Embarrassment as “the Donnelly campaign demonstrates the futility of seeking to surmount these obstacles by trying to out-Republican the Republicans.”

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This guy who wrote this piece teaches at Indiana University, the same place where Romeo is playing basketball.


The Guardian is big-time, so please pay attention.

Are there any questions?

The Democrats shouldn’t move right to win Trump voters. Here’s why, by Jeffrey C Isaac (The Guardian)

The midterms showed that pandering to Trumpism is a recipe not just for defeat but for demoralization. Even losing progressive campaigns brought hope

 … How should the Democrats move forward with an eye toward 2020 and beyond? There are no easy answers, and in the weeks and months to come many answers will be debated. Democrats scored most of their victories in more or less liberal suburban and urban areas where Hillary Clinton won in 2016, and experienced defeat in much of Republican “red state” America, and especially the rural areas, where Trump won in 2016. Do the Democrats need to do better in these conservative, “red” areas? Certainly. Should Democrats attempt this by running candidates who play to the right and appeal to elements of Trump’s base? Many pundits are already stepping forward to urge this. I disagree. And the case of my home state of Indiana is instructive.

Is it ever.

One of the most striking Democratic losses on Tuesday was the resounding defeat of the incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly by conservative Republican Mike Braun. 

The word “loss” simply doesn’t convey the odiousness.

The worst features of Trumpism dominated the Indiana Senate race. How did Donnelly respond? By emphasizing his closeness to Trump and the fact that he voted with Trump over 60% of the time, and by campaigning not against his rightwing attackers but against the left of his own party, running his own anti-immigrant, anti-liberal, and red-baiting ads.

It was a destructive and cynical calculation that severely compromised Donnelly’s integrity. More importantly, it was an abysmal political failure. Indiana voters drawn to Trumpism demonstrated on Tuesday that they strongly preferred a real, unadulterated Trumpist to a Democratic facsimile. And so Donnelly lost. First his soul, and then the election. A significant Democratic defeat.

Let’s repeat that: “They strongly preferred a real, unadulterated Trumpist to a Democratic facsimile.” And yet, how many self-styled local “progressives” voted for Donnelly and Liz Watson?

Area chiropractors should be having a field day.

Democrats lost big in Indiana. But some electoral losses can be seen as ethical and even political victories. And so I turn to Indiana’s ninth congressional district, and to the effort of Democrat Liz Watson to unseat one-term incumbent Republican Trey Hollingsworth.

As we already know, Watson also lost big.

In a way, the electoral margin underestimates the power of (her) loss. For while Watson campaigned tirelessly for months, holding town halls in every county in the district, Hollingsworth did virtually nothing. He held no town hall meetings, and he refused to debate Watson even once. One of the richest men in Congress and a beneficiary of all of the Trumpist support thrown to Republicans in the state, Hollingsworth demonstrated a cynical contempt for the competitive elections and public accountability that are the hallmarks of constitutional democracy. And he won.

Hollingsworth’s victory is a devastating blow for Indiana liberal Democrats, and it underscores just how stacked is the deck against Democrats in the state, who confront a trifecta of serious obstacles: gerrymandered districts profoundly favoring Republicans; garden-variety Republican voter suppression; and a general electorate demographically inclined towards and seriously mobilized by the right.

At the same time, while the Donnelly campaign demonstrates the futility of seeking to surmount these obstacles by trying to out-Republican the Republicans, the Watson campaign demonstrates the potential for something better … Unlike Donnelly, she refused to turn on her own base. Instead, she tried hard to expand that base. Watson lost, indeed by roughly the same margin that Donnelly lost. But while Donnelly inspired widespread disillusionment among liberal Democrats, Watson inspired hope, in the promise of citizen activism, and in the possibility of a better Democratic party.

The author goes on to make the point that Watson’s loss can be rationalized according to future-oriented strategy, while that might possibly be gained from Donnelly’s dopey foolishness is a desire to take as many showers as possible in a futile effort to out-distance the taint.

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