Skip to main content

Recent history demonstrates that progressives maintain a self-satisfied sense of accomplishment in the aftermath of any successful presidential election, the glowing aura of which lasts just long enough that the subsequent midterm election becomes a disaster for Democrats and a triumph for Republicans. The changing demographics of the United States presents an amazing opportunity for the Democratic Party to control the political agenda for the next generation.  Just because the gift will fall into the lap of progressives does not, however, mean the gift cannot be stolen. More history, some observations, and an invitation to prevent history repeating itself falls beyond the orange Flying Spaghetti Monster

NOTE: Thanks to commentors for suggested title change.

There has been a lot of talk that the Republicans are doomed by the demographic shift of this country.  Progressives listen with glee as Bill O'Reilly indignantly proclaims, “The white establishment is now the minority” and Lindsey Graham declares, ““We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”

Progressives must not conclude that the truth behind these conservative laments is therefore destiny.  In 1969 Kevin Phillips wrote The Emerging Republican Majority, an analysis of demographics and other trends portending the post-New Deal coalition, long loyal to Democrats as the foundation of their control of the policy agenda, was on the verge of collapse. In 2004, John Judis and Ruy Teixeira responded with The Emerging Democratic Majority similarly predicting the crumbling of the coalition that combined Nixon's Southern Strategy with Reagan Democrats to bring Republicans to the center of establishing the policy agenda.

The difference between the publication of Phillips book and that of Judis/Teixeira is that Republicans developed a plan to take advantage of the shifts.  Richard Viguerie developed a sophisticated system for fund-raising and political activism via direct mail.  Frank Luntz began a system of linguistic programming used by politicians to frame issues and debates giving Republican politicians a type of home field advantage in almost every political discussion. Newt Gingrich popularized a method of demonizing political opponents by aggressively labeling not only their policies as un-American or immoral but the politicians themselves (See "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control"). The successful destruction of The Fairness Doctrine created a virtual conservative network of radio stations allowed to disseminate Gingrich's vitriol and Luntz's talking points.  Topic specific points were distributed to conservative politicians on a daily basis so the talking points of the day could be repeated on mainstream media as well as conservative friendly outlets creating a wall of consistency in media coverage on the given topic. Successful dismantling of monopoly restrictions lead to the consolidation of media to the extent that just a handful of companies control a majority of everything we read, hear or view via media.  As media companies gobble up other media companies via leveraged buyouts, expenses are cut by decrease in newsroom staff.  The highest salaries often went to the most experienced reporters with the most established source networks. Rote J-School repetition of talking points in point-counterpoint format leads to the famous false equivalency of argument in news coverage because the overworked and often under-qualified reporters remaining in the downsized newsrooms do not have time to verify facts behind talking point misdirection.

For Democrats to take advantage of the changing face of America, they must, as the Republicans did in previous years, create the institutional, policy, and intellectual infrastructure to leverage these changes into practical political control.  Some of that infrastructure is visible in the amazing OFA GOTV program and stellar use of social media.  Clearly, these were useful, but they failed miserably in the 2010 midterm.

One of the first problems confronting Democrats and progressives explaining the 2010 failure is complacency.  The historical trend is always for the party controlling the White House to lose ground in the midterm election.  Satisfying Dem wins in 1992 and 2008 lead to progressive disillusionment and general public disinterest, which, combined with a highly angry and motivated conservative base yielded devastating electoral outcomes two years later. In 1994 Republicans gained complete control of the US Congress for the first time since the 1940s, and in 2010 Rs recaptured control of the House but also ,more importantly, enough state legislatures to assure a redistricting advantage in holding control of the House and those same state legislatures for the next decade.

The most visible manifestation of this complacency by progressives is the misguided satisfaction that Republicans, in order to woo the valued non-white demographic groups, are warring with each other over whether to change actual policy proposals or keep the same policies and change the tone of their rhetoric.  Some progressives believe that the demographic trends are too insurmountable for a change in tone to make a difference.

