New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s speech on removing confederate monuments is righteous.

We had a diary about Mayor Landrieu’s speech concerning the removal of Confederate monuments, but it got very little attention. It deserves a lot more attention because it really is quite an excellent speech. It is being compared to LBJ’s commencement address at Howard as a clear-eyed exposition on racism and white supremacy by a white politician.

The soul of our beloved City is deeply rooted in a history that has evolved over thousands of years; rooted in a diverse people who have been here together every step of the way—for both good and for ill.

It is a history that holds in its heart the stories of Native Americans—the ChoctawHouma Nation, the Chitimacha. Of Hernando de SotoRobert CavelierSieur de La Salle, the Acadians, the Islenos, the enslaved people from SenegambiaFree People of Color, the Haitians, the Germans, both the empires of France and Spain. The Italians, the Irish, the Cubans, the south and central Americans, the Vietnamese and so many more.

You see—New Orleans is truly a city of many nations, a melting pot, a bubbling cauldron of many cultures. There is no other place quite like it in the world that so eloquently exemplifies the uniquely American motto: E pluribus unum—out of many we are one.

But there are also other truths about our city that we must confront. New Orleans was America’s largest slave market: a port where hundreds of thousands of souls were brought, sold and shipped up the Mississippi River to lives of forced labor, of misery, of rape, of torture.

America was the place where nearly 4,000 of our fellow citizens were lynched, 540 alone in Louisiana; where the courts enshrined ‘separate but equal’; where Freedom riders coming to New Orleans were beaten to a bloody pulp.

So when people say to me that the monuments in question are history, well what I just described is real history as well, and it is the searing truth.

And it immediately begs the questions: why there are no slave ship monuments, no prominent markers on public land to remember the lynchings or the slave blocks; nothing to remember this long chapter of our lives; the pain, the sacrifice, the shame … all of it happening on the soil of New Orleans.

So for those self-appointed defenders of history and the monuments, they are eerily silent on what amounts to this historical malfeasance, a lie by omission.

There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it. For America and New Orleans, it has been a long, winding road, marked by great tragedy and great triumph. But we cannot be afraid of our truth.

Mayor Landrieu is unflinching about his own blindness and what it meant for him to see the monuments with new eyes:

As clear as it is for me today … for a long time, even though I grew up in one of New Orleans’ most diverse neighborhoods, even with my family’s long proud history of fighting for civil rights … I must have passed by those monuments a million times without giving them a second thought.

So I am not judging anybody, I am not judging people. We all take our own journey on race. I just hope people listen like I did when my dear friend Wynton Marsalis helped me see the truth. He asked me to think about all the people who have left New Orleans because of our exclusionary attitudes.

Another friend asked me to consider these four monuments from the perspective of an African American mother or father trying to explain to their fifth grade daughter who Robert E. Lee is and why he stands atop of our beautiful city. Can you do it?

Can you look into that young girl’s eyes and convince her that Robert E. Lee is there to encourage her? Do you think she will feel inspired and hopeful by that story? Do these monuments help her see a future with limitless potential? Have you ever thought that if her potential is limited, yours and mine are too?

We all know the answer to these very simple questions.

Black Kos’ Week in Review has more about the activist campaign that spurred the removal of the statues.

transcript of Mitch Landrieu’s prepared remarks is available (New Orleans Times-Picayune), and I have embedded video of the speech below:

Slate has coverage of the address, as does EsquireThe Atlantic has a transcript of the whole speech too. I’ll excerpt a couple more paragraphs, but really, go read/watch the entire speech:

First erected over 166 years after the founding of our city and 19 years after the end of the Civil War, the monuments that we took down were meant to rebrand the history of our city and the ideals of a defeated Confederacy.

It is self-evident that these men did not fight for the United States of America, They fought against it. They may have been warriors, but in this cause they were not patriots.

These statues are not just stone and metal. They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, and the terror that it actually stood for.

After the Civil War, these statues were a part of that terrorism as much as a burning cross on someone’s lawn; they were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge in this city.

and Mayor Landrieu concludes:

So before we part let us again state the truth clearly.

The Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and humanity. It sought to tear apart our nation and subjugate our fellow Americans to slavery. This is the history we should never forget and one that we should never again put on a pedestal to be revered.

As a community, we must recognize the significance of removing New Orleans’ Confederate monuments. It is our acknowledgment that now is the time to take stock of, and then move past, a painful part of our history. Anything less would render generations of courageous struggle and soul-searching a truly lost cause.

Anything less would fall short of the immortal words of our greatest President Abraham Lincoln, who with an open heart and clarity of purpose calls on us today to unite as one people when he said:

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to do all which may achieve and cherish: a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Cross-posted at | @subirgrewal

Politico: What Donald Trump needs to know about Bob Mueller and Jim Comey

A short diary to plug a powerful profile of Bob Mueller and Jim Comey that Politico is going to run tomorrow.

It’s by Garrett Graff who has written a biography of Bob Mueller. He starts off by relating the well-known showdown in AG John Ashcroft’s hospital room. Andrew Card and Alberto Gonzalez had driven there to get Ashcroft, who was recovering from an operation, to renew a NSA program that Deputy-AG Jim Comey had determined was illegal. Card and Gonzalez were working at Cheney’s insistence. On his way to Ashcroft’s hospital room, Comey called his former mentor Mueller, to ask for his help because…

It was, in an extraordinary showdown between the White House and Justice Department, perhaps the single most extraordinary moment of the tumultuous Bush years: The FBI director ordering his agents to resist the Secret Service if they tried to remove the deputy attorney general from the attorney general’s bedside. As motorcades converged on the hospital from across Washington, everyone involved wondered: Just how far would this situation escalate?

Graff thinks the Trump White House doesn’t know what it’s managed to walk into:

Donald Trump, as it turns out, has stumbled into taking on two experienced Washington players on their home turf—in skirmishes that will play out in public Capitol Hill hearings with Comey even as Mueller slogs along with what is likely to be a quiet, tenacious and by-the-book investigation into the heart of the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia. […]

President Trump impulsively fired Comey in the hope that it would shut down the Russia investigation; one week later, though, he finds himself facing not just one esteemed former FBI director but two: the first a wronged martyr for the bureau, and the second a legendary investigator without a hint of politics. […]

It is as if, after having an unrelated disagreement over movie trivia in a bar, Trump has challenged Usain Bolt to a 100-yard dash or John Cena to a cage match to the death.

The article is long, but really worth a read.

We’ll see whether Graff’s view of Mueller’s moral compass will stand once we’re done. 

Appropriations chair Frelinghuysen targets activist constituent in letter to her employer.

Rodney Frelinghuysen represents NJ’s 11th Congressional district and is Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. He’s one of the most powerful people in Washington, his committee controls all federal expenditures.

Shortly after the 2016 election, a group of his constituents organized themselves and requested town halls, which Frelinghuysen hasn’t held since 2013. The activist group, NJ 11th for Change had planned to attend a Chamber of Commerce event he was to speak at last week. Frelinghuysen’s office had the Chamber close the event to the public. Non-members who had purchased tickets were refused admittance. Frelinghuysen has also said constituents are jamming his phone lines and has told them to “back off”

All this sounds like standard fare for Republican congressmen doing their best to avoid constituents.

Until that is, Frelinghuysen sent a letter to Joseph O’Dowd, a board member of Lakeland Bank:

The form letter, on campaign stationery, asks Frelinghuysen’s supporters to donate two years ahead of his next election because he is under attack. “But let’s be clear that there are organized forces — both national and local — who are already hard at work to put a stop to an agenda of limited government, economic growth, stronger national security,” the letter says.

Above the word local, there’s a hand-written asterisk in the same blue ink as Frelinghuysen’s signature. At the bottom of the letter, scrawled with a pen, is the corresponding footnote: “P.S. One of the ringleaders works in your bank!”


The “ringleader” Frelinghuysen was referring to was Sally Avelenda. She was asked by her employer to explain her political activities and write a statement to the CEO of Lakeland Bank. She ended up resigning.

“Needless to say, that did cause some issues at work that were difficult to overcome,” said Saily Avelenda of West Caldwell, New Jersey, who was a senior vice president and assistant general counsel at the bank before she resigned. She says the pressure she received over her political involvement was one of several reasons she decided to leave.


