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View Diary: DCCC post-mortem ignores Hackett war stance (312 comments)

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  •  I stand with Howard Dean (none)
    We need to fight everywhere.
    •  Do You Believe It's Equally Easy and... (4.00)
      ...equally difficult to win any district?  That Jim Matheson's and John Conyers' districts are equally competetive, so resources should be expended equally in every one of the 435 congressional districts?

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 03:12:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Local People (none)
        I think the Key to Dean is to localize and fight everywhere. Local people know best and know how competitive a district is and can be and what candidate would do best.

        I'd like to see the DCCC craft a decent message to nationalize campaigns - but judging by this diary from kos - aint gonna be a working one thats for sure.

        I think congressional dems need to start to understand being a congresscritter isnt a job. its public service and they shuldnt be afraid of losing. If the reason they dont fight is because they are afraid of losnig then they are the wrong people to be representing us in the first place.

        fight in every district. It doesnt all require money.

        •  This Post Misses the Point (4.00)
          As I point out here, Sirota (and by extension Markos) completely miss the point that that document isn't a strategy memo, it's a rah-rah faux insider document that members pass around to potential donors to convince them that investing in the Congressional Dems is a good investment.  The fact is, that document doesn't mention ANY issues.  Sirota could just as easily argue that the document ignores Hackett's embrace of a pro-NRA position on gun rights, because the docuement mentions nothing about guns either.  

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 03:21:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you (none)
            DH, I don't comment around here much anymore (man, that needs to change!), but I absolutely see your point.  This seems to be a case of manipulating this release by the D trip to adhere to the lingering, and real, antipathy towards our national party as a whole.

            "'Shit' is the tofu of cursing" --David Sedaris

            by LiberalVirginian on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 03:35:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, where's the outrage(TM)? (4.00)
            This post-mortem doesn't address CAFTA!

            This post-mortem doesn't address the bankruptcy bill!

            This post-mortem doesn't address the GOP Medicare bill!

            This post-mortem doesn't address verified voting!

            Any other week of the year, Sirota would have found this memo to be an outrage against whatever was on his mind at the time.

          •  you may be correct technically (4.00)
            that the lack of any mention of Hackett's war stance is not glaring b/c of the nature of the DCCC paper, but the SPIRIT of what kos is saying here (i.e. that the mainstream Dems need to pay more attention to the growing outrage against the Iraq war and Bush's handling of it) is what counts.

            Like the diary by Armando about why the Iraq war remains the critical issue, this diary is meant to shed light on something certain mainstream national Dem politicians seem to be missing: that more and more Americans want out of Iraq, that they think the war was a mistake, and that Bush is lying.

            •  Well, It's a Really Bad Example (none)
              If the point is to argue that the House Dems aren't making a point of the Iraq war, citing this document as evidence, once it's understood what the document is, is silly.  As Kagro points out just above, you could make your argument apply to this document on just about any issue, not just the Iraq war.  

              The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

              by Dana Houle on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 03:49:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But please lets not lose the forest for the trees (none)

                -- DH - you are correct about the bad example, but we donot have a strong position against the war.  Not only is the war wrong on its own merits - but its a huge distraction for this administration and should be addressed aggressively and directly.  Are the Dems doing that? (even Dean) - well - NO. Why is THAT?
                I DON'T KNOW - DO YOU???

                Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

                by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 04:24:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Blaming That on the DCCC is Wrong (none)
                  Until there's agreement among the policy makers--in other words, the actual Democratic members of Congress elected by a plurality or majority of voters in 202 Congressional districts across America--the DCCC can't run around advocating a position that's highly contested within the caucus.  It's unrealistic to expect them to.  

                  The "blame" for the confusion and lack of coherent message on the war in Iraq doesn't lie with the DCCC or the DSCC, it lies with the Senators and the Members of Congress.

                  The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                  by Dana Houle on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 04:31:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not blaming the DCCC per se (none)

                    -- but what are the Democrats who support the war thinking about and why are they thinking that way given the evidence and resulting support for this administration? I don't expect you to have the answers - but I want to grab these Dems by the lapel and ask them why, why, why?  Its the most nonsensical and destructive stand that is impacting our party's ability to advocate for change.  Oh please, don't let it be some triangulation answer....

                    I want some answers from someone on the justification for this for a Democrat.....

