If This Is Hillary’s Legacy, It Will Be a Good One

I don’t get excited too often when I read the news, but this piece got my blood pumping:

On Wednesday, she woke up inconsolable. On Thursday, angry. But on the Friday after the presidential election, as she prepared posters to join thousands in protesting Donald Trump’s victory, Mia Hernández came to a quiet realization: If she found her country’s direction intolerable, she would have to try to change it.

She would change it not just by signing petitions, or protesting, or calling her legislators. For the first time, she sketched out a plan to run for elected office.

In 2020, Hernández intends to make a bid for a seat on the San Jose City Council or the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. Her focus will be reproductive rights and community empowerment, she said.

“Everybody says organize, don’t mourn, make a change,” said Hernández, 22, a student at the University of California at Santa Cruz. “So I said to myself, ‘How am I going to be an active member in this? You know what, I need to run for office. I need to be a part of that decision-making. I need to make sure Trump’s voice is not the only voice out there.’ ”

Among young, liberal women who expected to see the country elect its first female president Nov. 8, Hernández is not alone; many are responding to Hillary Clinton’s defeat with a new sense of obligation to seek political power. After years of never imagining a career in the public eye or only vaguely entertaining the idea of working in politics, these women are determined to run for elected office.

YES! This is exactly what we need. We need it in every single county election, we need it in every single state election, and we need it in every national election. In my state alone, so many elections don’t even have two candidates. Not only is there no choice, there is no accountability.

Several extra thoughts:

1.) The local level is where people will feel the impact of positive governance most immediately. It actually has more of an impact on your daily lives than people realize.

2.) This can serve as the pipeline to higher office for candidates that Democrats desperately need. Republicans are always puking up bilious up an comers, and there seems to be no deep bench.

3.) The thing about organizing is it is exceptionally difficult when there is nothing to organize around. I started a grass roots group of fb for our area, got a lot of people in the group, we talked and talked, and then we did jack shit. Why? There were no candidates to support, no useful county organization, and so forth. Organization takes time and practice- they aren’t like a drag car that you run every now and then for 10 seconds at high speed, they much more resemble a diesel 18 wheeler that takes some time getting started and once you get the engine running performs best if it doesn’t stop.

Once you get some candidates around which you can organization, then the magic happens.






189 replies
  1. 1
    Mnemosyne says:

    I will drag my pretty new hobbyhorse into this thread: we all need to become precinct captains. Back in 2015, Meteor Blades explained why.

    This is exactly how the Tea Partiers infiltrated the Republican Party. When you’re a part of the party, you get to make the decisions. If you just scream advice from the stands, you don’t get anywhere.

  2. 2

    I’m not part of the Brown/Lee machine but I’m going to find something to run for anyway here in SF. One of my friends just got elected to the school board.

    ETA: maybe that! We have a lot of precincts.

  3. 3

    I think the value of “grass roots organizing” is overblown. Organizations form around leaders. But leaders at every level all the way down to park district board.

  4. 4
    John Cole says:

    @Thornton Hall: Not to be rude, but isn’t that just what I said?

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    I started a grass roots group of fb for our area, got a lot of people in the group, we talked and talked, and then we did jack shit.

    I thought that’s what you had us for. :-)

    In all seriousness, can we also please message to people that they should vote in every election for the D unless they have a good reason not to, instead of the other way around?

  6. 6

    The future of the Democratic Party rests in part on the death of legacy media. The post-Watergate model of source vs institution is structurally locked into denigrating government. Bob Woodward as portrayed by Robert Redford turned a generaltions worth of great public servants into would-be investigative journalists who never realized that the “investigation” part was actually done by the FBI and then leaked by Mark Felt. We are left with a reductio of Enlightenment where the individual is always better then the group. (And therefore it is proper to appeal to him with policies, not to his identification with a group.)

    The reporting of police murder is just the most obvious benefit of a new paradigm of press. To be informed in this paradigm will require citizens return to their normal pre-Cronkite level of skepticism about “what they read in the paper.” But it opens up the arena for journalists dedicated to the idea that public service is good and the only way to solve the problems we face is to turn to government.

  7. 7

    @Baud: I think this could backfire.

  8. 8
    Kay says:

    Oh, good. The only upside of institutions failing all over the place is it creates opportunity for new people who will then create new institutions.

    I wouldn’t and didn’t go along with burning it all down, but now that it’s happened let’s get on with the new. There’s a huge group of people who didn’t vote for Donald Trump. Holes tend to get filled. Fill this one with new people.

  9. 9

    @John Cole: I took “something to organize around” to be a cause, rather than a person.

    But mostly I was agreeing with you.

  10. 10
    Derelict says:

    Cole’s comment about local government having more impact on day-to-day lives is something that really needs to be hammered home to most people. Your local planning and zoning board determines whether or not your neighbor gets to build a car crusher next to your property. That’s not something President [fill in name here] has much if any say over.

    At the same time, remember that most of the people in Congress started out winning elections at the parish-pump level. Why to Republicans control 34 out of 50 state governments? Because they run in every low-level election, everywhere, all the time. Liberals need to understand this and act on it. Run for dog catcher, run for school board, run for town council. If you want things to change, go out and change them by taking the power into your own hands.

  11. 11
    Belafon says:

    @Baud:

    In all seriousness, can we also please message to people that they should vote in every election for the D unless they have a good reason not to, instead of the other way around?

    I am not candidate material, but I am going to start participating in my local Democratic party. One of the things I will push is for us to find as many people who voted Democrat as we can, and get them to vote in 2018.

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: What could backfire? This blog? Too late.

  13. 13

    I was a precinct captain. It’s a lot of hard work. Took every spare minute of my time.

  14. 14
    JDM says:

    One thing the rightwing did several decades ago is make a push for people to run for local office. School boards for instance. Lots of things that can be done there, both good and bad. Not only could they do that, they had people in the pipeline to run for wider office or work with people who did.

  15. 15
    Dsagneri says:

    @Kay: Agreed burning it all down is intrinsically dangerous but if it can’t be avoided better to do out best to ensure it is replaced by the best possible system.

  16. 16
    karen marie says:

    A full-time chair of the DNC who would work to grow state-level Democratic Party organizations would go a long way in supporting Ms. Hernández and others like her as well as seeking out people who would be willing to do the work of holding elective office at the state and local level. It drives me crazy that in spite of the long history of Democrats appointing currently-serving elected officials as chair of the DNC being a total organizing fail, people are still cheering on suggestions that we do it again. Rep. Ellison, terrific as he is, already has a full-time job as representative and would do as shit a job as Wasserman-Schultz, and Tim Kaine before her.

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @Belafon: That’s excellent.

  18. 18
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, if anyone doesn’t believe me, Google “the precinct project.” The Tea Partiers set it up in 2008 and, by 2010, they were getting their preferred candidates to run for every office imaginable.

    There are pages we need to take from the Republicans’ book, but they’re not the ones about lying to people and promising bullshit. They’re the pages about getting involved and taking control of the party.

  19. 19
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    There has to be a changing of the guard. The same people who failed to stop Trump won’t lead us out of this. These women have the right idea. They ARE, or can be, “the Democratic Party”. It’s up for grabs. With any luck good people will grab it.

    Time for a new approach. All new.

  20. 20
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I have a writer’s conference in late March that I need to prepare for, but I’m hoping to try and sign up to be a precinct captain in April. I’m in deep blue So Cal, so they may not need me, but that’s where MB was and it sounds like he was pretty desperately needed in the wake of Kerry’s defeat.

  21. 21
    Baud says:

    @Kay: I agree. It’s like replacing the coach on a losing team, even if the blame lies elsewhere. Sometimes you just need to make the change.

    The trap we risk falling into is that people will constantly debate what needs to change at top, and few will work to effect change from the ground up.

  22. 22
    Derelict says:

    @karen marie: At the very least, we need DNC leadership that understands the importance of local races–ESPECIALLY local races where the Democrat isn’t guaranteed to win.

    Back when I did political consulting in southwest Florida, we had a couple of Democrats who we felt would have been very competitive if we could get some funding from national. The response? “If it’s not a guaranteed win, we won’t fund.” I couldn’t get them to understand that, if it were a guaranteed win we would need funding.

  23. 23

    @Baud: telling people that democrats are entitled to their vote.

    @Derelict: plus most *actually* intrusive, business crushing regulations are municipal and state. SF has them by the bucket.

  24. 24
    RepubAnon says:

    – As Joe Hill famously said: “Don’t mourn for me, boys – organize.”

    The “Occupy” movement got lots of press for a while – but without leaders, and a plan, things went nowhere. As John Cole observes, the path forward is to take over the Democratic Party at the local level – move on to the state level, and then remove the folks at the national level who still think the 1990s triangulation strategy is a long-term winner rather than an outdated one – a “Maginot Line” type mistake.

