What Are You Looking At?

I cannot tell you how exhausted I am of the Democratic Party pretending there’s only one race that matters: 

Still, the party’s expectations about Clinton demonstrated just how bad parties are at analyzing what they need to fix to win. Next year, while it is not what they boast about, Democrats are expecting mistakes by Trump — the most unpopular incoming president in decades — to create opportunities for them. Their debate about winning a new majority is not about a savior from red America, or even a change in policy. It is about better organizing, and how to win back voters who were Democrats until the party was branded as neoliberal and pro-trade.


Democrats can’t just organize at the national level and run for president and lose every House and Senate seat and every state house and expect those losses not to eventually bite them in the ass at the national level too. Let the blue states become seething roiling pits of anti-everything sentiment, from Scott Walker’s rageaholic anti-education Wisconsin to Bruce Rauner’s union-bashing Illinois, and those feelings reach a critical mass.

If every voice from every leader is an authoritarian Republican one, how do you expect them to listen to what Democrats are saying? Where are they supposed to read your 5-point plan? Twitter?

When we look at the future, what are we looking at? National numbers on Trump’s unpopularity? If that shit mattered John Kerry would be opening his presidential library and Hillary would be having Bill measure the Oval for new curtains. State numbers are all that matters, and maybe this more than anything: How far down the Republican rabbit hole have the state legislature and the house races gone?

If those have all been won by tea-freak bigots, I don’t care what it did in the last election, that’s not a blue state.

What are we expecting otherwise? “Well, on a local level I approve of drug testing for welfare and repealing worker protections and gutting public schools and bashing professors and throwing the entire economy into a tailspin so I can regulate where transgender people pee, but nationally? I’m all for fairness, sharing, kindness, gay people, single mothers and the idea of a representative democracy!”

Forget a 50-State Strategy. We need a 50-State Legislature Strategy.


4 thoughts on “What Are You Looking At?

  1. One of the main prongs of Democratic activism for the next election cycle is to get voters registered and motivated. Republican schemes to depress voter turnout through bogus voter ID laws and cranking up the “your vote doesn’t matter anyway” cynicism worked wonderfully well in 2016.

    Democrats need to meet Republican efforts with a concomitant effort to get voters motivated to vote (this should take the form of actually endorsing Democratic solutions to problems, not just pushing back against disastrous Republican policies), and to get voters registered. Will getting people registered to vote and jumping through the voter ID hurdles cost money, and will some of the people registered be Republicans? Yes on both counts. But the net effect will be to get far more Democrats registered and to the polls, particularly with a reason to vote for Democrats.

    Trump and the Tea Baggers won with little more than an empty slogan. We can beat these fuckers; we outnumber them, and more people agree with Democratic policies.

  2. Suppose we had a message. What might it be, what ought it be, what could it be, what must it be? One word: accountability.

    And that is why it cannot be done. Unaccountability is too powerful a drug. There is no way to compete with it. It has to burn itself out.

  3. I’m volunteering for a flippable.org, that’s working to identify flippable seats in state legislatures and help those candidates win. I’ve been arguing about taking back the state legislatures for 2020 since 2012. I’m excited to see national people with data experience working on a program for doing just that.

  4. Seriously, if the state legislatures can’t be flipped to blue in 2020, the nation is doomed forever. The DNC is so stupid and blind it fills me with rage.

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