                    Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

                    by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 06:54:06 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm With You on the War Issue (none)
                      I just wanted to make it clear that the DCCC isn't the place where one should pin any blame for those Dems who support the war.  They can't take sides on policy disputes, because their "bosses"--the 202 Democratic members of congress--are all over the map on these issues.  In order to elect Dems and be true to the beliefs and positions of the members and the challengers, next fall they're going to be helping candidates who say the war was a disaster from the start and that's why they've always opposed it, and probably a few here and there who say they've always supported it and always will support it.  

                      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                      by Dana Houle on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 07:01:33 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  No issues? (4.00)
            I don't think I've ever called bullshit on DH ever before, but here it is:

            The very last paragraph:

            "Last night we saw independents and rock solid Republicans say that they have had enough of a Congress that is in the grips of the special interests, roiled by ethics investigations and doing nothing to help solve the pressing challenges of the middle class."

            Sorry, but there's no doubt that the war belongs in this paragraph. Economic issues were included. Corruption was included. The 'special interests' thing was included.

            But the biggest issue in the whole fucking world was ignored? Bullshit. It was a glaring omission.

            •  Look Below (none)

              Actually, It's a Dumb or Dishonest Argument (4.00 / 4)

              That document doesn't mention ANY policies.  You could just as easily argue that it ignored Hackett's position as a strong supporter of gun rights as defined by the NRA.  The fact is, other than the sorta nebulous "ethics" issue, that supposed "strategy memo" doesn't mention a single issue.  

              The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

              by DHinMI on Fri Aug 5th, 2005 at 17:11:30 EST

              You could argue that it does refer to the war by mentioning the "pressing challenges of the middle class," which is the debt created by the war.  It would be just as precise as anything else you want to make of that comment.

              This isn't a post-mortem, it's a hype piece to say the Dems are on the march, and give money to the DCCC.  

              The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

              by Dana Houle on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 03:53:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Whoa there... (none)
                I don't think any average voter would associate "pressing challenges of the middle class" with debt created by the Iraq War.  I'm just an average guy, but to me that sounds like "high gas prices, damn homes are expensive, how the hell will I get health insurance", etc.  As for kos' point, if the DCCC has the compelling national strategy that you want, the corruption and special interests aspects are a very good track.  So Iraq isn't included--until we see any exit polling from why Reps stayed away from the polls or crossed over, we DON'T KNOW why it happened...

                I'd love to see the exits, btw

                "'Shit' is the tofu of cursing" --David Sedaris

                by LiberalVirginian on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 03:59:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Don't Get Me Wrong (none)
                  I'm not saying that the statement about the middle class does refer to the Iraq war.  I'm just saying it's so (intentionally) vague that it could be read by almost anyone to be about "their" personal issue.  You mentioned gas prices, home prices and health insurance.  A senior in an urban area who doesn't drive a car but has Medicare might think of drug prices, crime and the threat to social security.  And in Ohio, there are about 20 families of U.S. Marines who might be thinking about how their middle class family just lost a spouse/father/son etc in al Anbar province in Iraq.  

                  It's so vague as to mean almost anything, so it's just about as accurate to say that it excludes plenty of other things that were important to the Hackett campaign, like the fact that he didn't get lured in to gay bashing, that he wasn't afraid of criticizing Schmidt for taking orders from the fundies on moral issues, and that he championed personal liberties by riding his Harley without a helmet.

                  The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                  by Dana Houle on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 04:06:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I still think you're stretching, DH (none)
                    but we may just have to agree to disagree on the interpretation of the DCCC's words.  But I think we can all agree that the DCCC's release kept in the spirit of the great litmus test Kos laid down a few day ago:

                    "'Shit' is the tofu of cursing" --David Sedaris

                    by LiberalVirginian on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 04:34:20 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  This Press Release-- (none)
                      --and it's a press release, not some super secret internal strategy memo--was designed not to offend, because it's directed at hyping the Congressional Dems' chances in 2006.  It's a case of putting out vague words so people could interpret them how they want.  Some interpret them to mean that the glass is half or more full.  Others are screaming that it's somewhere less than half empty.  

