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Wed Nov 7, 2018, 06:28 PM

What can we do, Ohio Dems?

This is a serious question. Because like you most likely are also feeling right now, I'm so sick and fucking tired of seeing a more sensible politics get locked out of our state government, cycle after cycle, after goddamned cycle.

What can those of us who are bound to this state and its destiny, for better or worse, do to level the playing field with the GOP? Short term and over the long haul?

What are your thoughts? Let's have an open discussion.

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Response to NEOBuckeye (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2018, 06:39 PM

1. End gerrymandering n/t

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Response to NEOBuckeye (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2018, 06:53 PM

2. Nominate someone who can inspire new voters to go to the polls. We had a chance with

 

Dennis Kucinich, but oh no, that could not be allowed.

So how well did that work out? How many state senate and house seats did the Dems pick up? A couple? I honestly don't know, but it wasn't much. Anyway, quit sending these milquetoast figures with A-ratings from the NRA up against Kasich-style Republicans. It just doesn't work here anymore. Try something else.

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Response to Ohio Barbarian (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 7, 2018, 07:03 PM

3. I've heard other people say Kucinich, or Jerry Springer

Populism does seem to work nowadays, and perhaps it always has. Truthfully, Cordray didn't exactly light a fire under anyone. Neither did DeWine, but the latter had more room for error. Cordray needed to bring something more like Beto in Texas.

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Response to NEOBuckeye (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 7, 2018, 07:35 PM

4. "Competence" won't necessarily do the trick.

"The trick," of course, is getting elected. To reach some people, a compelling story or engaging personality is helpful.

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Response to NEOBuckeye (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 7, 2018, 07:36 PM

5. Exactly.

 

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Response to NEOBuckeye (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2018, 07:46 PM

6. I don't have an answer

but then again neither does DNC. Since they gave up in Ohio even in the Strickland days, it looks like there won't be an answer. We have become North Kentucky.

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Response to NEOBuckeye (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 09:24 AM

7. My two cents on the problems ...

Having lived here most of half a century, and having been politically attentive since I helped my dad deliver signs for the Carter campaign ...

Let me preface this by saying Ohio was the test case for the Republican gerrymandering that's been ratfucking rust belt states since the late '80s/early '90s. Right wing dark money groups started all the way back then targeting elected democrats to ensure there were Republicans in the governor's office during redistricting elections (decade censuses). That way, even if the legislatures leaned Dem, the governor could refuse to accept them and get involved in the process. Once they'd done that a couple of times, the legislature was guaranteed to be Republican every single time with gerrymanders.

Add to that Ohio is very white, POC are concentrated in urban areas, and it's easy to gerrymander around them and colleges (which, at least in Ohio, also are generally in urban areas).

Also, look at your local media - FOX, Sinclair, IHeartMedia radio stations. It's a captive market for right-wing media. Most of the AM radio stations are overwhelmingly conservative talk, the FM stations are all owned by IHeartMedia (do yourself a favor, if you haven't, and go look it up - it started out as Jacor in the '70s in Cincinnati and became a right-wing media empire). What else are they going to know? Those who are susceptible to those messages certainly aren't going to look anywhere else, and that news feeds them a pabulum of messages that are designed to make them like (or at least accept) the ideology of the right.

And nobody will ever convince me most of the white evangelical churches in Ohio don't at least make an effort to shill for the GOP. They may never have crossed the line of endangering their tax status, but I grew up going to one of these churches, and I can tell you - they know how to get it across.

Last, the school funding setup in Ohio is a load of crap. Of course, kids now get civics information online. It used to be taught starting in junior high.

I don't know that there's much that can be done about it. I was of the opinion we should have run a woman for governor this time - I think Cordray's lieutenant governor would have been a good candidate. The block-walkers in my neighborhood said they got good responses from the women they talked to about other things, Betty might have been more appealing. Unfortunately, in Ohio, we run people who would make excellent elected officials who start out as shitty candidates. Kucinich would have been no better than Cordray, on that score.

Solutions? Hell, I ain't got any. We're keeping our fingers crossed democracy survives until we can retire to New Mexico.

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Response to Philostopher (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 11:45 PM

8. There's gotta be something. Even now as bleak as it seems, I'm not ready to throw in the towel here.

I hopefully have quite a few years left. Before I'm old, I'd love to see this state pull its head out of its ass and finally shift forward into the 21st century. Even the Ohio I was born into, during the peak of de-industrialization, had more forward momentum than this place does now. I think we can find it again, but it's going to take a lot of work, and pushing back relentlessly hard against the right-wing victim and disempowerment mentality machine that's at the core of the GOP.

I like what you said about a female candidate, and I think you are onto something. I don't know if Betty Sutton was it as she's about as milquetoast as Cordray, but we needed someone who could invigorate voters into turning out en masse. A female candidate could potentially be that person. Perhaps someone like Dayton's Mayor Nan Whaley could be in the future, with more experience under her belt, and if she can build cross appeal with urban and suburban voters not only in Dayton, but elsewhere around the state.

