Thursday, June 28, 2018

Down Goes The King Of Queens, But What Does It Really Mean?


by Bob Lynch
Democratic campaign operative

The large part of the analysis focused on the “shocking” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez victory in New York’s 14th Congressional District has focused on the fact that the ten term incumbent and number 4 member of the Democratic House Leadership team was taken out by a 28 year old Latina who identifies as a Democratic Socialist, calls for the disbanding of ICE, and has never held any elected office. But was the result really that shocking? And more importantly, how many Independent and casual Democrats even knew Joe Crowley’s name before Tuesday night? Painting this as a referendum on the Democratic “Establishment” seems like a stretch despite the practical implications. They reality of the matter is that this race absolutely Did Not result in the pick up of an additional blue seat.

The media often attributes the “shocking” label to events simply because they were caught off guard but that doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story nor does it “shock” those of us who pay far too close attention to these things. Many people were “shocked” that the Eagles won the Super Bowl, but it wasn’t at all surprising to people who watched a lot of Eagles games.

The media is constantly looking for a pre-arranged narrative and the idea of a Civil War within the Democratic Party seems to be the one they want to run with at this moment, sprinkled with the false choice that all Dems are either Nancy Pelosi minions or outright socialists. A little odd given that we didn’t hear any of this when Doug Jones and Conor Lamb picked up valuable seats in special elections, that far more Democrats actually participated in, by a multiple that is not even close. Approximately 28k thousand votes were cast on a ballot in the 14th district that featured two names for a seat that hasn’t seen a primary in 14 years and is widely deemed to be one of the safest Democratic seats in the entire country. The GOP candidate doesn’t even have a website.

Is Joe Crowley losing his seat to a political newcomer a big deal? Of course it is. But let’s not put the cart before the donkey...

Much has been said of the fact that Crowley’s campaign outspent Ocasio-Cortez by a factor of around 10 to 1. The emphasis on this overlooks the fact that Hillary Clinton outspent Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi has been an incredibly effective fundraiser despite leading a caucus that hasn’t held a majority since the disastrous 2010 elections.

Money can’t buy happiness and eventually we can all hope it won’t buy elections but assuming that this is a definitive referendum on getting money out of politics ignores a lot of logistical realities starting with the fact that Joe Crowley sent a stand-in to a debate with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, she cut a genuinely unique campaign ad that resonated with many young voters, and ran a well focused grass roots ground campaign. His immediate and elated concession also seemed like the type relief sentiment to be out of the mix and no doubt resonated with John Boehner.

The reality of the situation is that the leadership of the Democratic Party has already seen the writing on the wall and probably realized that saving Joe Crowley’s seat in a district the Republicans had absolutely no threat of capturing simply wasn’t worth the money and was deemed to be bad optics that would stifle the new energy of the Bernie Sanders “wing” of the party and reinforce the narrative that the DCCC is playing favorites, which in many cases is true.

There is clearly an imminent, and much needed reshuffle of senior level Democratic Leadership that insiders have been openly talking about for months, if not much longer. Don’t let a lazy media convince you that obvious things are now shocking. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of basic polling info realizes that Nancy Pelosi’s leadership is a massively polarizing issue, with no universal conclusion, and played a large part in how Conor Lamb ran his race.

New names like Ted Lieu are openly being floated and no one should act surprised. New blood is needed.

Ocasio-Cortez is just that kind of new blood the party needs and the fact that she is a Socialist shouldn’t overshadow the fact that she is foremost a She, She is a Latina, and She is absolutely going to be the youngest member in the history of the House Of Representatives which provides a great counter argument to Neo-Fascist, Racist, and all around bad guy, Tom Cotton, who is the youngest member of the Senate.

A lot of people are making extrapolations but I can guarantee that Andrew Cuomo has nothing to worry about with Cynthia Nixon, even after this result, and is probably only losing sleep tonight by watching his brother Chris giving the psychotic Rep. Steve King a platform and having debates between Van Jones and the shameless Jason Miller about civility on CNN in Prime Time. Normalizing the circus only ensures that it will eventually come to town... Joe Crowley’s concession was admirable and should be a lesson for all Dem candidates who lose primaries going forward. Endorse the victor, come together and move on. But let’s not forget that old white guys singing 30 year old Bruce Springsteen songs, to a district more familiar with the lyrics to Despacito, is largely how we found ourselves in this situation in the first place. As to the media’s insistence that this is an earth shattering wake up call to “the establishment.” Crowley was the first Democratic incumbent to lose a primary this year and the even older, whiter, and uninspiring Senator Ben Cardin won his Maryland primary against a transgender veteran, who is held up as somewhat of a cult figure in circles that actively favor dismantling the Military Industrial Complex, by over 70 points…

