A writer after my own heart, aiming straight for the jugular.
Swarens: Joe Donnelly’s loss proves Indiana Democratic Party is broken, by Tim Swarens (Indianapolis Star)
No amount of gloss will turn a pigsty into a mansion, and no level of political spin can obscure the fact that Tuesday’s elections were an utter disaster for Democrats in Indiana.
Let’s survey the wreckage. With Joe Donnelly’s impending exit from the U.S. Senate, Democrats will give up their only statewide office. Republicans will fill nine of 11 spots in Indiana’s congressional delegation, including both Senate seats. The GOP on Tuesday retained super majorities in the Indiana House and Senate. Democrats last won the governor’s office in 2000, and incumbent Gov. Eric Holcomb is a heavy favorite to win re-election in two years.
How do Democrats in Indiana regroup? Is rebuilding even possible?
Let’s answer the second question first: Yes, it can be done. And, as I’ll argue a bit later, it’s important for all Hoosiers that they eventually succeed.
But success will require acknowledging that the Indiana Democratic Party is badly broken, and party leaders must let go of what worked in the not too distant past.
Ding ding ding.
Younger, diverse voters told me repeatedly in this election cycle that they were turned off and even insulted by Donnelly’s attempt to run away from his own party. They derided him as a Democrat In Name Only and a Republican Lite.
Their message to Democratic leaders in Indiana is to own who they are and to not apologize for belonging to the same party as Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren, just as many Republican candidates don’t turn their backs on Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
… Democrats here should look to Kansas, which until Tuesday was just as red as Indiana and where Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly is now the governor-elect.
You may or may not agree with Swarens’ rationale as to a solution, but it’s hard to contest his critique of the fundamental problem.