James Carville is still fired up over the leftward direction of the Democratic Party and vented more of his concerns after a now-viral rant this week.
The longtime Democratic strategist sounded the alarm in an interview with Vox, warning that Democrats have to get “their sh*t together” and that there’s “No chance in hell” of regaining power in the Senate if Sen. Bernie Sanders is going to end up leading the party.
Carville’s interview came days after he unloaded on MSNBC about the state – and the fate – of the Democratic Party and its dismal prospects for beating President Donald Trump in November unless there are some changes.
James Carville ‘scared to death’ of his party’s cult-like direction: ‘Without power, you have nothing’ https://t.co/cqHr87aPT2
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 5, 2020
The former Clinton adviser admitted he was “scared to death” of what lay ahead just as the Iowa caucus debacle was unraveling for Democrats.
“This is very bad. And now it appears the party can’t even count votes. What the hell am I supposed to think?” Carville told Vox’s Sean Illing.
“The fate of the world depends on the Democrats getting their sh*t together and winning in November. We have to beat Trump. And so far, I don’t like what I see. And a lot of people I talk to feel the same way,” he said, pointing to the success of the 2018 midterms when Democrats “didn’t get distracted, we didn’t get deflected.”
Examples of those distractions he referred to include issues such as open borders and decriminalizing illegal immigration as well as eliminating nuclear energy and fracking.
“You’ve got Bernie Sanders talking about letting criminals and terrorists vote from jail cells. It doesn’t matter what you think about any of that, or if there are good arguments — talking about that is not how you win a national election. It’s not how you become a majoritarian party,” Carville contended.
“For f**k’s sake, we’ve got Trump at Davos talking about cutting Medicare and no one in the party has the sense to plaster a picture of him up there sucking up to the global elites, talking about cutting taxes for them while he’s talking about cutting Medicare back home. Jesus, this is so obvious and so easy and I don’t see any of the candidates taking advantage of it,” he added.
“The Republicans have destroyed their party and turned it into a personality cult, but if anyone thinks they can’t win, they’re out of their damn minds,” he told Illing.
When asked if he really believed Democrats are destroying their own party, Carville turned his wrath on Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“Look, Bernie Sanders isn’t a Democrat. He’s never been a Democrat. He’s an ideologue. And I’ve been clear about this: If Bernie is the nominee, I’ll vote for him. No question. I’ll take an ideological fanatic over a career criminal any day. But he’s not a Democrat,” he declared.
“Sanders might get 280 electoral votes and win the presidency and maybe we keep the House,” Carville continued. “But there’s no chance in hell we’ll ever win the Senate with Sanders at the top of the party defining it for the public. Eighteen percent of the country elects more than half of our senators. That’s the deal, fair or not.”
“The purpose of a political party is to acquire power. All right? Without power, nothing matters,” he added.
Carville argued that Democrats need to present a “meaningful message that is relevant to people’s lives” and not be “sucked into every rabbit hole” with other issues.
“It’s not that this stuff doesn’t matter. And it’s not that we shouldn’t talk about race. We have to talk about race. It’s about how you deliver and frame the message,” he said, reiterating his own words earlier in the week that there is only “one moral imperative here, and that’s beating Trump.”
“Nothing else matters,” Carville said.
“So your complaint is basically that the party has tacked too far to the left?” Illing asked.
“They’ve tacked off the damn radar screen. And look, I don’t consider myself a moderate or a centrist. I’m a liberal. But not everything has to be on the left-right continuum,” he replied, warning that candidates should focus on what people care about and “not get diverted by whatever the hell is in the air that day.”
“Here’s another stupid thing: Democrats talking about free college tuition or debt forgiveness. I’m not here to debate the idea,” he added. “What I can tell you is that people all over this country worked their way through school, sent their kids to school, paid off student loans. They don’t want to hear this sh*t.”
He explained that politics is about “building coalitions to win elections” before going on to elaborate on the cultural disconnect by citing tweets from New York Times writer Binyamin Appelbaum about how LSU canceled classes for the National Championship game.
“This is from a guy who lives in New York and serves on the Times editorial board and there’s not a single person he knows that doesn’t pat him on the back for that kind of tweet,” Carville said, calling out the writer as “patronizing.”
“Appelbaum doesn’t speak for the Democratic Party, but he does represent the urbanist mindset. We can’t win the Senate by looking down at people,” he said. “The Democratic Party has to drive a narrative that doesn’t give off vapors that we’re smarter than everyone or culturally arrogant.”
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