Sheila Markin is a former Assistant US Attorney. She helps people to understand in plain English what is going on in US politics today. Subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss a post!
Democrats now have a reliable playbook for 2018 thanks to Conor Lamb’s win in PA 18 and other special election victories including those in Alabama, and Virginia. What Lamb did well was listen to the needs of his district. House by house, person to person, his campaign and other grassroots teams including Indivisible and others, went door to door and person to person the old fashioned way. Listening, explaining, and avoiding hyperbole.
I believe our country now has Trump fatigue. The electorate is exhausted by Trump’s endless chaos, firings, misstatements and lies, and the lack of concern for their needs from Republicans in Congress.
Progressive movements are rising up with #neveragain and #metoo being part of the rising tide of progressive energy we are seeing with Millennials and women especially in urban areas. Black women are leading the charge in places like Alabama and white suburban soccer moms are activating as well. I am feeling much more hopeful that our country will get back on the track we have to be on to be a global player and advance human rights, sustain our democracy and beat back the NRA. We can see the way to flip the House in 2018.
The Dems need appealing candidates, and especially appealing in this time of Trump fatigue are people who have served in the military and are former prosecutors. They come ready made with a foundational belief in the law and they value character and ethics over the kind of circus politics we have now. Conor Lamb was not full of himself like Trump. When asked what he would do if the President called him to congratulate him, he said he would say thanks. Very calm, cool and collected. The majority of Americans want that instead of the reality tv show White House we are getting. Most Americans are truly disgusted by Trumps tweets and lies, his lack of character and his mean sense of humor which he uses to excuse his many assaultive and petty comments about other people. They are also seeing policies that pander to the 1%. It is very telling that the Republicans could not attack Lamb effectively by touting their Tax Law, that signature and really only piece of legislation coming out of this failed Congress, which is not helping the common man in any appreciable way.
If Dems can find appealing candidates that understand their districts needs and if there are contested primaries, try not to bloody their competition before the election, and if they can work with grassroots groups to connect with the electorate in their districts, and keep faith in their platforms with the needs of the people in their districts, this is the winning strategy.
The most long term damage from Trump going forward is probably going to be the judiciary. The Federalist Society is loading up the judiciary on the district court level and appellate level with judges that will prove to be out of step with a progressive America. I think we are in for a challenge to Roe v Wade, and other progressive decisions will probably be in jeopardy as well.
But one step at a time. We need to work hard to get out the vote and be there in person door to door and person to person with authentic promises that address local needs. About 22% of the electorate are Republicans. About 34% of the electorate are Democrats. Independents make up 44% of the electorate. Independents are the folks who need to feel comfortable with a New Democratic Party that will partner with them to move the country forward. Momentum is on our side. Enthusiasm is on our side. There is work to do but we know what we need to do!
Trump and this Republican congress have met their match and it is the American people.
How did Conor Lamb win in a 2016 +20 Donald Trump district? Jon Favreau explains it in one tweet: If Lamb won running on these issues, in a heavily red…