I have actually been thinking about writing on this topic for a couple of weeks now, but I just couldn’t find a way to bring it all together. But I just saw a segment on Rachel Maddow that ties the whole thing together with a bow, so here we go.
2018 will go down in history as the Grassroots election of activism. Because that’s what it was. Normally, the DCCC and state Democratic parties have to go on a talent hunt, and try to recruit what they think is talent to run for local and statewide offices. As I recently wrote, Mitch McConnell is currently engaged in a clandestine effort to recruit moderate GOP Senate candidates for 2022.
But not in 2018. The inauguration of The Pig on Two Hooves was an abomination no one could stomach. Rather than having to launch a Democrats got talent audition road tour, the DCCC and state Democratic offices were besieged by people begging them to tell them how to run. Doctors, teachers, nurses, accountants, truck drivers, ironworkers, fast food managers, you name it, they showed up. Everybody wanted to be a pain in Trump’s ass. IL Rep Cheri Bustos even set up candidate Boot Camps in Illinois to train potential candidates for the path ahead.
And it worked. It worked for one simple reason, the worst thing about politics is politicians! And while it’s always nice to go out and see your favorite band in concert, it’s also great to go to a county fair, or a local music festival, and check out some fresh talent that doesn’t have entourages and diamond studded swimming pools. These new candidates were fresh, engaging,and free of political bullshit. And they were known locally. The voters took to them.
And they weren’t the only ones who took to these brash new young guns. You know who else did? Local grassroots organizers and activists. Normally, the greatest challenge a virgin candidate faces is fundraising enough to keep the campaign afloat and getting their message out. Not this time. In post election analysis, data showed that Democratic House challengers refusing business or corporate donations, outraised their entrenched GOP opponents by an average of 3.5-1. This was critical because it let the DCCC spend on other vulnerable races rather than having to prop up the new candidates.
I have been struggling with how to tie together the fact that 2022 is going to have to be a repeat of 2018 in order to be successful. Once again, we need fresh new local candidates, and we need the local grassroots to come out and support them. After all, Traitor Tot is fielding his own slate of slobbering Trombies for both House and Senate. We desperately need to provide moderate GOP and independent voters with fresh alternatives to the Trump kitty litter. But it turns out that help is already on the way.
Up until about an hour ago, I had never heard of Runforsomething.net. Amanda Litman is the co-founder. She was Hillary Clinton’s e-mail director in her campaign, and was the digital media director for Charlie Crist’s 2014 Florida Governor run. They are a 1 stop shop, they recruit, train, support, and even offer platform ideas for candidates to run on. Since they started, they have helped to elect more than 650 candidates to local and statewide office. And they’re spooled up.
Amanda Litman was on The Rachel Maddow Show tonight with Alex Wagner. She said that she had never been more excited about a cycle. In gearing up for 2022, the group set an extremely high bar of recruiting 22,000 candidates to run for local and state office. How’s it going? To date, they have more than 20,000 people expressing interest. Just as the inauguration of His Lowness in 2017 fired up the base to run in 2018, the January 6th insurrection has shown progressives just how fragile democracy actually is, and they’re answering the call.
This is critical for two reasons. First, as in 2017, having already trained, fully supported candidates ready to run frees up resources for the DCCC for incumbents who may be in trouble. And Run For Something is full service. They train candidates, give them assistance in setting up their offices and staff, helpful hints to run on, and campaign do’s-and-don’ts. Compare that with the army of Trombies preparing to barrel roll through the GOP primaries. A nice edge, contrast wise.
But the second reason is one even more near and dear to my heart. I wrote an article recently where I sounded the alarm about Two Shirts Bannon to flood local and county offices with far right wingnuts and the Loud Toyz. He wants to create a bench for future higher office state runs. I guess I wasn’t the only one. Litman told Wagner that the organization is keying nationwide on candidates for local, county and statewide offices that have election responsibility. Local election judges, county clerks, and even Secretary of State. They want to nip the Bannon plan in the bud, and make sure that GOP coocks in the legislature don’t have free rein.
So there you have it. Next week, Teri and I are going to shoot Runforsomething a little donation to keep them floating along. As for the rest of you? PAY ATTENTION! ok beyond your US Senate and House races, and even past your state legislature races. Look at library boards, city and town councils, election judges, county clerks, it ALL matters! Look at the incredible damage that flaming moron Kim Davis did as a county clerk in Kentucky a few years ago, by defying the Supreme Court, and refusing to sign marriage licenses for gay couples. It ALL Matters to somebody.