How the Party Treats Jeb and Hillary Tells You EverythingPermalink +
Thu, Feb 26, 2015, 10:39 am // Riley Sweeney
I try to shy away from national politics but with the presidential campaigns beginning to heat up, I wanted to share these thoughts about Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush.
First, let’s start with the assumption that Hillary and Jeb are running parallel campaigns. Both are well-funded insiders with close connections to previous presidents and are viewed suspiciously by their own base for their moderate positions (Bush on Common Core and immigration, Clinton on siding with Wall Street). Both have a close inner circle of advisors and are planning elaborate campaign roll-outs with the best that staff money can buy.
On the surface, they seem to be very similar candidates. However, they will be received completely differently because of how the parties interact with their base.
In politics, the “base” is the group of people who form your most ardent supporters. They are the die-hard volunteers, the passionate doorbellers, small donors and that one guy who shares EVERY SINGLE environmental petition on his facebook page (thanks, Jerry).
A presidential candidate needs support from their base to win – without it, they can only limp along, struggling to generate enthusiasm. John Kerry was not beloved by the Democratic base. John McCain was not popular with the base until he brought on Sarah Palin, then he was able to pack arenas with cheering supporters.
However, while the people at the top need the base, they do not necessarily love them – and this is where the political parties differ. It also explains why Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee and Jeb Bush will not be nominated by the Republicans.
The Democratic leadership disdains their most passionate supporters, the Republicans are actually afraid of their base.
I’m not talking about local parties, I’m talking about the upper echelons of power. The Democrats view their base as dirty, loud hippies that make unreasonable demands: “$15/hr minimum wage? Are you kidding me?” At their cocktail parties they say, “What’s next, legalizing marijuana and free housing for the homeless?” The Democratic party leadership knows that even if they ignore, insult or marginalize their supporters, they will still show up to vote for the centrist Democrat because the Republican is scarier.
On the other side of fence, the Republicans fear their base. After several prominent incumbents were defeated in the primary by Tea Party upstarts, the GOP leadership has been in a defensive crouch (see: Boehner, John), constantly afraid that the rabid hordes will storm their gates and throw them out.
This is why Hillary can remain comfortable in her centrist positions while Jeb will go through Romney-esque contortions trying to persuade his base that he is the second coming of Ted Cruz. As a result, Hillary will be seen from a position of strength because the national media always likes it when politicians stand up to their friends. Meanwhile, Jeb will be seen as caving to the Tea Party right, a position of weakness.
Does this mean that progressives are doomed to irrelevance? Absolutely not. One of the other key differences between the two parties is that the Democrats are actually interested in legislating, while the Republicans haven’t brought any serious legislative proposals to the national stage since President Bush tried to privatize Social Security in 2005.
As a result, the Democrats have passed some strong legislation in the last decade. While they are unable to push a truly progressive candidate to forefront, they have passed a strong financial consumer protection agency and a stimulus package which included the largest single investment in education and green energy in a generation. On the state level, they have legalized marijuana in a handful of states and passed marriage equality in all but thirteen.
There is still plenty to be done. For instance, progressives lost ground on women’s health issues nationwide, and I strongly doubt we will ever see a true progressive from the Democratic base as the presidential nominee. However, the Republicans will be able to bend their eventual nominee to their will. Will that give them electoral success in 2016? I don’t think so, but it will be revealing about the continual evolution of our political parties.
Thu, Feb 26, 2015, 10:39 am // Riley SweeneyRiley shares some insight into the national political parties
5 comments; last on Mar 09, 2015
Mon, Feb 02, 2015, 9:34 am // Guest writerNo ballot mailed to you. You must request a ballot for voting in the Whatcom Conservation District election. Deadline to apply is Feb 9. By Barbara Perry
Wed, Dec 24, 2014, 1:23 pm // Riley SweeneyThe Herald gave us their top 10 stories, Riley gives you his top 5
Sat, Nov 22, 2014, 3:48 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley dives into the data with precinct maps and historical perspectives
Tue, Nov 04, 2014, 12:28 pm // John ServaisWhile smearing Seth Fleetwood over a common tax arrangement, we discover Doug Ericksen also has a benign tax lien - one he denied.
6 comments; last on Nov 11, 2014
Mon, Nov 03, 2014, 8:14 pm // Richard LewisPoet Richard Lewis weighs in on the Tea Party values
Thu, Oct 30, 2014, 2:18 am // John ServaisA link to Riley's Political Junkie for excellent recommendations - and a few thoughts of my own.
