Here’s my latest thinking on Democratic strategy going forward – it got long but I have more to come.
First, I know she’s not a Democrat, but fuck Jill Stein. As Scott Lemieux points out, the recounts will focus the issue of Trump’s legitimacy on the one issue where we’re almost certain to lose. I can lay no blame on the Clinton campaign joining in the recount because once Stein got that ball rolling they had little choice but to hitch on to her clown car. The Green “Party” is simply a terrible, rickety, grift-ridden institution.
Second, I’m not ready to continue tolerating our weak Democratic establishment or any of the top leadership of the Clinton campaign who try to remain as part of it. To pick just two of many examples, where is our fucking Congressional effort? Look at this:
— J. Miles Coleman (@JMilesColeman) November 26, 2016
Pete Sessions ran unopposed.
And read how the Clinton campaign did not once contact the mayor of Madison, Wisconsin and made no campaign appearances there.
Democrats gave millions of dollars to the Democratic establishment and the Clintons in hopes that they would advance our interests and run a competent campaign. Where were those millions spent? How did we fuck this up so badly? Those questions need answers so we are sure that we aren’t pouring money down the toilet in 2018 or 2020.
I’ll also mention that, along with a few of the rest of you, I am skeptical about Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy. I have relatives active in Democratic politics in the Dakotas who saw little or nothing of that strategy, but they did see a major push by the Obama campaign in 2008 when South Dakota looked in reach. So, 50-state or 40-state or whatever it is called, I won’t be donating to an effort pours a little money into every race — I will donate to one that has realistic targets like TX-32, coupled with a quality candidate screening program that picks early-starting, hard-working candidates that raise funds and energize Democrats in tougher districts.
My third item is “identity politics”. It is a terrible term, and Democrats who use it to criticize other Dems are using the opposition’s words to define them. We are the party that defends civil rights of all Americans, period. We do not compromise on that, but it is not the whole of our platform. We need to be economic populists as well as defenders of civil rights. It is not an either/or, and it is the acme of stupidity to have an argument about which one of these we’re going to talk about. We will talk about both in the right contexts. That said, anyone who missed how Sanders’ economic message caught fire missed one of the major political truths of this election. We need to hone, craft and simplify this message so it resonates in contrast to greedy-ass Paul Ryan’s compulsive need to fuck the poor and the middle class out of their entitlements.
Speaking of that asshole Ryan, one of the first two big tests of the current Democratic establishment will be their messaging on Medicare. The second will be whether they just roll over in Louisiana or if they put a few million into that race. Privatizing or voucherizing Medicare is, from the point of view of almost everyone who pays into the system, taking money from our pockets. If the messaging on this isn’t something easily grasped, harsh and personal (“You paid into Medicare for years, now Paul Ryan and Donald Trump want to take your money away”), then we have learned nothing from this election.