The bad news (and yes, it is bad) following the first three Dem presidential primaries of this cycle, is that Dem turnout is lower than it was in the wave election year of ‘08, and (this is the really bad part) that the GOP turnout is commensurately higher. This, indeed, does not bode well.
But to attribute the problem (and yes, it is a problem) totally to the incompetence of the two remaining Dem candidates’ campaigns is an extremely blinkered notion, especially since this very outcome was predicted months ago, based on the strategic idiocy of the Debbie Wasserman-Schultz-led DNC. Here’s what I wrote in that diary of Aug 5 last year:
So the Chair of the DNC, in a brilliant strategic move, is encouraging Democrats to inflate the ratings of the FOX News network as they go about the business of promoting the personalities and policies of the GOP Presidential field??? And she's hoping we'll use the DNC's Bingo game to make a fun night out of it??? This is not a game, Debbie, it's the most critical political juncture in the history of the world (and that's not even close to hyperbole) and your plan is for us to sit down with popcorn and Bingo cards and have some fun! Meanwhile, the whole country (and the world) is going to be subjected, without a countervailing event from the Democrats, to the distortions of the John Birch Society that has rebranded itself as the Modern GOP.
Who we need to watch, Debbie, are the Dem Candidates juxtaposed to the GOP wrecking crew, in a debate setting where the country and the world can actually observe the difference between the two sets of candidates, one set proposing policies and ideas that will benefit the entire country and our environment, and the other intent on driving us off the multiple cliffs we're headed toward right now.
And no, it won't be enough for just you to stand in front of a FOX microphone after the debate tomorrow and present the Dem perspective as if you're representing all the Dem candidates. You are not neutral with respect to the Democratic field; we know that your loyalties lie with just one of them because you were her campaign co-chair in '08 and the main reason you're still chairing the DNC after the historic debacle of the 2014 midterms is because Hillary can count on you to run interference for her. That's exactly why we don't have DNC debates scheduled yet, because they're perceived as a liability for Hillary.
As of yesterday’s date in the ‘08 cycle, the Dems had engaged in 20 fucking debates. Twenty. And as of today’s date in ‘08, they’d added one more. As of today’s date this cycle, we’ve had 6, and several of them have had low viewership because of intentionally bad scheduling.
Am I saying that the campaigns can’t do better at their GOTV efforts? No. Am I saying that there aren’t other factors in the relative turnout numbers between the Dems and the GOP, like the dynamics of an extremely hated outgoing President motivating the Dems in ‘08 and the GOP this year? No.
What I am saying is that the rank stupidity of the Debbie Wasserman Schultz debate-dampening strategy is right now punching the entire Democratic Party squarely in their voter-enthusiasm solar plexus, just as I predicted it would over 6 months ago.
What a thoroughgoing clusterfuck.
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