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Fri Feb 17, 2017, 07:53 PM

House Democratic Leadership May Lose 2018 Opportunity

From the ending of the article:

Democrats will win if they challenge big agri-corporations who threaten family farms in rural areas like South Dakota, challenge the pharmaceutical industry in areas with aging populations like New Hampshire, challenge big banks in areas with high foreclosures like Nevada, challenge Big Oil in places where clean energy is key to economic growth like New Mexico, and challenge the Big Telecom monopolies that refuse to improve horrible Internet and phone service in communities within every state. And they must go on offense with a vision of high-paying jobs, a strong social safety net, and an economy where workers get a bigger piece of the pie.


Democrats can win back the House in 2018 if the newly-engaged people who are flooding protests and town-hall meetings around the nation feel inspired enough by Democrats to march to the polls. But the people in the streets want to vote for heroes. And heroes fight villains.


http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/02/15/house-democratic-leadership-may-lose-2018-opportunity

A true 50 state strategy that should be embraced by the Democratic Party.

15 replies, 1881 views

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply House Democratic Leadership May Lose 2018 Opportunity (Original post)
guillaumeb Feb 2017 OP
Wellstone ruled Feb 2017 #1
guillaumeb Feb 2017 #2
Wellstone ruled Feb 2017 #3
guillaumeb Feb 2017 #5
Wellstone ruled Feb 2017 #8
guillaumeb Feb 2017 #10
Wellstone ruled Feb 2017 #12
BeckyDem Feb 2017 #4
guillaumeb Feb 2017 #6
CK_John Feb 2017 #7
guillaumeb Feb 2017 #9
KingCharlemagne Feb 2017 #11
BainsBane Feb 2017 #13
guillaumeb Feb 2017 #14
BainsBane Feb 2017 #15

Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 07:59 PM

1. This is the real road to

regaining Democratic Leadership at the State and National level.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 08:01 PM

2. Dean attempted to start the process.

Chasing after big money is clearly not the answer. 41% of registered voters did not vote. Give them a reason to vote.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 08:44 PM

3. As you have

mentioned,it is all about the get out to vote. Have been involved with get out to vote since 1958,and in that,that is what is so damn important. You just don't know what it is like when spending hours on the phone beating the bushes and talking to people,please get to your polling place and vote.

There again,people have to step up and do their duty. This time around,the press here gave the victory to Clinton after early voting had ended. That in itself hurt the final day.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 09:51 PM

5. My union particpates in phone banking.

So does our church group. I have been involved since the 1970's.

My children were walking with me when they were 9 and 6 respectively. Handing out literature and talking to voters. So we are in total agreement on what must be done.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 09:58 PM

8. And that is what it takes,

been down that road and figure got a least one or two more Cycles before the Reaper appears.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 10:02 PM

10. As I mentioned in another reply, Paul Wellstone exemplified that approach.

Organization can overcome money, but it takes work. A lot of work.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 10:09 PM

12. Sure does.

After this last go around,being pissed off as to the National results,just made me more determined.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 08:52 PM

4. Good article.

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Response to BeckyDem (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 09:52 PM

6. Thanks. I hope Democrats take it as a wake up call.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 09:57 PM

7. We have to learn the process and start at the town/city level. Working

from the top down is a waste of time.

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Response to CK_John (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 10:00 PM

9. Paul Wellstone exemplified that approach.

Organization will often overcome money. It is how unions grew in the face of opposition and violence.

But it seems that the lesson must be re-learned every generation or so.

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Response to CK_John (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 10:05 PM

11. It's actually constitutionally impossible to gerrymander the U.S. Senate, since those

 

statewide races make 'rotten boroughs' irrelevant. Of course, Dems should target vulnerable Republican swing districts in the House, but they should be tying Trump around Republican Senators' necks like an anvil. Even though 2018 presents formidable odds to swing the Senate back to Dem control, Trump's collapsing popularity (now at 38% in the 3-day Gallup moving average) presents opportunities to make Trump a lame duck from Jan 2019 - Jan 2021.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 10:36 PM

13. Except for the fact that the candidates who adopted approaches similar to this

all lost and underperformed Clinton in the fall election.