As stated above, Republicans have been masters of "framing the debate" for a couple of decades and should be feared if they go down that hallway again.  That Romney was such a robocandidate with a generally incompetent campaign organization goes a long way to explain why his etch-a-sketch approach subsequent to the first debate ultimately did not pay off in electoral success.  His failure should not be construed as Destiny for future '
Republicans. George Bush 41's "1000 Points of Light" and George Bush 43's  "Compassionate Conservative" shtick worked well enough to get them elected.  However, when Compassionate Conservative types nominate Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and John Roberts to the Supreme Court (we can cut 41 a little slack for Souter even if it might have been considered an "error" subsequently), when they gut consumer protection and environmental law, when they cut taxes for the wealthiest but also safety net programs, we know the rhetoric is more language than conviction.  Progressives do not buy the snake oil, but enough people do to give the Rs their success.

Yes, the demographics will not be kind to the Republicans in the long run.  They will need to alter policy approaches in order to attain electoral viability (future tense emphasized). However, using the current sales pitch and can maintain their success longer with a well-crafted message of moderation disguising the same fact-challenged policy agenda, they can still eke out numerous victories, if not nationally, certainly locally for a long time to come.  Remember the 2010 message of "Jobs Jobs Jobs" followed by the policy of "Who cares about jobs?  Let's cut more taxes, make abortion and contraception harder to get, and block anything that will make Obama look good."  That approach gave the Rs control over numerous state legislatures and post census redistricting.  The bonus was control of voter registration rules to make vote suppression a snap. Breaking Republican control of the House in the next 4-6 years will be hard enough as is.  Give Frank Luntz enough focus groups, and the Republican sales pitch will be honed very effectively, enough to convince a sizable portion of people once again to vote against their rational best interests.

If you take solace that the voter suppression efforts did not work this time around, just remember three things: Some of those voter ID laws were not thrown out but merely postponed; e.g., Pennsylvania. Republican controlled state legislatures have two more years to fine tune their laws.  Dems always lose their mojo after the big win.

Democrats' intensity must at least match that of the conservatives, preferably even more so. Democrats cannot rely on the Rs to shoot themselves in the foot in 2014.  Dems must, at the very least, be focused enough to hold the gun steady so that when the Rs, like Todd Akin, pull the trigger, the bullet will hit a fat metatarsal inside those Gucci wingtips.

The main reason for this post is to invite readers to suggest:
1) Methods for maintaining the emotional momentum of the Democratic victories in the short term. (Remember that the Republican controlled House hobbled Clinton's policy agenda for nearly two years in his second term)
2) Ideas for an institutional, intellectual, and policy infrastructure that will facilitate progressive success for the coming generation and beyond.

One of the obvious infrastructure advantages of progressives is Daily Kos.  Within its pages can emerge the ideas that can lead to a promising future.  The conversation about the path to that future is a "comment" link ahead.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  The Democratic Party needs saving? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RfrancisR, jennyp, IB JOHN

    eom

  •  Our schools need major investment, or we (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice

    could easily lose all gains and then some.

    "But Brandine, you're supposed to be in Iraq stopping 911!"

    by leftyguitarist on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:16:46 PM PST

  •  OFA didn't fail miserably in 10 (8+ / 0-)

    The youth and minority vote performed as they always do at mid-terms ... They stayed home nor would they volunteer.

    No matter how strong an effort we put up in 14 we have a built in problem in regaining the House - redistricting.

    The 47% also "pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more" but when Romney does it he thinks it's a virtue, while when they do it, he thinks they are deadbeats.

    by jsfox on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:23:05 PM PST

  •  you are right (8+ / 0-)

    Recent national political successes haven't been long lasting. Remember when Rove and congressional Republicans were claiming they would have a permanent majority? One thing we can accomplish the next 4 years is mine the biggest prize of the presidency. Remake the federal courts by filling every vacancy with solid progressives. The loss of so many state legislatures in 2010 has led to gerrymandering of House districts so that many will be difficult to win short term. But,the court vacancies are there to be filled now and I hope the President takes seriously the opportunity here. And I hope he puts great effort in getting people confirmed along with Sen. Reid.