                      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                      by Dana Houle on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 04:39:06 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  If it's a press release (none)
                        and the goal is not to risk "offending" doesn't that go to my point that I made to you yesterday, that this is precisely the problem with the party. It's fear of taking even caculated risks. We know from the polls that most Americans are not for the war. Yet, according to you they were writing PR that is designed not to offend. How can this help with trying to take a bold strategy against Republican dominance? You said in a post to me that this isn't about not taking risks, it's about assessing risk, and I inferred you meant taking caculated risks. So, given the environment we re in now, and the the fact that they are not willing to take even this small risk by saying that the Hackett race suggests a change of environmental circumstances in terms of the political will of the American people- then what makes you think the Democrats will even take a caculated risk?
                        •  Apples and Oranges (none)
                          This isn't directed at voters, it's something they give to members so they can give it to prospective donors to the DCCC.  It's not about policy, it's not about message to voters, it's about saying "Congressional Dems are great!  Give us some support."  Why clutter it up with something that may, for some people, unnecessarily and unproductively detract from the "Dems are great" message?

                          Really, David Sirota must be concerned about traffic to his blog, because he went looking for something to make into a scandal.  As Kagro X points out, this "argument" could have been made about ANY issue.

                          Why isn't Sirota arguing that it neglects Hackett's embrace of the NRA, and that Dems should therefore embrace the NRA?  

                          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                          by Dana Houle on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 06:31:25 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  It still seems odd (none)
                            The risk of "offending" approach. I will let you in on something. I receive correspondence from the Republicans. Both E-mails and literature. I like to know what they are saying to each other. They show no such restraints about offending their moderates. This is also odd because I am a moderate, and, if they wanted to make a non offensive statement, they could have said something like "Hackett was able to voice the Democrats concerns over the Republicans prosecution of the Iraqi War." or the "the Republicans mistakes in being boneheaded about the iraqi War." None of which calls into question anyones prior judgment except that of the Republicans. There are ways to do this without offending people. And, I can't imagine that any real Democrat would care if you offend the Republicans. At least that would fire up the bases. How does a neutral non descriptive PR do that? I also have friends who work in PR- so to me again your thesis is a bit odd because my friends who are in PR and marketing don't go for blandness as an approach to motivate or rouse the troops (customers). They use vivid descriptions designed to evoke strong emotional connection. I don't see how a non risk taking bland approach does that.

                            By the way, I understand your point- Sirota does seem to overstate the position- but he makes a valid larger claim even if it's unintended. namely that as far as messaging goes- the national dems are punting on the need to brand ourselves. I keep hearing Democrats say we are different fro the republicans. I heard From said that on Hardball last night. Yeah, okay- so what's the difference? You need to be able to explain that to people in passionate, simple and charismatic terms. We live in a pop culture society. We need to use that as the Republicans do with their myth machine.

              •  parsing this particular (none)
                this way document may be besides the point. I think kos is simply arguing that the Iraq war (as a disaster Bush created) should be mentioned in virtually EVERY memo the Dems send out.

                Now you may think that's PR overkill, but it's true the Dems are not unified and vocal enough yet against the Iraq war. And some of the real heavy-hitters like Hillary seem to be avoiding tackling the war issue head on. The question is: why is the Dem party so afraid of openly challenging Bush on his f**ed up war?

                •  Because Dems love to re-live the 60s (none)
                  Because so many Dems suffered so deeply at the defeat of the anti-war coalition after the war ended that they still can't get over the defeat we now see a party unwilling to oppose a war no matter how stupid because they think it opens us up to attack (guess what? we get attacked no matter what!). The post-Watergate era led to a slow erosion of LBJ's ruling majority. One of the major ways that the final nail was pounded into the coffin was Reagan and the right's accusation that Carter was too timid (and thus the whole party as the other leader of the party was Kennedy who was part of the still-intact left that descended from the anti-war movement. Since 1980 Americans have seen the Democratic Party as the "give sympathy to our enemies" party (actually it goes back farther to the Cold War 1950s but Kennedy was effective at seeming tough and determined- re: Bay of Pigs which was a fiasco but showed him willing to take on the Soviets which is sort of what Clinton sought to do with some of his efforts). So now we have some in the party who think the way out is to appear tough (they usually are the same people who think we need to get tough on gays and abortions and ditch whatever moral core we have in order to appear more "moderate." Hillary, Bayh, Lieberman and others have all taken these "lessons" to heart and accept them as gospel even though they are just the result of a concerted attack by the military industrial complex's payments to help fund the right wing noise machine. Anyway, that's my reading of it...
                  •  Then it's as I said today (none)
                    it's the DLC living in the past. they are battling a  war with the Republicans that occured in the 80s. Kerry didn't lose last year because he was "weak" on terror, he lose because he was perceived as a waffler. Meaning people didn't know what he stood for. Rather than arguing that we are exactly like the Republicans- wouldn't the better argument be when facing an enemy we are tough and smart.
              •  When people resort (none)
                to intellectual dishonesty you know they have lost the debate. Economic issues are not "pressing challenges of middle class" while a war being fought thousands of miles away IS? There is a reason DCCC gets its ass kicked. They can't even fucking argue.
              •  Kos couldn't be wronger. . . (none)
                The memo only took a glancing look at one issue--and that was the Iraq war, styling Hackett a "principled Iraqi war veteran" and his scabrous opponent an ethically challenged political hack (I exaggerate there).  The memo danced lightly over the whole race.  Lacking substance, it simply pointed out Hackett's measure of success in a very red district.  The analysis starts now  and in the weeks to come.