More to the point, I think Ohio Dems need to go straight-up barn-busting populist, or something to that effect. Cordray was perfect for the liberal urban intellectual set, but he did nothing to inspire voters in small towns and rural areas to warm up to him. He was also lightly received in the once reliably Democratic Mahoning Valley, which seems to have a soft spot for brash populist-types in the style of Jim Trafficant, regardless of their party affiliation. Trump's unedited and unrefined approach obviously has struck a huge chord with them, which is why the Dems can't take their support for granted anymore. Solid blue support from them could have easily made this a more competitive race than it turned out to be in the end.

I honestly think we need our own version of Beto O'Rourke here, who has charisma and cross-appeal with rural, urban and suburban voters alike, and who can draw masses out to see him, no matter where he goes. I don't see anyone like that on the radar, but who knows?

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Response to NEOBuckeye (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 11:59 PM

9. I also think not enough has been done by the party to replicate what works for Sherrod Brown

He's obviously striking his own chord with voters, who continue to re-elect him, but no other Dems in this seemingly "red" state. How does he do it?

For one thing, Brown is strongly pro-union and anti-free trade, which resonates with Ohioans. Trump has of course capitalized on the same sentiment, the anti-free trade part of it at least, but it's not a position that the GOP has totally cornered the market on by any means.

Brown also appeals to the working class, which increasingly lives in the suburbs and rural areas, more than it does in the gradually gentrifying cities. Cordray in contrast was too narrowly focused on upscale, educated, white collar professionals in the cities, but there weren't enough of them to offset the Republicans' broader appeal outside of the urban centers.

Sherrod Brown could definitely be a model for Ohio Dems moving forward.

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Response to NEOBuckeye (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 9, 2018, 08:37 AM

10. I don't disagree - especially about Sherrod and the demographics of Cordray.

Interestingly, our last Democratic governor (Strickland) represented that big district all along the Ohio and up to Youngstown for well over a decade, back in the late '80s/early '90s, that is today considered "deep red." He was a former minister, and well-spoken. They beat him in a re-election bid for a second term because they had to - it was a battle to have Republicans in charge for a redistricting. Therefore, Kasich.

I kind of wish they'd just let Sherrod pick somebody to run for governor. I'm not convinced a woman candidate with the right message couldn't have won. I say this because I was depressed until I read the local section of the Dayton paper last night. Dems did well in the county elections - really well. We now have an all-female, all Democratic county commission. All the local judgeships went to candidates endorsed by the Democratic party. It seems strange, but maybe some propaganda campaign we weren't privy to hit a lot of people who only voted for the governor - else how could Sherrod Brown have been handily reelected and Cordray lose like he did? Also, so many local dems. Oh, yeah - and our area Democratic representative also was re-elected. Nothing else changed, the rep seats that were held by Republicans were kept by Republicans, but at least one of them is in a seat that includes a lot of rural voters. One of our local congressmen was a mayor for a few terms before he ran for congress, so a lot of Democrats vote for him on reflex, not because he's necessarily good for them. He is as big a piece of crap most ways as any, but he's savvy - he's one of the few who didn't vote to repeal the ACA, and he's a fierce money-grabber when it comes to military spending, with a big AFB in his district.

I'm less worried about DeWine with new redistricting rules in place, though. I didn't read the entire text of the initiative, but I think it was brilliant to put it on the ballot in the spring, during the primaries, when the higher profile race was the Democratic primary. We got a good thing accomplished in spite of ourselves.

And a thing I didn't throw in there, that also is important to remember, is Ohio started purging "inactive" voters long before it was "cool" - they've been doing this shit since the early '90s, it just took you an entire general election cycle to get wiped off the list, back in the '90s.

I'm not convinced there's nothing we can do, I just don't know where to go with it. We're still running too many candidates in Ohio who would have been very appealing to the state in 2000. The state is older, poorer and more willfully ignorant than it was 20 years ago because young people don't want to live here, partly because of the attitudes of our elected officials.

Maybe a bare-knuckle populist message would work - Sherrod Brown comes across that way in public, then sends sweet messages to Connie and posts pictures of him with his cute dog and his grandchildren on social media, and grabs everybody that way. I never saw a picture of Cordray's dog on Twitter. Lots of people who don't even live in Ohio know who Franklin is.

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Response to NEOBuckeye (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2018, 09:15 PM

11. We need new leadership in the Ohio Democratic Party

You can point to Cordray, but the party was in charge of Ohio two years ago and again this year and look at the results. This year Democratic organizations across the country did some amazing things and look at the results. Now look at Ohio and not much except Senator Brown. We need a new better party organization that can find candidates who can win and who can lead a publicity campaign that improves the look and goals of the Democratic party. I am sick and tired of the way the GOP has portrayed "liberals" and "progressives." We need to start our messaging now. Also, during a campaign, we need to not let our opponent define us. An example is the processing of rape kits. It is Cordray who established the the organizations that processed the rape kits that the new idiot governor took credit for. There were lots of other claims that were made by the opposition that were just ignored rather than answered.

So, my question is: How is the Ohio Democratic party leadership selected and how can they be replaced by people who can do the needed job? 2020 must be the year we take back the White House and Ohio needs to show some leadership.

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