Nuts & Bolts: Contained in the Democratic Occasion: Do not be a rooster
How do Republicans create this environment?
Democratic candidates often say they hate the mail that conservative organizations run against them. They are labeled as gun-robbing, god-hating, child-killing communists waiting to tax you into slavery. In every state there are conservative organizations like the NRA that offer this type of post and media only to candidates they support, to determine their own electoral base and to get those on the middle question to their vote, considering whether or not the Democratic candidate is who you want to vote for in the election. However, faced with a decision, many Democratic candidates struggle to offer negative mail. There is a gigantic reason for this: Democratic candidates in many of these races have no supporters to run them, and if they want to send negative mail they have to do so as a campaign themselves, including the “Paid For By” message. Republicans benefit from not having a “Paid For By” line listing the campaign, so they stay above the fight.
What can democratic candidates do?
Campaign funding reform, while a big step, will not happen immediately in many countries. Without that, democratic candidates really have only one option: to build allies who are willing to take the argument for you. Stronger Moms Demand Action, or Vote Vets, offers candidates more direct support to counter Republican news. Local organizations across the country are popping up to do the same. Indivisible and Move On Chapter form their own little state PACs that send their own mail-in support against a Republican candidate. As a good example, organizations like Daily Kos are helping to reinforce their message and cover candidates so their voices can be heard.
Winter 2022 is coming
The 2020 election will long be remembered as one of the worst for the Democratic Party and one that shaped the future elections by providing us with disastrous maps and state house fights for a decade. It may seem too early, but Republicans are already on the job.
There’s McConnell recruiting for a Senate race in Arizona in 2022. Why? Because the Republicans plan ahead. They want to regain control of any office in order to defeat Democratic candidates at all levels, and they believe their plan is to abandon and crush Democratic voters who are fat and happy with a presidential victory.
Joe Biden certainly sees this, as Politico notes:
Democrats under Barack Obama and Joe Biden were so badly beaten in their first midterm elections that Obama famously referred to it as “shellacking”.
Ten years later, President-elect Biden is determined to avoid repetition.
One element was simple for the Republicans because the Democrats didn’t: starting in 2008, they worked to define their potential opponents. The moment a potential adversary showed up, the Republicans acted as if they were in the middle of the campaign, making sure the news wasn’t made public. They viewed a Democratic challenger as a “bad person” and a Democratic incumbent’s record as “proof that they are a bad person.”
Democratic organizations cannot become chickens here. We must now address our incumbents and our potential challengers. At the same time, we must now define our incumbent opponent as much as possible. We cannot wait until three months before election day to define an opponent. The public will assume that if they haven’t heard bad things about them in two or four years, this person must be generally fine.
Don’t be a chicken. Now, at each level, define Republican incumbents with everyone you can reach in your district. You can do this through your social media and town halls. Businesses can now inexpensively email or advertise – yes, advertise – informing the public of horrific laws to better define a candidate.
Do it. The party definitely needs money, but it also needs a certain amount of political willpower – the willpower to start asking questions on the ground from day one.