Yes. Dems can win a majority if they become smarter than they’ve ever been at: 1) Exploiting the disjointed Republican Party; 2) Instilling shame in GOP moderate voters, and; 3) Getting out the vote by keeping its own base and moderate republicans angry at the Tea Party.
How Democrats Will Take Back Congress
If the Democratic Party learns from the voter backlash of the 2012 election – and republicans do not (…which seems to be the case given what we’ve seen from the Tea Party faction this year… ) – then while the 2010 gerrymandered congressional districts deem it improbable, the likelihood that democrats can win the House increases enough to make RNC backroom meetings so quiet you can hear a John Boehner Teardrop.
Democrats in the House can win the majority… but it will take a lot more than selling a bland brand of, “we’re nicer than the other guys” to moderate voters. The DNC needs to be more aggressive than it has ever been at coveting alienated voters within the GOP; those who don’t like the Burning Down The House attitude of the Tea Party. They need to entice estranged republican voters to form an alliance in 2014 to vote out the crazy and recreate a viable center of the aisle in Congress.
The One Issue On Every Voter’s Mind In The 2014 Election: A Government That Can Function.
There will be one issue in 2014 on which all voters, regardless of party affiliation, will agree: We want a government that works. That means getting the Crazy out of Congress. Vote out the people who want to blow up the government, so that it can work again. The message to promote to all voters, then, is that it is possible to achieve sanity in Washington in 2014 if and only if they vote out extremism: voting Blue in a red district stops the crazy. That’s the only way, then we can reset the game board and start again with people who understand how to govern in 2016.
To skeptical republicans: often times in history we’re forced to align with cold war enemy analogs in order to end a world-crippling stand off – a reluctant alliance in order to guarantee a desired outcome. You know… bi-partisanship. Vote Blue in 2014… just call it blue if the word democrat makes you uncomfortable. Once we get all the crazies out of power, then we can go back to the cold war between the two major political parties. After it’s over you can re-arm, and we’ll help rebuild the post-war infrastructure. Life and times are too complicated for Tea Party absolutism. The future of the Tea Party is that it’s gotta go. Stop the Insanity: Vote Blue. Spread the word.
“Re-creating a functioning Congress is the goal. The only means to that end is to vote for a democrat.” The DNC needs to plaster that message onto the forehead of every red and purple district volunteer in this country. Democrats must give reasonable (i.e. not Tea Party) republicans a clear path to reach their goal – no nuance: “Stop the Insanity: Vote Blue in 2014.”
The path for dems to win back Congress is steep. However, it is a straight path, because it requires a strong, national message lead by the Democratic Party. It also requires that democrats blatantly exploit the major weakness of the ever-increasingly disjointed Republican Party. And that – aggressive political exploitation – requires a certain ideological brutality that democrats have traditionally lacked in national politics.
Democrats Must Learn From The 2012 Election
The last presidential election taught the country a lot about the disconnect between republican policies and what everyday Republican Party members actually believe (not unlike the NRA). We also learned that when Americans are engaged on real issues (not just conspiracy theories) then democrats win many more votes. Finally, we learned that people are amazingly stubborn – so much so that even if they feel like they’ll dry heave from republican policymaking, a bread-and-butter republican generally won’t vote for a democrat for no other reason than “They’re a damn democrat!” … and so they stay at home on election day, which is a big reason why there was a lower white voter turn out in 2012.
The major campaign challenge for the Democratic Party in the 2014 election, then, is knowing how to navigate the wedge issue waters of gerrymandered, ink-blot districts inside purple states. They need to make moderate and younger republicans feel ashamed to vote republican in 2014 because of the internal civil war happening in the Republican Party. To win back the House in 2014 democrats need to work with presidential election-style effort to get democrats and independents to the polls… but they must also work diligently to decrease voter turnout of standard-bearer republicans, and win the votes of republican women and younger republican voters by means of very aggressive messaging on applicable social issues coupled with “bring back the sanity”.
2014 Election: Target The Republican By Inheritance Group
The DCCC needs to systematically target the “Republican by Inheritance” group in purple districts (those who self-identify and vote republican primarily because they grew up in a republican household). A significant portion of this group disagrees with a big chunk of the Republican Party social policy. They also tend to be true believers in small government, which makes them uncomfortable with how intrusive Republican Party policymaking has become lately, especially on issues of privacy and civil liberties. If dems work as a cohesive group to spotlight those issues on the national stage, then a large piece of the Republican by Inheritance group will either stay home on election day, or reach the true goal of breaking from family tradition and voting for a non-republican. “The Republican Party is no longer your party!” is a vitally important message to break through the walls of entrenched party affiliation for democrats to win back the House.
It’s a two-fold mandate to win the House: messaging directly to the moderate republicans targeted at creating shame, embarrassment, and even a little anger at their own party; combined with a massive on-the-ground effort to ensure dems and independents vote in record numbers for a mid-term election. History as proven that social wedge issues can backfire on the Republican Party with a greater impact than we saw in 2012 if and only if democrats are bold enough Leaders and call them out on the issues on very large stages where the average citizen might pay attention.
As republicans in the state houses continue to do their anti-women, anti-minority-voter, anti-education, roll-back-the-hands-of-time Moondance with the Koch brothers, then the potential for their policymaking to again backfire on all republicans increases. If the DNC & DCCC fail to exploit that in key districts… then, well… sorry, y’all deserve to lose.
Putting a spotlight on Republican Party policy does both things you need: it motivates the left and dissuades the moderate right. It’s not dirty campaigning – it’s working hard to pull back the veil and show people the truth behind the “Jobs Jobs Jobs” and “Freedom First” bumper stickers.