NJ 11th for Change posted the letter on Facebook, along with this note:

NJ 11th For Change began in November as a grassroots group of citizens seeking open dialogue with their Congressman. What started as a few dozen people grew to thousands of active constituents. Today’s NPR story details the personal note he sent to a constituent’s employer highlighting her involvement in NJ11th For Change. His targeted, retaliatory letter to Sally Avelenda’s employer was intended to create an uncomfortable work environment for her. As a result, she was subjected to professional scrutiny about her personal political activities which directly contributed to her decision to resign.

Rep Frelinghuysen’s actions are disturbing and alarming. He sent this letter with the clear intention of using his power and leverage as a Member of Congress to create a difficult situation for a concerned constituent. In that regard, he succeeded.

In a larger sense, he used his influence in an attempt to punish an opposing view. How can democracy work if ordinary citizens are intimidated or their livelihoods threatened when speaking out? Frelinghuysen abused his position and acted against a concerned citizen for expressing a position he didn’t like. 

Mikie Sherrill is a former naval aviator, a federal prosecutor and a mother of four. She has declared for the Democratic primary, and will run against Frelinghuysen.

This story is getting more coverage in local and national papers:

The subtle racism in New York Times’ coverage of the Trump clan in China.

Jill Abramson has an Op-Ed in today’s NY Times that cover an important topic. The blatant corruption of the Trump family and the many ways in which they are leveraging their new found power to do business in China.

Yet, the article carries a racist sub-text, that this corruption somehow originates from China, rather than the Trumps themselves.

The Chinese know that one of the best ways to curry favor with any ruler is to shower riches on his family members. There are so many millionaires among the children of its leaders that they have a moniker: the Princelings.

Let’s not kid ourselves NYT, everyone knows this is a good way to curry favor with politicians. It isn’t a scheme shifty orientals came up with to corrupt the unblemished American political class, forcing them to peddle influence. We’ve executed quite a lot of corruption on our own, thank you very much. Both the former speaker of the NY Assembly and the Senate majority leader have been sentenced to jail for corruption. Skelos’ son got a lot of “consulting” gigs while his father was majority leader.

This uniquely Chinese brand of influence peddling is now being lavished on President Trump’s Princelings and Princesslings. Suddenly, all kinds of business opportunities have opened up for Trump family members in the notoriously closed Chinese market.

There’s nothing “uniquely Chinese” about this. Look at the careers of the children of many a senior politician and you’ll see how they’ve been aided by the helping hand of their powerful parents’ friends. “All kinds of business opportunities” open up for politicians and their families everywhere, when they attain or leave high-office.

Perhaps the NYT is unaware that American firms, including several blue chip investment banks have faced SEC investigations and penalties for hiring the relatives of politicians and senior business people to win business. Did someone twist their arm to do that? What about the hundreds of American firms who engaged in rampant bribery, leading to the passage of the FCPA? 

Their family enterprises are seeking private favors from China, the second most powerful economy in the world. This is the country that is our biggest rival in the Pacific, one that the president himself says has hurt American workers. Then he mimics its infamous Princeling culture.

This isn’t the petty Washington corruption of lobbying favors or excess campaign donations. It is far more unseemly and dangerous to democracy.

This is the truly damaging thing about the Trump presidency, and about commentary of the sort the NYT is presenting here. The Trumps are brazen about their corruption and sycophancy, flaunting it at their own country club, in full view of TV cameras. That creates a tendency to view with nostalgia the equally damaging, pervasive influence peddling that other politicians engage in. It’s a version of all the “I never thought I’d miss GW Bush” comments. I don’t miss the guy who led us into an ill-advised war that has left an entire region of the world in chaos, destroyed the lives of tens of millions and left over a million dead.

The Trump clan’s shamelessness shouldn’t blind us to the ills of the more normal forms of corruption we have grown accustomed to.

Omaha General Election results – Mello loses mayoral race

I know he’s no longer endorsed by DKos, but he is still a Democrat, and there was an election today in Omaha.

