Must Democrats Really Choose: Diversity Or White Working Class?

There is one dominant issue emerging as Democrats sift through the recent election losses and search for answers: the developing debate over the role that “Identity Politics” played in the losses. Identity Politics refers to the way Democrats have divided themselves into their various constituent interest groups. In recent years Democrats have gradually divided into a long list of individual factions, i.e., Women, African-American, Hispanic, College, LGBTQ, Disability and more. The Iowa Democratic Party added five new constituency caucuses this year at their 2016 Convention. They are Progressives, Women, Rural, Senior/retiree and Labor. With these additions, the Iowa Democrats have […]

What Version Of Donald Trump Are We Getting?

Trump’s hyper-rhetorically fueled schemes to take America backward have already hit it a wall, and it’s not a wall Trump built on the Mexican border. It’s a wall Trump ignored throughout his campaign. It’s called the wall of reality. Suddenly, the Trump campaign has collided head-on with the reality of governing. Trump voiced the most outrageous schemes during the campaign. Now in the bright light of governing, some of Trump’s wacky, dangerous and confusing proposals are coming under intense scrutiny. This doesn’t suggest he is any less dangerous, but it does suggest there may be limits of rationality and practicality […]

How Iowan Neal Smith’s 49-Year-Old Legislation Could Trip Up Trump

It was 7:00 p.m. on December 23, 1967 on the floor of the United States Congress. Just two days before Christmas, former Iowa Congressman Neal Smith finally got his anti-nepotism legislation passed. 49 years later Smith’s legislation may prevent President Donald Trump from hiring his children or his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Congressman Smith’s late night legislation is cited today as the legal roadblock preventing Trump from appointing his family to government positions. Congressman Smith, now 96, retired and living in Des Moines, agreed last week to recount the passage of his historic legislation with the Iowa Daily Democrat. Congressman Smith […]

The Next Message: Take America Back

Guest post from Tim Urban Donald Trump captured the anxieties of middle America with the theme  MAKE AMERICAN GREAT AGAIN. America is already a great nation, but not for all Americans. President Obama and candidates Sanders and Clinton built their campaigns around minorities, immigrants, women and LGBT Americans. We assumed that these groups would outvote the shrinking White, male electorate. This divisive strategy is doomed if we continue to focus on wooing one set of Americans at the expense of others. There is much hand-ringing by progressives what message will represent our political values and appeal to all Americans, not divided […]

What’s Next: Focusing On Local Iowa Races In 2017

For Democrats looking to rebuild in Iowa following our 2016 losses, two dates in 2017 loom large: September 12 and November 7. That’s when Iowa’s elections for school boards and municipal elected positions are to be held, respectively (there’s also a October 10 primary date for city offices in some counties). This is where the first electoral steps can be taken to rebuild the Democrats’ bench and move policies back to the left at the local level. A bigger focus on 2017 mayoral, city council and school board elections by the Iowa Democratic Party and/or activists could reap many benefits. First off, […]

Trump’s Election Delays Obama’s Retirement Plans

President Obama and David Plouffe, his 2008 political strategist, joined a national conference call last week with Organizing for Action (OFA) volunteers. OFA is the non-partisan 501(c)4 issue advocacy organization that formed after the 2012 Obama campaign. It is the community organizing group that has been advocating for many of the key issues of President Obama’s agenda. The purpose of the call was to reassure OFA volunteers following the dramatic election losses. The President told the volunteers to take off a week or so, but no more. He urged them to stay involved and re-engage as quickly as possible on the issues […]

Six Steps For Coming Together For A Stronger Democratic Party

  Guest post from Sean Bagniewski and Jason Frerichs The Republican Party has won the popular vote just once in the last 28 years. Our Democratic Party witnessed significant issues throughout the Iowa Caucus process and the conventions thereafter. We are immensely disappointed at our Party’s inability to make a compelling argument to the working class and blue collar voters throughout our state and our country. We are heartbroken at the results of the 2016 elections and what it will mean for our most vulnerable. Again, the Republican Party has won the popular vote just once in the last 28 […]

Maalox, The New Drink Of Choice In Congress

There’s something Democrats, Republicans and independents can all agree on now that the election is over: The campaign ads have ended! We can sit in front of our televisions now without the fear of being bombarded by ads talking about despicable or deplorable people, crooks or liars. All we have to cope with now are those ads for Viagra, farm weed killers, and Flo, the insurance lady. Our Republican friends are still basking in the glow from their party’s near clean sweep on election night. Our Democratic friends, after the shellacking their candidates received, are in a funk that will […]

Next Steps For The Iowa Democratic Party

Guest Post from Derek Eadon. All potential IDP chair candidates are welcome to submit op-eds on their plans. The shock of Election Day has finally worn off. I wish I could say I was surprised at the results, but unfortunately that was not the case. The shock came from the worst-case scenario being realized. Donald Trump was President. In Iowa we had lost the Senate, the one thing that was protecting us from Republican overreach. The reality is, though, none of us should have been shocked by last Tuesday’s results. Those that were, were not looking at the right indicators. If there is […]

Why Democrats Didn’t Show Up To Vote, Again

Democrats are searching for the answers as to why they lost the 2016 election. It’s really pretty simple. Nationally, Democratic voters didn’t show up. Clinton attempted to reassemble the Obama coalition that elected him in 2008 and 2012. Unfortunately, 5 million of those 2012 Obama voters either didn’t vote, or voted for third party candidates in 2016. Hillary received 5 million less votes than Obama did in 2012. However, those 5 million voters didn’t all move from Hillary to Trump. Trump received less votes than Romney received in 2012.  Certainly some working class voters and rural voters that generally vote […]