Like I said, it has been a strange week. That, more than anything else, necessitates that I try something a little different with my blog today. Normally my audience is people with an interest in politics. Today I'm writing to senior staff and Pols themselves. The Ds are slipping into old habits. They are pushing all the wrong buttons, and we are nominating people who don't know how to win, or who forget as soon as they are in the race. Right now we're lost in the wilderness. That is what pundits are picking up, not that Ds are down, we aren't. Rather, Ds are scared, uncommitted, and frankly a little craven. Suck it up. Staff, buck the f up and get your candidates in line. Candidates, if you can't swagger, fake it until you can. We aren't dead yet and frankly, there are more of us than there are of them. We just have to turn out the vote.
There are three ways the Ds can win in November. Each one requires fortitude and frankly, some guts. This lecture isn't to the typical reader, it is to the pols, the pros who are running their staffs, and the DCCC, DNC, DSCC, and DGA.
Be bold: Faint heart never won fair lady… or an election. Don't say we need a modest proposal, or a small increase in revenue. Tell the truth – we need a trillion dollars in infrastructure spending. We need massive investments of public money into public education, and if that means ending charter schools so be it. We need to reshape both our military – that is, in regards to spending – and to reshape the mission we ask of our heroic soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. Be bold, be hyperbolic, be enthusiastic, be optimistic. People are going to gravitate to the candidate who knows what they are doing, and to the candidate that is the most aggressive. Christie, for all his bullying and short term success nationally, knows NJ. They like his brazen bullying tactics. Forget running for the next job, concentrate on winning this job. Be bold. The GOP is wrong on almost every issue. This shouldn't even be a race in 2014. Say that. Don't nibble around it. Say it clearly. Ask questions when challenged… "When was the last time the GOP was right about any issue of substance? When was the last time their economic plans helped ordinary people? When was the last time the GOP won a war?" Don't play defense play offense.
Lead on specific issues: Don't follow trends, create them. People don't want candidates that are as scared and uncertain about the future as they are themselves. They want people who are galvanized and possessed of a vision for their State. When asked how you would pay for something say – revenue, increased employment from infrastructure investment, and public private partnerships. When asked for specifics give them. Ds have ideas as a party, use them. Ds aren't the GOP, stop trying to act like them. Couch everything in terms of what is best for the state. Here is just one example of how to message this election --
Q "Can we afford to spend more on education?"Stop trying to convince Rs to vote D: With the rare exception of some states like LA where Ds still have a chance to win some R support, Rs are not going to vote for Ds. This is a blood war, one side is fighting to eliminate the other. Completely. Rs aren't trying to get a small majority to govern the nation. They are in the midst of fighting civil war with the Ds and we are only lately coming to realize what is going on. Their goal isn't to install their own policies but rather the destruction of government itself. Say that. Until Rs become sane again all we can do is turnout OUR voters and beat them.
A "How can we afford not to. Every year another graduating class enters the workforce ill prepared, incapable of competing in the global market place. We have an obligation to our students, to our own kids and to the communities we live in tot better prepare young people to compete."
Q "Is money the only way to do that? What about ending teachers unions."
A "The Rs want to end Teachers Unions and Tenure because after almost 35 years of a war on public education Rs can't convince people who work in the industry to vote for them. Just like Rs can't convince minorities to vote for them. Just like they can't convince women to vote for them. So, what is the R playbook when they can no longer lie or obfuscate to win elections. Suppress the opposition. That is what the war on Teachers is about. It has nothing at all to do with helping kids or raising standards. It is union busting to damage people who are politically opposed to their draconian regressive policies."
The Post Obama Republican Party has destroyed every institution that exists in this nation. They have undermined the Supreme Court, voting in absurd ways simply to halt or undermine the President, repealing voting rights, rolling back progress on anything from the environment to guns.
Rs have broken the Senate and the Congress in general. There is simply no ability to pass legislation worth a damn without one party rule. They have undermined simple things like the Clean Water Act and the EPA, they have refused to support the President on Treaties, on Foreign Policy during a time of War.
Rs have attempted to nullify every existing law that benefits the majority of people, from health care to public education. They have done this not because those laws are conservative or liberal but because President Obama proposed them or President Obama wishes to improve them.
That isn't rational, it is also unsustainable. We are going to win eventually. Either in 2014, or 16, once the average American wakes up to the reality that O isn't running again there will be a wave of white moderate voters who will vote in their own self-interest. Once that happens, a D with the right message is going to roll up a massive win. Think of it this way. Grimes is up in KY and Nunn has never trailed in GA. In a climate that is negative for Ds in the Senate, we have a chance to pick up to Red state senate seats. That should be impossible, but it isn't because our position isn't that disadvantaged.
J. Christian Watts
Follow me on Twitter @JCWPolitics.com