1 comments; last on Oct 30, 2014
Tue, Oct 14, 2014, 6:36 am // Riley SweeneyRiley does a local political comedy show
1 comments; last on Oct 15, 2014
Thu, Oct 02, 2014, 2:33 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley files a full report of the Tea Party debate for State Leg candidates
1 comments; last on Oct 04, 2014
Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 8:00 am // Guest writerWherein a Fulbright scholar, professional engineer and successful business owner files for public office
4 comments; last on Oct 02, 2014
Tue, Sep 09, 2014, 8:21 am // Riley SweeneyRiley and John share the short list of who might replace Cathy Lehman on the Bellingham city council on January 5.
8 comments; last on Sep 10, 2014
Tue, Aug 12, 2014, 10:52 am // Riley SweeneySome Context for the Primary Results
Fri, Aug 08, 2014, 10:10 am // John ServaisUpdated Wed evening. The Tuesday evening 8:20 pm Auditor report on the election is in.
5 comments; last on Aug 08, 2014
Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 11:40 am // Riley SweeneyNorthwest Citizen has conducted a phone poll of likely voters, with some surprising results!
9 comments; last on Jul 29, 2014
Sat, May 17, 2014, 2:34 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley takes a closer look at the Charter Review Commission candidates
2 comments; last on May 21, 2014
Fri, May 09, 2014, 10:02 am // John ServaisThe Political Junkie for Whatcom County - that would be Riley Sweeney - has Overstreet not running for reelection in the 42nd.
1 comments; last on May 13, 2014
Tue, May 06, 2014, 5:52 pm // Riley SweeneyThe value of a Precinct Committee Officer . . .
1 comments; last on May 07, 2014
Thu, May 01, 2014, 10:21 pm // Guest writerMove to Amend is a national movement to amend the U.S. Constitution and define persons as people and speech as not money.
7 comments; last on Jun 02, 2014
Wed, Apr 30, 2014, 8:20 am // John ServaisRiley posted this morning that Seth Fleetwood has decided to challenge Doug Ericksen for state senate in the 42nd District.
1 comments; last on Apr 30, 2014
Thu, Apr 17, 2014, 10:40 am // Riley SweeneyA simple explanation of the Charter Review and analysis of District only voting
Tue, Mar 11, 2014, 11:24 am // Riley SweeneyRiley catches State Rep. Vincent Buys for soliciting funds during session
Mon, Dec 16, 2013, 1:30 pm // John ServaisFerndale Mayor Gary Jensen has decided not to file for the 42nd state Senate seat currently held by Doug Ericksen.
5 comments; last on Dec 24, 2013
Tue, Nov 12, 2013, 11:21 am // Riley SweeneyRiley crunches the numbers on Renata and McAuley's races to find answers
2 comments; last on Nov 13, 2013
Tue, Nov 05, 2013, 9:21 pm // John ServaisWith lots of outside county money flowing in to our local races, this election is weird. But real - and we county residents have spoken.
11 comments; last on Nov 09, 2013
Sun, Oct 20, 2013, 8:07 pm // John ServaisKen Bell has my vote over Mike McAuley for port commissioner. And Renata Kowalczyk has it over Dan Robbins.
8 comments; last on Oct 30, 2013
Wed, Oct 02, 2013, 6:40 am // Riley SweeneyRiley uncovers how the Coal Industry is funding conservative candidates in Whatcom County
11 comments; last on Oct 03, 2013
Thu, Sep 19, 2013, 7:08 am // Riley SweeneyRiley examines who is donating to which candidates
Mon, Aug 19, 2013, 8:08 am // Riley SweeneyRiley whole-heartedly urges Doug Ericksen to run for Congress in 2014
2 comments; last on Aug 19, 2013
Sun, Jun 30, 2013, 11:28 am // John ServaisBellingham City Council ready to approve $500,000 of trails money for resurfacing plastic grass on Civic Field.
15 comments; last on Jul 02, 2013
Fri, May 17, 2013, 5:44 pm // John ServaisTuesday morning and nothing in today's Bellingham Herald. Nor online. We provide the basics to fill in this latest omission by our "daily" newspaper.
9 comments; last on May 23, 2013
Mon, Apr 22, 2013, 6:52 am // Riley SweeneyRiley attends Tea Party training and runs afoul of Rep. Overstreet
1 comments; last on Apr 22, 2013
Fri, Feb 22, 2013, 3:47 pm // John ServaisThe election created a new park district with taxing power - but with NO control over Chuckanut Ridge - the 100 acre woods.
1 comments; last on Feb 23, 2013
Wed, Feb 13, 2013, 4:42 pm // John ServaisThe Park District vote is close and we will not know final results until late ballots are counted.
6 comments; last on Feb 19, 2013
Sat, Feb 09, 2013, 1:14 am // John ServaisThe proponents have avoided the issues on the Park District as the close of voting nears this weekend.
2 comments; last on Feb 12, 2013
Wed, Feb 06, 2013, 11:42 pm // John ServaisWhen is a vote No the most positive and common sense action? Check the park district opponents website to learn why.
