Senator Bernie Sanders (I – Vermont) took another swipe at the Democratic Party on Thursday, concurring with Representative Tim Ryan (D – Ohio) that the Democratic brand is failing. Representative Ryan took the criticism one step further than Sanders, stating “our brand is worse than Trump” following Jon Ossoff’s defeat in Georgia’s special election.
“The Democratic brand is pretty bad,” Sanders told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “It is my view that the Democratic Party has to do a lot of internal soul-searching, and understand that for the last ten years, the model that they have had really has not worked.”
Sanders statement was in response to Democrats losing three winnable special elections in Montana, South Carolina, and Georgia. The Senator argued that Democrats should have all the momentum right now and yet they continue to lose elections.
“I think what most objective observers feel is Democrats actually have the momentum. Maybe not enough momentum right now to win in heavy Republican districts but the momentum is with the Democrats,” Sanders told Cooper.
Sanders’ primary critique, as it has been since he first launched his campaign for the Democratic nomination, is that Democrats aren’t providing enough answers to working people who continually them as the party of bicoastal elites.
Democrats need to “make it clear to working people of this country that the Democratic Party is on their side,” Sanders exclaimed. “The Democrats need a progressive agenda. They need to rebuild the party in states they have ignored for decades, where they have almost no presence right now and create a 50-state party.”
Democrats have been in heated discussions over how to move the party forward, and both sides of the debate have dug in their heels even further following Mrs. Clinton’s election loss. The moderate wing of the party says that Rob Quist’s defeat in Montana proves the party needs to move to the center. The progressive wing beliefs centrist Jon Ossoff’s $24 million failure to defeat Karen Handel shows that Clintonian politics doesn’t resonate with the American people.
Many thought the Trump presidency would provide a unified front on the left under the banner of “The Resistance,” but thus far that has not matriculated. If the party doesn’t figure out the best way forward soon, their chances of taking back the House in 2018 look slim, and Trump’s reelection in 2020 doesn’t sound all that implausible.