When Matt Bevin, Tea Party extremist, won the position of Governor of Kentucky last week the Democrats acted, there is really no good American English word for it, gobsmacked. Have they not been paying attention? What was the strategy of the Democrats (and not just the ones in Kentucky) that led them to believe that there should have been a different outcome?
It is not as if the internet isn’t teeming with articles about the way Republicans have been playing deep – using Koch money to influence local elections. Even here, in the middle of Northeastern NYS, my city is rapidly turning red. Republicans got a virtual unknown elected to replace Dan Maffei in the House even though he was supported by both Bill Clinton and Joe Biden at local rallies (not very well advertised rallies). The tables were turned by a massive TV ad campaign, the new “red state” skew of the local newspaper, and because Americans will not stop listening to FOX News.
I have written at least 10 blog posts on this Republican strategy to win at the state and local level. Here are the particulars:
Still Manipulating the National Agenda, 3/17/2013
Behind the Curtain: Exposing Oz, 5/31/2013
Who’s Zoomin’ Who?, 4/15/2014
Democrats: Wusses or Saviors of our Nation?, 6/19/2014
Heavenly Peace in Washington, DC, 8/31/2014
Will the Left Lose in 2014 Midterms-Most Say Yes, 10/16/2014
No Politics are Local – Republican Mantras, 10/31/2014
One Election Bought and Paid For, 11/2/2014
Divide and Conquer, 12/7/2014
The 2016 Election Conspiracy of the GOP, 2/26/2015
Democrats have never taken the data seriously until now. It may be too late. We might win the Presidency, although with all the tinkering Republicans have done with voter suppression and district lines and polling places and voter ID’s, we might not. Even if we do, however, it will take decades to win back the states.
I don’t condone the ways the Republicans have played the game (with our lives in the balance) and I don’t think the Democrats should try to pay more to buy the 2016 election than the GOP, or that they should suppress Republican votes. These tactics are un-American, un-Democratic, and they treat the American people like pawns. But we certainly needed to put more passion behind our policies and our beliefs. Now it looks like we will have to watch every “red state” turn into Kansas before the American people understand the profound derangement of the right wing in America. The Democrats could start now with a unified strategy to at least try to save us from a decade of “wrongness”.
Bu Nancy Brisson