A look at 2018 and what it really means for 2020.

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We should look at 2018 with an awe almost bordering on reverence. 2018 was the Democratic party’s Phoenix, rising triumphantly from the ashes of 2016. We flipped 40 seats, and wrested control of the House away from Paul Ryan’s hand picked patsy, Kevin McCarthy. But don’t go popping champagne corks just yet. After all, we’re Democrats. And only Democrats can make good news feel like a mugging.

But instead of riding the momentum of 2018, and using it to build the tide for the presidential race of 2020, Democrats are using the victory to poke self destructive holes in our 2020 strategy. And they’re doing it on the subject that democrats should be most unified on. Sending the Tangerine Tantrum Machine back to New York so that the state can put him in an orange jumpsuit. The struggle seems to lie in the issue that we can either impeach Trump, and fail in the Senate, or we can hold the House in 2020. But we can’t do both.

How did we win in 2018? After hibernating like a grizzly bear through 2016, we reverted to the Obama mantra, we got “Fired up! Ready to go!” And what got us so all fired up and ready to go? The $1 Store Caligula. Starting on January 21, 2017,when millions of women in their adorable pink pussy hats, trailed by their kids and consenting others filled the streets in every major city, sparking sympathy protests around the globe. Trump’s Muslim ban and child separation policies fueled the fire. Until it reached the point where hundreds of pediatricians, nurses, teachers, lawyers, and even homemakers put their lives on hold to put it all on the line to be the change that they sought.

They ran inspired, grassroots driven campaigns. They knocked on doors, they went into coffee shops and supermarkets, they held town hall events. And they did the unthinkable, they listened. You knew they listened because they answered with proper, direct responses. They ran on healthcare, lower prescriptions, higher teacher pay, and infrastructure, especially local infrastructure. And they won. Bigly.

This is the rub of the debate about impeachment. The complaint is that these candidates ran on practical change, not on impeachment. People didn’t send them to Washington to get into petty pissing contests over impeachment. These candidates ran on, and won, on “kitchen table issues.” OK then, I have a question. What platform were all of the Democratic candidates in previous campaigns running on, kicking puppies? If that was the secret sauce, why didn’t we flip seats in Alabama, Mississippi and Oklahoma?

The majority of the seats that the Democrats flipped were in “swing” districts, basically Republican strongholds in suburban and exurban areas around large, traditionally Democratic cities. But was fired up, aggressive, family-issues focused campaigning really the reason we flipped all of those seats? Hell, the Democrats have been butting their heads up against the red wall in Orange County, California for decades, but suddenly the Democrats run a bunch of firefighters and accountants, and the Democrats sweep the place clean?

The campaigns made the Democratic candidates palatable, and even desirable, but the midterm election of 2018 was a referendum on Donald Trump. His Lowness even said so himself, and did everything in his power to make it so. And the results are in. The hi-jinks of The Mango Messiah turned moderate GOP suburban “soccer moms” and independents off to the point where they either stayed home, or crossed over and voted Democratic. And these are the people that Pelosi and the Democratic hierarchy are worried we’ll turn off if we don’t stick to our domestic agenda knitting, and cross over into impeachment. But is that true? Is it all about healthcare and infrastructure? Does anybody honestly believe that if we had a white, dull as paint, bland as baby food Republican President like Mike Pence, that the majority of these people would still be doing their day jobs?

Politics is my passion. I spent a whole lot of time in 2018 watching and listening. And I heard a whole lot of Democratic candidates, including those in these prized swing districts say that they had to be sent to Washington to flip the House in order to provide oversight to a lawless President. Oh yeah, and most of them said that they could walk and chew gum at the same time. And they’re doing it, the Democratic House has passed more than 200 bills, on issues large and small, including keeping campaign promises. And these freshman House members gleefully joined House committees that provide oversight on Don the Con. But now that the aforementioned oversight leans towards at least an impeachment inquiry, suddenly they’re all pulling their oars in and putting life vests on? What’s with that shit.

Those moderate GOP and independent voters voted Democratic or stayed home because they couldn’t stomach the thought of Donald Trump with a (R) after his name. As long as bills pass, do we really think they’ll revolt to the streets because the House wants to kick Trump’s plush bottom ass to the curb? Why would they? And it’s not like Trump is doing anything to make himself into a sympathetic figure here. His racism is degenerating, and it’s only going to get worse as the campaign goes on, and he tries to rile up his idiot base into a frenzy. Which should only serve to rile up the Democratic African American voters into a frenzy that will do an Atlantis on their racist asses.

My advice to these allegedly “vulnerable” freshman House members? Keep doing your jobs. Pass bills people care about. Talk to your constituents on this August recess. A lot. Tout your legislative accomplishments, and blame Ditch McTurtle for gumming up the works. And by all means remind them that they also voted for them to rein in a lawless and corrupt President, and they’re keeping that promise too. because they owe it to them, as well as the rest of the country. Be honest. After the nonstop, incessant bullshit emanating from the White House, it will be a breath of fresh air. You’ll be fine. After all, you’re the good guys.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I don’t know…elections are very, very complicated multi-layered processes. We like to create narratives to explain outcomes, but they’re always an over-simplification. In any given district, the blue wave was certainly fueled to varying degrees in part by:

    – Additional Dem voters showing up because they honestly do want to see the platform legislated, including better healthcare, economic policies, social policies, etc.

    – Add’l Dem voters who wanted to block the GOP agenda and saw flipping their district as a way to do this.

    – Add’l Dem voters specifically casting a Trump protest vote.

    – Add’l Dem voters that represent the continued migration of “racial liberals” (basically people who believe racism exists and is an issue) to the party.

    – A decline in GOP voters because of individuals unhappy with the party and its agenda.

    – A decline in GOP voters who support and/or love Trump, but didn’t show up because he wasn’t on the ballot.

    What proportion of each drove the blue wave? It’s impossible to say with any certainty. I totally buy Murph’s argument that pushing investigation and impeachment could jigger the levels amongst these groups in a way that works out in our favor. On the other hand, I understand the fear and argument that it would work out to our detriment.

    I’m not going to say I have a particularly correct take on which of the two paths will work out better, and because it’s out of my control and something we will never, ever be able to measure (once the election is over, we won’t ever know how alternative routes would have worked out), mostly I try not to stress over it, and will probably try to funnel my energies into a specific race or couple of races where I can volunteer. Which might be challenging…I don’t know if there’s an elected republican within 200 miles of me, ha.

    But I’m inclined to side with the opinion that highlighting Trump corruption every day will be more advantageous than harmful. I guess I’d say I’m where Rep Schiff is. I don’t see an impeachment vote right now today as possible, but let’s put them all on the witness stand in direct sunlight and watch them sweat.

    • You’re right, and that’s my point…I hate seeing the Democrats breaking this down into a binary choice, impeach or keep the House…It isn’t that simple…

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