Democrats “might want to try developing a substantive policy agenda to run on.”


Bland and inoffensive?

Why does this sound so familiar to Floyd County Democrats? Republican Lite seems no longer to be working for them, and one hopeful sign is that Jeff Gahan’s public housing putsch has awakened some of the party’s principled leftward standard bearers.

But they’ll have to get past Dickey the Gatekeeper, won’t they?

Jon Ossoff’s Georgia special election loss shows Democrats could use a substantive agenda, by Matthew Yglesias (Vox)

 … Corbyn’s electoral map, in the end, turns out to look a lot like Hillary Clinton’s. He did well in the most diverse and most educated parts of the United Kingdom and worst among older voters. Whites with college degrees, in short, weren’t secretly dreaming of socialism. At the same time, running on a bold progressive policy agenda didn’t stop him from picking up support in exactly the kind of upscale precincts that the Democratic establishment has been trying to target. And it did succeed in doing what post-Obama Democrats have failed to do — engage young voters and encourage them to come to the polls.

But perhaps most of all, running on a bold policy agenda helped focus voters’ minds on policy rather than on the (extremely long) list of controversial Corbyn statements and associations from past years. Pundits had long expected Corbyn to get crushed at the polls, and had Theresa May succeeded in running an election focused on the Falklands War, the Irish Republican Army, and unilateral nuclear disarmament, she would have won. But instead, the UK ended up with a campaign about promises to nationalize utilities, eliminate university tuition, and raise taxes.

Ossoff’s effort to stay bland and inoffensive let hazy personal and culture war issues dominate the campaign — and even in a relatively weak Trump district, that was still a winning formula for Republicans.