Where There Really Was A Reddish Wave

Democratic campaign rally in New York.

There is a particular type of moderate Democrat who I find profoundly annoying, and, well, kind of dangerous. Interestingly enough, their brain trust center seems to be New York. Not coincidentally, in my opinion, New York was one of the few places that seem to have had a sort of red wave.

New York was unique in that Dems lost several house seats and the governor’s race was closer than it had been in years. It looked like we feared the entire nation might look. To be clear, for those of you who think that the Party is a Council of the Most-Wisened Who Must Never Be Questioned, I’d much rather be a Democrat today than a Republican. It was a helluva midterm, bucking history and all. But there are a few lessons to be learned from New York (and one other race outside of New York).

Perhaps the poster child is Sean Patrick Maloney, the DCCC chair. Some blame Maloney’s loss on not focusing on crime. About that…

The Hit MSNBC Marriage Comedy Morning Joe (And Mika Too!) ran the crime thing into the ground, focusing on New York. On election morning, we had this:

VIBES! BAIL REFORM! I DON’T CARE ABOUT DATA!

Bullshit. All of it.

There is a particular type of New York moderate, of which frequent Morning Joe guest panelist Donny Deutsch is a prime example, who seems to deeply deeply hate his fellow Democrat if they happen to be to the left of Joe Lieberman. Who needs Fox News scaring people about crime when you have MSNBC doing it for you.

Also, the head of the New York Democratic Party, Jay Jacobs, is under fire, and rightfully so. Jacobs was appointed by another problematic Democrat, Andrew Cuomo. Jacobs seemed to focus a lot of his energy attacking fellow Democrats, and it is quite possible that his approach may end up costing Democrats the House. The Republicans flipped four House seats, and crime and inflation (frequent subjects on Morning Joe) are believed to be the driving issues.

Progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are often blamed by disingenuous moderates for being “divisive” but it is notable that Jacobs attacks progressives constantly (refusing to support the Democratic socialist primary winner for Buffalo’s mayoral seat, India Walton). However, Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives campaigned for winning governor of New York Kathy Hochul.

Being GOP-lite doesn’t seem to be a winning strategy for Democrats. “If you stand for something and fight for it and voters believe you’re not just trying to be a lighter version of your Republican opponent, they come out and they vote,” said Michael Gianaris, the deputy majority leader in the New York State Senate.

This is not just a New York issue. Claire McCaskill referred to her fellow Democrats as “crazy” on Fox News in the days leading up to her re-election, and that failed miserably. This year, Tim Ryan’s constant criticism of the Democratic Party and selling himself as someone who will stand up to Biden didn’t work very well in the race for the Ohio senate seat either.

Overall, the Democrats had a damn great midterm. But given this is not religion, no one’s perfect, and it’s never bad to want things to be better. The New York Democratic Party is one place that needs to do some honest self-evaluation. There certainly are plenty of examples of great work by Democrats (including here in Pennsylvania!) around them to learn from. Just imagine how screwed Republicans are going to be if the New York Democrats figure it out. It is definitely time for new blood in the Empire State.

The last word goes to the quintessential New Yorker, Lou Reed.

2 thoughts on “Where There Really Was A Reddish Wave

  1. Our GOP-lite Dem Luke Mixon ran well behind progressive Gary Chambers. Chambers had some issues, but neither was an ideal candidate. Mixon makes it look *real* bad for our upcoming governor’s race, when they’ll run another GOP-lite candidate.

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