                What Emmanuel was trying to get at--and what remains the problem here in Southwest Ohio--is how to get at the exurbs.  Hackett lost because he could not get close to Schmidt in Clermont County, one of the fastest growing exurban counties in the state.  He lost in Clermont by 4500 votes, and lost overall by 3500.

                Until we learn what to say to the exurbanites, we will continue to lose.  The memo points out that Hackett did better than Kerry.  I submit that is because he was not perceived as a "flip flopper", and because he came across as a straight talker.  The remark about Bush as SOB did not help and Hackett knew that.  I saw Hackett Monday morning and the last thing he said to me was "I am going to watch what I say these last 24 hours."

                Kos, Armando, et al. are correct about the need to be fighting Democrats.  But that does not mean picking fights where you are irritating the hell out of the poeple you are trying to convince.  Hackett came close because he was a straight shooter--not because he was burning his draft card.

                 When are we going to learn that it was the excesses of 1968 that were the death knell of the Democratic majority?  Undisciplined acting out instead of reasoned discourse and planned attack have killed us.  

                We need to do more than say the Repugs are full of shit--we have to explain and explain again that Iraq is not only morally wrong, but is against our national interests in every way--not just morally, but socially, economically and geopolitically.  It is not just a moral issue, but a strategic issue--and if the independents and thinking Repubs won't buy one,  they darn well ought to buy the other.

                We need to fight, but fighting takes strategy, just not flailing away at the opposition.  This fight is a 15 rounder, not a first round knock out.  

                Hackett lost round one,  but the Repugs are bleeding from a couple of ugly cuts over the eyes. The key is to exploit the cuts without being penalized for low blows.

                What rough beast, its hour come round at last/Slouches toward Bethlehem waiting to be born?

                by cova1 on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 06:52:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  of course Kos is right (none)
              This sentence he quotes is of course a list of the reasons DCCC thinks independents and GOP voters, who went for Bush in November, went for Hackett this week.

              This list does NOT include unhappiness about the Iraq war. Plus, the memo specifically says:

              We knew if this race simply became weeks and weeks of NRCC vs. DCCC, it would become a Republican smear campaign of national liberal vs. Bush conservative, and we would lose that fight. This needed to be a local race about local issues -- pitting a principled Iraq War veteran against an ethically-challenged typical politician.

              "This needed to be a local race about local issues" -- not a debate about the Iraq war, because criticising Bush's war would only hurt Hackett, not help him. that's pretty clearly the DCCC opinion, isn't it?

              •  Um, Where Does It Say Anything... (none)
                ...about how or even whether independents or Republicans voted for Hackett?

                A post-mortem would discuss such things.  This document doesn't.  

                The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                by Dana Houle on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 06:09:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  look again at the quote from the memo (none)
                  that Kos uses in his comment to you, "No issues?," that my comment replies to.

                  Here's the quote again:

                  "Last night we saw independents and rock solid Republicans say that they have had enough of a Congress that is in the grips of the special interests, roiled by ethics investigations and doing nothing to help solve the pressing challenges of the middle class."

                  OK, it says "we saw independents and rock solid Republicans say" not "we saw independents and rock solid Republicans VOTE" but c'mon, DCCC is talking votes for Hackett here, not about some conversation they overheard among voters who have "had enough" etc. but nonetheless voted for Schmidt.