It looks like Heath Mello has lost. Omaha Herald says:

There are 282,290 registered voters in the City of Omaha, with 35 percent registered as Republicans and 41 percent as Democrats.

Results from WOWT:

Jean Stothert (R)51,413 53%
Heath Mello (D)44,97747%

Only the 7th district race is competitive on a party basis, but here are the early votes for them.

District 1:

Pete Festersen (D) 7,25886%
Grant Sturek (D)1,16714%

District 2:

Ben Gray (D)2,80864%
Dennis Womack (D)1,55836%

District 3:

Chris Jerram (D)5,74283%
D’Shawn Cunningham (D)1,20717%

District 4:

Vinny Palermo (D)2,41353%
Jim Rogers (D)2,13147%

District 5:

Rich Pahls (R)6,815100%

District 6:

Brinker Harding (R)6,71365%
Dwite Pedersen (R)3,61135%

District 7:

Aimee Melton (R)5,30966%
Brian Thommes (D)2,75834%

Kushner’s NJ project is in trouble, which is why they’re trying to raise money overseas.

Bloomberg reported today that the Kushner tower in Jersey City has suffered several setbacks including:

  • Losing the anchor tenant (WeWork)
  • Losing NJ subsidies (because Jersey City won’t support them)

Though Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop had written a letter to the state in support of the tower and was considering issuing $10 million in city bonds to help it along, this past weekend he stated publicly what he earlier told the family: that he opposes the Kushners’ new petition for $30.4 million in city bonds and a 30-year tax abatement. —…

WeWork was supposed to help attract a live/work community to the towers and purchase half the property. Now that they’ve pulled out, the project need to raise equity and figure out an alternative plan to attract tenants/buyers for the commercial/residential spaces.

The China pitch illustrates an emerging pattern for the family of the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser. The Kushners increasingly are turning to international investors, often in China, to get tough deals done. It previously lobbied Anbang Insurance Group Co., a Chinese financial behemoth, for a redevelopment of its troubled tower at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Those negotiations fell apart. —…

It seems as if the Kushners have also learned something else from Trump. When your initial plan fails, come up with a more bombastic one.

Oddly, the version Meyer promoted in China is bigger, grander and more than twice as expensive as plans pitched to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority in November 2015. It will cost nearly $1 billion, including $150 million from Chinese investors, $301 million in owner equity and $525 million in debt, according to a pitchbook for an upcoming meeting in Guangzhou. It will have more than double the 744 apartments originally proposed to New Jersey. —…

The Kushners bought the site in 2015 for $27 million, the prior owner too, had a grand redevelopment plan that didn’t go anywhere.

This isn’t the first time a developer has promised to build on the lot now set for One Journal Square, which the planning board chair noted when he voted to approve the newest plans.

“It feels like every year or so we vote on this same project over and over again,” he said. —

Jimmy Carter says he voted for Bernie.

Only hours after Kos’ most recent screed on “Bernie Sanders dead-enders”, “Bernie Bros” and the “alt-Left” hit the front page, former President Jimmy Carter responded to Kos by telling a crowd at the Carter Center he voted for Bernie Sanders.

Just kidding. Jimmy Carter doesn’t give a flying fig what Kos thinks, and neither should you.

But I wasn’t kidding about Carter saying he voted for Bernie.

Count Jimmy Carter among the Democrats with a political crush on Bernie Sanders. So much so that the former president suggests he voted for Sanders over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primary.

Carter and Sanders appeared together Monday at The Carter Center in Atlanta.

At one point, the Vermont senator launched into a version of his populist campaign pitch.

When Sanders finished railing against a growing American oligarchy, Carter smiled and said, “Y’all see why I voted for him?” — ABC News

Their entire conversation is below and worth a listen, the broad subject was human rights. The video starts with a screening of Valarie Kaur speaking at Rev Barbers’ Moral Mondays.

The exchange about Carters’ vote comes in at 20:30 minutes. President Carter made the comment immediately after Bernie spoke (at 19:00 min) about:

  • How Donald Trump didn’t win the election, but the Democratic party lost the election
  • Bringing workers of all colors into the party
  • a 50 state strategy that crosses red and blue states
  • If we had 80% voter turnout like France, the “Republican party would be a significant minority”.

