The New York Times Creates a Democratic Crossroads

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In any article posted on December 15th, 2016 the New York Times continued the media’s obsessive insistence that the Democratic party review itself in a kind of soul-searching dissection of the results of the 2016 presidential election. The problem with this rinse-and-repeat media narrative is that the results as presented by the available data both before and after the election paint a conclusive result that’s neither hard to understand nor difficult to move forward with. This fact however doesn’t generate enough divisive fodder content for the left media to analyze for the next six months so they’ve taken to pushing the idea that there is some deep strategic and ideological rift taking place in the Democratic party.

The article in question opened with this honest and tame quote from Joe Biden taken from a recent interview with CNN: “I mean these are good people, man! These aren’t racists. These aren’t sexists.”

The context here as stated by NYT is that “some fellow Democrats had concluded that blue-collar whites were not even worth pursuing”. These kinds of loose qualifiers featuring such prominent national figures as “some fellow Democrats” have been a mainstay of the media’s coverage of the Democrat’s post-election planning but what they lack in specifics they make up for in drama. As the article explained:

“For Democrats, the election last month has become a Rorschach test. Some see Mrs. Clinton’s loss as a result of an unfortunate series of flukes —Russian tampering, a late intervention by the Federal Bureau of Investigation director and a poor allocation of resources — but little more than a speed bump on the road to a demographic majority. Others believe the results reflect a more worrisome trend that could doom the party.”

Of course in reality the “Rorschach test” never really took place as there really weren’t that many interpretations of the facts presented. Mrs. Clinton’s loss was the result of an unfortunate series of events (I wouldn’t call Russia’s tampering with a US presidential election a “fluke”) and nobody really disagrees with that fact. Primarily because it is just that – a fact. The notion that there is a significant or noteworthy opposition that believes that this represents a trend that “could doom the party” is entirely a fabrication.

This has become something of a style for the media lately wherein an assertion is made at a high level that a sweeping trend or movement is taking place and then that assertion is systematically walked back throughout the article until we arrive back where we started. The NYT eventually steps steadily back from “trends” that “could doom the party” in the following paragraphs where they reality the broader sentiment:

“Few leading Democrats are arguing for a large-scale reconsideration of the party’s core liberal agenda.”

“Even those who believe the party has become too fixated on identity politics do not think it should reverse course on such issues as immigration, criminal justice and legal protections for gay and transgender Americans.”

To corroborate the idea however that these “some fellow Democrats” exist the times did pull some choice quotes from Tom Vilsack, the Secretary Agriculture and former Governor of Iowa, the best of which is the first where Vilsack pointedly asks ““You don’t need those people? You’re going to wait how many decades before this other strategy works?” demonstrating an incredible capacity to forget both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.

This brings us full circle on the reality of these articles. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.8 million ballots and secured a diverse mandate by that popular vote. Her defeat was demoralizing and raised a series of meaningful questions about what went wrong and what ultimately led to this outcome. These questions include concerns about the electoral college system, the influence of Russian hacking and tampering and ultimately the candidate selected through the DNC primary process. However, the continued assertion by the NYT and others that the Demographic party is in a state of dilemma, or standing at a “crossroads” is at best a stretch and at worst a work of fiction.