton had a lock on the Electoral College. These people didn’t know what they were talking about, and too many of us in the media thought they did.

[...]

Whoever takes over what’s left of the Democratic Party is going to have to find a way to appeal to a broader cross section of the country. It may still be true that in the long term, Republicans can’t win with their demographics, but we found out Tuesday that the long term is still pretty far away. Democrats have to win more white voters. They have to do so in a way that doesn’t erode the anti-racist or anti-sexist planks of the modern party, which are non-negotiable. If only there were a model for this.

The few Democratic leaders who remain are going to say that it was just a bad note struck here or there, or the lazy Bernie voters who didn’t show up, or Jim Comey, or unfair media coverage of Clinton’s emails, to blame for this loss.

As for the NeverTrumps, we confidently tried to overturn the GOP convention, only to find little support outside the pundit class.  When that didn't come about, we tried to capitalize on Trump's unpopularity in the party by pushing the amatuer McMullen on voters.  His campaign was an epic fail, as he couldn't qualify for ballot access in 16 states. 

We NeverTrumps somberly predicted a GOP apocalypse the end of the party.  It didn't happen, as Republicans kept the Senate and had minimal losses in the House.

Those disgruntled GOP voters began to come home.  And yesterday, they held their noses and voted Trump.  In the end, the NeverTrump movement had close to zero impact on the election.

Were we wrong?  That, of course, remains to be seen.  Trump could still be the disastrous president we NeverTrumps believe he will be.  But it is humbling to realize that so much of what we believed to be true was untrue.  And liberals like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and we NeverTrumps had better understand where we figured wrong if anything is to be salvaged from our debacle.