PS. If you’re having trouble with the video, elencarlena has transcribed the exchange in a comment below.

The discussion touched on health care, income inequality, nuclear weapons and peace. CNN is also covering Carter’s comment on voting for Bernie:

Like Sanders, Carter has long railed against the influence of money in politics. He said in 2015 that the US was essentially no longer democratic in nature.

“Now it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery,” Carter said. — CNN

Kushner family touting Trump ties while selling green cards to foreign investors for $500k.

The EB-5 program allows investors to, in effect, buy a green card if they invest 1 million (or $500k in certain areas). The investment has to create or preserve a certain number of jobs in the US. Real-Estate developers have been using this program to offer investors apartments/equity with green cards attached for years. Trump himself has marketed properties and raised capital by wooing foreign investors with the same promise of a green card.

This week, Jared Kushner’s sister was in China, touting her family’s ties to the White House as she marketed there family’s development in Jersey City, NJ. The slides had a picture of Donald Trump on them, suggesting Jared’s father-in-law could expedite their visas.

Mr. Trump’s political power was palpable at the Shanghai event even if his name went unsaid. As on Saturday in Beijing, one slide that was presented to the Shanghai audience, describing who will decide the future of the visa program for foreign investors, included a photograph of Mr. Trump, as shown by a snapshot taken by an audience member. — NY Times

The Washington Post researcher for the story on the ground was threatened and harassed.

Journalists barred from China event pitching investment in Kushner project — The Hill

Jared Kushner still retains his interest in the family real-estate business, though he has resigned from his executive positions. The New Yorker called it his Trumpian “divestment” strategy.

Over several hours of slide shows and presentations, representatives from the Kushner family business urged Chinese citizens gathered at a Ritz-Carlton hotel to consider investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a New Jersey luxury apartment complex that would help them secure what’s known as an investor visa. […]

The tagline on a brochure for the event: “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”

And the highlight of the afternoon was Meyer, a principal for the company, who was introduced in promotional materials as Jared’s sister.

— WaPo


I modified the title of this diary to say “foreign investors” instead of “Chinese investors”. It was not my intent to spark any kind of anti-immigrant sentiment. As most people on this site know, I’m a first-generation immigrant.

This is a piece about the Kushner family trying to leverage their ties to the White House in their business. This isn’t about the EB-5 visa per se, though there are legitimate questions as to whether its use by real-estate developers to raise cheap capital is in keeping with the spirit of the program. There are numerous comments exploring the drawbacks of the program. Pres. Obama, Sen. Leahy and Sen. Feinstein have all been somewhat skeptical of the creative uses real-estate developers have put the program to. I have several links in a comment below that explain the concerns about gerrymandering and lobbying by developers to qualify for the lower 500k investment threshold. This PBS piece is a good place to start if you want to know more.

Republicans vote to make rape a pre-existing condition again.

As several news sources have pointed out, prior to the ACA, insurers could deny coverage to victims of sexual assault.

Prior to the passage of Obamacare, survivors of sexual assault who sought medical attention for injuries sustained during the assault could be denied coverage later on because rape was considered a pre-existing condition. The National Women’s Law Center launched a campaign at the time “Being a Woman is Not a Pre-Existing Condition,” as Gina Scaramella from the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center recalled.

Under the new MacArthur-Meadows Amendment in Trumpcare, states would be allowed to waive the ban on denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. It also allows states to waive preventative health services like vaccinations, mammograms and gynecological screenings. For those who survive a sexual assault, care can often be needed from the physical trauma as well as mental. Survivors can contract sexually transmitted infections and women can be impregnated, despite the claim that women’s bodies can “shut that whole thing down.” 

— Sarrah K. Burris in Raw Story

As people learned from late-night TV last week, babies can have “pre-existing” conditions at birth. Prior to the ACA, insurance companies could treat complications during or after delivery as “pre-existing conditions” to deny coverage to mothers as well.

The new MacArthur-Meadows Amendment will allow states to discriminate based on medical history, reportedly without addressing the subsequent high cost of health care for millions of Americans.

In addition to rape, postpartum depression, cesarean sections, and surviving domestic violence are all considered preexisting conditions. Companies can also deny coverage for gynecological services and mammograms.

