The Iron Law of Institutions: The Latino Vote Edition

While it’s foolish to claim that any one politician can swing an entire demographic, the poorer-than-expected showing by Democrats among various segments of the Latino population might suggest that playing stupid games with popular Latino politicians isn’t the way to go here. Unless, of course, you are a professional Democrat, and, therefore, dedicated to the Iron Law of Institutions* (boldface mine):

When Julián Castro wasn’t given a speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention in August, he complained that Joe Biden’s campaign wasn’t showing proper respect to Latino voters. The real explanation for the snub is much simpler: The former housing secretary and presidential candidate had implied that Biden was senile in a primary debate and then didn’t endorse him until June, though the primary race had been over since April, when Bernie Sanders dropped out…

Nixing Castro from the convention is just one example of the relentless focus on the long run that defined Biden’s campaign—and Dunn’s role in it. Dunn “is not interested in winning a news cycle—she’s interested in winning an election,” Stephanie Cutter, her friend and an outside Biden-campaign adviser, told me. “And there’s a big difference.” Although Castro was out, the Democrats devoted large parts of their convention to appealing to Latinos in other ways—highlighting individuals talking about what climate change meant for them, or offering personal stories about immigration policy. That outreach didn’t work perfectly.

“Didn’t work perfectly.”

I’m not naive about politics or the role of grudges, but that’s not helping. As Charles Pierce notes:

That they froze out Castro, one of the most important voices in the party, was petty enough. But damn, preening themselves about it in a national magazine is probably the best example of the essential worthlessness of the consultant sect of the Church of the Savvy that I’ve ever seen. They’re proud of this? Really?

Petty, but, more importantly, stupid and counterproductive, especially from professional Democrats, who, time and time again, have to be saved from their own stupidity.

*The Iron Law of Institutions:

…the Democrats operate according to the Iron Law of Institutions. The Iron Law of Institutions is: the people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution “fail” while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to “succeed” if that requires them to lose power within the institution.

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