  •  I really like Bernie Sandars' (6+ / 0-)

    idea of a 50 Presidential "barnstorming" campaign.  But I think it could be expanded and improved by bringing in other established and rising Democratic figures.  Bring gifted Democrats into the heart of the red states and thrash the
    House Republicans on bread, butter and taxes.  This would also be a great way to familiarize Dems in one region of the country with the Dem issues, candidates, and office-holders of other regions, which would really help dems and progressives see the "big picture" of how "their" issues and candidates fit into the national (and larger) scene.

    As for the midterms, I think OFA needs to figure out a way to keep it together and we just simply HAVE to GET OUR PEOPLE TO THE POLLS AGAIN.  This will be easier to do if the messaging on economics has been clear, consistent, and targeted on those who are least likely to vote in the midterms.  This will be especially important if the Republicans go for pure obstructionism (as they seem to be doing).

    •  for 2014 (0+ / 0-)

      I'm coming around to the idea that messaging on economics is not the emotive force that would get  people to the polls.  I'm wondering if we need to make 2014 about Obama - almost as if he were up for election again to get more Dems to the polls.  ( have a comment below on this also.)

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 04:01:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Making this about the President as a person (0+ / 0-)

        would be a serious mistake.

        First and foremost, it simply amplifies the Republican schtick about the "rock-star / celebrity" president who has no policy substance.  It also plays to the "great leader" Republican line of attack that paints progressives as slavish followers of a charismatic tyrant a la Mao or Fidel or Chavez.

        In contrast, the President has made it clear, over and over, that what we have achieved over the last few years is NOT about him.  It is about the economic message of tax fairness and middle class security.  As the Rev. put it, "...this election is not about Obama; it's about your mama."

        For the first time in a generation, liberals and progressives hold the advantage in popular opinion on taxation policy and the role of government in American life.  Conservatives understand this, viz. their collective post-election meltdown, whining about there being more "takers" than "makers," etc., etc.  The blacks, Hispanics, young people and women who elected the president also clearly understood that this election was about social and economic issues, not Obama per se.  To throw away this advantage for a hokey "great man" narrative would be a strategic blunder of the highest order.

        •  You misunderstand me (0+ / 0-)

          I'm talking about  Obama the leader pushing through Dem policies as part of the Dem party.

          In the comment I referenced for you, I put it this way:

          "Thanks for voting for Obama.  Now help him complete his work by giving him the Congress that can stop the roadblocks and move  his policies forward."
          Also note the long comment I highlight from Ezra Klein.  I have plastered that all over Daily Kos in recent months.  So I'm not a believer in the "great man" BS, but one thing is certain - a huge number of Americans ARE caught in that simplistic thinking.  It's hokey.  It's not reality.  But it is what millions of Americans have come to believe after decades of being spoon fed simplistic crap from a lazy and corrupt corporate media.  We ignore that and we're really courting disaster.

          THAT is what we've  got to deal with.  And we have to understand that mindset if we're going to get a message through to voters.  Note the loss of the Nevada Senate seat because 88,000 couldn't connect the idea that while they're there to vote Obama in as Prez, they should also be voting on a Senate candidate to work with him instead of block him.  That ignorance of government function and hyperfocus on one individual, the Prez, isn't pretty but ignoring the mindset out there isn't going to help any "messaging".  

          Obama remains the most effective medium for delivering the message.  And when he delivers the message he can educate.  He can recite specific examples of obstruction that highlight the need for a Dem Congress.  Like it or not, people focus on Obama the leader.  It is the simple truth they grasp because many don't get how government actually works.  

          I think you're misunderstanding how this could work.  You dismiss the great man theory as we all do here at DK [well most I hope ;) ]  But  getting the message across is not about what you or I believe but about what the voters believe.  It's not about  what we say but about what they hear.  

          I think the discussion should continue.  I don't see a lot of ideas being discussed about how to get Dem voters to polls in 2014.  I see a lot of concern about a repeat of 2010.  Frankly, I'm pessimistic.  I don't thinks Dems have dealt with this effectively in the past and I see no reason for future changes unless OFA and/or Obama participate in some ways.  I'm not suggesting that Obama needs to be campaigning for 6 months in 50 states.  I'm suggesting his presence in the 2014 election will be valuable and we need to employ it effectively.

