For the past year, I have been "feeling the Bern," celebrating gay marriage and transgender acceptance, being schooled that Black Lives Matter, knowing that everything I write is from "privilege"...and worrying.
Worrying that this is the self-selecting world of my friends and "friends" on Facebook, Twitter and the progressive Web sites. Meanwhile, the majority of the electorate that is white and votes was keeping quiet. Ominously quiet.
They spoke in this week's election and the result was another disaster for progressives.
People were surprised that the Tea Party nobody Matt Bevin won the governorship in Kentucky over a highly qualified Democrat. Why? He had the one indispensable quality needed to succeed in New Confederacy politics: an R after his name.
With Bevin's election, Republicans can claim 32 governors — that's an astounding 64 percent of the governorships in the nation. Those holding hope for a Democratic victory in Louisiana against David Vitter should remember he triumphed in his Senate race despite being ensnared in a sex scandal (his lover/call girl was helpfully named Wendy, same as his wife). Will he survive a new love-child scandal or do a Grover Cleveland? Vitter has the magical R. All is forgiven.
In Washington state, the Democrats control of the state House was further weakened by the loss of a seat to an R; the GOP already controls the state Senate. Voters also approved a measure by a right-wing serial initiative pimp requiring a supermajority in the Legislature to raise taxes. If it becomes law, it would prove catastrophic. If not for Seattle, Washington would be as red as Idaho and a solid member of the New Confederacy.
And of course there was the "surprise" defeat of Houston's equal rights ordinance. Maybe it surprised my liberal friends and "friends," but the margin was more than 62 percent against in this suburbanized city of the New Confederacy. Once again, Democrats — the party of the "Daisy Girl" attack ad against Barry Goldwater — walked naively into the Republican claim that the ordinance would allow men into women's restrooms.
Nationally, Democrats' consistent failures and the race-baiting of the GOP and its shills on Fox "News," talk radio and the Wall Street Journal have produced a debacle of historic proportions.
Since 2010, Democrats have lost 13 Senate and 69 House seats. The party has also lost 11 governorships and 913 state legislative seats. The reckoning at the state level has been profound, allowing Republicans to gerrymander themselves into a lock on the U.S. House and slam through a variety of voter suppression and anti-city laws.
The inattention to winning "down ticket" races has cost the Democrats dearly. And it's one more reason why we can't count on the Republican presidential candidate Klown Kar's stumbles to avoid national suicide in 2016.
Maybe it's hopeless, the New Confederacy's lock on white rage and despair — and they vote — the stark divide between cities and suburbs/rural. But it would be nice to know the Democrats were at least trying, rather than merely chanting inside the liberal echo chamber.