Writers on The Washington Post’s editorial board may not be fans of Donald Trump, but they aren’t too crazy about the Democrats’ latest plan to win back voters either.
The Post gave Democrats credit for rolling out a new package aimed at what they called the “struggling middle class,” but it questioned whether their “A Better Deal” offers a clear enough message as to how they will fix the economy.
The Post said that even though the economy isn’t booming, it is performing well in many areas and faces the same threats and complex challenges as other developed economies, which makes the Democrats’ task even harder.
Even allowing for the degree of difficulty, however, the Democratic response, as sketched so far, is less than compelling: Its declared premise, that the economy is “rigged” against middle-class people, has a basis in the reality of Washington special-interest politics but seems better calculated to placate the party’s ascendant left wing than to start a serious policy conversation. American capitalism needs reform, not delegitimization.
The Post also noted that trade and tax reform—issues Trump has spoken about repeatedly, were noticeably absent from the Democrats’ new message, which the paper chalked up to the split within the party on those issues between the establishment and the left-wingers, which meant it was not as comprehensive as it could have or should have been.
As Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said over the weekend about why the Democrats lost the election in 2016: So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that.”
The new Democratic message probably won’t help much as voters are more likely to think of Papa Johns pizza—“better ingredients, better pizza,” rather than a better America under their rule.