          I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

          by Satya1 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:00:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  1976 (5+ / 0-)

    Consider 1976.  The Republican president and vice president had recently resigned in disgrace.

    The Republicans had run the economy into the ground.

    The Republicans were presiding over a very unpopular war.

    The Democrats controlled the House and Senate.

    In 1976, it was ridiculous to think that the Republicans would ever win the White House at any time in the next several decades.

  •  To the diarist--this is an interesting and (6+ / 0-)

    worthwhile diary.  That said, if you really want to draw more of us in to read it, I think you should change the title.  The business about "saving the Democratic party" isn't on topic--you're talking about ensuring majorities and shifting the culture of the country, right ?, not saving the Party, which carries on quite nicely, thank you, though not always in as progressive a manner as many of us wish it would.  And then there's a note of chastisement in the title as well which came close to preventing me from clicking on the diary at all--it's along the lines of those diaries which reproach moments of celebration as they warn of dark tidings ahead.  However, we can both have our joy and turn with sober minds and hearts to the very hard work ahead (and the joy will energize us for the work ahead).  What you're asking are extremely useful questions--so maybe your title should be something like, "After we've celebrated, how do we maintain and build...."

    In a dark time, the eye begins to see. Theodore Roethke

    by bibble on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:58:36 PM PST

  •  How we frame what we must do, shapes our effort. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, bibble, wasatch

    I appreciate the ideas and historical context that you present in this diary.  I suggest you frame your valuable exploration here with a more positive and reader-catching title. Here are two possibilities: "How can we lay the groundwork NOW for more BIG WINS in 2014?" or "Maximizing our momentum now for BIG WINS in 2014" Instead of "saving" lets inspire a movement towards "thriving".  We are riding a wave of huge possibility. Our deeply knowing this can catalyze our forward movement.

  •  3rd most hated religion in the US (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    My theory:  The very overrated BYU football team.

    "We deserved to win the 1984 National Championship", what a joke.

    Seriously, imagine if the Republican nominee was an evangelical Protestant or even a Catholic.

    Or had so much as National Guard or Reserves military experience.

    Or didn't have tax returns that looked like Gordon Gekko's.

    Or didn't say dumb things.

    One thing you learn as a Mormon missionary is to speak extemporaneously on implausible subjects and make them seem reasonable.  

    I have never seen any Mormon do as bad a job at it as Mitt does.  Maybe he's a secret Unitarian?

  •  I strongly agree with the premise of your post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice

    if not the title. But I'm not sure this web site is the place. Mostly for the 3 1/2 years preceding this election I remember sucks/rocks arguments about both the leader of our party and the policy we were trying to legislate.

    Dems need to work together and cool it with the circular firing squad.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 03:04:43 PM PST

  •  I think I understand what you are trying to warn (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Not Dead Yet, Virginia Victory

    us about, and your difficulty here in comments illustrate part of the challenge.

    Lee Atewater and Karl Rove have been successful in putting together coalition of social, fiscal, and foreign policy conservative to gain and control much power as we've seen recently in two election victories of George Bush and the right's control of the House.

    Though we should be happy and celebrate our victory, it has not come without cost.  To a sad extent one of the prices we've paid to achieve this victory was to pretty much adopt the neoconservative foreign policy of the Bush Administration, and throw the anti-war, and civil-rights parts of our coalition under the bus.

    Many of the major money funders of the right really do not care about the social conservatives anti-woman, anti-gay, and anti-minority values, but have only been all to willing to give Karl Rove et. al. vast sums of money to subvert any attempts to restrict burning of coal, fossil fuels, or nuclear power, the latter of which became one of the largest donors to the Democratic Party.

    The willingness of many Democrats to jump to the Simpson-Bowles "compromise" and try to balance the budget with massive cuts to spending to social programs instead of raising tax rates, and reducing the vastly expanded defense spending is yet another example.

    Yes, the Democratic Party is going to win on the social issues as that generation filled with prejudice but fewer will notice that our Democratic Party is also simultaneously adopting more and more of the orientation of the Republican Party.

