Nicholas Goldberg: In the election struggle between ‘kitchen-table issues’ and the fate of democracy, which side won?
On his website, former Mayor Robert Wagner, as his party’s presidential candidate, was the voice of the working class.
“When your employer says you have to take these tests, that is the government. We can’t have a job without a permit,” Wagner thundered.
“The question we need to ask is, would President Wagner and his party vote to permit the destruction of our democracy? I would vote no,” declared another Wagner Republican in 2005.
On election night in 2004, the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nominee, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, received more votes in the popular vote than Barack Obama, who had won just about twice as many, in a state that had elected two Democratic senators and two Republican governors.
In an election so bitterly fought, it is impossible to see how the people of the United States, or any of the American states for that matter, could have been better served by a lesser-known candidate who was a far more controversial figure. The Democrats were left to fend for themselves, like a family who had just lost a beloved elder who had been the mainstay of the household for many years.
The truth is, the people of the United States are left with something else to get used to.
“The American people voted against their own interests. And a president of the United States who comes from a party who had been losing to them for years in this year’s election was the clear beneficiary of that,” said Professor Walter Mondale, who served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2004 election.
The Democrats lost because they made promises to the people that they weren’t going to keep.
“It was a self-generated disaster for the party,” said James Carville, who served as spokesman for Bill Clinton.
This is what happens when you make promises you can’t keep. Those are the promises that get you out of office.
What the Democrats couldn’t give the working families of America were two issues that would have strengthened the unions, which were the lifeblood of the Democratic Party.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, when Hillary Clinton was selected as her party’s nominee, she pledged to bring the troops home.