15 comments; last on Feb 10, 2013
Tue, Feb 05, 2013, 1:59 pm // John ServaisThis Park District proposal has several ironic twists and facets - some involving the advocates.
10 comments; last on Feb 07, 2013
Sun, Feb 03, 2013, 4:05 pm // Guest writerNicholas Zaferatos explains why he is concerned about the park district and looks at the long and short term views if the issue.
11 comments; last on Feb 06, 2013
Sat, Feb 02, 2013, 12:18 pm // John ServaisThe Chuckanut Park District ballot issue has another 10 days to run. A few notes about NWCitizen and this issue.
11 comments; last on Feb 05, 2013
Fri, Feb 01, 2013, 4:16 pm // Guest writerDr. Gibb explains some history to the issue in a brief article.
8 comments; last on Feb 03, 2013
Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 1:36 pm // Guest writerPaul Leuthold and Byron Elmendorf explain why to vote NO on the Chuckanut Park District ballot measure.
19 comments; last on Feb 12, 2013
Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 1:26 am // Guest writerGuest post by long time south side resident Marci (Hanson) Haskell on why to vote no on the Park District
5 comments; last on Feb 01, 2013
Wed, Jan 30, 2013, 10:40 am // John ServaisThe Park District is a panic action that over taxes a small group. A city wide solution is by far the better way to proceed.
13 comments; last on Feb 01, 2013
Thu, Jan 24, 2013, 5:09 pm // John ServaisUpdated Sat, Jan 26. A primer on the special Parks District election - and where to find more info.
15 comments; last on Jan 31, 2013
Thu, Jan 24, 2013, 10:49 am // Guest writerBy Bill Geyer. South Bellingham citizens vote over the next couple weeks on a self tax to form a park district and pay the Chuckanut Ridge debt.
30 comments; last on Jan 31, 2013
Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 5:53 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley looks into Ericksen's legislative efforts this session
1 comments; last on Jan 22, 2013
Sun, Nov 04, 2012, 10:21 am // Paul deArmondThe Whatcom county Voters’ Pamphlet containing misleading and untrue statements by unregistered, unaccountable and anonymous front groups.
3 comments; last on Nov 06, 2012
Wed, Oct 31, 2012, 8:29 am // Riley SweeneyHere's your shot at fame and glory as a political pundit
4 comments; last on Nov 02, 2012
Thu, Oct 18, 2012, 4:15 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley talks about the Seattle Times, Newsweek and the future of Print Media
Tue, Oct 02, 2012, 9:35 am // Riley SweeneyRiley pores through Rep. Jason Overstreet's legislative record
7 comments; last on Dec 02, 2012
Tue, Oct 02, 2012, 9:22 am // Riley SweeneyRiley examines Rep. Vincent Buys' legislative record
1 comments; last on Dec 02, 2012
Fri, Sep 28, 2012, 9:45 am // Guest writerJack Petree, guest writer, points out serious flaws in Bellingham Prop 1, the Home Fund, that is intended to help the poor get housing.
18 comments; last on Dec 02, 2012
Fri, Jul 20, 2012, 5:44 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley gathers quotes, video footage and pictures from the recent tea party forum
1 comments; last on Jul 20, 2012
Wed, Jul 04, 2012, 11:42 am // Riley SweeneyRiley interviews judicial candidates, reviews campaign tactics, and discusses fireworks
Sun, Jun 17, 2012, 9:52 am // Paul deArmondPort Commissioner Scott Walker and attorney Frank Chmelik get caught ballot-rigging again
20 comments; last on Jun 21, 2012
Fri, May 18, 2012, 11:27 am // Riley SweeneyA short plea for public involvement from Riley
Wed, May 09, 2012, 6:11 am // John ServaisToday's Cascadia Weekly rips the Port staff on changed waterfront plans and sees 5 commissioners as possible solution to poor decision making.
2 comments; last on May 10, 2012
Mon, Apr 30, 2012, 10:54 pm // John ServaisSeveral people will be urging the Port of Bellingham commissioners to place the question of expanding to 5 commissioners on the ballot.
Sat, Apr 28, 2012, 10:09 am // John ServaisA county wide initiative will allow voters to decide whether to expand the Port of Bellingham commission from 3 to 5 commissioners.
1 comments; last on Apr 28, 2012
Tue, Apr 24, 2012, 12:07 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley attended the Whatcom GOP Convention and reports back
1 comments; last on Apr 29, 2012
Wed, Apr 04, 2012, 3:16 pm // John ServaisState law allows us to pass an initiative and increase the number of port commissioners from three to five. Thanks to Harriet Spanel.
4 comments; last on Apr 05, 2012
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