A former staffer for Alabama Representative Artur Davis (D, AL-07), lawyer and defeated candidate for the Alabama House of Representatives (2006) and Alabama State Treasurer (2010) weighs in on the political Tsunami that swept Republicans into the majority in the US House of Representatives as well as both houses of the Alabama Legislature. His name is Jeremy Sherer, a Birmingham attorney whose practice specialty is labor law.
Guess what, sports fans? He didn’t get it:
Frankly — and I say this as an Alabamian who has twice sought elected office on the Democratic ticket — as definite as last week’s Republican tsunami was and as predictable as it might have been, it also was long overdue.
For too long, Alabama Democratic leaders have fallen short in crafting and implementing a dynamic, progressive agenda in a state that is riddled with public policy faults.
Over the past 136 years, despite controlling both the Alabama Legislature and governor’s office for all but approximately 13 years, Democrats have failed to reform Alabama’s Constitution, balance its regressive tax structure, implement substantive environmental protections and clean up campaign finance and electoral processes.
The 136-year reign of Democrats in Montgomery began with populism and ended with populism. Too many of those who would most benefit from traditional Democratic ideas regarding taxation, educational opportunity, campaign finance disclosure, environmental protections and occupational safety regulations were disaffected due to Democratic ineffectiveness or lack of action.
The need for the dynamic, progressive ideas that Democrats are most likely to provide is still present in Alabama. But the length of the journey through the political wilderness for Alabama Democrats is only beginning, and will last until the party refocuses itself and develops ideas that truly serve the public instead of those that nurture career politicians and entrenched interests.
Tuesday’s results were conclusive that Alabama’s Democratic establishment has strayed from its cause and lost sight of the dream.
Depending upon the degree of denial by some within the party regarding its waywardness, and depending too on Republican effectiveness in redistricting, I and my fellow Democrats could have more than ample time to not only rededicate ourselves to the cause, but to also dwell upon a dream that, if not lost, has at the very least been deferred.
Sherer doesn’t get it. Like most flaming leftists, Sherer thinks that Democrats got their clocks cleaned last Tuesday not because they had strayed too far to the left, but that they hadn’t strayed far enough. In an excellent column at The Right Sphere, RB precisely describes the mood of the electorate last Tuesday. Americans weren’t upset over the inability or unwillingness of Democrats to push their progressive agenda. It was the opposite—the audacity of the Progressives shocked and angered the center-right majority of the country to the point where no one felt it acceptable to go along with it anymore. They’d had enough of the left’s progressivism, and they rose up to smite the leftist beast.
In my own Straight Ticket column on October 22, I wrote:
As it is now, The Democrats have a far left-wing party that is completely out of touch with the center-right majority in America today, and it is actually the Republican Party that now embraces the conservative Democratic ideals that allowed the party to rule both houses of Congress for a generation. Until the good and decent Democrats—like my old friend—have no choice but to take back their party and restore the American ideals it once held, they can’t be allowed to return to office.
The Democrat Party needs to clean house. It needs to rid itself of elitist, progressive left-wing ideologues who think you’re about to vote against them out of fear and frustration. It’s a ruling class arrogance that convinces them that you aren’t smart enough, elite enough or nuanced enough to know what’s really good for you. You need to leave important things like Health Care, Climate Change and Amnesty up to them, you peasant. In fact, the only reason why they still tolerate peasants at the polls is because of that pesky Second Amendment thing.
Some of the more reasonable, sane and centrist Democrats got the message. Others, like Sherer and members of the “professional left” elitist bloggers, obviously have not. For Sherer and those liberal elitists with their fingers still stuck in their ears, let me lay it out for you.
The Progressive Experiment has failed. The people have rejected it altogether, in a historic election that overturned not only the arrogant Obama-Reid-Pelosi triumvirate, but overturned 136 years of Democrat control of the Alabama government. It wasn’t because you didn’t do enough to move the progressive agenda forward. It was that you pushed too hard and tried to exert too much control over the lives of ordinary Americans.
Sherer’s ideas on “taxation, educational opportunity, campaign finance disclosure, environmental protections and occupational safety regulations” would translate into:
- Raising taxes;
- Trying to force equal education results vs equal opportunity;
- Forcing conservative political contributors to be outed so that they can be harassed by the labor and environmental interests he represents;
- Further erosion of private property rights and the principles of contract law in the name of “environmental protection;”
- Greater state and union power over private sector hiring and the right to work.
The people of Alabama, and the people of the United States, have had enough of that crap. THAT was the message you got last Tuesday. You can choose to “get it,” or you can continue down the River Denial. When the Democrat party rids itself of such ideological nonsense as professed by its radical left wing, then they might regain the trust of the center-right electorate.
Until then, have a nice journey in the wilderness.