    We should congratulate ourselves about rebuilding our winning 2008 coalition to re-elect President Obama.

    Erick Erickson at RedState reassured hard-core conservatives that this is a pro-Obama coalition not a pro-Democratic Party coalition and he does not believe we will continue to be as strong a factor in 2016 and beyond.

    What are the policy and Party platform issues that will elicit the same kind of unity?  Especially, if Republicans wise use and give up their racism, bigotry, and anti-minority claptrap?

    Many of my sons early 20 friends voted for the Libertarians because the anti-Federalism of marijuana laws (which technically should be called pro-Federalist state's rights ideology appeals to them.)

    The the GOP wises up, endorses an immigration reform law, gives up its losing anti-choice agenda, and puts a new generation of leaders up, like Chris Christie, the Hispanic Marco Rubio, or runs a woman, or a person of color,  who here does not think we could lose 3% to 5% or maybe 10% to 20%  on  our purely ideological positions and unity?

    We shall see, and I am not trying to take anything away from our current victories, unity, and momentum, but merely test to see if this is part of a worthwhile conversation you seem to be trying to start here.

    If this election were a video game that could be set back two years and rerun allowing the Republicans to avoid some of their mind-numbingly stupid and catastrophic blunders and choose a different candidate or avoid some of the gaffes of Romney, I think the closeness of the election shows they could have won, even given the enormous demographic advantage we have against them.

    Just as one example, imagine that in one of these alternative quantum universes of a rerun Mitt Romney supported the Dream Act, picked Marco Rubio, hadn't inflamed and frightened women, opposed Obama spending in the spring, and the 47% video had not emerged.  He might have won in a landslide.  

    Have trouble believing it? What if the EU financial crisis had erupted in the summer and we also had three months of 8% plus unemployment reports in this last 3 months?  

    Whatever,  sorry for this excessively long post. I share some of your concerns.  

     

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 03:19:16 PM PST

  •  What a pile of steaming bullsh*t (0+ / 0-)

    "Recent history demonstrates that progressives maintain a self-satisfied sense of accomplishment in the aftermath of any successful presidential election, the glowing aura of which lasts just long enough that the subsequent midterm election becomes a disaster for Democrats and a triumph for Republicans."

    We do feel a sense of accomplishment, but the glow of the"aura" goes away quickly, as every special interest group starts whining about the lack of action taken regarding their focal point.

    Then we get groups who decide they haven't been served fast enough so they hold back their vote,  like children not liking the game and taking their ball home. This allows some group like the Teabaggers to gain a foothold and the next election they realize their Candidate did pretty damn good until the voters took away any leverage he had and substituted it with a group who had more allegiance to Grover Norquist than the people of this country.

    The challenge will be to present a united front and realize the other side has pledged their hearts and soul to the 1% and could give a rat's ass about the other 99%.

    They can set up their campaigns so their sons or daughters are consultants and can be paid millions for the knowledge they have gained in the 24 difficult years of their lives, unlike the 99% who don't have any idea how money works because they didn't go to the same schools as Biff, Thad and Bean.  Talk about entitlement!

    Let a couple of your kids and friends start a company and seed it with millions from the CEO's of major companies and if that's not enough, pay your Child's partner over $5,000,000.00 of campaign contributions as a fundraising consultant; because they sure know how to raise funds.
    In the meantime, make sure you cut off the staff credit cards while Daddy is giving his concession speech; don't worry about little things like how they get home.

    The Republicans know, as soon as the blush is off the rose, special interest liberals will begin to turn on their party and they can count on a lack of voter turnout because most of them are at home with there arms around the game-ball simmering with anger and having a pity party about how their wishes weren't given top priority and they'll sure show the party what happens when they are displeased.

    Then next election they panic over a drop in the polls and cry over the way their candidate lost a debate because he told the truth quietly while his opponent shouted his lies loudly to the mountaintops!

    Keep it up progressives!!!

    "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

    by Cruzankenny on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 03:21:26 PM PST

  •  I have similar concerns (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Not Dead Yet

    I have only 3 thoughts:

    1)  Make 2014 about Obama.  Obama is an inspirational guy.  A lot of this has to do with the fact that he relates to people as an authentic person and as one who really wants to help the poor and middle class within his power to do so.  We have to make 2014 about Obama to draw more voters out.  We also need Obama and OFA fully participating in order to do that right.

