Monday, November 28, 2016

The Democratic Party Conundrum - Identity Politics and Class on MSNBC

"When I talk about the working class, one third are people of color. That's not parsing out the electorate - we're all in this together." -- Tim Ryan with Joy-Ann Reid on MSNBC.  
The Democratic Party Conundrum - Identity Politics on MSNBC - Joy-Anne Reid - How DARE Tim Ryan Run Against a Woman?Why replace Nanci Pelosi, a successful woman politician, with a man? Is appealing to the working class mean only white people or a more inclusive message?

Watching this segment on MSNBC on Saturday reminded me so much of the debates I've seen in MORE over the past 5 years over identity politics and class, where some make the  argument that identity politics throughout history has often been divisive and that a broader massage can unite people. In the UFT, as a caucus, do you try to appeal to various segments of the union based on identity or try to craft a broader message that appeals to lunch bucket issues --- but also not neglecting the other issues? For those who agree that issues of race are important but also feel that lunch bucket issues must be primary, things get icky.

I'll delve more into these debated in the UFT after the ICE meeting this Friday where we will dig down deep, something we rarely get to do in MORE.

This same debate is and will take place inside the Dem party -- Remember that Bernie crafted such a message and had trouble getting support -- some say he should have gone more into identity politics but Bernie stayed on message.

Watch this MSNBC segment to see the divide in the Democratic Party being played out --- How Reid plays the identity politics card on women and race. Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan who is challenging Nanci Pelosi for Democratic House Leader was interviewed by Joy-Ann Reid. She seemed incredulous that given the Clinton female loss why would a man try to displace the most powerful and as she termed it "successful" female politician? This is where it got weird, practically causing Ryan to laugh out loud. Reid compared how Pelosi's district voted to how Ryan's voted in the presidential election, causing Ryan to point out that Pelosi reps the extremely liberal district in California while he reps an Ohio working class area and even if they voted against Hillary, he himself was able to craft a message that got him elected. Reid went on the attack - trying to blame him for not being able to get his voters to vote for Hillary. Ryan pointed out that it was the faulty national Clinton campaign that crafted a message he disagreed with.

I think Ryan did a good job in articulating how Trump crafted a message that appealed to so many people. "I did not have control of the presidential message. The presidential campaign did not have a robust economic message --economics, lunch bucket issues. I had control of my message and got 70% of the vote - Donald Trump had a robust economic message - Dems are perceived to be tied to Wall St and the donor class."

Reid interrupted him a few times - she contrasted the amount of money raised by Pelosi. Ryan responded that if money was the key we would be in power now given the Dems had more money than Trump. It's about the message and how it talks to people -- The Democratic Party is not connected to their needs -- watch Reid's face -- see the wheels turning as he says this -- she sees the race issue -- feels he is only talking about appeals to white people -- tells him that issues of importance to people of color are not thrown on the waste heap ---- and yes this is the fault line for the Dems  -- she tries to end it there but Ryan comes back with - "When I talk about the working class, one third are people of color. That's not parsing out the electorate - we're all in this together."

Watch the segment:


  1. It is great that Democrats are arguing amongst themselves. When is a Democrat going to say, "This is where we went wrong and this is what we need to do to fix it."?

    Abigail Shure

    1. It is not in the personal best interest of Nancy Pelosi to admit she went wrong. Despite the obvious facts.

      The fractured identity politics played by the libs were bound to boomerang. And hard. It is no surprise that that a few holdouts still won't admit what happened.

      The lure of the identity politics won out over the unifying liberal economic and rights issues. Remember Bernie was shamed by the lefties for actually uttering 'all lives matter'.

      He was right.

  2. "We (working people) are all in this together."

    When the leadership of the Democratic Party believes this and acts upon it, I'll start to take it more seriously. Until then... they're clueless and hopeless.

  3. Is there room anymore for folks like Tim Ryan in the Democratic Party?

    1. If there isn't time for a new party. My issue is if there's room for people like me in more.

  4. Wow finally a good post. Thanks ed

  5. Clueless dems better get used to losing if they don't find a message that speaks to working Americans. I'm tired of the woman card being played. Nancy Pelosi having a vagina is irrelevant. Vaginas and penises do not make anyone more or less qualified for a job. Pelosi failed. Time for someone new. Roseanne McCosh

    1. Wait, Roseanne, you mean you're not consoled if a rapacious Overclass is 50% female, 15% African-American, 20% Latino and 10% LBGT?

      How backward of you!


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