Ian Welsh just wrote the best thing I ever read from him. How long has it been since I said in old bloggian, Read The Whole Thing.
Then, in 2008, Obama won. He took some of our help, but he didn’t buy it. Unlike the Democrats in 2006, many of whom had pretended to agree with us and had been willing to work with us, Obama did not work with the Netroots. During the entire campaign, the only time he reached out to us was during a period of a few weeks when he was losing to McCain in the polls, and even that was pro-forma.
Obama built his own grassroots organization, and he didn’t go through the blog gatekeepers (there were exceptions, one A-list blog of the time was the favored dumping ground for Obama oppo research). Instead, Obama’s supporters, and very likely operatives, flooded the comments and diaries. Obama got the support of Netroots supporters without having to give anything to the Netroots organizers.
The Netroots failed to elect anyone of their own people to Congress. So all they did was create the echo chamber of pro-Democrat rhetoric they were correctly accused of. Critics of Obama's neoliberalism recognized almost immediately that Obama exploited that liberal bias in the mainstream media that was abetted and supported by the likes of JournoList, FireDogLake and MoveOn. Now those bloggers have moved on to traditional left journals, like Mother Jones, but what have they actually moved in politics? Nothing but words.
Meanwhile Tea Partiers did rallies and actually elected people. The Netroots mistook their filterbubbles for thoughtful America, and their inclination is to defriend and doubledown, as well as to make politics a horse race rather than a horse trade.
The solution is to empower, really empower, a Constitutional Libertarianism. That means elect them to Congress. Everybody should understand by now that the GOP and the Democrats are all about grabbing the brass ring of government power we have refused to decrease in size and scope. That means that Trump should be applauded for stripping federal agencies of power if and when he does so (and also prove that mediocrities can preside over such agencies without drastic consequences for Americans).
This is not about waiting for the next Bernie Sanders. It's about standing for election now. Progressives have demonstrated their ability to paint the Democrats into a corner too far to the left to satisfy the majority of Americans, and a discombobulated GOP won because of that, building on the real world results of the same Tea Party candidates they refused to dignify years ago.
So there is the hope that Trump muddles on in his predictable mediocrity. There is nothing so drastic in his agenda as the panic it creates in people who thought they owned all morality and have decided Trump is fascist. Today, the Trump Administration signed up for Obama's LGBT policy, while activists still react to the new White House out of fear. The Federal government is still a big fat plum, and everybody wants only their teethmarks. A third party should dry it up a bit, because prunes are better for your digestion.
I cannot imagine how a candidate like Bernie Sanders could have gotten destroyed so thoroughly by the Democrats who still lost if a real third party, Socialist or otherwise existed in America and got candidates into Congress.