                  •  OK, You're Right About What It Says (none)
                    I was wrong about what it actually said.  But my point, which I muffed by being too precise, is that nothing is offered there in terms of analysis to actually demostrate or at least speculate in an informed manner as to how the vote broke down.

                    Here's my suspicion: it was a special election, which almost always means low turnout, mostly from the two parties' respective bases.  Talking out clearly and unambiguously against the war, especially since he served, intensely fired up our base.  Because support for the war is waning, and because Hackett is such a compelling messenger against the war (because of his bio and his style), his outspokeness didn't motivate the Republican base to "punish" him the way it might have in 2003 or even 2004.  

                    So I think the war issue was a factor.  But because of the special features here--special election, compelling candidate who himself served in Iraq, Coingate hovering overhead with everything about the Ohio GOP--I would want to be very careful about the conclusions we can or should draw about what this means nationally vis a vis the war.  I want to hope that this race provides clues as to how to use the war against the Republicans, and I think it may provide some clues.  But it very way may not, and that's not something we're likely to discover or discern in or disseminate via a 2 page rah-rah press release.  That's something that will be looked at in relation to polling data, whatever exit polling was done (if any), post election polling in the district (if any), and an analysis of the vote.

                    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                    by Dana Houle on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 07:26:07 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  As was (none)
                pointed out on Washington Week in Review tonight, Hackett ran two campaigns.  One for the blogosphere and media reaching the country and the local race.  In the local race, he ran an ad that showed Bush calling people to serve and talking about Paul's service.  In the local race he didn't trash talk Bush.  For the blogosphere and the national media, he talked more about his having been opposed to the war.  Hackett knew himself to downplay the anti-war and anti-Bush talk in his own district.  He talked about Schmidt being a rubber stamp to DeLay.  Blaming the DCCC for any of this is plain wrong.

                Winning without Delay.

                by ljm on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 07:38:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  yeah, we heard about that ad here (none)
                  as I recall, some Hackett supporters didn't believe it at first. thought it was wing-nut propaganda.

                  Anyway, I'm certainly not "blaming the DCCC," or offering any analysis about Hackett's campaign. I don't have any expertise to do so.

                  All I was saying was that "Kos was right" when he called bullshit on DHinMI's comment, "The fact is, that document doesn't mention ANY issues."

                  Because I read the memo -- I opened both .pdf documents -- and I saw that, in fact, issues WERE mentioned but, as Kos said, not Hackett's criticism of the war.

                  that's all.

                  •  Where? (none)
                    OK, I asked before, and you gave me an example.  So I'll ask again: what issues are mentioned, other than a vague stab at "ethics?"  

                    Did they mention, for instance, Hackett's position on guns?

                    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                    by Dana Houle on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 03:24:01 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  DHinMI, give it up (none)
                      Stick to arguing that Kos and Sirota and Joe Conason and others may be jumping to unwarranted conclusions in their analysis of why Hackett did so well, OK? (as you did in your previous comment to me re: how Democrats should "be very careful about the conclusions we can or should draw about what this means nationally vis a vis the war.")

                      that's a perfectly legitimate argument -- especially since, as you say, it's so soon after the election. I certainly remember all the absolute conclusions posted here in November about how this issue cost Democrats the election or these voters cost Democrats the election, and then later, as it turns out, those analyses were based on assumptions / early reports that turned out not to be true.

                      But your insistence that the memo doesn't say what it clearly says, even after your earlier admission that you were "wrong about what it actually said" -- isn't helping your argument.

                      •  Then Show Me! (none)
                        Where does it "clearly" say anything about any issue other than ethics?

                        It's only a two page memo.  It shouldn't be hard to find it and highlight it.

                        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                        by Dana Houle on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 08:22:23 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  it WAS highlighted -- by Kos in his quote (none)
                          from the memo, which I've repeated several times, and which you can find (if you need to read it yet again) in Kos' "No Issues?" comment above, directed to you.

                          you don't think that qualifies as "a mention" of issues -- because it's not specific enough, it's not done with bullet points, or whatever -- fine, you're welcome to that opinion.

                          but it's lame to continue to suggest -- "It shouldn't be that hard to find and highlight," indeed -- that we haven't shown you the quote -- over and over -- that WE think clearly constitutes "a mention" of issues, even if you disagree that it does.

