Joe Manchin is a symptom is a deeper problem (though he’s already a big enough problem on his own), Democrats don’t hold their party officials accountable. When things go wrong, the party tends to fire state level Democratic staff. The folks in Florida got fired two cycles ago. After 2020 the Texas Democratic Party fired almost all its employees. While I’ve not been thrilled with TDP, I’m not sure dumping people with a bunch of Texas experience and bringing in new folks from out of state is likely to help anything. On the other hand, if the chair of the West Virginia Democratic Party knew that he or she would be replaced (as well as a large percentage of the state Democratic Executive Committee) unless Senator Manchin supported the policies of a president of his party and the platform adopted by the DNC, then maybe West Virginia Party leaders would find it worth prevailing on the senator.
We are in grave danger of becoming an official opposition party, a party that is allowed to win some seats but face a situation so gerrymandered and rigged against them that this represents only a token show of democracy — whatever the will of the people might be.
I would suggest the following accountability reforms:
Democratic Elected officials who will not support the party platform at whatever level they are running should, without exception, face primary challengers and be blocked from receiving support from the party structure (DCCC, DSCC, etc). We tried pragmatism when it came to Manchin, and we are about to pay for it by losing multiple other seats, and possibly any chance of free and fair elections. We need to return to the idea of party regularity. If you are running as a Democrat you are required to support the party platform full stop, if you don’t like what’s in it then you should have done something before it was adopted.
A full audit conducted by an outside and non-political firm comparing Democratic and Republican campaigns. From what I’ve been able to see Republicans are much more technologically savvy and actually are concerned about the retention of personnel, especially skilled and experienced campaign workers and have vastly better digital tools and infrastructure. Further, Democrats tend to spend their money on television advertising that, while these might have been effective in the 1980s, multiple studies have shown that it is no longer so.
Establishment of a personnel office within the DNC. We need to recruit, train and prepare professional campaign workers (not just hire college students as organizers) with a level of seriousness akin to the success of our campaigns being the only thing standing between our constituents and white nationalist revolution.
Better vetting. The democratic establishment seems more concerned with keeping Bernies people out of office than with the fact that Republicans are pushing the country towards a white nationalist revolution. We need candidates, campaign staff and consultants that understand down to their bones that when Democrats fail people — recently lots of people — die. If you’re a Democratic candidate or campaign manager and wake up a night haunted by the sounds videos of the gunman with an AR-15 inside Majorie Stoneman Douglas High, then perhaps you should reconsider your career choices. This, along with the 600,000+ dead of COVID, are what it looks like when Democrats fail.
Democrats who win but repeatedly fall far below the Democratic vote in the estimated makeup of their electorate should face primary challenge. Did you that, in Texas, their are heavily Democratic districts where the sitting state rep routinely wins by about 10 points, but independent estimates by L2Political (one of the Republican Party’s favorite non-partisan data firms) show they should be winning by 30-60 points (obviously these are very gerrymandered districts). Elected officials who sit in heavily gerrymandered seats have been given a gift by the party, a safe seat. This gift should come with it a responsibility to raise money and turnout the vote. Officials who will not do so are not holding up their end of the bargain and should be replaced.
Elections for DNC, State Chair and State Democratic Executive Committee (SDEC) should be held only after the most recent election. One of the problems in Texas is that elections are held at the state convention. What delegate in their right mind is going to vote to replace the state chair in the middle of a post-primary election season. If necessary, votes should be held by mail after the general election.
SDEC members should be required to submit a report to their delegates outlining how much money candidates in their districts raised during the last election cycle prior to a vote on their retention. An SDEC member should be responsible for seeing that candidates are at least attempting to raise money and held responsible if they do not.
When an elected official has received party support, for example, Jim Justice of West Virginia, their should be a mandatory outside investigation within the supporting party organ as to what went wrong, and people should be fired.