Liberal Columnist On Democratic Winning Message: ‘I Haven’t Heard It Yet’

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Jul 21, 2017 3:00 PM
Liberal Columnist On Democratic Winning Message: ‘I Haven’t Heard It Yet’

Well, it should come to no one’s surprise that Democrats are still chickens with their heads cut off. They’re deep in the wilderness, with no clear economic agenda. The one thing they are crystal clear on is that they can’t stand President Donald Trump. Yet, as Mitt Romney and John Kerry learned in prior elections, being the “anti” candidate isn’t enough to win. With Russia infesting the national party scene, the more time the Left wastes on constructing winning narrative. For Democrats running outside of the beltway, it’s bit of a different story. Voters really don’t have Russia on their minds, which is something they’re trying to convey to national party leaders.

MSNBC’s Morning Joe has thrown tossed a wet blanket on 2018 Democratic midterm hopes. You have some of them saying that they’re easily pickup 25 seats, despite losing special elections and having a House leader—Nancy Pelosi—who animates the conservatives base. That latter part sort of kills the offensive since the Democratic road to the majority rests with winning traditional Republican districts, like Georgia’s sixth congressional district, which they lost in the most expensive House race in history. Yes, turnout for Democrats was the highest in a decade, but that wasn’t enough, showing that the 2018 midterm electorate could probably look like 2016, which was beneficial to Republicans. James Carville, a top Democratic strategist, has pretty much conceded that Democrats have no shot at winning the Senate back next year, noting that the best they should do is just recruit new people and prevent more incumbent party members from losing their respective races. Not really a pep rally.

On Tuesday’s broadcast of Morning Joe, Scarborough, who recently left the GOP, asked liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson what the winning Democratic message is from here going forward:

You can organize all the marches you want to organize, you can hold all the rallies you want to have, you can talk about Russia all day and night. If you’re a Democrat, that’s not going to move voters. The Democrats need a unifying, strong powerful message about how they’re going to get America back to work. And even when we have Democrats come on this show and say, ‘Hey, we have a new message about how to get Americans back to work.’ I haven’t heard anything. I gave heard anything that’s going to unite voters together and make independents, and some moderate Republicans, go ‘hey, wait a second, I think I want to follow the Democratic Party.'

“I haven’t heard it yet, Joe,” replied Robinson. “There has to be a message. There has to be a reason for people to rally to the Democratic side.” He also said that being against Trump and saying he’s awful is not enough. They were discussing Robinson's July 17 column:

Many rank-and-file members fear Trump’s loyal support among the base. The former “party of Lincoln” has adopted the moral code of the Oakland Raiders’ late owner Al Davis: “Just win, baby.”

So that is what Democrats and independents have to do — win. As long as there are pro-Trump majorities in the House and Senate, there will be no real congressional oversight and no brake on an out-of-control president’s excesses. Incumbency and gerrymandered districts mean that winning anti-Trump majorities in 2018 will be difficult. But not impossible.

The Democratic Party needs a plan, a message and a sense of urgency. 

Besides Democrats devolving into moralizing and condescending busybodies that will be detrimental to their outreach initiatives outside of urban areas, there’s the fact that it won’t be enough to retake the House if liberals are able to turnout every 2016 Clinton voter who split tickets on congressional races and have them flip for a Democrat. That's quite the climb.


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