                          •  No, It's Not Lame (none)
                            The middle class is not "an issue."  If you can't highlight where an "issue" other than ethics is mentioned in that two-page memo, I guess I'll conclude that you couldn't find it, but rather than admit error like I did above on a slightly different topic, you're just goind to play word games.

                            The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                            by Dana Houle on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 12:38:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  Argument (none)
        DH, that sounds like a pretty weak straw-man to me. Has anyone seriously made that argument?
        •  Not a Strawman (none)
          I'm not attributing it to him.  But he's completely ignored any discussion about targeting, just saying banality like "we have to fight."  I'd really like to know what method he would use for prioritizing races, but since he's adamantly refused to even engage the position that prioritizing is necessary, I'm just seeking clarification, trying to find out if the reason he hasn't engaged the issue is because he rejects my fundamental premise, that prioritizing is necessary.

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 04:27:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  350K (none)
            I think Chris Bowers took a look late last year or early this year at all the House races which went uncontested by Dems - I wanna say it was around 35 nationwide, mighta been more.

            Chris argued that $10K in seed money for each of these seats would have been money well spent, and I'm inclined to agree. For $350K, you woulda made at least a few otherwise-free-to-roam incumbents spend a few more weekends at home... and who knows who mighta caught fire, or which incumbent would have suddently decided to retire, etc.?

            Jerome also recently pointed to a report which showed how much the ability of Congressmen to raise money for their colleagues was hampered by the presence of an opponent. (Not so surprising.)

            So I think that's a starting point, in terms of deciding how you fight "everywhere" while still managing your priorities. I'll try to find that post of Chris's.

            •  I believe you refer to ... (none)
              ... wl's Project 90.

              Don't it just make ya wanna throe up?

              by RonK Seattle on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 04:49:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's Fine, And The Other Day... (none)
              ...somebody made a suggestion--was it Kagro X, or did he just praise the person for the suggestion?--that such a project would be a perfect fit for blogs.  I strongly agree that we'd benefit from a little seed money in each district, training for the candidate and their staff to know how to make good use of that seed money, and guidance to empower candidates and campaigns in lots of districts to become effective enough that they could possibly put themselves in contention for additional support from the national committees, national donors and the key allies like labor, the NEA, ATLA, etc.  

              But you still need to target the resources.  If after you give the seed money and early guidance to every campaign, you could end up with two equally impressive campaigns running in open seat previously held by a Repub, with equally effective opponents.  But what if one district is a 67% Repub district, and the other one is a 56% Repub district?  It's almost impossible to steal the 67% Repub CD, but much less impossible to steal the 56% Repub CD.

              And assessing how the DCCC has performed over the years requires, I think any fair-minded person would agree, some awareness of the numbers of seats that are from 50 to 55% Repub or Dem, 55 to 60% Repub or Dem, etc, as well as an understanding of how many of each type of seat is held by Dems and by Repubs.  Having that knowledge makes one aware that the map is heavly tilted against the Dems, and that despite that we've actually stolen far more Repub seats than the Repubs have stolen Dem seats.  

              The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

              by Dana Houle on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 05:02:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  So let's think about where we agree. (none)
              I can buy into the argument that having a race at home keeps you there, and keeps you from raising money for opponents. That seems intuitive.

              On the other hand, I think that $10K won't do the trick. But that's nothing to get concerned about just yet.

              I'm always up for trying to work something out that's concrete and doable, though. So why don't we see if there's something to be done?

              Bob just helped drum up something like $350K, give or take a few grand, depending on how you define "netroots." So you may not even need the DCCC at all, if that's your goal. Which in my book means you can safely leave them out of any screeds which might become necessary, except to the extent, I suppose, that you find that you raise more when you bash them.

              But what about a cooperative challenge, instead? What if Bob constructively engaged the DCCC, and tested their willingness to, say, match the "netroots" up to $350K, for a fund dedicated to seed money for such candidates? Would you be interested in working on something like that?

              •  Sure (none)
                I would be, sure. But giving $10K in seed money to 35 candidates in 35 previously uncontested districts requires a TON more effort than just raising the money. You'd need a whole apparatus dedicated to finding candidates, helping them get on the ballot, etc.
                •  Of course. (none)
                  But the DCCC can't be involved in the primaries. So any candidate they matched donations to would already be on the ballot as the Democratic nominee.

