5 Nov 2018
2020: How the Democrats Are Already Blowing It Again
This year, in what has been billed (incorrectly) as the most important midterm election in American history, the Democratic party absolutely failed to present the electorate with a national campaign, leaving it up to the individual candidates to put together their own campaign strategies. The disorganization of the National Democratic Committee is painfully obvious. The party leadership is out of touch with the party rank and file, and even more out of touch with the electorate.
Will the Next Contestant Enter and Sign In Please?
This year, in what has been billed (incorrectly) as the most important midterm election in American history, the Democratic party absolutely failed to present the electorate with a national campaign, leaving it up to the individual candidates to put together their own campaign strategies.
The disorganization of the National Democratic Committee is painfully obvious. The party leadership is out of touch with the party rank and file, and even more out of touch with the electorate.
The Democrats have to face up to the fact that a substantial percentage of the electorate actually LIKES some of the things that Trump has done or is in the process of doing. What they don’t like is Donald Trump himself, the person, rather than the president. The Democrats have to start acknowledging that Trump isn’t always wrong (even a stopped clock is right twice a day) and focus instead on the really bad things he’s doing to the economy and the country.
That’s a problem because the only way to combat a gargantuan personality like Donald Trump is with another gargantuan personality, and the Democrats don’t have one. They don’t have an FDR or an LBJ waiting in the wings to take up the Democratic banner and run with it. What they do have is a bunch of wannabes who don’t have either Roosevelt’s charm and charisma or Johnson’s true grit.
The Midterms are the Starting Gun for 2020
The closing months of the midterm elections is when the front runners for the next presidential contest traditionally make their initial moves toward seeking the nomination. (Donald Trump started his 2016 in 2012. He started his 2020 campaign the day after the election.) Usually, these are people who are NOT running for anything in the midterms.
Nevertheless, no single Democratic leader has emerged as a national spokesperson for the Democratic party during the 2018 electioneering.
What the Democrats should have done was exactly what all the pundits warned them against: accepting the challenge and making every congressional campaign a direct challenge to Trump’s presidency because that’s exactly how Trump has set up this election season. He’s been making comments designed to elicit angry retorts from Congressional candidates. His comments after the Tree of Life Massacre are a case in point. Announcing that he intends to end birthright citizenship in the United States by executive order is another one.
Nevertheless, even before the returns are counted, the Democrats have already failed by failing to put their best 2020 prospects up for public scrutiny. That’s an opportunity that comes around only once every four years, and the Democrats blew it this year. So, even if the Democrats take back the House, they have already lost the first skirmish in the 2020 campaign.
Going forward, the Democrats need some fresh blood for 2020. They need a candidate who isn’t shopworn, who doesn’t have any excess baggage, and who can take the fight to the Republicans, standing toe to toe with Donald Trump to beat him at his own game.
No, I have no idea who that might be. All the Democrats have to choose from right now are a collection of Hubert Humphreys and Eugene McCarthys, with a couple of Mike Dukakises thrown in for comedic relief.
I do know what the Democratic candidate should look like, though. What Democrats need right now is another Harry Truman, a plain spoken, hard-hitting, take no prisoners kind of guy. Now, that would be a real horse race. Unfortunately, Harry Trumans are in short supply these days. The conditions for making a Harry Truman just don’t exist anymore, but I sure do wish we could get him back again. That would be something