Despite having raised more than $30 million, the recent loss in Georgia by Democrat Jon Ossoff further confirms the two major failures that plague Democrats. First, the Party lacks a substantive, optimistic policy agenda and need to cease the fixation on identity politics. Second, in many districts their candidates are instantly playing defense to untether themselves from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
The Republican strategy in Georgia was simple and effective--link candidate Ossoff to Pelosi in print, radio and television ads. The Pelosi brand was toxic.
Elizabeth Warren gained progressive fame when she persisted speaking while bucking Senate rules. Democratic chances to win the necessary 24 seats to regain Congressional control in 2018 would be aided if Pelosi ceased persisting and stepped aside.
The progressive strategy of decrying President Trump as alternatively, a Howdy Doody clown while also being the Most Dangerous Man in the World has not prevailed in the four special Congressional elections since inauguration day. For all his faults, Trump espouses a message of hope. Trump’s approval ratings are low but his base of support is firm. While his administration and aides are lawyered-up under an investigative cloud; Republicans keeps winning elections. What will Dems do if Trump’s unfavorable ratings have bottomed?
In my upcoming novel Roll the Dice, independent Senate candidate Tyler Sloan connects with voters while entertaining on the Las Vegas stage, he gains votes chatting with diners at the local Mexican restaurant he owns, and delights voters while standing in line to order at Starbucks. Sloan, John Kasich and Joe Biden could pull it off; but Nancy hoi polloi Pelosi could not.
While progressives run against Trump, Rick Moran from American Thinker bluntly opined that, “People hate Trump, but more people hate liberals.” Not quite. While the electorate has shifted one step left on social issues, Democrats have jumped three steps. Today, Bill Clinton could not carry a single Democratic presidential primary. Yet those same voters would tilt close, purple districts.
The Democrats are too locked into a Resist mentality. The full Bernie is insufficient to win nationally.
As a prodigious fundraiser, skilled vote counter, and adroit party disciplinarian who, “holds the troops in line,” Pelosi possesses all the requisite skills of political leadership. Yet her negatives outweigh her positives. She recently addressed the issue and concluded, “I’m worth the trouble.” While the electoral margins have narrowed, Democrats have lost all four special elections. Spin away, but zero for four is still zero for four.
Earlier this year, Jeffrey Immelt retired after a 16 year stint as CEO from General Electric due to dissatisfaction of GE’s performance. Should Democrats tolerate a losing streak any more than the shareholders of GE?
To prevail in 2018; the takeaway for Republicans is simple--enact legislation. The Democratic takeaway---first, develop a policy agenda that touches the Heartland. Second remove a leader who appears unable to relate to the middle class. Close your eyes and hear her whisper “deplorables.”