Will Enough Americans Vote In 2014 For Democrats To Take Congress?
Both parties know voter turn out is even more important than it used to be, which is why republicans continue to pass as many voter restriction laws and raise as much money as possible – even in safely red states (see voting rights act decision). Democrats are trying to make voting rights a national issue like it was in 2012, which helped increase voter turn out. The key for democrats to win in 2014 is to bring as many wacky republican issues into the national spotlight as they can. Invite them. If they do that, then 2014 will be a good election cycle for democrats.
How can democrats win in 2014? Facts, aggressive messaging, and public shaming – if not, the we only have more Dark Days on the horizon for at least 2 more years. The Democratic Party already has the majority of the country who agree with its policy positions. It also has facts on its side. The super-red district drawing is the only thing that kept republicans in control of Congress. Given the numbers and increasing “fringeness” of the Republican Party, IF democrats can keep a spotlight on the extreme right-wing policies, we’ll likely see a strong enough voter turn out on the left, and a low voter turn-out on the right. The 40 or so super-red districts will keep their Tea Party wacko representatives, but democrats will win the overall majority by turning purple districts blue all over the country,
However, if the average citizen falls back into the AAW (Apathetic American Way), then the balance will likely not shift, which means we’re in for at least another two years of disappointment packed full of meaningless symbolic votes, and no governing from Congress. One of the few things governments have been able to count on is the inherent apathy of the average citizen. If you care about your country: get people to vote. Getting out the vote is extraordinarily difficult in the United States (again, which is why republicans institutionally try everything they can to make it even more difficult).
The re-hash plan the GOP is already presenting for its election strategy won’t be enough for republicans to keep all their seats… it wasn’t in 2012, and they’re in a worse position now. The current Congress has managed to turn what is traditionally harmless voter apathy into a general disdain for the institution.
That’s a big problem for House republicans.
Democrats can Save The Day if they turn that disdain into a massive “Vote Out The Tea Party” effort. Most Americans have such a strong distaste for Congress that the mere mention of politics causes a metallic taste to bubble up their throats. 90% of Americans don’t like Congress… democrats need to be taking advantage of that to get out the vote.
National Republicans Are Walking A Tightrope: Push Them Off!
They got themselves into this mess with the Tea Party, there’s no reason why Democrats should let them get away with it. Every congressional race should use dozens of photos of the respective republican candidate shaking hands with Ted Cruz.
Knowing that they are in the minority, republicans are laser focussed on raising money (See the glittering eyes of Ted Cruz); they remain in the belief system that fortune can overrule facts when dealing with distracted crowds. They want no limits on campaign money whatsoever. How else can politicians like Mitch McConnell keep his seat in the Senate? He’s already being primaried online an in right-wing media because they think Mitch isn’t conservative enough.
Given the GOP’s reliance on cash, hate, and religion to win elections, it’s up to the democrats to make sure the facts don’t get buried under the mountains of balderdash that the republican fortune ad buying machines will spew onto the populous.
For the creatively drawn congressional districts money does overrules facts; there’s little hope of those ever going blue. It’s a toss-up for any districts that don’t look like ink blot tests. There’s room there to use primary the vulnerable Tea Party candidates from the Left. Those districts stay red, but at least they won’t be crazy.
If the Republican Party continues to do such hyper-conservative social issue grandstanding on a national stage… the average American voter see what they’re doing. That’s bad for the GOP, because in the end most Americans believe in live and let live and the separation of church and state. If the GOP keeps pushing religion and voter suppression, it will bring out more left-leaning voters. That’s why Speaker of the House and many Senate republicans are trying to distance themselves from Tea Party republicans.
Republicans in Congress are walking a Thin Line: voting for far too many anti-rights and anti-Obama bills in hopes of finding Someone To Love them in the Koch family and hyper-conservative south. The problem for them is the rest of the country is starting to notice, and democrats need to make sure everyone keeps paying attention.
The danger for republicans is that grandstanding for the evangelical base on a national stage will continue to keep democrats and moderates angry with the Republican Party. The Chain the binds the GOP to it base is the very thing that angers the rest of the country about GOP politics. While republicans in the states continue to push forward with their ultra-conservative, “Your Government Is Your Dildo” republican policy agenda: democrats need to do everything they can to brand all republicans with that same extremism – don’t allow the establishment to distance itself. They invited the Tea Party into its ranks, so now they should suffer for it by losing the House.
A national politician’s job is fundraising. Nothing more. Votes on bills are mini-campaigns targeting interest groups. They show up and give stump speeches on the floor. Lately, every vote, and every bill goes nowhere; they’re entirely for the email and fundraising letters targeted at the more extreme donor base. That’s all republican politics is, and all it ever will be until the rest of the country can get their act together and get the majority to vote in every election to prevent Tea Party minority control of the country.
Once again in the 2014 election we’ll be faced with the question, “Can money buy elections, or will Facts win the day?” The republicans – rather strangely – still seem to think money is their God. It looks like we’re set for a replay of 2012: big money vs. the will of the American majority.
If America votes, democrats will always win. The Democratic Party platform is easily supported by the majority of Americans. That’s why Republicans continue to fight tooth and nail to suppress voter turn out… because I write it again: if America votes… Democrats. Will. Win. Always.
The GOP used the Tea Party to win the majority in Congress in 2010… now let the country show them just how we feel about the Republican Party willingly getting into bed with political extremist: Get rid of them. Stop the Insanity: Vote Blue in 2014.