                  That part, you'd have to take care of yourselves. Although there's nothing standing in the way of discussing a complementary and cooperative candidate recruiting program, when there are no other takers to be found.

                  So, you talk to your people, and I'll talk to my people, and we'll pretend we have pull for a while, and see if anyone bites.

            •  Eh. (none)
              Ginny Schrader had raised $20K on her own before the blogosphere swooped in and doubled her totals.  Didn't make her a better candidate.

              The thing is, we can't do candidate recruiting  unless we're actually in the districts and can gain personal knowledge of these folks. There's only so much a keyboard can do.

              "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

              by Adam B on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 08:02:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Slight disagreement with your logic (none)
        Your argument is either-or. Either we expend resources equally or we ignore "unwinable" districts.

        I don't think anyone would argue that some districts are more difficult or almost impossible to win. But this doesn't mean they should be ignored either. Strategic losses are important as well.

        The problem I have with the "lack of resources" argument in general is that it take a myopic view of each race. The battle for the houses of congress are divided up into their various district and state races. This ignores the sum of the parts.

        To use boxing as an example, a fighter does not come out in just rounds 1, 3 and 5 with round houses to the head hoping for a knockout. Body blows, although they will not bring down the opponent, add up and eventually can lead to the knock out punch.

        Fighting in every district, even if only in a limited fashion, is a form of body blow to the Republican party. It drains their resources. It makes them defend seats they thought safe. It rallies the base and forms Democratic organizations in places where none existed before. It lays the ground work for future victories should an exciting candidate of district demographics change. It highlights issues that otherwise would remain silent.

        Until we view races for congress as more than just district races we fight a limited fight. We play not to lose.

        I respect your views, but focusing on resources is not playing to win.

    •  If we spread resource equally across districts ... (4.00)
      ... wouldn't that make us 4-to-1 spending laggards in EVERY ONE of the top 50 competitive districts?

      And wouldn't that cede the GOP an advantage of 20 to 30 seats per cycle?

      Or is that too much math for ya?

      Don't it just make ya wanna throe up?

      by RonK Seattle on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 03:19:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not EQUAL Spending, but good candidates (none)
        in every district, and SOME energy and yes money in every district.  No definitely not equal.
      •  Incidentally, when the archives come back up (none)
        ... discussants might be encouraged to review my 2004-02-26 Always Contest the District -- quite possibly the most influentially misunderstood post in dailyKos history.

        Don't it just make ya wanna throe up?

        by RonK Seattle on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 04:58:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So, RonK (2.50)
          what was the 0 for? Have you checked the ratings guidelines recently? From the FAQ:

          Many users believe that the rating system is intented to be an opportunity to express agreement or disagreement with a post, or with the poster themself. This is not accurate; ratings are intended to help elevate those posters that consistently make clear, good arguments and points, regardless of content, and to prevent trolls from invading the message board. Downrating commenters on the basis of agreement or disagreement with their arguments leads to a monolithic forum, free of new ideas and input.

          Follow the link to wiki, you bastard, and check my history here at dKos and show me how I'm a troll.


          I cried when they shot Medgar Evers
          tears ran down my spine
          -- Phil Ochs

          by litho on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 05:45:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. let's do the math! (none)
        The Democrats have many safe seats, 60 or more. The Conyers, Waxmans, Slaughters, Emanuels (yes I know -- he's my congress person even though I opposed him in his first primary, when Clinton came in for Rahm's fund raisers it was all over) et al. That frees up lots of money for both the DCCC and the blogosphere.

        Second, I seriously doubt 350 grand is ALL of the resources available for the blogosphere or the DCCC.

        Bonddad points out here and in Booman Tribune (sorry I don't know how to do links, but the posts are recent, after the Hackett election) that both as a mathematical and a marketing approach the 50 state 435 seat approach is the only way to go. Selective targeting shrinks both brand AND market.

        Third, Hackett ran in a district where the Republican gets 70% even in his First race. Paul shrank the margin to 3.2% Any Republican facing a serious challeger with less than 67% is in deep doodoo.

        Fourth, an across the board challenge fundamentally changes the character of the national perception of the races, restricts the mobility and fund raising of the Republicans and the inability to carpet bag with money, foot soldiers, expertise and slime.

        Fifth. across the board races fundamentally changes the base in the locale and provides more momentum for the future.