    P.S.: the other big mistake is the hierarchical top-down management style of the campaigns. The idea should be to train the people at the local level, but also to listen to what works, what doesn’t work, and what the folks closest to the voters are saying. This builds a strong infrastructure that can win local elections and state-level elections – leading to a strong national organization.

    What we don’t want is a repeat of the Wendy Davis fiasco, where the big national election campaign consultants came in like seagulls, ignored the locals, ate up all the resources, and flew away – leaving a guano-strewn mess behind. Without strong local resources, and a 50-state effort, we’re likely to see Constitutional Amendments implementing the Republican voter suppression tactics. Then, we’ve lost for a very long time.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: If our default position is inaction, then we will continue to lose IMHO. I said nothing about entitlement. If the D is awful, or if people think that the R candidate is better, so be it. But why should the Democratic Party not be messaging to people that voting D is a generically good thing?

  26. 26
    InternetDragons says:

    Suzanne asked in a previous thread what the heck people can do who have time and energy to give to resisting the Trumpocalypse. I hope it’s OK to reply here, as the other threads will now fade away – but some friends and I have been brainstorming about this and have been putting some thoughts together. This is still crude/preliminary, so don’t flame me too hard =P

    10 suggestions in response to…”But what can I DO?”

    1. Start thinking in terms of both short-term and long-term goals. Get your physical, mental, and spiritual house in order. Take care of yourself, because we ARE going to lose battles in the upcoming months and years – some very important ones. We have to be able to take those blows and get back up.

    2. Donate if you are able to. Yes, it’s obvious, but this is important. Some of what Trump plans to attempt can be countered by litigation. Litigation’s expensive. Support the ACLU. Planned Parenthood will be under direct attack. Support them. GLBT folks are terrified, especially with Pence in a position of power. Support the Trevor Project or Human Rights Campaign. Immigrants are already being threatened. Support the National Immigration Law Center. I could go on for a long time here, but you get my drift. Pick some organizations you believe in, and set up regular donations.

    3. Take real steps to protect threatened organizations and persons in your community:
    For example, you could become a Planned Parenthood escort. In NYC, an Arab-American organization has put out a call for volunteers to act as ‘work commute buddies’ to counter the aggression some Trump supporters now feel free to act on. Do you have local churches that are now offering to act as sanctuaries? Is your church open to taking this stand? Are you in a state that already has sanctuary cities? See what you can do to help.

    4. Call and write your representatives. KEEP THE PRESSURE ON, because there’s an ever-present danger they’ll cave in to the natural urge to normalize Trump. Put calls and letter-writing on your calendar, and keep asking them to oppose Trump appointments: Judgeships, nominations for EPA, Interior, all policy-generating positions.

    5. Look to 2018. Unfortunately, the midterms don’t look great for us (if anyone feels I am wrong about that, then solid evidence to the contrary is welcome). But either way, 2018 is important. The main organizational entities for the Democrats in Congress are the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC.org) and the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC.org). Sign up for their listserves and get involved with key campaigns now.

    6. Boycotts are a mixed bag, but you can boycott Trump products and the stores that carry those product lines. Lists are available online. Alternatively, you can actively support companies that have taken a stand against Trump – and write them to say thank you.

    7. If you are in one of the 29 cities they serve, you can volunteer with the International Rescue Committee to welcome families to America and help them adjust. There are rightwing sites that are already monitoring where refugees are settled. Let refugees know they are welcome here.

    8. A lot of the innovation and action on climate change is happening in cities, and it’s easier to influence local policy than state or national legislation. It’s easier for mayors to get together than heads of state! If we are worried about the environment, we can make sure our cities are part of urban environmental efforts.

    9. Take a little time to really read about and study the tactics of the great non-violent resistance movements. Learn and practice de-escalation strategies. We’ll likely have need of those skills in the coming years. There are lots of creative ways to (for example) gum up the works to prevent something like a Muslim registry from smoothly functioning.

    10. Talk to the people around you. I know that sounds dumb. But some of this work involves incremental change. For example, if you are a white woman, then consider that white women have voted as a majority for Democrats only two times since 1952. There’s a lot of work to be done there, and thoughtful, respectful conversations do have an impact. You can always come here to BJ to let off steam and fight =P

  27. 27
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Mnemosyne: Another thing the tea party did was go to the Congressional forums when ACA was being debated and shouted down their congresscriters. Now it wasn’t nice and they’re assholes, but it sure got media attention. OWS’s message, on the other hand, was that both sides suck. They got attention, mostly negative, but didn’t move an agenda forward.

  28. 28
    gogol's wife says:

    @InternetDragons:

    Great comment. I’m already doing some of this but will try to do more. And I’m sending this to friends. (No Facebook for me, I’m afraid!)

  29. 29

    @Baud: I’m just telling you that based on my experience that would turn a lot of people off.

  30. 30
    RepubAnon says:

    @Derelict: That’s the problem with a centralized, national organization: they don’t understand local problems. Plus, Debbie had a bad habit of not funding opponents of Republicans that she had a good working relationship with.

    I’d suggest that the DNC needs a leader who isn’t an elected official. Working 2 full-time jobs isn’t ideal.

  31. 31
    wmd says:

    Let’s try to keep establishment hands off on primary challenges – the party has an unfortunate tendency to reflexively support some candidates with bad policy ideas.

  32. 32
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    It’s an organization Baud. It doesn’t exist independently of its members. If the composition of the Democratic Party changes, the Party will change.

    Bring on the young’ins. They can have the existing organization. They can’t possibly do a worst job than my generation did. Trump is 70 years old. My daughter and daughter in law are disgusted by him. They think he’s some relic of the 1980’s. They will never, ever join an old white man Party. That leaves the Democrats. Just give the Party to them, lock stock and barrel.

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: There’s nothing we can do that won’t turn someone off.

    @Kay: I’m happy to give the party over to whoever can prove they can win with it.

  34. 34

    @Baud: if i thought it would net votes I wouldn’t have mentioned it. I think it would have a negative effect.

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: That’s fine. It’s not like I have a formula that’s guaranteed to work. I just don’t believe acting ashamed of our party presents a winning message. But I could be wrong.

  36. 36
    Derelict says:

    @RepubAnon: My one an only contact with DWS consisted of her screaming at me over the phone because a program we were trying to put together to recruit new teachers would have benefited new teachers and not the ones who were already teaching. Oy.

  37. 37
    Darkrose says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: This is an important thing to keep in mind when dealing with the media. The MSM has caved to the right wing because they’re loud and annoying. If we want to keep the pressure on them, we can’t just say, “the media sucks” and ignore them. We need to yell “YOU SUCK!” at them, loudly and often until they’ll do anything to get us to shut up.

    I’ve been thinking about ways to mobilize, to flood the New York Times every time they publish a story normalizing Trump and his neo-Nazi pals, to get folks on the left to call and write and threaten to drop subscriptions and contact advertisers and make sure they know why.

  38. 38
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Trump is the face of the Republican Party for the next 4 years. He’s a 1980’s throwback. Democrats can either let go and move forward or fight the same battles they fought in those years.

    Forward. Not back. I don’t even see that it’s a “choice” really. The institutions will or are now lining up with Trump. He’s the status quo. He’s all about nostalgia and what “we’ve lost”. That’s an opportunity for a really new idea and Democrats don’t have one. These new people will have one. I don’t want to re-assemble the old coalition, patch it up with duct tape and hope it runs in 2018. I want a new one. It collapsed. Maybe it was time for it to collapse. Maybe we’ll look back on this and say “Trump was the best thing that ever happened to liberals and Democrats because it forced them to innovate”. Not Bernie Sanders OR the Clintons. All new.

  39. 39

    @Baud: I agree. The constant apologies for being a Dem must stop. I actually surprise people a lot when I stand up for the party, Hillary, obama, it seems like the only democrat who gets respect around here is Jerry Brown.

    But that’s different from saying “remember, your default vote should be blue!” The groups who will feel that way already feel that way, like African American voters. LGBT voters too though that coalition is more than starting to crack/diversify. These groups have in common that they’re minorities under constant fire. The people who are meh on the Democratic Party aren’t minorities, at least not “that kind” of minority, and they’re resentful of the notion that theirs is an actual identity or interest group. They’re individuals, damn it! And this kind of appeal won’t work there and from my experience would actually turn some people off.

  40. 40

    @Derelict: It’s not that anyone doesn’t understand the importance of local races. The problem is that the institutional incentives don’t allow for spending time and money on local races. The DNC has money thanks national politicians. You want to tell a dues paying member in a tight race that you can’t help him because you spent the money on a school board race?

  41. 41
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Darkrose: When folk were protesting after the election and shutting down freeways, KO had a good suggestion: shut down Trump’s properties, don’t just disrupt stuff and piss off your allies.

  42. 42
    Suzanne says:

    @InternetDragons: This is helpful.

