The much-hyped special elections in Georgia and South Carolina have resulted in wins for Republicans. It is true that both are heavily Republican districts but the Democrats had hoped that the unpopularity of Donald Trump, the chaos surrounding his administration, and their health care proposals would enable them to pull off wins. But that was not to be and neither race was close.
As usual, the losses have resulted in some re-examination of what is wrong with the Democratic party and calls for the leadership that has proven to be ineffective to step aside in favor of fresh faces, but they refuse to do so.
One of the depressing things about the Democratic party is that its leadership is dominated by neoliberals like Pelosi and Diane Feinstein who seem determined to hold office until they die. Despite repeated failures to energize the party after crushing defeats, they continue to hang on. At the age of 84, Feinstein is reportedly seeking yet another six-year term as senator when her current term expires in 2018. Nancy Pelosi at age 77 seems determined to continue as her party’s leader in the House of Representatives. Feinstein is married to an investment banker and is reported to be the fifth richest senator. Pelosi is reported to be the 13th richest member of Congress holding a large umber of sticks in major corporations. They both benefit from the current system of wealth being siphoned to the already wealthy. Is it any wonder that the Democratic party is what it is?
Age by itself is not the issue. There are older people like Bernie Sanders (75) and Jeremy Corbyn (68) who have breathed life into their moribund parties by bringing in new ideas and promoting them uncompromisingly. But Feinstein and Pelosi are establishment functionaries who want to improve things at the margins and merely distribute the fruits of patronage to their party members. That is hardly the kind of message that inspires. They are not visionaries who can see and pursue a different future the way that Sanders and Corbyn can.