I know I am mostly preaching to the choir about this, but I have seen this idea floated on my facebook newsfeed a couple of times, and now a "half kidding, satirical" diary about losing our majority in the Senate or even losing the Presidency in 2016 as a way to refocus the Democratic message to a more pro-worker, anti-neoliberal agenda.
I totally agree with the sentiment of refocusing the Dems message about the economy. I think all of this economic conservative/social liberal thing sweeping our party is a big mess, makes us seem like republican lite with no message of our own, and will cost us if we can't find our roots. That being said, this "big idea" that we should actually make an attempt to throw the elections so that we can once again be in opposition to the governing party is probably the worst idea I have ever heard.
Look, even though the party is searching for its soul right now, it behooves us, to this day, to still hope for and vote for Democratic majorities. I know that many progressives are not thrilled about the prospects of voting for another crop of Republican-lite Democrats, neither am I. But lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater here. There is still plenty of good in the Democratic party, and still plenty of Democratic politicians fighting for what is right. Should we really sink them in our quixotic quest to refocus the Democratic message? I say no, absolutely not.
I know that raising the specter of a potential Republican majority in Congress + Republican president has fallen out of style here, but I still fear the bad old days of Republican control of the legislative and executive branches. If another Republican majority in Congress and Republican control of the White House were to come to pass, I think things would get much, much worse before we could get our own house in order enough to mount a fighting opposition. Imagine how much damage could be done in just one or two years of Republican control. Look at what is happening at the state level right now, and has been happening ever since 2010. They promised jobs, and gave us culture wars. Believe me, that same strategy is going to be used at a national level.
What that means is the wholesale dismantling of what little progress we have made in the past 6 years. What that means is new wars, massive amounts of debt, new tax breaks for the rich, redoubled efforts to dismantle the ACA piece by piece. Not to mention Republican appointees sailing right through, including the supreme court. You think that its bad now with the weak-kneed Democratic Caucus we have? Imagine that same caucus being all that stands between this country and a gaping chasm of conservative policies.
If you think that the Dems would have the strength to stand up to the Republicans after an electoral shellacking like that, go ahead and test this losing strategy for yourself. I personally am not betting on it. I would rather win, ensure that the side that at least agrees with me in spirit is at the reigns, and duke out ideological differences later, than face an uphill climb with Republicans controlling the government.
My two cents, if you'll take it.