    One thing I just want to note is that, for a lot of the organizations we support, they are not looking for volunteers for like three hours a month or whatever. They need people who can make a bigger time commitment, in my experience. (For example, around here, Planned Parenthood doesn’t want volunteers for clinic escort, they want people to work booths and tables at events.) This has been challenging for me due to all the other obligations of life. So I just try to be a beacon of liberalness as much as possible. And I call my elected officials a lot and send money when I can. I volunteered to be a precinct committee-person, too.

  43. 43
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @karen marie: Does the RNC play such a role in that party? Genuine question.

  44. 44
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Kay:

    He’s a 1980’s1960’s throwback.

    Fixed it for ya.

  45. 45
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    One of two things is true. Trump is the harbinger of a new thing or Trump is a throwback hanging on to nostalgia and white people as the only people who matter in the United States.

    Let’s make the second option “true”. The best way to do that is to proceed as if it is true. We literally have nothing to lose. We can actually create a Democratic Party, because a Party is just the sum of its members. The sum of the GOP is Trump. That’s true. The sum of the Democratic Party is yet to be determined. They stuck us with chaos but chaos could create something new and great. The best part is we know what chaos gave them! Donald Trump. Christ almighty whatever we create will be better than this sleazebag.

  46. 46
    seanindc says:

    Then why don’t you run, Cole? So few bloggers willing to put their time/money where their mouth is…

  47. 47
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    But that’s different from saying “remember, your default vote should be blue!”

    I suppose it’s a question of tone. Everyone else in the world who is trying to market something gets to say “Buy my product” or “Support my cause” or “Vote for Proposition 1.” But somehow it’s insulting if Democrats say “Vote D”? That seems like its apologizing to me.

    Now we’ve probably both seen people go over the top (understandably because it’s so important), and the institutional party can’t do that. And we need to make the sale every election. But it also feels like we are being asked to reinvent the wheel every election rather than expanding our group of committed voters based on our long-term principles. I think that should change.

  48. 48
    Baud says:

    @Kay: I agree. But we thought we had done that after W. with the Obama coalition. But we didn’t.

  49. 49
    Kay says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Oh, no. They gave me a reasoned educated argument for why Donald Trump is the 1980’s. It was great. I was persuaded. To them the 1980’s are a backward time. It’s like the 1950’s to someone my age.

    I love talking to my daughter in law about him because she is wide-eyed with disgust. She finds him repellent. It’s the old man sex offender thing. It’s physical revulsion.

  50. 50
    Roger Moore says:

    @Thornton Hall:

    I think the value of “grass roots organizing” is overblown. Organizations form around leaders.

    Who do you think those leaders are? They’re not some special kind of person who’s different from you and me; they’re just people who put themselves forward to do stuff. Grassroots organizing is about finding and promoting those leaders so the supply doesn’t dry up.

  51. 51
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    That’s why it can’t center around a national leader. It has to be resilient. They have to lead it

    It’s the only way forward that makes sense to me. It has to be value-added. I won’t do it again if I get the old Democratic Party out of it. Time for something new and there’s no sense in them creating a national political Party from scratch. Trump seized the GOP with very little resistance. We can actively give them an opposition Party apparatus and structure.

  52. 52
    Derelict says:

    @Thornton Hall: Oh, I’m not saying to starve close-race candidates to fund local elections. Besides, the DNC was very reluctant to fund candidates in tight races. As I noted, they wouldn’t fund any race that was a guaranteed win.

    Which, when you think about it, is far more of a waste of money than funding some down-ticket tight race..

  53. 53

    @Baud: I don’t think we’re reinventing the wheel. We’re just saying, rather than vote for the Dem ticket! (which people do say already, it’s not a voice that’s lacking, I get them in the mail), is vote for me, and him and her and proposition Q, and remember that the opposing candidate wants to eat your babies. Which isn’t reinventing the wheel, it’s just fill in the blanks. Where we need work is having each of those things be good too, rather than relying on coattails. Which to a degree we got used to during the Obama years.

    (This isn’t a slag on Clinton. I voted for her in the primary and I had two job interviews with her campaign.) We’ve lost our farm team.

    Republicans are authoritarians, and they’re more likely to vote a straight ticket and march in lockstep. It’s just a reality.

    ETA: I also personally think principles are way overrated. They can get in the way of making good decisions. Guiding lights are good but so is critical thinking and a willingness to be wrong. That’s not an electoral goldmine, I’m just kind of personally allergic to strong principles. Interestingly, in some schools this is actually a set of strong liberal principles 😜

    No problem with the party going a principled way but this is why my responses might instinctively shy away from that.

  54. 54
    Roger Moore says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    plus most *actually* intrusive, business crushing regulations are municipal and state. SF has them by the bucket.

    They don’t seem to be doing a very good job of crushing those businesses, though; at the very least, SF doesn’t seem to lack for startups.

  55. 55
    Baud says:

    @Kay: I agree. The Trump people are old in body and mind and spirit. We need to be a youthful party now.

    Now how do we convince everyone else?

  56. 56
    divF says:

    @Major Major Major Major: But the reason the GOP wins consistently, particularly in the off years and down-ballot, is that, for them, “default = red”. The only way we have a chance of beating that is if we use that part of their approach, i.e. we have our internal fights at the primaries, but during the general, we fall in line.

  57. 57
    Elizabeth says:

    3.) The thing about organizing is it is exceptionally difficult when there is nothing to organize around. I started a grass roots group of fb for our area, got a lot of people in the group, we talked and talked, and then we did jack shit. Why? There were no candidates to support, no useful county organization, and so forth.

    Why the hell didn’t any of you run? That is what drives me nuts about organizers-stop demanding someone else step up. DO IT YOURSELF.

    I did. No one asked me to run for office. I just looked around, got mad at a local politician for a stupid position he took and said “we can win this” and ran.

    You don’t need permission. You don’t need to be asked, you just need to get out there with a pair of good quality sneakers and talk to people. (Okay, I am simplifying a lot but it is literally what my old town did and guess what? They are blue as blue.)

    Someone DID suggest the office I won but I didn’t actually get asked beyond “hey, lets run for these positions together” If you have fifty people in a group, you have five people who can run for offices-school board, city council, state rep, state senate, and board of supervisors/county judge. Bam. Do it.

  58. 58
    Mary G says:

    Can we put in a new category of “Election 17-18”?

  59. 59

    @Roger Moore: Twitter literally had them carve a hole in laws around Twitter or else they’d put HQ somewhere else. I know several small business owners who are expanding to other cities in SV because SF regulations around e.g. spas and salons are absurd. And California is already notorious for stupid spa/salon laws in the first place.

    ETA: startups are also mostly c-corps and s-corps full of contractors.

  60. 60
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Baud: Young people need work and want to do meaningful things, I hear. Get some billionaire philanthropist to set up a fund paying young liberals to think and organize, with the promise of not interfering.

  61. 61

    @Roger Moore: If grass roots organizing is about finding candidates then I’m all for it, I guess. Tammy Duckworth, for instance, was identified by Rahm Emmanuel who put her up to run for Henry Hyde’s old seat.

    I tend to think of grass roots organizing as what hippies do. Occupy, etc. Creating a “movement.”

    Maybe some historian has described how the grassroots create candidates?

  62. 62
    Darkrose says:

    @Suzanne: Good point. I just tried to sign up to volunteer for the International Rescue Committee. It’s an actual application, like applying for a job, with references. It makes perfect sense, but it’s more than I can do right now.

  63. 63
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I guess what I’m trying to say is that the Dems can’t be all things to all people, so we need to convince enough people to buy into our system as a collective good, even if we can’t deliver ponies for everyone.

    Despite our supposed collectivist political philosophy, I feel we encourage a “what’s in it for me” approach to voting.

  64. 64
    divF says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Get some billionaire philanthropist to set up a fund paying young liberals to think and organize, with the promise of not interfering.

    QFT. This is the one thing that right does much better than we do, which is to fund the grass-roots. Maybe the prospect of four years of Trump will get Warren Buffett to decide that his fortune should be used to bulwark democracy in the U.S.

  65. 65
    Betty Cracker says:

    Trump is rage-tweeting about how he totally could have won the popular vote:

    Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 16m
    16 minutes ago

    In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally

    Jesus, what a narcissistic baby. And we’re supposed to make nice with the people who voted for that asshole? Fuck that. Organizing the non-assholes is the only sane response.

  66. 66
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Thornton Hall: And of course the cultivation of Duckworth (over Cegelis, IIRC) was one of the primal scenes that led to online liberals’ hatred of Rahm.

  67. 67

    @Betty Cracker: millions of people who voted illegally? Isn’t that… kind of a dangerous thing for a president to say?

  68. 68
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Betty Cracker: Oh my God, that’s idiotic. MILLIONS of fraudulent voters? Fuck him in one orifice and out something that wasn’t an orifice before.

