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Democratic Soul Searching

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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Now that Congress is in session and most state legislatures are in session, it would be a good time for some soul searching. At least that is what Representative Marcy Kaptur is saying. She is a Democrat with a district in Toledo, Ohio. She says “the Democratic Party has some soul searching to do. On the economic front it fell short.”

In order to get the attention of her Democratic House colleagues, she sent them a packet of graphs, political cartoons, and articles that illustrate the party’s bicoastal bias and neglect of Middle America. She wants them to understand why the Democratic Party lost the presidency, control of Congress, governorships, and state legislatures. She says the industrial heartland feels “squeezed out, overshadowed, marginalized, ignored.”

She isn’t the only person calling attention to Democratic losses. Gabrielle Levy (U.S. News and World Report) talked about this on MSNBC. She said that President Obama “saw the destruction of the Democratic Party. On his watch, more than 900 state and state legislative seats were lost to the Democratic Party, and the Republicans have 33 governorships.” She went on to add that Hillary Clinton did a “fairly poor job at reaching out to people who were disaffected, and not really interested in where people could go to the bathroom in North Carolina.” For the record, Republican Party now controls the White House, both chambers of Congress, two-third of the governorships, and 69 of the 99 state legislative bodies.

Democrats recently reinforced their bicoastal perspective when they elected Californian Nancy Pelosi as their leader in the House instead of Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio. By contrast, Republicans have House Speaker Paul Ryan from Wisconsin, Mitch McConnell from Kentucky, and Vice President Mike Pence from Indiana. This says a lot about these two political parties.

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