        In the Chicago, in Harold Washington's two races for mayor, a coalition fought a well disciplined
        and well oiled machine, armed not only with money, but illegal patronage jobs and contract favors. We ain't called clout city for nada.

        Aldermen, previously known for releasing their campaign funds and troops to machine troubled campaign in other areas were challenged in their home wards by opponents, sometimes real, sometimes guerilla foes. The aldermen fearing their own survivals scurried right home.

        Result, after a mean, hard fought, bigoted pair of campaigns, Washington won both races and wound up with a City Council backing him, and later some of those early successful aldermanic challengers went on to be some of Congress's most liberal.

        There are many attractive options. Selected attack, and giving up on some races is for the timid, shy loser.

        At the Battle of Moscow, the Soviets bet the farm and won.

        •  Very well, let's see the math (none)
          That's a fine inventory of hand-waving arguments ... where's the math?

          We're not talking about $350K. We're talking about the full out-of-pocket cost of running head-to-head competitive campaigns in all districts. In round numbers, $1M a seat. A $435M ante.

          How much can we raise nationwide exclusively for House races -- apart from concurrent fundraising for Senate, statewide, state legislative, local, initiative, partybuilding, netroots building, 527s, topical issue campaigns, pre-2008 Presidential warchests ... and apart from contested House Democratic primary contests.

          The "House" treasury includes DCCC money, netroots money, local/individual candidate dialing for dollars, and small infusions of party money and coordinated campaign synergy (a bigger factor in presidential years).

          We don't get to exempt our "safe" seats, either, any more than the GOP gets to exempt theirs. That's a mathematical cheat. Brigham insists analysis and targeting is boring and useless ... so, no assumptions. Just equal effort across the board.

          So, there will be 30-50 seats that a really in play. GOP will bring a million dollars or more to bear on each of them. If our House "kitty" amounts to $110M, we'll spend a quarter mil on each -- which is the rough equivalent of giving up.

          Half of these are their seats, half ours, so we lose about 25 seats. That's my math.

          BTW, I hope you realize I present this as the progenitor of the "contest every district" movement. (See note downthread.) If we're serious about this, we have to play smart. Brigham's battle cry is a call to deliberate stupidity.

          Don't it just make ya wanna throe up?

          by RonK Seattle on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 08:32:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Bob (none)
      the netroots did an amazing job raising money for Hackett. Something like 750k wasn't it?

      But he was the only game in town. How much could we raise for the midterms? Maybe 4 times that? 10 times? Let's be generous and say 10 times that. That's 7.5 million dollars.

      That sounds great, but divided among 435 congresspeople, that's a little over 16000 dollars a person.

      Now I'm no campaign expert, but I would venture that it takes more than 16000 to run a campaign, seeing as hackett needed 30000 just in the last day.

      So either we would need to spread the money out inequally, in which case DH's question seems legit, or you'd need the DCCC to assist some. Cause 16000 a candidate would get us slaughtered.

      You'd better do as you are told-You'd better listen to your radio

      by AnnArborBlue on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 03:44:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ann, (none)
        sometimes a good candidate can raise some money on his/her own.

        In any election the canidate can always vote for one' self. His success is based on his ability to draw resources beyond.

        Jean Schmidt put $250,000 big ones in from her own purse. RNCC ponied up another half mill.

        Face it, the Repugs can't always do that all the time. That is TEIR problem!

        And our opportunity.

    •  Appealing messege, but not totally realistic (none)
      Of course, we can put up candidates everywhere, but obviously there's some seats which are more important than other seats.

      Now, let's break it down.

      There are 232 Republicans in Congress right now.

      Say we target 75 of them.

      That's just fighting in 32% of their districts. And to win the House, we would need to win 1 in 5 of those races.

      But, I have confidence that we wouldn't "bat .200" in November 2006.

      The foundation for victory can be built upon in at least 218 districts by election day. But not 435, because you need a foundation before you can just win. We can win a majority of districts.

      "Fighting everywhere" and "Fighting where we have a good chance" are different.

      We have a good chance in a lot of districts.

      Don't get too mad if some people finally smell the coffee in 2006. There'll always be people who will go after the obvious when it is obvious. That's just how things are. Just make sure they don't take too much credit from you, or something similar.

      "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

      by RBH on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 04:32:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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