Thursday, December 15, 2016


I've got some things to get off my chest. My time on Twitter has been a constant aggravation recently, because the Monday morning quarterbacking of the Clinton campaign ceases to abate. We are over a month past the election and I am just tired of it. There were some obvious strategic mistakes as well as some harder to control factors (electoral college's structure, voter suppression, Russian hacking) that contributed to Clinton's loss.

At this point, however, anyone who is talking about 2020 and not 2018 is wasting their time and mine. In case you don't remember, the Republican surges in midterm elections in 2010 and 2014 helped to hamstring the Obama administration. The Democrats need to learn a lesson from their enemies and do likewise. Not only that, state legislatures elected in the coming years will be in charge of congressional districting in 2020. Gerrymandering has hurt Democrats severely, and winning on the state level will be absolutely crucial to turning back the tide.

Democrats will be able to do this only through a fifty state strategy and through going on the offensive. For too long Democrats have been playing defense, defending the status quo in a society where the status quo is loathed. For example, if Republicans want Obamacare repealed, Democrats need to run on expanding access to affordable health care even more. Push for a public option, or even Medicare for all. Give people something that can help them and something positive for party activists to fight FOR. Expanded health access at low prices without the rigamarole of the health care exchanges is something that working people of all races -those elusive working class whites included- will find attractive.

Also, exploit the mistakes that Trump and the Republicans are about to make. If they try to privative Medicare and reduce Social Security hang that around their neck and light it on fire. Those actions would be EXTREMELY unpopular. Make the corporatist 1% agenda the image Republicans are known for, and hammer them on it. It is not a popular agenda, hence their need to stir up nationalism. Make them defend it. Beyond that, Trump is proving already to be unpopular and disliked. Make other Republicans pay for being on his side. Associate Republicans with him and make the 2018 election a referendum on his time in power.

I just said it, but I will say it again: rehashing 2016 is a waste of time. 2018 (and 2017, in some states) is where the focus should be. The Democrats have done a poor job of building from the bottom up in recent years. Now is the time to do that, and the consequences of not doing so are far too dire to ignore.

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