1. You’ve probably seen articles like this today and, hopefully, you’re reading them — and not just for the joy of watching the #GOP squirm at a squeaking defeat in what should’ve been a GOP blowout. The reactions of the opposition are strategic clues. apple.news/AmbTmoZhNTRqtK…
2. Particularly, I want to draw your attention to this statement from Paul Ryan. Basically, he’s pointing out that because Lamb didn’t have a primary opponent, he was able to run as a more conservative Dem which allowed him to win a district DT won by 20 pts.
3. Let’s unpack that a little. Two things are implied here. One, they know that GOP (and their support of DT) is frowned on enough that there is willingness to vote Dem in red districts with palatable messaging (moderate, willingness to work in a bipartisan manner).
4. They are counting on the fact that even with their poor approval and DT’s toxicity, constituents will still vote for them over a further left candidate. They’re reading the room on the division on the Left. They’re relying on primaries to drive candidates left.
5. Why do they feel confident in this? The idea has been thrust over the past 18 months that Dems can only win by running more progressive candidates to spurn enthusiasm. That voters will come out and vote if we do this. That this is the path to victory. Don’t they see that?
6. Clearly they don’t. Because the numbers don’t tell that story. They know what’s worked in the past. They’ve mastered the fear of ‘progress’ and diversity. They’ve demonized ‘overreach of the government’. They all too happily allowed DT’s campaign of blame, fear and hate.
7. They’re willing to ride the wave of backlash against progress. After all, they’ve been doing so for a long time and as the world has gotten smaller, strife and hardship has grown, and their method has gained power. Throw in propaganda and anti-intellectualism - even better.
8. They know some other things, too. They know GOP dwarf us in vote-turnout. They usually completely outfund and outspend us. And they know our weakness is self-righteousness. The intellectual and moral high-ground that so many have no use for.
9. So, are they right? Is #PA18 an outlier because Lamb was a ‘unicorn’? Is the electorate truly just that conservative? Or is there this great untapped source of voters yearning for a more progressive candidate? There is an answer here, it’s just not simple.
10. Democrats are never going to be a one-size fits all party. It’s not who we are. We are a ‘big tent’ and will have differing views as a matter of course. But, our legislative process hinges on a majority AND bipartisanship. Without it, no policy sees the light of day.
11. The red-state Dems that people call DINOS are Democrats who vote with the party 80% of the time. They are elected as a harbinger that their constituents are willing to take a risk - to loosen the reigns. This isn’t something to take lightly or put in jeopardy.
12. The reality is that we’re all right. The difficulty is figuring out and applying a successful strategy. Like our party, there is no one-size fits all candidate. Long time grassroots activist knew this when we came together to form @DemsWork4USA.
13. District by district. Candidate by candidate. We recognized we had to rigorously assess each constituency and find the candidate that had the best chance of winning there. Those candidates look very different from each other - because they must.
14. There are indeed places where a more progressive candidate will fare very well. And there are places like #PA18. If Ryan is right, we would‘ve trapped ourselves into defeat in the primary process. Don’t disregard the strategy of the opposition when it’s given. Take heed.
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