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It has been a strange week. My Aunt, a brilliant woman, as obsessed with Politics with a capital P as I am, is feeling depressed about Democrats chances in 2014. MSNBC, the most liberal station on TV – for part of the day – seems filled to the brim with "professional" assessments that the Ds are going to lose the Senate. Anyone who has read me recently knows I disagree, vehemently, with that assessment. However, the GOP – delusional to the end – has embraced this theory and has taken to the social media and to traditional print to goat and taunt Ds nationally, publically asking if Ds have given up. Calling out Cong. Debbie Wasserman Shultz by name. Wow.

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?"
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."
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.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  Pro tip to a communications specialist. (0+ / 0-)

    Don't repeat what you put above the fold below the fold.

    It is a waste of your readers time and rather annoying.

    "Go well through life"-Me (As far as I know)
    This message will self-destruct upon arrival in the NSA archives in Utah.

    by MTmofo on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 01:32:39 AM PDT

  •  A bold visionary is a genius (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    …at a time like this.

    We will use our defense dollars to create real power in the world. America will invest in the education of its people so that we have the smartest, most innovative citizens in the world. And they will not be shackled with life long debt to crush their dreams we need them to have.

    That's what a country does for their people. And a confident and accomplished people  are what makes a country great.

    And we will help all of them get that first job in their chosen profession to establish themselves -- and make sure they have a living wage until they get on their feet.Thats how you create a country filled with leaders.

    We will invest not in politicians but the people who want to get a world class education and work toward a vision of the future that will improve the lives of all of the people.

    A strong, healthy, educated, experienced America that is enthusiastic about leading the country and making a better for the future for the world."

  •  The game of running like a progressive (6+ / 0-)

    And then leading like a conservative is up.

    Voters will NOT swallow it again.

    The DNC thinks nothing has changed

  •  When listening to Hillary recently she is on a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    steady march to the right of Obama and being very hawkish at the same time.

    When I see many Democrats still running away from the one piece of significant legislation they managed to pass, the ACA, [perhaps that will change soon.]

    When I see them not being bold and still on the austerity bandwagon whilst they cannot even promote popular ideas such as the minimum wage then I say it is time to worry.

    The Republicans have gained a playing card; the strong leader they oh so respected before, V Putin. Cuz as everyone knows they are just like Putin, strong on defense and tend to invade sovereign countries.

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 03:03:57 AM PDT

    •  She is making a mistake (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4mygirls, Linda1961

      Not only are people going to be turned off by her neocon hawkish leanings, her actions remind us all of the things progressive Ds dislike the most about Hillary -- Iraq and how she pushed for war out of what appeared to be political rather than national security goals. It bit her on the ass in 2008, arguing for war in Iran and Russia doesn't make her look tough, it makes her look weak.


      J, Christian Watts Follow me on Twitter @JCWPolitics

      by JCWPolitics on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:29:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with your sentiment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight

    that the Dems need to go big and bold. What is lacking is a cohesive big picture for Dems to run on. They are to intimidated by the GOP, Wall Street & Third way corporatists to govern as the people in the country desire them to. When polled on individual issues without party affiliation, most liberal policies proposals are way more popular. We live in the reality though that when 90% of the population want something like benign back round checks passed for gun control we are shouted down and lobby interests are given a dominate voice in the media.

    Dems can't pass anything meaningful in the House because of the bat shit crazy racist Koch owned tea party. The only thing they have completely in control of is the keystone pipeline & its rejection by President Obama. He does that and you shore up the activist base & we go into the mid terms in a strong position.

    We could also as you wrote proper infrastructure spending - I will go a bit further & say we could use an infrastructure bank with 4 trillion in reserves for projects in the country. We could drop this 10.10 none sense as it is still crumbs from
    the table and propose 22$ an hour and then settle for 14 or 15 an hour which is almost a living wage.

    “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

    by Tool on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 05:08:17 AM PDT

  •  Well, There's THIS: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    we're dealing with simple, basic trends here: There's historically not a huge turnout for midterm elections; and when the turnout is weak, democrats lose.

    40% turnout for the recent special election in FL. Not necessarily a bellwether, true, but a larger turnout would have caused me to be more hopeful regarding the turnout this fall.

    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

    by Superpole on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 06:18:44 AM PDT

    •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This is about GOTV. Which becomes especially hard when your base thinks elections are held every four years.

      •  Right.. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4mygirls, PhilK, dallasdunlap

        and sorry to say it's even harder when crap like 1.5 million people just lost their unemployment benefits and aren't likely to get them back is going on.

        what motivates these people to vote this fall? why should they care?

        "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

        by Superpole on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 06:36:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What Ds are selling, they ain't buying (0+ / 0-)

      People want jobs, not unemployment insurance.

      We are promoting 1) increased minimum wage 2) immigration reform 3) keep the ACA

      Young people want jobs. American citizens are not affected by immigration reform, except it causes job loss. They don't think they need health insurance. They want a real job, not a minimum wage job.

      What's getting folks out to pull the lever?

      •  Well, UNTIL WE GET A JOBS-PRODUCING (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        economy, we have to have UN-employment benefits for the jobless.

        NOT have a job, NOT having benefits means homelessness; I can't support that.

        "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

        by Superpole on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 09:49:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure not a problem (0+ / 0-)

          How many years?

          I can propose a change in our national policy which will produce 1,000,000 - 1,500,000 jobs almost immediately.