— Sarah Spellings in New York Magazine

When the ACA was first passed in 2009, Huffington Post reported on this aspect of the health insurance debate multiple times, interviewing survivors of sexual assault who had been denied coverage:

Some women have contacted the Investigative Fund to say they were deemed ineligible for health insurance because they had a pre-existing condition as a result of a rape, such as post traumatic stress disorder or a sexually transmitted disease. Other patients and therapists wrote in with allegations that insurers are routinely denying long-term mental health care to women who have been sexually assaulted. […]

Fallon says she now has trouble getting coverage for gynecological exams. To avoid the hassle of fighting with her insurance company, she goes to Planned Parenthood instead and pays out of pocket.

A New Mexico woman told the Investigative Fund she was denied coverage at several health insurance companies because she had suffered from PTSD after being attacked and raped in 2003. She did not want to disclose her name because she feared that she would lose her group health insurance if she went on the record as a rape victim. “I remember just feeling infuriated,” she said.

—  Danielle Ivory in HuffPo

Christina Turner was drugged and raped by two men in 2002. After taking anti-HIV drugs prescribed by her doctor as a preventative measure, Turner was denied health insurance. The HIV drugs, Turner was told, raised too many health questions for her insurer.

— T.J. Ortenzi in HuffPo

This is what Republicans in the house voted for today.

Why do 67% of Americans think Democrats are out of touch with the concerns of most people?

That 67% of Americans think Democrats are out of touch with their concerns should worry all of us. I don’t have a good explanation, just a few thoughts that some of our preconceptions may not be completely accurate.

Looking through the cross-tabs of this poll, I can say that it’s not just racist white people, note that 60% of non-white Americans say Democrats are out of touch.

And before we jump to the conclusion that it’s just misogynist men, please note that 59% of American women say Democrats are out of touch.


and before we jump to the conclusion that it’s just awful Republicans, please note that 75% of independents, and 44% of Democrats said the party is out of touch:


That 44% of self-declared Democrats think the party is out of touch should cause some very serious soul-searching. People who have consistently voted for Democrats, seem to be saying the party is out of touch.

Before we console ourselves that Republicans must doing worse than Democrats, note that they are not:


Before we insist that Trump must be doing worse than Democrats, please note that he is not:


It’s also worth noting that income and education don’t explain the disaffection with Democrats. Americans across levels of educational attainment and household income think Democratic party is out of touch.


We do a little better with voters from households earning <50K, but it is not as big a difference as we might think. 62% of households making less than 50K think the Democratic party isn’t in touch with their priorities.

The poll results are from a telephone survey of 1,004 randomly selected adults in the US. 74% of respondents voted in the election. Of those, 46% voted for Hillary Clinton while 43% voted for Donald Trump. In one bright spot, when all respondents (including those who didn’t vote in 2016) are asked whom they would vote for today, support for Trump drops to 37%.

the Democratic Party is viewed as far more out of touch by Democrats than Trump or the GOP are by Republicans. — WaPo

The same poll asked voters in 2014 whether they thought Democrats were in touch, 48% said yes back then. In 2013, 43% had said Democrats were in touch. How did we drop to 28% between 2014 and 2017?

PS. Obama’s “in-touch” numbers were even better than Democrats at 48% and 51% in 2014 and 2013 respectively.

Top Democratic pollsters have conducted private focus groups and polling in an effort to answer that question, and they shared the results with me.

A shockingly large percentage of these Obama-Trump voters said Democrats’ economic policies will favor the wealthy — twice the percentage that said the same about Trump. I was also permitted to view video of some focus group activity, which showed Obama-Trump voters offering sharp criticism of Democrats on the economy. […]

Skepticism about the Democratic Party was echoed rather forcefully in the focus groups that I watched. In one, Obama-Trump voters were asked what Democrats stand for today and gave answers such as these:

“The one percent.”

“The status quo.”

“They’re for the party. Themselves and the party.”

One woman, asked whether the Democratic Party is for people like her, flatly declared: “Nope.” — WaPo

So, what do you think is going on here and why do so many Americans now think the Democratic party is so out of touch?