  69. 69
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker: Why won’t Dems accept the election results? /CNN.

  70. 70
    gogol's wife says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I wake up every morning sick to my stomach that 60+ million of people I share a country with thought it was a good idea to vote for that piece of s–t. It’s a permanent stain on the name of the United States of America that the phrase “President Trump” has to be in the lexicon at all. I cannot get over it — and I can’t face the coming years. I’m in despair.

  71. 71
    Narcissus87 says:

    Speaking as a campaign organizer, existing Democratic Committees were fucking USELESS.

    Several members even questioned the point of making phone calls at all, instead arguing for road signs. The same people actively refused to knock on doors, preferring to “talk to their neighbors” instead.

    This was not an isolated incident – in 2016 every organizer I know had to basically build up near everything from scratch, ignoring whatever piddly ass local groups there were.

    The sense of entitlement was huge.

  72. 72
    gogol's wife says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Maybe he’s scared something’s going to come of this?

    Or maybe he’s just a thin-skinned asshole. You decide.

  73. 73
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @seanindc: Cole run? You must be new here.

  74. 74
    Joyce Harmon says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    When folk were protesting after the election and shutting down freeways, KO had a good suggestion: shut down Trump’s properties, don’t just disrupt stuff and piss off your allies.

    I think I agree with this. One thing that has most dismayed me about the outcome of the election is the way the rich and powerful are swarming into Trump properties to get on the good side of the Big Guy. He’s going to make a FORTUNE off of being President, and that would surely be an incentive for the next demagogue to come along – and the next guy might actually know some things and not have the attention span of a flea.

    But if staying at Trump properties becomes unpleasant due to ongoing protests, that would make the rich influence peddlers less willing to stay there, thus costing Trump money and discouraging future demagogues. Another benefit is that the bleeding of money from Trump Org would infuriate Trump and distract him from whatever moronic notions he has to “make America great again”, bring on the Twitter storms that make him look like an intemperate idiot (which is what he is), and maybe even bring on the complete mental breakdown that we all KNOW is coming early enough that he won’t have time to do so much damage.

  75. 75
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Kay: Have your kids watched “Mad Men”?

    ETA: I can see the 80’s “Greed is good” part, but the “fuck Political Correctness” is a 60’s throwback.

  76. 76

    @Baud: yeah, I don’t know. I think it’s a somewhat accurate caricature of how our voters think. Again, republicans are authoritarians so they fall in line when they’re done asking for ponies–their priorities are in the backlog somewhere. Why, the evangelicals just got president Pence out of this. Democrats are more capital-R Romantics. It’s a struggle as old as time. Hopefully this one doesn’t end like Prussia.

    ETA: I’m on my phone obviously.

  77. 77
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @gogol’s wife: I was just saying to my wife that I somehow have more respect for the people who voted for him with full knowledge of his evident unfitness, because they wanted Hillary Clinton not to be president THAT MUCH, than I do for the people who actually think he’ll do anything positive. He’s so OBVIOUSLY the nightmare boss we’ve all had. Big mouth, bad temper, thinks he’s a genius, terrorizes the employees… we know that guy. We hate that guy. SMH

  78. 78

    @FlipYrWhig: I know. I was basically trolling with that one.

  79. 79
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud:

    We need to be a youthful party now.

    Never mind me, I’ll be off on my ice floe.

  80. 80
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: I think it’s more 80s raunch. Like Howard Stern and Porky’s.

  81. 81
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: If it were easy, we would have fixed it by now.

  82. 82
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Thornton Hall: I been trolled!

  83. 83

    @Baud: what does an economist do when he sees a hundred dollar bill on the ground?

  84. 84
    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally

    This is the kind of crap that you would expect to see coming from the fearless leader of North Korea or some other whack job authorittarian country.

    Why is this man still tweeting?

    @gogol’s wife:

    I cannot get over it — and I can’t face the coming years. I’m in despair.

    I know what you mean. This seems like some kind of weird joke. “American voters did what?”

  85. 85
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Not only that, it’s a deeply stupid thing for someone who is trying to discourage recounts to say. I’m envisioning Ivanka and Kellyanne on either side of Trump, each struggling to restrain a tiny thumb…

  86. 86
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    That’s the face of the GOP right there for the next 4 years. I guarantee someone can capitalize on that :)

    The more he talks the more optimistic I become. This is one pig no amount of lipstick will cure.

    We could conceivably replace the whole stinking, corrupt mess. Beat Trump and we also beat every institution that failed us. Cable news could go too! Think of the magnitude of the opportunity we’ve been given here. The upside of throwing caution to the wind is HUGE and we;ve already taken most of the downside :)

    This is actually what I think, BTW. I may be a delusional optimist but when you’re beaten this badly you can’t afford NOT to take a risk!

  87. 87
    aimai says:

    I’m taking a class in community organizing right now–in my social work school–it takes actually getting organized around something small, local, and specific. What you want–great things–results from these first small things. At the local level people are concerned about trash, abandoned buildings, schools, drug abuse/opiod epidemic, abandoned animals–things like that. Get two people together and then get ten and pretty soon you have a movement. Once you “win” one thing–forcing it on to the city council agenda, getting funding, starting a community organization you can roll on to bigger and more complex things. You can’t organize a community, or organize to fix a national program, just with people who sign up online or that you know who seem interested in being angry. You can only do it by creating a cadre of like minded and experienced individual used to turning to each other for help.

    I can’t think of anyone better than John Cole, for example, to begin by organizing around pet issues and end up organizing around climate change or local political issues.

  88. 88

    @Betty Cracker: another thing recounts won’t help with, by the way.

    What do people think a recount entails exactly?

  89. 89

    @Kay: We need to start talking up a new conventional wisdom: nothing on television is “news” and the medium is incapable of producing news without losing money.

  90. 90
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Speaking as a lapsed economist, I pick it up.

  91. 91
    liberal says:

    @divF: the resson is the right has a lot more money.

    I’ll wager “we” aren’t going to see a dime of Buffetts fortune.

  92. 92

    @BillinGlendaleCA: did they run you out of Chicago on a rail so hard you ended up in Glendale?

  93. 93
    gene108 says:

    @JDM:

    One thing the rightwing did several decades ago is make a push for people to run for local office. School boards for instance. Lots of things that can be done there, both good and bad. Not only could they do that, they had people in the pipeline to run for wider office or work with people who did.

    It was not mainstream Republicans running for office, which changed things, back in the 1980’s, but the Fundies getting into local politics in a big way.

    But unlike the Fundies, who had a central organization behind them – their church – liberals have no ready to tap into organizations.

    What Jerry Falwell, Paul Weyrich, and others realized is you have millions of people, every Sunday, who gather to be lectured to about good and evil. Round up the priests and tell them, this is now what good and evil are, such as abortion is evil, taxes are evil, collective action to build schools is evil and so on and the people, who oppose abortion, high taxes, etc are good.

    And you now have a ready to roll legion of right-wing foot soldiers to get behind school board candidates, town council candidates, etc.

    I do not know where liberals and Democrats have that sort of central go-to place to get people’s attention.

  94. 94
    liberal says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Duckworth isn’t very good. 85% rating, froma blue state. That’s pathetic.

  95. 95
    Brachiator says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    He’s so OBVIOUSLY the nightmare boss we’ve all had. Big mouth, bad temper, thinks he’s a genius, terrorizes the employees… we know that guy. We hate that guy.

    I’ve only had one boss who was a total incompetent, and he was ultimately displaced after totally antagonizing the staff.

  96. 96
    divF says:

    @liberal: As it stands, you are correct – his plan is to fold his fortune into the Gates Foundation.

  97. 97
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Heh, I was born here*; but I did go to two “Chicago Schools”.

    *Actually over the hill in Hollywood.

  98. 98

    @gene108: another thing wrought by the death of labor. If you subtract that, of course we have a fractured coalition.

  99. 99
    aimai says:

    @Baud: But we didn’t lose. None of the crap people are complaining about is true–Republican voters exist and came out to vote. You can’t stop that with better organizing or even supposedly better candidates at the local level if the reaction is swift and punitive from the other side. Our voters turned out to vote in record numbers for HRC. They recognized that she was a great candidate who would have made a great president. It just so happens that white republican voters didn’t want a democrat–any democrat–in the white house any longer. The truth is that the democrats were hoping that some/most of those voters would stay home. Not that they would swing to hillary but that they would stay home. And there really isn’t any particular strategy that would have brought them over to Hillary given the decades long war on all persons democratic. Does anyone seriously think that Comey and the russians wouldn’t have dreamed up some way of attacking Bernie and his voters just as easily as Hillary?

