After the stunning defeat of Hillary Clinton, progressive mandarins are calling for a complete rebuilding of the Democratic Party. Here, for example, is Robert Reich's eight-step program. Unlike the Republicans after defeat, who double down on their ideological convictions and nihilistic congressional maneuvers, it may well happen. And it may be for the good. I don't know.
One thing I doubt is that the Democrats can win back the vaunted white working class. Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, who is challenging Nancy Pelosi for House Minority Leader, said, “We need to speak to their economic interests, that we get it, that we understand, that we talk about those things and we try to fight hard for those things.”
Well, how? President Obama saved General Motors, including the Lordstown, Ohio, assembly. Yet that county supported Trump over Clinton by six points. Obamacare provided more health insurance for whites than for blacks and Hispanics combined. Yet exit polls show whites voted 58 percent for Trump vs. 37 percent for Clinton, who had detailed policy proposals to help working Americans. As you can see from the map above, the Rust Belt states that went for Trump have plenty of counties that were doing well. The same thing with the hard-red South. (Although, as I wrote in the Seattle Times, blue states are the economic superstars for reasons that most red states shun).
Perspective is important. Hillary Clinton has won a larger majority of the popular vote than any candidate in modern history who did not also win the Electoral College. We vote by states, but even here it was a near-run thing. Trump won Michigan's 16 electoral votes by two-tenths of a percentage point (how'd that protest vote work out for you?). In the end, she couldn't get the low-single-digit additional points in key states that Obama had previously won.