There is a faction of Dims who want to know who to blame for Jon Ossoff’s loss in Atlanta to cambion Karen Handel, in Georgia, in Noot’s old district, and spinning the old school board game arrow have settled on Nancy Pelosi to decollate. Cherchez la Femme!
This is like blaming your dry cleaner for your car breaking down on the way to pick up your clothes.
As we discussed yesterday, Wingnuttia votes Wingnuttia, it’s an agnotology. It doesn’t matter if the candidate is a Dumpster Fire made human, if the candidate has an (R) after his/her name, that person gets the Wingnut’s vote. If the candidate has a (D) after his/her name, that person gets the Wingnut’s scorn. It is that simple.
And so when I read things like this from Mike ‘Payola’ Allen writing Axios’ morning email thingie…
Democrats’ embarrassing special-election loss in Georgia, after the vocal left fanned unrealistic expectations, provokes a wave of bitter post-gaming that targets House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. It’s part of a generational argument that’s also driving the party’s 2020 conversation.
…it leaves both speechless and furious. Charlie Pierce at Esquire refutes this elegantly:
So you will pardon me if I’m dubious of the notion that congressional Democrats have to rid themselves of Nancy Pelosi because she was so easily demonized in that Georgia special election. If it wasn’t her, it would have been somebody else. To paraphrase the editor in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, if there’s a conflict between the person and the legend, slander the legend.
…and in the same Esquire post, Charlie cites our friend Steve M at No More Mister Nice Blog (congrats Steve!):
Steve M is right on the button here. The Republicans have one brand and one brand only: Democrats suck. The articles of their electoral faith begin and end with, how best can they piss off the liberals who rent space in their heads, and how do they convince the rubes that pissing off the liberals is an actual policy prescription to stave off the economic and cultural forces that are keeping the rubes up at night? As Steve points out, you have to dig pretty deep in today’s coverage to discover that Karen Handel has no public stance on the vastly unpopular healthcare bill, or that she has no clear opinion on giving gozillionnaires another huge tax cut. (Yeah, I’m pretty sure I know what those opinions are, too.) She ran against a caricature of a non-candidate as a nonentity and she won. Nice work if you can get it.
- The Mercury News (San Jose), “THE PELOSI PROBLEM: Some fault minority leader for losses”:
- “Some of the toughest ads against the 30-year-old [Georgia Dem candidate Jon] Ossoff were those tying him to Pelosi, whose approval ratings are underwater outside California.”
- The N.Y. Times, “Democrats Fume As Georgia Loss Deepens Discord,”
- “Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, who tried to unseat Ms. Pelosi as House minority leader late last fall, said she remained a political millstone for Democrats. But Mr. Ryan said the Democratic brand had also become ‘toxic’ in much of the country because voters saw Democrats as ‘not being able to connect with the issues they care about.’ ‘Our brand is worse than Trump.'”
So what do we do instead: bring new people into the tent, don’t try to poach from Y’all Qaeda/The New Confederacy. And fer Blog’s Sake, shore up the people you already have:
In the South—even the “educated” suburban South of a teeming multicultural metropolis like Atlanta—racial dynamics and party dynamics overlap in inescapable ways. White people generally don’t vote for the Democratic Party in Georgia, or any other Southern state. The idea that a coalition of educated suburban whites would actually team up with black voters to send a message to Donald Trump from Georgia was a fantasy created by the blue screen and CGI of outside Democratic analysts who want a happy ending to the Trump narrative in eight months.
…This is not to suggest that African-American turnout alone would have won the Georgia 6th for the Democrats, but they spent about $25 million in that race. For that much money, they could’ve gotten one season out of LeBron James, and I’m pretty sure that’s equal to a 20 percent increase in black turnout.
…If there’s any doubt about the value of tapping into the Southern black Democratic vote, just look at what happened six hours away in the South Carolina 5th District special election, which nobody was paying any attention to. There, quietly, the Democratic Party spent only $250,000 but tested out some experimental get-out-the-vote strategies for getting out the African-American vote.
…Democrat Archie Parnell lost to Republican Ralph Norman by a mere 4 percentage points, 51 to 47 percent, in a district that went for Trump by 20 percentage points in November. What was the difference? Consistent and creative African-American turnout efforts by the Democratic candidate throughout the entire campaign led to—wait for it—incredible jumps in turnout! Politics can be a simple game when you actually target your own voters instead of someone else’s. (emphasis mine. — TG)