    People have this stupid need to find a kind of “just world” explanation for the election. Its not a just world and the race is not always to the swift, nor justice to the just. If democratic voters stop being sometimes/maybe/if I feel like it voters (like Hernandez in the article) that will be great. But there’s no need to throw the entire democratic party out with the bathwater–the republicans didn’t throw their party overboard when they lost twice to Obama and they have now captured all three branches of government. The kind of permanent Democratic war on democrats is why we lost. I wish people would just shut the fuck up and show some god damned loyalty to the people who have fought to get into power to do some good, and who got shut down/shut out by the god damned russians/fbi and the republican party.

  100. 100
    Kay says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    They think the 1980’s were regressive for women. That 1980’s style attitudes towards women are olde-timey.

    Think of things like assigning women numbers – “she’s a ten!” They think that’s archaic and repulsive, but in a pathetic way, like old- man- in- a- bar way or dumb younger man. They’re not “offended”- they think it’s from another, worse, time.

    It’s really interesting. To see it as priggish “political correcteness”- my feeelings- is to not get how tough and hard-headed they are. They aren’t fooling around. This isn’t about “hurt feelings”- it’s about paychecks and careers and autonomy and dignity. I don’t think you can send those women back to days they consider thankfully behind them.

  101. 101
    Roger Moore says:

    @Thornton Hall:
    Grassroots is just about doing stuff from the ground up rather than from the top down, but that’s how real organizations tend to grow.

  102. 102
    Suzanne says:

    @aimai: I think his is what I find most frustrating as a non-professional in this arena. I have some time to give, and some skills. And I understand the importance of volunteering for community service things, like to the food bank, children’s charities, etc., and I do some of that. But I am specifically wanting to give most of my efforts and energies to forwarding the left-wing agenda. I will not be running for office, as I can’t dedicate myself to it, not to mention have you seen my Facebook page holy shit. Since I can’t lead myself, I am looking for someone to support, and it just isn’t there.

  103. 103

    @aimai: I think I agree with this entirely!

  104. 104
    James Powell says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I think I’m where you are. I’m pretty sure I understand it, I’ve read the credible explanations, I get that HRC was not the charismatic figure that Obama or Bill Clinton were, I get it I get it I get it. But that people took all factors into consideration and decided that they wanted president Trump. It means that I have nothing in common with them. That our worldviews are so at odds that we have nothing to talk about.

  105. 105
    Kay says:

    @aimai:

    the republicans didn’t throw their party overboard when they lost twice to Obama and they have now captured all three branches of government.

    They sort of did, though, aimai. Donald Trump took it and they let him. The GOP is Trump now. The one and only question is what the Democratic Party will be.

    That’s a fucking gift. GOP = Trump, Democrats = ?. Take the one advantage we got out of this and create something new. It will happen anyway. The only question is whether it’s a positive new thing or a negative new thing. Republicans already have the negative new thing. Their battle is decided- Trump won. Let’s take that and make something great ourselves.

  106. 106
    Jeffro says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Jesus, what a narcissistic baby. And we’re supposed to make nice with the people who voted for that asshole? Fuck that. Organizing the non-assholes is the only sane response.

    Just more fodder for the Electors to consider, in my book ;)

  107. 107

    @Suzanne: I feel like the existence of Rahm and the millennial generation suggest that saying brash things in public or on Facebook aren’t super disqualifying, especially once the millennials get older and become more visible as political officials.

  108. 108
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @aimai:

    the republicans didn’t throw their party overboard when they lost twice to Obama and they have now captured all three branches of government.

    No, they were just co-opted by the Tea Party folk.

  109. 109

    @Betty Cracker: This write up of Trumps Recount Tweets at the Washington Post is actually an excellent example of how Trump might cause the media to abandon the “view from nowhere” version of objectivity and start telling the actual truth. This is the best possible consequence of Trump and very encouraging.

  110. 110
    Jeffro says:

    @Kay:

    Take the one advantage we got out of this and create something new. It will happen anyway. The only question is whether it’s a positive new thing or a negative new thing. Republicans already have the negative new thing. Their battle is decided- Trump won. Let’s take that and make something great ourselves.

    Agreed, in the sense that we need a new commitment to the 50-state, every-race strategy; major new voter outreach/registration/ID help; and some new and inspiring fresh faces. But I’m 110% ok with everything the current Democratic party stands for, position-wise.

  111. 111

    @James Powell:

    But that people took all factors into consideration and decided that they wanted president Trump. It means that I have nothing in common with them. That our worldviews are so at odds that we have nothing to talk about.

    Most people don’t actually sit down and consider factors when they vote; you do; this already means that your world views are at odds.

  112. 112
    gene108 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Also, too, if anyone doesn’t believe me, Google “the precinct project.” The Tea Partiers set it up in 2008 and, by 2010, they were getting their preferred candidates to run for every office imaginable.

    There are pages we need to take from the Republicans’ book, but they’re not the ones about lying to people and promising bullshit. They’re the pages about getting involved and taking control of the party.

    The Taxed Enough Already Party had a lot of Koch Brother billions behind it, when they held their first anti-tax/anti-Obama rallies on April, 15 2009.

    They got 24/7 coverage, of what were modestly attended rallies, by Fox News and then the other news networks.

    There are reasons this shit is hard to replicate from the Left.

    I just do not know, who has the time and money to invest.

    Also, local city-wide elected officials get killed, if they raise taxes come re-election time. Trying to run on a 3% property tax increase that helped build 5 more parks in the town is a tough sell, versus “I will cut your taxes, unlike Joe Schmoe, who raised them”.

    Sorry for being so down, but organizing from the Left is going to take a lot more work than organizing from the Right, because the Left does not have strong central institutions and I think many on the Left are adverse to strong central institutions, such as churches.

  113. 113
    Kathleen says:

    FYI – Just got this in email from Ohio Democratic Party:

    We can’t wait for 2017 to start organizing to stop the Trump-Ryan agenda in D.C. Ohio Democrats are gearing up to fight for the future of our country and our state — and we need your help to win this fight.
    Dem Activation Meetingsr
    CLICK HERE TO RSVP AND SAY “YES WE CAN” STOP TRUMP.
    When you RSVP, you will receive a call from an Ohio Democratic Party staff member with additional information, including date, time and location. These CAN meetings are the perfect way for you to get involved if you’re a first-time volunteer or a long-time grassroots activist. You will come out of these meetings with concrete action items that will make a real difference on the ground.
    I have always liked David Pepper, though he ran an absolutely horrible campaign for Attorney General in 2014. Since up until now I’ve not paid much attention to Ohio Dem Party, I’d love to hear from BellaQ, Kay, Debbie, Donnah or any other Ohio folks who know more about the organization.

  114. 114
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Jeffro: The electors in the states that Trump won are HIS PEOPLE, they’re true believers; expecting a different result from the electors(as the founders intended) is a waste of time and effort.

  115. 115
    Baud says:

    @aimai:

    Our voters turned out to vote in record numbers for HRC.

    Huh? I thought turnout was down.

  116. 116
    Jeffro says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Not only that, it’s a deeply stupid thing for someone who is trying to discourage recounts to say.

    Many, many folks on Twitter are agreeing with you on this, to the effect of, “Donald, help us root out this illegal voting once and for all by exposing it…with a recount and an audit. Make them pay for trying to rig it against you!”

    LOL

  117. 117
    gogol's wife says:

    @James Powell:

    Yep. Nothing. And for all our complaining about the MSM — all the information was out there for anyone to see and hear. A reasonably sentient person could distinguish between Hillary’s e-mails and Trump’s manifest unfitness on a million fronts. They just decided to ignore all that and either vote for him or not vote. As I said earlier today, it’s as if the American people were shown Nixon with all he did in Watergate, etc., and then elected him.

  118. 118
    Kay says:

    Step One- Make Donald Trump = GOP

    * Republicans did that for us

    Step Two- Make something great and new out of the Democratic Party

    Their change happened by accident and now they’re stuck with it. Ours could be deliberate.

  119. 119
    Libby's Person says:

    Check out YouCanVote.org in Durham NC. This voter registration/education org is what several of my friends started working on after the ’12 election (and that I volunteered lots of them with this year). It has been very effective in this deep blue county; when (not if!!!) Cooper becomes Governor, YCV can justifiably claim a big chunk of credit. It’s a model that is easily adaptable to other places; we have data showing the effectiveness of the approach for turning out new voters and those that don’t regularly vote, especially in states with active voter suppression efforts.

  120. 120
    Inmourning says:

    I am in despair, too. As for my ice floe, I don’t think there will be any ice floes when my time comes because the Arctic is melting. I like the idea of young people taking over the reins, but I hope they will find some leaders, and not insist on a rudderless movement, per Occupy.

  121. 121
  122. 122
    liberal says:

    @gene108: great comment.

  123. 123
    Jeffro says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    The electors in the states that Trump won are HIS PEOPLE, they’re true believers, expecting a different result from the electors(as the founders intended) is a waste of time and effort.

