Whether you supported Fetterman in the primary or not, you have to acknowledge that he understands how to message and campaign in a way that resonates and has an impact, and that's something most Dems haven't figured out. Here's what I mean: 1/x
2/x he has taken one issue--the issue of Mehmet Oz' residency--and crushed him with it across every possible communications channel. From flyovers to trolling with Snooki, to more traditional communications, he has taken one particular point and hammered it.
3/x and that issue isn't a kitchen table issue, social issue, or a legal issue. It's not a policy issue at all! But it is an issue that speaks to authenticity and character that serves as a direct contrast to Fetterman himself.
4/x Oz is a multimillionaire Hollywood celebrity from New Jersey who parachuted across the river to run for Senate, and Fetterman is an authentic blue-collar Pennsylvanian. That's something voters understand.
5/x What Fetterman understands, and something that Republicans figured out a long time ago, is that policy is DOWNSTREAM from values and character. Policy is complex and can be obfuscated in most cases. Character is much harder.
6/x A lot of people used to (still do!) make fun of young people who supported Bernie in such large numbers without knowing the specifics of his policy platform. What those people don't understand is a political fundamental:
7/x people are not policy experts, and they know they are not policy experts. But if they trust your character and your values, they will be paying much less attention to your policy specifics because they trust you are on their side and will do the right thing.
8/x and how you present your character and values is a question of not just what you say in terms of your values, but your tone, your presentation, and the image you project. That's what resonates, that's what goes viral, that's what gets attention. Things that show you're human.
9/x If Lamb were the nominee, he would probably be running a traditional suit-and-tie campaign messaging around gas prices because that's what polls show the "voters care about." Fetterman has made that an irrelevant issue and has Oz chasing his own tail.
10/x if you polled Pennsylvanians before Fetterman's general election campaign, would anyone have told you they care that Oz is from across the river? No. But Fetterman made it an issue, one that plays to his strengths. And this is the main upshot that Dems need to learn:
11/11 stop chasing the voters on the issues that other people are setting the terms on. start with establishing personal character contrasts and allow the issue conversation to flow downhill from there.

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More from @DanteAtkins

Jul 9
Every single piece of conservative ululation, from Kavanaugh bemoaning his steak dinner to believing Ashli Babbitt was killed unfairly, comes down to Wilhoit's Law. In case you don't know it, it goes like this: 1/2
"Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect." Everything comes down to this, all the time.
Ashli Babbitt is a victim, even though she tried to storm the holiest of holies of our democracy by force, simply because she's a white conservative, therefore "in." Left-wing protesters who get murdered by police or vigilantes, or run over by cars are left-wing, therefore "out."
Read 8 tweets
May 24
Conservatives in America have a deep-seated belief that the internal conflicts in America will end in mass violence. In one, Trump and his private militias will bash some skulls and liberals will rounded up and subjected to mass executions by both police and private vigilantes.
In the other, the first doesn't come to pass, the country becomes increasingly non-white and non-Christian, and what's left of real America will need to make a last stand when the non-white liberals come to take away their guns, churches and freedoms.
In either case, military-style weapons are essential. They are the enablers of either conclusion. And the fetishizing of guns and the Republican calls for people to buy even more guns must be seen in the context of both Trump's coup and the Great Replacement conspiracy theory.
Read 4 tweets
Apr 2
Trumpism isn't a "dovish, restrained" foreign policy. It's one where ethnonationalist dictators withdraw from values-based multilateralism and engage in chummy Molotov-Ribbentrop pacts on steroids to divide "spheres of influence" among them. 1/x
2/x two classes of people are going to despise that approach, each for different reasons: 1) values-based, pro-democracy multilateralists, and 2) neocons who want to expand global superpower influence at the tip of America's spear.
3/x there is a subset of people who are aligned temporarily with Trumpist foreign policy, and that is a certain cadre of leftist isolationists who think the world would be sunshine and rainbows if only the U.S. had no military. Hence the "Hillary the Hawk, Donald the Dove" takes.
Read 10 tweets
Mar 1
If the reports about Putin being pissed that his invasion isn't going well and the world reaction to his attack are accurate, it's because he thought that since nobody cared about what he did to Grozny or Aleppo, they wouldn't care about Kyiv and Ukraine. He was wrong. 1/x
2/x there's a lot to say about that, none of it good. Nobody cared about Chechnya because, well, they were Muslims during the war on terror, so the blob didn't care, and you couldn't get the "anti-war" people to give any shits about anything Putin does any time, any place anyhow.
3/x as far as Syria, the U.S. and Russia were on opposite sides of the same civil war, doing similar things, or at least people thought, except for the small detail that Putin was literally using his airpower to annihilate entire cities like Aleppo. But still! Fog of war.
Read 6 tweets
Feb 27
My feeling about DSA and others still trying to both-sides the Russia invasion is that acknowledging the legitimate security interests of the Baltics and other SSR's in turning West would acknowledge that the Soviet Union actually sucked, and that's something they can't do.
So even as Russia is the idol of the white supremacist dictatorial ethnostate fantasies of the far-right and has waged aggressive wars for years since the breakup, they also have to be the victims of Western imperialism, somehow.
Like, I have absolutely no problem acknowledging the horrors of U.S. foreign and domestic policy over the decades while ALSO acknowledging that the Soviet Union was an equally imperialist power with zero political freedoms and multiple genocides.
Read 8 tweets
Feb 26
A key part from @DavidKlion's must-read explainer jewishcurrents.org/russias-invasi…, quoting a left-wing party in Ukraine:

"“the decline of American imperialism has been accompanied not by the emergence of a more democratic world order..." 1/2
@DavidKlion 2/2 "...but by the rise of other imperialist predators, fundamentalist and nationalist movements. Under these circumstances, the international left, accustomed to fighting only against Western imperialism, should reconsider its strategy.”
The biggest mistake a certain strain of leftist thought makes is the belief that a power vacuum is sustainable. A power vacuum is sustainable in modern geopolitics no more than an air vacuum is sustainable in nature. Someone will rush in to exploit the void.
Read 6 tweets

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