The biggest failure I see is the continuing lack of resources for a sustaining engine for progressives/liberals. We have never developed a well-funded counter to the Lewis Powell memo -which built and continues to provide the engine for the GOP political machine that grows more powerful in every election cycle.
We continue to react to every fire that is started -instead of bringing together labor, environmentalists, women's rights organizations, youth groups, the LGBTQ community and many more. We work in silo's. We've abandoned some Red states completely.
Ask yourself this -in a well-educated, well-informed society could Trump (or a Tom Cotton, or a Dennis Richardson) happen? Could Oregon Measure 97 lose?
We can blame superdelegates. We can blame Hillary, We can blame Bernie. We can blame the DNC. But at the end of the day -we fund candidates. We provide resources (to great groups that deserve them when they are under siege -like NARAL Pro-Choice America or Planned Parenthood). But what are we doing really?
We are reacting to every battle in every cycle -trying to convince a less educated and less informed populace why progressive/liberal ideas are better for all of us. We give up or laugh at people with "Government out of my Medicare" signs. I do it. However -they each represent OUR FAILURE. When people think government is our problem (when we the people are government). When people believe that the Affordable Care Act is standing between them and affordable health insurance and actually causing rates to climb (without the understanding of the relationship between Insurance industry or Big Pharma executive pay and bonuses).
We will send $27 to Bernie. We will send $27 to Hillary. And that's still important -but we are reacting. The time to become proactive was after the 2000 cycle. It's been 16 years and what have we done? What have we built? Courageous people like Sheldon Drobny and Anita Drobny founded and built Air America -they poured their heart and their own resources into it -and it paved the road for two terms of President Obama. But when they tried to raise money for progressive media infrastructure -who was there for them?
We need a media platform, rapid response capability, a people's counter to ALEC (the people that unleashed "Stand Your Ground" -never forget Trayvon Martin), and an easy method for all of us to participate and engage politically and economically (participatory democracy and budgeting). The tools we need are out there -but if we don't bring them and people together -and fund the effort -we will be fire fighting until we are all consumed by fire. http://civ.works can help build a platform for our future -and bring people together across ideologies -and you may think it's an interesting concept -but will you help us fund it? Will you contribute $5, $10, $20 a month to help proactively build OUR machine -while I personally continue to reach out to Our Revolution, Brand New Congress, Revolution Messaging, Represent.us, the State Innovation Exchange and others to work cooperatively?
When we lose school board races and the right wing controls the textbooks -how do we reach into communities and counter the redaction of climate change? The removal of slavery, the trail of tears or other history from our textbooks in which our societal actions have been horrific (because they are not "patriotic" enough) is abhorrent.
We need our version of the "machine". And it doesn't mean we give up what we are doing -our architecture needs to allow local autonomy and action -but provide the mechanism for all of us to work together in a coordinated and cooperative way. If we don't begin now -we will continue to erode any hope or chance for the America we know we could build for the future that is possible -predicated upon opportunity, justice, courage and community.