Taking a stand against the primary industry of a region--like agribusiness in farming states--has yet to be politically successful. You are wrong that Wellstone exemplified that approach. He didn't win over the workers of the Iron Range by coming about against the industry that employed them.

The authors ignore the point that most family farms hold contracts with agri-corporations; the corporations buy what the farms produce. The authors paint a picture of farming that is more like the 80s than today. (Remember who dominated politics in the 80s?)

Casting employers as "villains" may satisfy college kids who voted for Stein, but it's not going to win back the votes of the white male middle class that matters so much to people like like Bernie Sanders. And it ignores the concerns of the women and people of color who make up the majority of the Democratic electorate.

Also note: a recent poll was posted on DU that showed Trump losing to a generic Democrat but winning handily against Elizabeth Warren (the meaning is muddied because of gender). If the point is winning--and it seems that is what the author's argument is since offer no solutions but instead point to rhetorical scapegoats--I have serious doubts as to whether this approach would be successful. Clearly the author wishes it to be, but wishes aren't evidence.

Then if we want to get beyond sloganeering, one has to ask what is the solution? If the author wants Democrats to treat all major industries as "villains," what do they want in its place? Do they want a state-controlled socialist system? How does that work within the framework of the US constitution? Do they want to go back to a time of smaller businesses but still maintain a capitalist economy? How will that transformation proceed? What do people do for jobs during that transition? How does that change the country's relationship to the global economy?

The authors don't give any indication they've thought about solutions of any kind but instead merely rhetoric. They argue the Democratic Party should become like Trump in adopting a simple rhetorical strategy based on villains. The future of the country and its citizens, beyond political rhetoric, doesn't seem to factor in anywhere. If they are going to adopt a Madison Ave. approach to politics, I think they should show some evidence that their product sells.





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Response to BainsBane (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 11:23 PM

14. I read a somewhat different message in the article.

This misunderstanding of a big tent as something that includes “everyone” – even the villains – could lose House Democrats many key races in 2018. Diversity of backgrounds is absolutely necessary. Diversity of language to describe core Democratic themes is fantastic. But the Democratic Party must consistently be the party of working people by challenging corporate excess, a rigged economy, and specific villains in every community.


Personalizing the message for every Congressional District is the suggested strategy, not a reflexive and simplistic "business=bad" approach, but an approach that recognizes what works in each District. And Wellstone combined this recognition with the knowledge that he had to speak to the voters in his District.

As to Trump versus Warren, or Trump versus anyone, any polling is highly speculative. Warren, like Clinton, has been targeted by the GOP for years now. Is it purely misogyny? I would say it is. In my view, strong female leaders in the US are simply not seen as realistic candidates by many older white people.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 18, 2017, 12:14 AM

15. I disagree with your reading of the piece

The paragraph you point to is near the end. It's main argument isn't about local concerns but rhetoric.

It's overall message is about a simple rhetorical strategy in which big business is cast as villains. It points out that those villains vary by community, but it doesn't advocate sitting down and listening to what voters in local communities want. Most important, it entirely eschews policy for a simplistic rhetoric based on villains. It points with admiration to the policy-free content of the Trump campaign and seeks to emulate it by replacing race with big business. The types of business vary by region, but in all cases business constitutes the enemy.

If the authors listened to voters in the areas they reference, they would find views quite inconsistent with what they advocate. MPR interviewed iron range workers who voted for Trump, and many pointed to that they saw as excessive environmental regulation hurting the taconite industry, and hence their jobs. I'm not advocating rolling back environmental regulations. Rather I use that as an example to point out that the situation is not nearly as simple as the authors imagine. If they mean to attack capital, they should be more thoughtful about what the implications of that are.

I also object on principle to an approach to politics based on rhetoric over policy and solutions. I see nothing to admire in the Trump campaign and have no desire to see it emulated by Democrats.

I don't pretend to be a political consultant with insight into how to win elections, but I've been alive long enough to know that just because I believe something doesn't meant the majority of voters do. It seems to me that many who insist they have the answer for how Democrats can win are unable and unwilling to consider that their own views are not universal.

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