But the presence of disenchanted Republican voters, put off by a Trump presidency at the same time that they're put off by the Democrats enabling their vassals without making their conditions better, is leading to some agony in the vassal constituency. Jake Johnson calls it courting the right, smearing the left.
Ultimately, supporters of Hillary Clinton refuse to take at face value the core argument of many leftists: That Hillary Clinton's record warrants, at the very least, fierce and persistent criticism. Instead, they are content to fish for ulterior motives, painting those who fight against corporate money in politics, American imperialism, and income inequality as Trumpism's useful idiots.That established order hasn't turned out so well: whether it's the rent seeking or the corrupt bargain by which the cosmopolitans give lip service to the lumpenproletariat whilst doing nothing substantive to improve their conditions (and the Republicans are complicit in this, doing relatively little to make a case for entrepreneurship and bourgeois conventions, preferring to wage the culture wars.) But Trevor Timm frets that in reaching out to those disaffected Republicans, the Hillary pivot will hurt Democrats down the ballot.
Meanwhile, Democrats have increasingly positioned themselves as the bulwark against anti-establishment sentiment, as the defenders of the status quo, as "the cosmopolitan elite party." Implicit in such a party is hostility to any agenda that threatens the established order.
Clinton may think that a shift toward the right is her best way to defeat Trump. But given that it’s likely Trump will go down in flames anyway, it should be a cause of concern to all candidates who are attempting to defeat other Republicans along the way.Divided government is a feature, not a bug, whose values will continue to be clear as the House and the Senate protect their constituents from the worst executive excesses, no matter whether it's Mr Trump or Mrs Clinton pushing them. But the kind of ward-heeler politicians who enjoy the most enthusiasm with the Common Dreams crowd are likely to remain in office, failing to serve their vassals, no matter what sort of ticket-splitting goes on in the remnants of mainstream America.
But there's discontent with Hillary's outreach on the right as well, in that in seeking to pry the remnant away from Mr Trump, the resulting Democrat governance or divided governance will do little for the remnant, who, after having the relatively mannerly Tea Party and the moderately transgressive Trumpening dismissed, might emerge in a more vigorous form next cycle. Plus an intriguing echo of the complaints on the left from Jonah Goldberg.
If I were a down-ballot Democrat, I’d be chagrined. By exonerating the GOP from the stain of the alt-right, Clinton has made it harder for Democratic candidates to tar their opponents with it. What’s truly extraordinary, though, is that Clinton is doing work many conservatives won’t.Two more months to go.