STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Van Jones: This is heartbreaking

CNN's Van Jones and Rick Santorum discuss the state of the midterm elections.

Posted: Nov 7, 2018 10:01 AM
Updated: Nov 7, 2018 10:25 AM

President Donald Trump speaks in fragmented sentences and fractured truths.

He is an adulterer, a hypocrite, politically clumsy and prone to retweeting racist posts. He has pushed well beyond the boundaries of any rational concept of presidential behavior, to say the least.

This is why may politicos thought the 2018 midterm election was going to be a referendum. And it was, in a sense -- but not so much on Trump or the Republican Party as it was for a Democratic Party that continues to struggle to compose a message about what it is for as opposed to what it is against.

Yes, the party took the House but the blue wave was not the tsunami party leadership had hoped it would be. This is in large part because the Democratic Party is still searching for its post 2008 identity. It wants to represent the young and diverse, but key leadership roles continue to be held by the old and the white, much like the Republican Party it chastises.

In 2010 and in 2014, Democratic incumbents seeking reelection distanced themselves from President Barack Obama's policies, not because they disagreed with them but because they weren't popular. As repulsive as some of Trump's rhetoric and policies may have been to Republicans over the past two years, you did not see the same level of retreat from them in this election as Obama experienced in his 2010 midterm shellacking. Which is why the Democrats victory was not so resounding.

Say what you will about the "Make America Great Again" slogan, the reality is that it's effective because it is a clear, proactive message. What exactly was the Democratic Party's message in 2016? 2018? What will it be in 2020?

Ten years ago, then-Sen. Obama was elected president behind a clear message of hope. Since then it's been a lot of finger-pointing and name-calling.

Don't get me wrong, taking the House is an important step for the Democratic Party's revival. And there were some fairly historic victories worth mentioning as well, such as Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar becoming the first Muslim women elected to Congress, or Jared Polis becoming the first openly gay man to be elected governor.

But if the party is to build momentum from the 2018 midterm, and not just tread water, leadership must spend more time defining what it is about and less time vilifying what it isn't. After all, people don't eat steak because it's not tofu. They eat steak because it's steak.

Terre Haute
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 73°
Robinson
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 68°
Indianapolis
Scattered Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 74°
Rockville
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 67°
Casey
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
Brazil
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 73°
Marshall
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 71°
July Heat Continues
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 144013

Reported Deaths: 6951
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook909114581
Lake9752418
DuPage9083472
Kane7733271
Will6744320
Winnebago304695
McHenry206197
St. Clair1906136
Kankakee128565
Kendall96320
Madison94769
Rock Island94729
Champaign88012
Boone59521
DeKalb55818
Peoria49928
Sangamon43132
Jackson33219
Randolph2877
Stephenson2745
McLean26113
Ogle2614
Clinton23717
Macon23122
LaSalle21917
Union19119
Whiteside19115
Coles17017
Grundy1674
Iroquois1575
Warren1380
Tazewell1378
Knox1320
Cass1302
Morgan1283
Monroe12713
Williamson1204
Jefferson10717
McDonough10115
Lee972
Adams931
Henry881
Pulaski760
Marion660
Vermilion662
Perry541
Douglas520
Macoupin523
Unassigned500
Jasper467
Livingston452
Jo Daviess441
Montgomery441
Christian434
Jersey351
Ford331
Woodford332
Bureau292
Menard250
Fayette233
Alexander220
Franklin220
Mason220
Wabash220
Carroll212
Johnson200
Mercer200
Piatt200
Washington200
Hancock191
Crawford180
Moultrie180
Shelby181
Fulton150
Logan150
Clark140
Wayne141
Bond131
Massac130
Schuyler130
Cumberland120
Effingham121
Brown100
Edgar100
Greene90
Saline90
Henderson80
Marshall80
Lawrence70
De Witt60
Hamilton50
White50
Richland40
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Pike20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Out of IL10
Pope10
Putnam10
Scott00

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 45952

Reported Deaths: 2650
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11387679
Lake4872240
Elkhart308543
Allen2677114
St. Joseph184965
Cass16369
Hamilton1484100
Hendricks136699
Johnson1235118
Porter68537
Madison64363
Tippecanoe6408
Clark62244
Bartholomew57844
Howard54356
LaPorte53925
Kosciusko4952
LaGrange4596
Jackson4553
Noble44728
Vanderburgh4306
Hancock42935
Delaware42648
Boone42242
Shelby41625
Marshall4123
Floyd36344
Morgan32031
Montgomery28720
Grant28526
Clinton2792
Dubois2606
White25810
Monroe25628
Decatur24632
Henry23515
Lawrence23124
Vigo2248
Harrison20822
Dearborn20422
Warrick20129
Greene18431
Miami1802
Jennings16911
Putnam1658
DeKalb1594
Scott1547
Daviess13916
Orange13323
Wayne1286
Franklin1248
Steuben1232
Perry1209
Ripley1127
Carroll1092
Jasper1092
Wabash1072
Fayette967
Newton9510
Whitley814
Randolph764
Starke733
Huntington702
Wells681
Jay670
Fulton661
Jefferson651
Washington641
Pulaski631
Knox620
Clay594
Rush573
Benton480
Adams451
Owen451
Gibson442
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey350
Spencer311
Tipton301
Crawford290
Fountain292
Switzerland250
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike80
Unassigned0194