Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Whither the Marty Party?

Recently I wrote that some Democrats have suggested Martin O'Malley as a potential national Democratic Party chairman for the coming four years.  Although I hold out less than zero hope for such a thing to happen - I don't think Hillary took too kindly to his campaign and, for that matter, his existence - such a scenario may prove to be the Democratic Party's last best hope of survival.
The party, having lost five of the last six House midterm elections and four of the last six Senate midterm elections as well as having lost one high-profile governorship after another, is in serious trouble, and O'Malley has, in the past few years, been one of the few Democrats who recognize the problem.  He recently said in a radio interview that he's been warning the national party establishment about the low turnout in midterm and off-year elections that have cost the Democrats power at the state and local levels, but, because he's Martin O'Malley, no one would listen to him.  No one may listen to him even after this election is over; thanks to Donald Trump's gutter talk about women, the Democrats will not only likely win the Presidency, they also have a chance at taking back the Senate and even have a decent shot of overcoming gerrymandered House districts to win control of that chamber.  But Democrats will still have to defend in 2018 whatever power they win in 2016, and they'll have to defend too many Senate seats in the 2018 midterms regardless of what happens this year.  Republicans, likely to be free of Trump's presence in 2018, will be emboldened enough to try and win a large House majority then.  The Democrats will likely revert to their old bad habit of losing in midterm and off-year elections, and the party will be in trouble yet again - maybe more so than before.
Not if O'Malley is running it.  He knows what has to be done to fix the problem, so maybe Hillary should put her obvious hostility toward him aside and let him get the Democrats prepared for 2018 and beyond. The way I see it, O'Malley will not likely be able to run for President again until 2024, as Hillary, if elected President in 2016, will almost certainly be renominated in 2020.  O'Malley will be 61 in 2024, younger than Hillary, Trump or Bernie Sanders is now, but he'll still be Martin O'Malley. As much as I am still angered about this, Democrats have made it clear that they're not interested in him as a presidential possibility.  But the Democratic National Committee chairmanship  would be a nice consolation prize.  He's ready and willing to help turn things around for the Democrats in midterm and off-year races going forward.  
Meanwhile, the Greens, aware that Jill Stein isn't going to win the White House, are aiming to get her and other Green candidates as many votes as possible to build their party up for the long term.  And the Democrats ought to realize that they could be displaced by a new liberal opposition like the Greens or a coalition that hasn't even formed yet if they continue to adhere to their tradition of sucking in midterm and off-year elections.  O'Malley must be aware of all this.  If the Democrats want to save themselves from oblivion, they should give him the chance to get them out of their hole. If he isn't ever going to run the country, he should at least be able to run the party.
And if they don't get him, I'll just stick with the Greens.
O'Malley reminds me of the title protagonist in the Beatles song "The Fool On the Hill," as he, like that character, is scorned as a fool yet is wiser than those who scorn him.
And he never listens to them, he knows that they're the fools . . . they don't like him . . ..  And he sure does see how the world is spinning round through the eyes in his head.

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