There were obvious winners as a result of Ocasio-Cortez’s victory and the most obvious one has to be all women. Women have largely fueled the Blue Wave and they just picked up a guaranteed new seat in Congress. The next is Latinos who also added to their presence, followed by the Millennials. Anyone discounting the importance of our government having more faces that look like the real America is missing the source of so much of our momentum. Another big winner are people who believe in grass roots campaigns, volunteers, and the importance of actually knowing your district.

The clear cut loser was any of the Special Interest Money that contributed to Crowley’s $3+million in the attempt to buy access to someone believed to be a shoe in for the next Speaker of the House. If you are currently running a congressional campaign and most of your budget is tied up in the same kind of tired media buys and mailers that Crowley relied on, you might want to hit the panic button and rethink things. The Democratic establishment, people like Robby Mook, and all of their various consultants, strategists, data wizards, communications experts and other hangers on, who haven’t realized that the ground has long since shifted under their feet, were just soundly beaten by a rag tag group of first timers on a shoe string budget.

It doesn’t take a multi million-dollar budget to realize the importance of a viral campaign ad, knocking on doors, and handing out flyers with the common sense to print them in English, Spanish, and Bengali. Meanwhile, Senator Bill Nelson can talk policy with you for hours but doesn’t even have a Spanish language website while trying to hang on to his seat in Florida in a year Dems want to make immigration an issue. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s platform may have looked like the type of detail free poster you would see in the cafeteria during a middle school student body election but she got her message across and the only thing she didn’t actually promise her voters was longer recess and free candy…

Don’t get too lost in the identity politics issue either and keep in mind that the bulk of the difference makers in the NY-14 race’s turn out were college educated, millennial white voters who had long since been priced out of Brooklyn, let alone Manhattan. It is also infinitely easier to knock on doors in New York City than just about anywhere else in the country.

We’re already one day in, and Ocasio-Cortez is already on CNN and Fox News making routine rookie mistakes and feeding right into the divisive narrative that could doom the party moving ahead. There is no reason for her to ever be on Fox News, she won’t need a single GOP vote in the general, and there needs to be someone savvy enough to tell her this.

Congratulations to Ocasio-Cortez and to all of the volunteers and grassroots supporters who made this amazing upset happen. Do not dismiss many of the ideas she ran on. They are powerful and are not going away. Let’s just make sure we are in a position to address them in a realistic way and not concede the whole package to the GOP like we did in 2016. Do not get ahead of ourselves and make the disastrous assumption that what works in NY-14 will work in every other district in the country.

We have to remember that the crucial and immediate goal is to win control of Congress and provide a necessary check on Donald Trump and the GOP. Nobody wants the Democratic Party to be involved in internecine warfare more than Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon except maybe the New York Times and CNN, who have been relentlessly pushing the story. We need to stick together folks, and we have to win.

The disastrous announcement of Justice Kennedy’s retirement means that there will most likely be another conservative Supreme Court Justice already confirmed before the midterm elections. The threat level has been turned up to life or death and the only realistic solution to Donald Trump, the GOP, and a fascist dictatorship that will roll back all civil rights advances of the past 100- years is regaining the House and investigating any and everyone involved in the election of Donald Trump as well as everything him and his GOP cabal has done while in office. The fate of the free world relies on this mission.

Labels: , , ,


At 1:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...Nancy Pelosi’s leadership is a massively polarizing issue..."

Nancy Pelosi’s LACK OF leadership is a massively polarizing issue. She is the one who should have assigned someone to Ocasio-Cortez to keep her from going on CNN and Fox News and making those "routine rookie mistakes".

It is the sorry state of "democratic" leadership which mocks the need to rescue the world from the Trumpzis. Even if the Party weren't so corrupt, they are too clueless and incompetent to tie their own political shoelaces. They rush to the aisles to hold their flashlights on the path to perdition so that Trump doesn't trip while taking the world to a very dark place.

At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lynch seems to be trying to imply that over-excited Bernie-loving millennials' impatience caused Democrats to

"concede the whole package to the GOP [like we did] in 2016."

because they made

"the disastrous assumption that what works in NY-14 will work in every other district in the country."

