It all started in early 1993. Recently elected President Bill Clinton rammed the North American Free Trade Agreement which the first President Bush had negotiated through the Senate ratification process and held Democrats feet to the fire to get enabling legislation passed in BOTH Democratically controlled houses of Congress.
This was the first major “accomplishment” of the Clinton Administration. What happened as a result of the “giant sucking sound” that followed along with NAFTA just as H. Ross Perot, the independent candidate who was leading in the 1992 polls before he dropped out of the race predicted it would, the Democratic Party which held control of the US House of Representatives since the 1950s and which had regained control of the US Senate following the Reagan years LOST BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS.
If you read the polling data from the time and examine who lost you will find that the Democratic members of the House and Senate who fell for Bill Clinton’s take on NAFTA were ran out of town on a rail in the election of 1994 precisely because of their vote for NAFTA. The Gingrich Revolution and the Contract on America -yes I know that wasn’t what it was called- happened precisely because of the disastrous trade policies enacted by Bill Clinton.
The Democratic Party has never fully recovered.
What followed is capitulation and the dismantling of every major social program put in place by the Democrats from FDR to LBJ, including the repeal or preemption of bedrock financial regulations enacted not only by Franklin Roosevelt, but by the various state legislatures during Teddy Roosevelt’s administration which directly resulted in the 2008 financial crash.
In 1999, as an Independent member of the House from the State of Vermont, Bernie Sanders was arguing against the repeal of these financial regulations. Along with Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan he was one of the loudest voices predicting a crash to follow within a decade of the repeal. They were proven right.
In 2008, the Democratic Party chose Barack Hussien Obama over Hillary Clinton because the vast majority of the party was well aware of the disaster that the Clintons had been for the party. Most people believed that Obama supporters should have their heads examined because in that environment there was no way in hell this country would elect a black guy with that name. They were wrong, TWICE!
Of course the biggest problem facing Barack when he entered the White House was staffing his Administration, and the Clinton staffers became his go to people. The same Washington insiders from the 1990 who focused on a policy of triangulation gave the American people more of the same when we voted for hope and change. In 2010, after Obama brought an LBJ sized landslide slate of Democrats into the House and Senate with him, in 2008, Democrats stayed home.
Why? Because the Clintons and their insiders DID NOT FIGHT FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, Obama took their advice, or maybe just maybe he agreed with them all along. I don’t know, but any way you slice it, the Clinton policies of half-measures and conceding everything to the right turned off Democrats. We stayed home. We did not vote in 2010. We voted in bigger numbers in 2012, just to stave off the wolves, but in 2014 we stayed home again.
I ask you this, why oh why would any Democrat EVER vote for a Clinton?