    I hear you, but a) let’s see what continues to come out about Russia’s involvement and possible other fraud here, and b) let’s see how Trump continues to melt down these next few weeks. It’s a free shot, there’s nothing to lose by hoping for – and possibly working towards – a better result here.

    I’ll add that at least half of Trump support is simply anti-Hillary mania/brainwashing. There is a way for that to be taken out of the equation. As I mentioned to Corner Stone in an earlier thread, more on that tomorrow!

  124. 124
    Kay says:

    @Kathleen:

    I like David Pepper too. There’s a lot of resentment in the Ohio Democratic Party about the “status quo” leaders and has been since at least 2008. Pepper agrees with me on the need for change but not pining away for FDR or whatever. Just be open to something new. That’s all I’m asking. Don’t prescribe. Stay open.

    I worked hard for Clinton but it’s time now to drop defensiveness and look toward something. That’s also true for Bernie Sanders. The wave of the future is not Bernie Sanders, and it isn’t Howard Dean. Just don’t decide yet. Don’t dig in. Become comfortable with uncertainty :)

  125. 125
    Elizabeth says:

    @gene108:
    So start a long term project where we have candidates primarying the anti-taxers while our guys don’t have the same problem.

    The Republicans rat fuck us all the time. Payback is more than necessary at this time.

  126. 126
    liberal says:

    @gogol’s wife: lots of people just aren’t bright enough to draw distinctions like that, even if they’re obvious to you and me.

  127. 127
    Joyce Harmon says:

    @Inmourning:

    I am in despair, too. As for my ice floe, I don’t think there will be any ice floes when my time comes because the Arctic is melting. I like the idea of young people taking over the reins, but I hope they will find some leaders, and not insist on a rudderless movement, per Occupy.

    No ice floe for me. These Kids are going to need the shamans and wise women…

  128. 128
    Elizabeth says:

    @Kay: Outside of wanting something new, just exactly what is wrong with Howard Dean?

    He successfully lead the party through two election cycles and helped get the black guy elected. Why is that bad?

  129. 129
    maurinsky says:

    I can’t get too involved in party politics because of my job – we are a nonpartisan quasi-government agency that gets fairly significant federal funds, which means all employees are subject to the Hatch Act. I need to look at it again to see what I can and cannot do. I know I can’t run for office, we had an elected official in our Transportation Department and she had to give up her seat on her town council, but there may be other things I can do. We have been broadly discouraged from getting too involved in elections, though.

  130. 130

    @Elizabeth: he’s got establishment cooties. (Yes, that’s ridiculous on so many levels especially coming from the same people who’ve been holding up the 50-state strategy and using it as a shibboleth for the past eight years.)

  131. 131
    Kay says:

    @Jeffro:

    But I’m 110% ok with everything the current Democratic party stands for, position-wise.

    Okay, but remember political parties consist of political party members. There is no “Democratic Party” separate and apart from “Democrats”. This is how Republicans ended up as the Party of Trump. They insisted their base were just like them. They weren’t. Republicans are the Party of Donald Trump because that’s where Republican voters are. They dragged the Party kicking and screaming to a chaotic and unprincipled leader who took over that Party and now owns every inch of it. We don’t have to do that. We can deliberately and thoughtfully renew this Party.

  132. 132
    gene108 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    another thing wrought by the death of labor. If you subtract that, of course we have a fractured coalition.

    The Democratic coalition fractured in the 60’s. And stayed fractured until Obama. I think one thing that occurred during the last 8 years is Democrats are finding their center again.

    From the 1960’s onwards, and from what I saw growing up in the 1980’s and 1990’s, you had state and local Democrats, who did not want to identify with the national Democratic platform. They would run as Democrats, and be somewhat reliable votes on things, but they would not and could not openly get behind some Democratic priorities.

    But the Democrats really did come out as unified, this year, in their views on criminal justice, gay rights, etc. and on the need to regulate Wall Street, protect the environment, and invest in new technology to try and bring jobs back to rural America.

    The problem on the local level is how is the lady in the OP article going to get people to knock on doors for her?

    I think, when the Fundies started running they had some kind of organization behind them.

  133. 133
    wmd says:

    @Baud: Turnout was indeed down.

    @Kay:

    The wave of the future is undetermined. The engagement with groups that historically did not vote in primaries (Democratic or Republican) is one thing that we should think about. Those voters may have avoided the general election when their preferred nominee wasn’t on the ballot, but they can be motivated to vote. They may still be engaged and willing to move the Democratic party to something that wins at all levels.

    This was a change year. How the parties take that remains to be seen.

  134. 134

    @gene108:

    But the Democrats really did come out as unified, this year, in their views on criminal justice, gay rights, etc. and on the need to regulate Wall Street, protect the environment, and invest in new technology to try and bring jobs back to rural America.

    Yeah, and now a big chunk of the party thinks we should cut it out with everything but the very last part.

    ETA: or at least a very loud part who had an op-ed about it written in advance of the election and keeps getting invited on Sunday shows.

  135. 135
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @gene108:

    local city-wide elected officials get killed, if they raise taxes come re-election time. Trying to run on a 3% property tax increase that helped build 5 more parks in the town is a tough sell, versus “I will cut your taxes, unlike Joe Schmoe, who raised them”.

    Here in California, home of the tax revolution(1978), this appears to be changing. The measures on the June ballot that reduced taxes failed and those that raised taxes passed, pretty much across the board. People here have figured out that if they want nice things(libraries, music and arts in schools, etc) they have to pay for them.

  136. 136
    Kay says:

    @Elizabeth:

    2006 was a wave year for Democrats and Obama elected himself. I think Dean is over-rated and too much a part of the early aughts “netroots”. Just move on. Don’t try to recapture 2006 or 08. If you like the 50 state strategy, fine but you don’t need Howard Dean for that. He’s not especially talented. He’s not good enough for the challenge we face, frankly.

    We have an opportunity here. Take the whole thing. Start fresh.

  137. 137
    Kay says:

    @wmd:

    How the parties take that remains to be seen.

    I disagree. We already know how the Republican Party will “take that”. They’re stuck with Trump. We’re not. We’re wide open. That’s an advantage.

  138. 138
    Doug R says:

    Sessions ran unopposed in a district that went for Hillary Clinton about 60%.
    Run someone in EVERY seat.

  139. 139
    Brachiator says:

    @aimai:

    Our voters turned out to vote in record numbers for HRC.

    But you need some of “their” voters, too. And people who are independent and noncommitted. This lesson still has not been learned.

    It just so happens that white republican voters didn’t want a democrat–any democrat–in the white house any longer.

    They didn’t want most Republicans either. The GOP primary saw all the old flavor of Republican go down to defeat. Sadly, the Democrats only had a flawed but popular Sanders to counter this clear anti-establishment sentiment.

    It was delusional of anyone to think that Republican voters would stay home. The enthusiasm for Trump came through the flawed polling, which overcounted “likely voters” at the expense of people who had not voted in years, but who clearly wanted Trump.

    And it is just not true that nothing would have brought some of these voters over to the Democratic side. Rather, the problem was with previous Democratic voters who abandoned the party.

    Does anyone seriously think that Comey and the russians wouldn’t have dreamed up some way of attacking Bernie and his voters just as easily as Hillary?

    I can’t think of anything that Comey could possibly have trumped up on Sanders. Nothing. We’ll never know whether the Russians or teams of Macedonian teens would have been able to burn Bernie.

    And the Republicans did, in effect, throw the entire GOP out with the bathwater. The insistence that Trump is just another Republican doesn’t wash; he clearly bent them to his will, and may have broken the Bush family along the way. If the never reliable Trump surrogates are to be believed, there is strong pushback against giving a mainstream Republican like Romney any position in the cabinet.

    The kind of permanent Democratic war on democrats is why we lost.

    No, we lost because Republicans, especially in rural districts, voted for Trump. The election was not a direct judgment on the party.

    I wish people would just shut the fuck up and show some god damned loyalty to the people who have fought to get into power to do some good

    Voters and citizens don’t belong to the party. I don’t think that the Democrats are ready for the scrap heap of history, but I also do not believe in blind loyalty.

    The Democrats have their work cut out for them, and they absolutely must do better in the midterms if they hope to counter any of the damage that the GOP is about to cause.

  140. 140
    Kay says:

    My friend Ann had a good idea for Medicare. Young people don’t know anything about it. She suggested selling Medicare to young voters as a new thing. It’s new to them. We can call it “single payer for over 65” :)

    We could call Social Security “guaranteed income for over 67” :)

    Start over.

  141. 141
    gogol's wife says:

    A friend of mine here in Connecticut said that when he was at the polls there were a lot of people who had clearly never voted in their lives and got mad when told they couldn’t wear their MAGA hats inside the polling place.

  142. 142
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @aimai: Thank you.

  143. 143
    Kay says:

    Maggie Haberman ‏@maggieNYT 5h5 hours ago
    Rubio says foreign interference in US election should be subject of congressional inquiry

    Guffaw. Media’s faith in institutions is complete. They’re really the most conventional people on the face of the planet.

