If you have half a brain and half a conscience you know that most Republican politicians promote repugnant policies that increase inequality, bankrupt the economy, destroy the environment, and promote militarism. They lie, distort and resort to racism, xenophobia, dirty tricks and criminal activity. They put children in cages. They antagonize our allies and cozy up to Putin. Still, tens of millions of Americans have been brainwashed to vote for them.
The mainstream Dems are far from perfect on policy -- they're often too hawkish and too compromised by corporate money -- but they're far better than the Repugs. Unfortunately, the Dems are usually dumb. Bill Clinton was dumb enough to ruin his presidency by having an affair with Monica Lewinsky, by getting caught, and by lying about it. He also unnecessarily sold out -- on NAFTA and on dismantling Glass-Stegall and welfare programs -- thereby causing Nader and progressives to oppose him.
Hillary was so dumb she forgot to campaign in the swing states.
Obama had the chance to prosecute the Bush administration war criminals and the Wall Street crooks. Instead, he wanted to "look forward." He should have looked forward to Trump. He prosecuted the whistle blowers, not the war criminals. He compromised early and often. He was a great orator and was much beloved by the people, who, in 2008 were disgusted with Republican criminality and stupidity. But Obama didn't fight and didn't lead. He allowed the Repugs to set the narrative and to Swift Boat both him and Hillary.
Here's a particularly outrageous example of Obama's dumb choices. As reported in Politico (Biden: McConnell stopped Obama from calling out Russians), three weeks before the 2016 election, Obama and Biden wanted to inform the American people about Russian interference in the election. But they allowed Mitch McConnell to veto the announcement.
Biden said he and former President Barack Obama worried that without a united front of bipartisanship, speaking out before the election would undermine the legitimacy of the election and American institutions in a way that would play into the Russians' larger ambitions. (source)
This is the same Joe Biden who, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee that was holding hearings on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, decided against allowing women other than Anita Hill to offer testimony about Thomas's sexual harassment.
Why don't Democrats fight?
Republicans in Congress had opposed virtually every policy position of President Obama. The Senate threatened filibusters on numerous bills. In March of 2016, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court; the Senate, under the leadership of Mitch McConnell, refused to hold hearings on the nomination. Yet three weeks before the 2016 election, Obama and Biden still wanted to be bipartisan and still deferred to Mitch McConnell?!
There are dozens of similar inexplicable cowardice or excessive moderation on the part of Obama. See this petition.
If Obama is a closet conservative, then some of his choices make sense. But from a purely political, strategic point of view, many of his choices were just dumb and naive.
As for Nader and Stein, their stubbornness, and that of their naive supporters, led to the election of Bush and Trump. They did not help the progressive cause at all. They're now laughingstocks.
I might even include Bernie Sanders among the Dumb group. He unnecessarily calls himself a "Democratic Socialist" when, in fact, he's really a social democrat.
Let's hope the Dems stop being dumb. For now, they're all that's left to save us from the Repugs.