“Even though the multiracial coalition that re-elected Obama in 2012 and stayed home in 2016 was large enough to change the outcome of the election, the Democratic leadership has focused on voters who swung from Barack Obama to Donald Trump.” —Tory Gavito and Sean McElwee, GQ
On November 6, 2018, we witnessed the successful culmination of two years of tireless, dogged, urgent grassroots work when it was officially announced that the Democrats won the House of Representatives. We are seven months into their first term after eight years of Republican control, and pretty much all the Democratic leadership has accomplished is subjecting us to a daily dose of disappointment and demoralization. They pass vanity bills they know will die in Mitch McConnell’s Senate, yet they bizarrely expect us to somehow suspend this basic knowledge and be impressed. They hold them up like children’s finger paintings from preschool, giddy with anticipation for us to proudly tack them up on the fridge for all to see. They blatantly and arrogantly ignore their constitutional duty to check the White House and patronize us to be content with some sternly worded letters and empty tweets. They speak often of beating Trump in 2020 (“Impeach him at the ballot box!” Barf, and, that’s not a thing.), which is all well and good, but even their rhetoric there fails to inspire and completely shuns reality. It’s safe to say at this point that Democratic leadership is not serving their base that got them elected into power: mainly black women, the youth, and progressives. They shun anyone in those categories to chase after some mythical Midwestern working white class moderate male. Oh yeah, and to try and convert Trump voters (snort).
Aye god, WHY do they engage in such self-defeating nonsense? I have a partial theory – it’s one of many, of course – but my theory is that the Old Dinosaurs are still trying to win back the Reagan Democrats they lost in 1980, that portion of their base that just “made an exception for Ronald Reagan”. They’d be back, Democrats felt assured, once Reagan was no longer around. Well… Reagan proved quite difficult to oust, and I think it’s safe to say that those so-called Democrats who supported him have long since assimilated with card-carrying Republicans. Has Democratic leadership accepted this reality and moved on? Hell, no! Come on, guys, they’re not just gonna roll over and give up on those voters after only forty years! Shoot, just last week, Speaker Pelosi quoted former President Reagan – again – on the House floor.
As ludicrous as this sounds on its face, I actually don’t think it’s rooted in *pure* stupidity. More like inertia and self-interest. I really think much of why Democratic leadership is so tepid and milquetoast, and why they don’t respect their base, is because, well, they actually don’t respect their base. Or to put it more plainly, they don’t want their base to be their base.
I’ll submit two reasons they want those Reagan Democrats back. Firstly: those voters are white and mostly male. Which means that unlike today’s Democrat base, they do not want white patriarchy dismantled. They do not want structural, systemic sexism and racism corrected in any way. A convenient notion for the likes of Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and their like-minded elderly brethren, because guess what? Neither do they.
Secondly: it’s a generational thing, broadly speaking. Those Reagan Democrats were middle aged in 1980, which would make them Baby Boomers. The current Democrat base is largely composed of younger Generation X, Millennials, and is it Generation Z? Or whatever we’re calling them these days. I’m at the oldest side of this spectrum, and I was a toddler in 1980. This poses a real problem for the Old Dinosaurs because they all want cheers and gold stars for their long, storied public service careers. They want sweeping praise and fist bumps instead of reminders that their 1990’s-era legislative “achievements” and their “bipartisanship” was not beneficial to vast swaths of Americans; it irks them to no end that current calls for bipartisanship and civility are met with rolled eyes and facepalms and middle fingers. They don’t want their base to say mean things about all their then-popular Clinton-era legislation that screwed over an entire generation and then some. But the current, youth-focused Democratic base is so uncooperative in this quest! DAMN KIDS!
Naturally, their “solution” is to live in the past, repeat the same tired, meaningless centrist talking points ad nauseum, keep holding their breath (any day now those Reagan Democrats will come back to us, guys!), and continue abdicating power and flushing democracy down the toilet.
Grilled Flank Steak with Feta and Sriracha Crema
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tbs buttermilk (don’t forget to shake the carton first!)
- 2-3 tsp sriracha
- 1 ½ lbs flank steak, about 1 inch thick
- ⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup dry sherry
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs light brown sugar
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- A small knob of fresh ginger, sliced (no need to peel it)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 4 oz crumbled feta
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- To make the crema, whisk together the yogurt, buttermilk, and sriracha. Taste and add more hot sauce if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Add the steak to a large, resealable plastic bag, or a 9x13” baking dish. Whisk together the soy sauce, sherry, olive oil, and brown sugar. Add the smashed garlic pieces and the slices of ginger. Pour the marinade over the steak and turn to coat. Stick the steak in the refrigerator and let marinate for 2 to 24 hours (I always like around 4 hours). If you’re using a plastic bag, set it in a mixing bowl. It probably won’t leak, but if it does and you didn’t put it in a bowl, well… yeah.
- Preheat your outdoor or indoor grill pan to its highest heat setting. Let it get good and screaming hot. Remove the steak from the marinade and let the excess drip off. Discard the liquid and solids in the bag or baking dish. Season the steak with salt and pepper. Grill the steak 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Use a meat thermometer to be 100% sure. If you like it more well done, you’re on your own.
- Once the steak is done, remove it to a cutting board, tint it with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice the steak against the grain into thin strips. Neatly layer it onto a platter and liberally drizzle that crema all over it. Garnish with crumbled feta, tomatoes, and a scattering of scallions. Enjoy!