    Supremely confident that Order Will Prevail. Too bad no one in the public believes this.

    Marco Rubio will hold the line against Trumpism! Fat fucking chance. Trump beat Little Marco way back in March.

  144. 144
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Suzanne:

    Since I can’t lead myself, I am looking for someone to support, and it just isn’t there.

    One thing you (and others) can do RIGHT NOW, for as much or as little time as you have to give, is phone bank for Foster Campbell in Louisiana. Here’s the link to the virtual phone bank, complete with calling script.

  145. 145
    Elizabeth says:

    @Kay:

    You have literally nothing except “oh well 2006 was a wave year.”

    Who do you think recruited the candidates for that? It wasn’t Rahm, I can tell you that. I know because I was called by the DNC from having known some of the Dean people he brought into the DNC about who should run for the seat I contested in 2004. I told them three names, they polled all three and recruited one of them to run. He won that seat because of Dean starting the ball rolling.

    I wasn’t called by the DTrip because they could give a rat’s ass about anyone else’s opinions. Dean, on the other hand, was very much “let’s work the contacts we have.” And it worked.

    So it needs to be more than “oh we need new blood.” We need to be ready and able for 2018 if there are still elections with candidates and Dean gets that. Harrison is the only other one who seems to actually understand what you need to do to be ready.

  146. 146
    Doug R says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: I don’t think Occupy was a failure, it helped keep Obama in the White House.

  147. 147
    John Cole says:

    @seanindc:

    Then why don’t you run, Cole? So few bloggers willing to put their time/money where their mouth is…

    I have a number of reasons, if you would like to know them, email me.

  148. 148
    divF says:

    @Kay:

    We have an opportunity here. Take the whole thing. Start fresh.

    This sounds awfully naive – it is the political equivalent of blowing up a large chunk of the economy and starting from scratch, which doesn’t work. The Dems turned out 64+M voters in this election, has major constituencies that are energised and have built trust relations with each other. You don’t throw all that away, because it will take too long a time to rebuild it. Instead you address the failings with incremental changes, i.e. leaves as much of the useful stuff intact as possible.

    A major change that you have correctly focused on is what is called in other organizations “the succession problem”: how to transfer leadership and power to a new generation that may well want to do things differently, while still providing organizational continuity and mentoring. This takes a degree of subtlety on the part of the older generation – to let go of power, while still remaining engaged as mentors.

    Second, we have to solve the money problem. The right-wing has us out-gunned and, by using the evangelical churches, out-organized. I think that it is a shame that Buffett and Gates are swinging for the fences with big-think global initiatives in health, which won’t have any staying power unless we can survive AGW. But we need to find some combination of deep pockets and crowd-funding to counter the RW money machine.

    ETA: A third piece of the puzzle is media. How do we stand something that wil get our message out over the MSM / RWNJ noise machine ?

  149. 149
    Roger Moore says:

    @Jeffro:
    While one part of me likes the idea of faithless electors giving us President Hillary instead of President Trump, another part of me thinks it would be almost as bad as the disease it’s supposedly trying to cure. Mass defections of electors would severely damage the legitimacy of the election and of the electoral process. Hillary would start her term severely damaged and facing a hostile Congress, and she might have a hard time surviving. I suppose we might be able to seize on that and try to reform the process to a national popular vote, but it would still be a huge mess.

    Also, too, the whole idea that faithless electors would give us Hillary is probably wrong in the first place. If I were a Republican elector who didn’t want to give Trump my vote because I questioned something about his election, I would probably vote for Pence instead. If enough electors did that to deny Trump the majority, the whole thing would get tossed to Congress, who would probably wind up picking Pence. Even if they picked Hillary instead of Trump for some reason, there would be no reason to give their VP votes to Kaine instead of Pence, so we might well wind up with a hostile president and VP.

  150. 150
    Brachiator says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Here in California, home of the tax revolution(1978), this appears to be changing. The measures on the June ballot that reduced taxes failed and those that raised taxes passed, pretty much across the board. People here have figured out that if they want nice things(libraries, music and arts in schools, etc) they have to pay for them.

    There are also a couple of close contests of interest. Darrell Issa is still maintaining a slim lead for his House seat.

    In the California state senate, Republican Ling Ling Chang has 49.7% with some votes still to count. If she loses, the California Democrats will have a 2/3 majoriity in both houses.

    Final results will be certified by December 16.

  151. 151

    @John Cole: all caps, right?

    @Doug R: occupy was a missed opportunity, just like black lives matter will be if they don’t start taking the advice of folks like John Lewis.

  152. 152
    gene108 says:

    @InternetDragons:

    Excellent comment

  153. 153
    TriassicSands says:

    @InternetDragons:

    Unfortunately, the midterms don’t look great for us (if anyone feels I am wrong about that, then solid evidence to the contrary is welcome).

    Structurally the midterms look bad. But they are two years away and that is a long time in Trumpland. I have no idea what will happen with Trump as president. He seems determined to use the presidency to enrich himself and his family. What he does specifically, how it is covered in the media, and how the people respond to it could have considerable bearing on the midterms.

  154. 154
    Elizabeth says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I think that is primarily it. Or maybe wanting the other white dude from Vermont to get to run things despite his lack of a record of doing fuck all for anyone ever and really poor record of party building.

  155. 155
    Doug R says:

    @Kay:It didn’t collapse, Hillary got MORE votes than any white guy in HISTORY.

  156. 156
    E says:

    I became involved in my small-town politics two years ago. This year, I was elected Mayor. I am now the Mayor of the town I live in. It ain’t much, but it is something. I urge all of you, do it in whatever capacity you can. If that means getting on the City Park commission, do that. If all it means is going to your County Supervisor’s meetings and speaking out, do that. But do something.

  157. 157
    Kay says:

    1. We are undergoing several nested transformations at once that are causing incredible disruptions of the economic social & political order

    I accept this and I would like the Democratic Party to accept it too.

    It calls for something new. That can be chaotic and stupid and regressive (Trump) or it can be thoughtful and great and exciting and hopeful. Your choice. What it can’t be is what WAS. You can’t have that. Sorry. No more patching. New approach.

  158. 158
    Elizabeth says:

    @E: I am probably going to apply for some of the various boards. Get more involved. I don’t know where I will find time but I am sure I can figure out something.

  159. 159
    gene108 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    If Democrats decide to roll back on issues like gay rights and criminal justice reform, you will end up breaking the party.

    The problem Democrats have is they are not able to clearly define themselves. Part of it is trying to be a truly big tent creates a lot of different groups, who have different agendas.

    Staying United on the social justice issues is a step in actually defining that Democrats stand for something.

  160. 160
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @seanindc, @John Cole:

    I have a number of reasons, if you would like to know them, email me.

    Preferably in all caps.

  161. 161
    Roger Moore says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:
    I think the resistance to taxes has always been overblown. People aren’t opposed to taxes so much as they are worried about how the tax money will be spent. You can usually convince people to vote for tax increases provided the goal is one they like and there are reasonable guarantees the money will be spent as promised. Even the people who are most vigorously anti-tax tend to be that way because they don’t like government spending priorities and/or accountability, not because they don’t understand the connection between taxes and spending.

  162. 162

    @gene108: to be clear, I agree with you.

  163. 163
    Kristine says:

    @Kay:

    I love talking to my daughter in law about him because she is wide-eyed with disgust. She finds him repellent. It’s the old man sex offender thing. It’s physical revulsion.

    I’m 58 and I feel the same way. He’s every dirty old man who ever asked me if I understood the French lyrics in “Lady Marmalade.”

  164. 164
    Doug R says:

    @gene108: In a lot of communities, it’s also called church. It’s a common tradition among a lot of black churches to head to the polls right after Sunday service.
    Which is why one of the first voting restrictions is limited early weekend voting.

  165. 165

    @Doug R: that and poor people vote on weekends because they have to work on Tuesdays.

  166. 166
    KS in MA says:

    @gene108:

    “Staying United on the social justice issues is a step in actually defining that Democrats stand for something.”

    Totally agree. One thing we should do, at least on the state/national level, is very vocally reaffirm Democratic policies around those issues. As Obama keeps insisting, those are popular policies! Oddly enough, a lot of voters (or nonvoters) don’t seem to be aware of what those policies are. And/or they get bamboozled by horse-race media coverage into thinking elections are about candidates, not policies.

  167. 167
    Roger Moore says:

    @KS in MA:

    As Obama keeps insisting, those are popular policies!

    They’re popular, but they’re also polarizing. They’re popular, but the people who don’t like them really hate them. It would be good to have more than just that. We need to do better at pointing out the areas where the Republican orthodoxy is really unpopular, e.g. wanting to end Social Security and Medicare.