    "Thanks for voting for Obama.  Now help him complete his work by giving him the Congress that can stop the roadblocks and move  his policies forward."  I'm taking my cue in part from this diary that claims 85,000 who voted for Obama did not vote for the Dem senate candidate.  THAT is a TRAVESTY.

    2) Do some Dem voter education.  Voters that generally like Obama need more education about just how polarized the GOP has made Washington.  They also need to understand how important down ticket  contests are.  They need to be shown the reason to vote Dem and not just Obama.  Thanks to a lazy corporate media many voters are only focused on the President.  House meetings, canvassings and mailings can help fill in the facts.  They need to know the Prez is just one actor in a complex government.  They may even need to be told, "The President doesn't matter as much as you think".

    Forget the president. Not totally, of course. The president matters. But not as much as you think. Not as much as you've been led to believe. The centrality of the executive is something of a convenient fiction in American politics. Convenient for the media, which can tell the story of national affairs by following a single character. Convenient for the party that holds the White House, which can outsource the messy work of constructing an agenda to one actor. Convenient for the party that does not hold the White House, which can create an agenda out of simple opposition. And convenient for voters, who can understand politics through the actions of a discrete player and offload their dissatisfaction onto the failures of a hapless individual.

    ...
    Again and again, presidents disappoint. They fail to pass health-care reform or Social Security privatization. They don't ease partisanship or break through gridlock. They prove impotent in the face of immediate crises and leave long-term challenges to fester. And so we tire of them, resolving to replace them with more presidents. Better presidents. Presidents of the other party, or of the same party, or of no party at all. Businessmen like Mike Bloomberg, insurgents like Ralph Nader, charismatic leaders like Barack Obama, self-professed mavericks like John McCain.

    Executive leadership is important, of course, but the continual failure of our presidents should be lesson enough that it is not sufficient. The executive is but one actor in a sprawling drama. ...

    3) Get progressive blogs more focused, more active in 2013 & 2014.  We can ask Markos and the DK Elections crew to back up expanded efforts to generate interest in not only 2014 but 2013 elections as well.

    I think your diary brings up vital issues.  I've enjoyed the diaries lambasting "stupid republicans" about how they blew this election in so many ways.  But I've felt a huge gap in that there are few (if any) front page diaries on "lessons learned" for us or what our next steps are.  Maybe people just need more time to celebrate.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 03:57:13 PM PST

  •  Revitalize grassroots party structures (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Not Dead Yet, Satya1

    In addition to the important ideas above about messaging, avoiding complacency, and managing expectations (including our own!), there is an institutional dimension that also needs attention.

    My strong recommendation to all OFA NTL's, team members, and volunteers would be to take this energy and reinvigorate the local Democratic Party structures.   Become precinct captains, database managers, issue coordinators, or any other job that you find congenial.   Or make one up if you don't see it.

    These structures, which often have significant privileges under state law in terms of access to voter information, poll presence, etc, can be the day-to-day foundation on which successful campaigns get built when election season comes around.   Precinct captains get to know their neighbors, know who's willing to volunteer, can organize social events to keep people in touch, and the precinct operations structure can convert into a campaign structure during the off years.

    I have the privilege of being part of such a structure in Arlington, VA and have no doubt that it is the strength of this day-to-day, year-in, year-out grassroots operation that keeps the victories coming - especially in the "off-years" without a charismatic Presidential candidate.  I would love to see such re-invigorated, progressive structures replicated across the country and across the state.  

    As Markos and Jerome also pointed out in their 2006 book, Crashing the Gate., such institutional bases are essential components of a multi-pronged strategy to support progressive candidates at local and state levels and to create a sustainable constituency for progressive policy positions.

    •  That's good (0+ / 0-)

      Fertilizing the grassroots...

      But it also seems the midterms get major dropoffs among certain demographics and that also needs to come into play.  More campus organizations?  I don't know...

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:25:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site