          End ALL work visas. All. Now. No H-1B, no L-1, no J-1, no F-1, no B-1, no O-1. All ended now.

          1,500,000 jobs tomorrow.

          •  GOT IT, However (0+ / 0-)

            Congress won't support that because the tech industry wants cheap workers here from India, etc.

            Tell your congressperson of your plan and see what happens-- a meaningless letter back which you can throw in the garbage.

            "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

            by Superpole on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:28:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am aware of that (0+ / 0-)

              Has anyone mounted a serious challenge to Eschoo or that snake Lofgren? In CA now, anyone can run in the primary, and the top two are in the general. Both could be primaried by IT workers that their policies have displaced. Most Americans do not understand the pernicious and devastating impact of these visas, which CURRENTLY have probably 2,000,000-3,000,000 people occupying jobs that Americans are ABLE and WILLING to perform. Plus summer is coming, and when it does, there will be 500,000 J-1 visa workers from Poland and Kazakstan here teaching lifeguarding to American kids who will not be able to get lifeguarding jobs. Why? Simple. Businesses get a tax break to hire J-1 workers. They get a tax break. Stunning, appalling.

      •  Most people who have jobs won't be affected by (0+ / 0-)

        minimum wage. Most people who have insurance aren't affected by the ACA. Most people who aren't immigrants aren't affected by immigration reform. And most people who ARE immigrants aren't affected by it.
          And the immigrants who are affected, the undocumented, can't vote.

        •  Yrp (0+ / 0-)

          So, who is going to be voting democratic who is not ALREADY voting democratic? I see no policies from the D party which are designed to bring WWC voters, disaffected Democrats, etc into the Democratic camp.

          The group being most shamefully damaged by Democratic policies are college students. Democrats talk about more visas for foreign scabs, but NOTHING about more jobs for American citizens with college degrees, many of whom cannot find decent full-time jobs.

    •  The turnout was due to 1.) It was a special (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      election on an arbitrary day. and 2.) Both candidates were singularly uninspiring. Uninspiring Republicans always win against uninspiring Democrats.

  •  Here is my critque of the Dems (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    So glad you wrote this post. It is a subject that has been on my mind for decades. Repeated fact: we have two major political parties that we can support. My life long choice has been the Democrat Party. We all know that the Democrats are in the majority, so why is there such a struggle between the two parties with the Democrats often losing to Republicans. Also why is it so often that our party is always responding to the latest "Republican outrage" or "dirty trick"? Historically the Democrat Party has become the Party of reaction with the Republican Party in the driver's seat as the Party of ACTION.

    The Democrat Party elected officials have a long history of ignoring stuff that they observe the Republicans planning. Our elected officials tend to maintain the traditional "civil service" attitude towards the performance of their positions. This type of attitude actually discourages any need for strategic planning for any political moves against the opposition namely the Republicans. Our political leaders really only concern themselves about the Republicans when their support is needed to pass or amend legislation. In this respect most of our elected leaders only think of themselves as Democrats and what the Party ideology stands for on those occasions when public custom and procedure require such behavioral posture.

    The Republicans on the other hand exhibit "24 hour" dedication to their ideology and principles. They are constantly planning and dreaming up new strategies to dis-empower the Democrats on every political issue. They have created a "play book" on the Democrats, which describes the Democrat's weaknesses, the primary of which is the lack of political planning and mutual dedicated support within the party.

    Rush Limbaugh and the flock of Rush "wanabee" copy cats right wing radio broadcasters are a product of the inaction over the years by Democrat Senators in the Congress. These Senators did not think it important to protect the nation's radio airwaves from right wing inflammatory propaganda. As a result right wing radio became the heart and voice of the Republican party, and today we are paying the price of the lack of vision and responsibility of those Democrat Senators.

    You are correct in pointing out that the MSM (which is Republican controlled) is already turning the 2014 election into a battle of campaign funding between the pool of money available to Republican candidates from the right wing plutocratic billionaires, and those funds that can be raised from individual donors by the Democrat candidates.

    The road to victory for the Democrats first requires the Democrats to be Democrats "24/7", and remember that our party has the greatest weapon and that is PEOPLE POWER. Democrats must ignore what the Republicans are doing and  between now and November and concentrate on raising the largest GOTV army that this nation has ever seen. The GOTV situation is more complex this time around due to dense thicket of ID requirements legislated by Republican voter suppression laws in various states. It will require significantly more than knocking on doors and organizing car pools to the polls. It will require volunteers to work with Democrat voters to make sure that they have obtained ALL of the documents needed to vote.

    The Republican voter suppression laws will also prevent many elder Republicans from voting. The Republicans are aware of this which is why  many Republican campaign funding organizations are diverting funds into setting up their own Republican GOTV door-to-door groups. These groups will make sure that all potential Republican voters will secure all of the proper documents that are needed to vote.

    Lastly if the Democrats want to win in 2014, they have to do it on their own without any leadership from the White House. Barack Obama is likely to be totally consumed by all of the pressing international situations, e.g., the Ukraine, Syria, etc. Folks as Democrats we have 8 months to get our sh..t together for 2014 and the time to start was 3 months ago.

  •  great advice. zero chance of being followed by (0+ / 0-)

    the Dem establishment.

  •  wish I could rec this 100 times! (0+ / 0-)

    We (Democrats) need to be loud and proud, and stop running to the "center" which is now very rightwing.

    Nice job, JCWPolitics.

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