  168. 168
    seanindc says:

    @John Cole – right. Just seems that you’re in a state that has been crippled by republican policies and should be a Democratic state, but isn’t. Maybe someone needs to stand up and persuade those people by telling them the things they don’t want, but need to hear. Or post more dog photos and talk about how your plumber is robbing you. Same thing, amirite? One good man and be the change you want and all that nonsense…giving money is easy. Writing snarky blog posts is easy. Win a city council seat and argue for more drug treatment options. Win a school board seat and argue for math and vocational training. Run for a legislative seat as an unabashedly liberal option. Or just post about your forthcoming butcher’s block. Whatevs.

  169. 169
    Darkrose says:

    @Major Major Major Major: My concern with Dean is that he was beating the “no identity politics” drum back in 2006 when he went on Pat Robertson’s show and talked about how he wanted the votes of guys with Confederate flag stickers on their trucks. I’m concerned that he would go with the narrative that Democrats need to throw the marginalized folks who are the Dem base under the bus in order to win elections.

  170. 170
    Steeplejack says:

    @seanindc:

    Let us know when you kick off your campaign.

  171. 171
    Beth Spaziani says:

    @Elizabeth:

    Why the hell didn’t any of you run? That is what drives me nuts about organizers-stop demanding someone else step up. DO IT YOURSELF.

    That’s just what I’m doing. The area that I live in (Southeast Ohio) is saturated in Blue (Tea Party, old-school farmers), and the VERY few women who are office-holders are Republican. To make things worse, we don’t have a Women’s Democratic Club or even a League of Women Voters; both clubs folded because only a few elderly women were involved and they passed away or are in nursing homes. I’ve already talked to a county Dem Party organizer about becoming a local township candidate (starting small) in 2020. This week I’m looking into how involved I can be in politics; I’m a teacher and president of a community charity (until 2018). At the very least, I would like to get the League back up and running.

  172. 172
    Macbethchick (B.Spaziani) says:

    @seanindc:

    Just seems that you’re in a state that has been crippled by republican policies and should be a Democratic state, but isn’t.

    West Virginia WAS a staunchly Democratic state back when the unions were strong, and then things started sliding downhill. It’s the Bible Belt and most Mountaineers pledge allegiance to the NRA, so they think the Dems are going to take away their guns and abort all their babies. Even the last few Dem governors have been coal company owners (Earl Ray Tomblin, Joe Manchin, and Jim Justice who just won), or closeted Republicans waving a Dem flag (Gaston Caperton and Joe Manchin). I grew up in WV, and have watched my father slide from one extreme to the other. It’s really been heartbreaking.

  173. 173
    Miss Bianca says:

    @aimai:

    I wish people would just shut the fuck up and show some god damned loyalty to the people who have fought to get into power to do some good, and who got shut down/shut out by the god damned russians/fbi and the republican party.

    Yeah. What you said.

  174. 174
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Kay: You know, I keep hearing you say “start fresh”, but I don’t hear you saying what that consists of. So it just starts to sound like sloganeering to me, frankly. What does this mean – throw out any Democrat, or Democratic idea, over the age of 50? What?

    I’m on the central committee for my county Democratic party. I live in one of the most Republican counties in the state which is also, demographically speaking, one of the oldest counties in the state. By dint of years of incredible effort, we finally got some moderate Republicans elected to the Board of County Commissioners. We have worked this hard on that effort, rather than run candidates of our own, because we know that no one will elect a Democrat in our county – not to County Commissioner, not to town council, not to the school board, not to anything. How, exactly, do you propose that we “start fresh”?

  175. 175
    Miss Bianca says:

    @E: Thanks for that. I have, in the past, run for town council. I might, just for the entertainment value and because I have nothing better to do than to wreck my life, decide to run as a candidate for some office here where I currently live. Here’s the rub, tho’ – if I run as a Democrat, I have no chance of winning. So I either have to decide to commit to a campaign as performance art, or I have to run as an independent, and risk taking votes from mocerate Republicans who are the only “progressives” that have a chance of winning around here.

  176. 176
    Macbethchick says:

    @E: I agree. And we’ve all heard the Margaret Mead quote about that small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens. It might be wishful thinking, but it’s better than nothing.

  177. 177
    Kathleen says:

    @Kay: The next few years will involve constant uncertainty on all fronts. I agree with your idea of taking fresh look at Democratic Party. I do think we’re lucky in Cincinnati. We have some very talented, bright office holders and candidates for office this year, some of whom won, one of whom didn’t but I hope he sticks around. City Council asked Kasich to not send Ohio National Guard to North Dakota.

  178. 178
    SFBayAreaGal says:

    @Kay: I’m 60 years old and I find him repugnant. I can’t stand looking at him or hearing him. He makes my skin crawl.

  179. 179
    stinger says:

    Looking at my own skill set, I’d like to be part of a liberal ALEC-style effort. Help write legislation that can be adapted to individual states.

  180. 180
    Roger Moore says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    Obviously not Kay, but it seems clear to me that what she’s saying is that we can’t focus on recreating the New Deal coalition or the Clinton coalition, or any previous version of the Democratic Party. The past is gone, and trying to recreate past success is a sure path to failure. Instead, we need to go forward to a new vision of what the party is and what it represents. It’s hard to say exactly what that will be because it’s always harder to define a new vision than an old one, but it’s still necessary.

  181. 181
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Roger Moore: A “new vision of the Party and what it represents”?

    See…here’s my problem with that notion:

    We’ve done that. Look at the 2016 Democratic platform – which a lot of people clamoring for a “new vision” had input into – and tell me which part of it you want to change. Which part of it needs to be newer than new.

    Commitment to living wage, greater access to education, access to affordable health care, reproductive rights, women’s rights, social and economic justice for women and minorities? What part of this vision really needs to be overhauled?

    Is it that we really need a “new vision”? A “new coalition”? Or do we need to be more forceful about defending and fighting for the one we’ve already got?

  182. 182
    E says:

    @Miss Bianca: I live in a pretty small community but it is solidly Red, and I mean just about as Red as it gets, but in a Blue state. I am open about my politics. But when it comes to local issues, people just want someone who returns their calls, answers their questions honestly, and shows up to fix stuff when it is broken. If you prove you can do that, they will vote for you — or at least they did here.

    Also by the way, it was largely this blog that made me decide to get active locally. I had always given money to candidates and bitched on the Internet, but never showed up at Council meetings and tried to help local people solve local problems in my own community. And I am not going to pretend it will have much effect on my big issues (climate change, for one), but like I said above, it is a start.

  183. 183
    karen marie says:

    @FlipYrWhig: The RNC typically is chaired by someone not holding office. Looking at the wiki page, there don’t appear to be any officeholders in any elected position. A major reason they control so many states is the effort and resources they devote to continually bringing in new people. The DNC has been a solid fail in that regard, really only focusing on federal elections, leaving the state groups to struggle on their own. Arizona’s Dem Party is a mess, with no real profile even among Democrats.

  184. 184
    Macbethchick says:

    @Beth Spaziani:

    The area that I live in (Southeast Ohio) is saturated in Blue (Tea Party, old-school farmers), and the VERY few women who are office-holders are Republican.

    Well, shit. I got that backwards, didn’t I? I must have been in a pre-2000 state of mind. So, what I meant to say is I live in a very RED area.

  185. 185
    John Cole says:

    @seanindc: Listen, I tried to be fucking nice. I can not run for reasons I do not want to post here. So fuck off.

  186. 186
    Elizabeth says:

    @Beth Spaziani: So you already know how to run for office-you just need to turn it towards government offices.

    Good luck! I mean that. The more people who run, the more who understand how hard it can be while the more who are sensible like most on here are in office.

  187. 187
    Elizabeth says:

    @karen marie: weirdly so is the Republican Party here in AZ. They hate McCain, they usually are super anti-compromise and on and on. Yet the Republicans keep winning.

    Which is weird.

  188. 188
    seanindc says:

    @John Cole: That’s fine. All your excuses are belong to us. You’re whats wrong with this party. People that piss and moan but at the end of the day, do fuck all. This is the reason why 3/4 of the state houses are solidly GOP. They get out and put the work in. Democrats sit and debate nomenclature.

    You can’t run? Fine. Whatever your reasons are, they are what they are. But what you do have is a multi-million view website that sits squarely in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Are you inviting candidates to post essays or articles about why they want to be elected? Are you reaching out of local party leaders to try and use this giant soapbox as a launching pad?

    Nope. You post dog pics and complain about how hard adulting is. We’re so fucked…

  189. 189
    The Truffle says:

    @InternetDragons: 2018 looks really good on one front: state governors’ races. Most of the governor seats open will be GOP seats. Some really execrable GOPers will be term limited out of office. Oh yeah, and that Walker scumbag in WI is also up for re-election. Let’s not overlook state legislatures. Focus on the state level, get out there, and work to WIN WIN WIN!

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