This implication is absolute bullshit, and indulging in flinging it around, however deeply wrapped in conciliatory rhetoric, is one the best ways to undermine the "unity" that Lynch purports to seek.

At 10:19 AM, Blogger someITguy said...

So, you knew she would win? And now you know Nixon won't.

Also, she won because the leadership "let" her, meaning they knew she was going to win too.

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's your "rookie" in an interview

--JS: You’re going up against a long-time member of Congress who there’s discussion he may one day be the Speaker of the House or the leader of the Democrats in the Congress. But the role that the institutional elite or the mainstream of Democratic Party politicians play in creating the ground for Trump to do something like this.

AOC: First of all, the idea of immigration as a partisan issue, the idea of war as a partisan issue, the idea of certain issues that should be galvanizing around social, economic and racial justice, that all of us should be agreeing on are now becoming partisan. And so what’s concerning to me about saying, “Trump! Trump! Trump!” or “GOP! GOP! GOP!” is that in the history of the United States, particularly the modern history of the United States, immigration has never been a partisan issue. In fact, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, not to defend or evangelize their administrations, but they were actually known to be quite liberal on immigration. You know, Reagan had his amnesty policy. You have George W. Bush that was actually very welcoming in both his rhetoric and many of his policies towards immigrants, despite the creation of ICE.

And so, historically, immigration has not been a partisan issue until the rising racial resentments of the Trump administration and what we have recently seen in perhaps the last five years. Issues that are just morally right and wrong are now starting to be hijacked by both parties as partisan issues, which should be very, very concerning to all of us as American citizen.

Moreover, the fact that the Democratic Party has not been the party of immigrants.

And 10 years ago I had worked in Ted Kennedy’s immigration office and he, to his credit, he had one of the best immigration constituent service offices in the country. And I would be handling some of these cases, and women and families would call me in a total panic because their husbands were scooped off the street in the middle of the day or they came home and there are literally stories of people coming home to their front doors open, and you know their stove flames are still on and their families are missing. And our incumbents created that system. Everyone who voted for it is responsible. Period. And they need to be held accountable and if they’re not actively calling for the abolition of ICE, then I don’t want to hear it. This idea that we’re going to fight Trump without taking hard committed stances is just a farce and it’s a media play and I do think that our Democratic establishment has to take ownership over the mistakes that they have made in the past — and they either, they should either acknowledge their past actions as mistakes and commit to a course correction or, if they don’t acknowledge that their actions were a mistake, frankly, they need to go.--

At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:29, good catch.

Up until the hate agenda became overt among Nazis, stoked by trump's overt racism, illegal immigration was TOLERATED by the Nazis because corporations love them some cheap, powerless labor (who didn't dare organize or make demands lest they be deported). And the democraps (since 1981) also both tolerated it AND cynically used their tolerance as a campaign issue to attract stupid latinos' (mostly) votes.

For some reason, unfathomable politically except for the democraps' desire to attract SOME Nazi voters, he became the stealthy trump before trump started using his bullhorn. He deported orders of magnitude more than anyone before even though THAT was not part of the 2008 voter mandate he was gifted with. In fact, I believe it was his DHS that created the kangaroo immigration courts absent true judges and lawyers, and also absent the guarantees of Miranda. So there's that...

But trump is somehow worse... and we all now yearn for the salad days of obamanation's ... deporting orders of magnitude more than anyone before...

yet still no epiphany.

At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what does it all mean? simple. it means that Pelosi is going to remain democrap leader and, likely, speaker.

It means we rewind to 2006 when the democraps refuse to impede the Nazis at all, looking for bigger windfalls in the 2020 presidential cycle. I means if they get those windfalls, they'll spend 2 years obscenely repaying their donors, doing dick for people, labor, etc. And it means they'll be a PERMANENT minority again in 2022 as 10s of millions of their voters permanently leave.

That is only *IF* the ruling Nazis will tolerate 2 or 4 years of democrap majorities.

I seriously doubt that they'll let that ever happen. Elections will be stopped if it looks bleak for the swastikas.

At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:29 & 2:29, good catch. too much info (cut & paste).Too many blogs on the net. Keep it short and to the point, you'll have more readers.Now to my next blog.

At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:41, without the information, it's all just screaming.

Perhaps that's why this is such a shithole?


Post a Comment

<< Home