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DNC Chair Election: Tom Perez Wins

enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
edited February 2017 in Debate and/or Discourse
So when last we could discuss Democratic politics, there was only one candidate in the race to be the new chair of the Democratic National Committee. That was Keith Ellison, the Congressman from Minnesota. He has the endorsements of some establishment members of the party (Chuck Schumber, notably) and major figures who are popular with the liberal base, like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The one concern people had was that Democrats want a full time chairperson, so Ellison has promised to resign his seat in Congress if he were elected chair. There were a few minor figures, like the chair of the New Hampshire Dems, running, but it didn't look like much of a race.

The New York Times says that is about to change. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez has decided to run for the position, rather than attempting to become Governor of Maryland in 2018. Perez has a really interesting background. Is the Secretary of Labor, and has been a good one by most progressive accounts. Used to be a civil rights lawyer in Justice. Born in Buffalo so is familiar with the Rust Belt experience. Is the son of Dominican immigrants so has Latino roots as well. He's on the left side of the party ideologically, but can fairly be described as more establishment than Ellison. He'll probably have Obama's tacit backing, if not formal backing, for example. A flaw is he has little electoral experience.

My opinion: both good candidates, though I'd rather have Perez try to knock off Hogan as he's a guy who with some electoral experience could become a powerful force for Democrats. Dunno if he would if he loses this. Both have backgrounds that understand the importance of organizing. Not really sure we can lose here unless people become really partisan and obnoxious about the whole thing.

So on that note:
This thread is Jeffe approved.
He hated me for bringing that link to his attention and asking to make the thread though.
Because all of our Democratic threads become acrimonious threads full of goosery.
Let's not do that.
No discussion of the Presidential election itself, though if you think there are demographic groups one candidate or the other is more likely to appeal to that you feel like Democrats need, in that narrow circumstance it might be OK to discuss the results. Definitely no relitigating of the Democratic primary. Please.

Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
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Posts

  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    Is the Maryland Governor race a long shot or something? If it's still winnable, is there another Dem who can run there?
    I'm neither here nor there on whether Ellison or Perez would be a better DNC head, but the impact on Maryland race is kind of a thing.

  • AstaerethAstaereth In the belly of the beastRegistered User regular
    Is Ellison in the House or Senate? What would him resigning mean for (chances of regaining) Democratic control of Congress?

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  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    Rep from Minnesota's 5th. It's been a Democratic seat since 1963 and Ellison won re-election with 69% of the vote. Pretty safe as far as those things go.

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    I'd be very happy with either of them. Both were on my "here's how you reach out to disaffected progressives" VP shortlist for Clinton.

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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    Both seem reasonable. The full time argument makes sense. The idea of having someone who has never really run a campaign run a campaign support organization also seems questionable.

    I think the role of the head of the DNC is also VASTLY overestimated. It seems primarily to exist as a scapegoat in the imagination of Democrats. The DNC can't magically create good candidates willing to run and doesn't really have the power to dictate campaign strategy for sitting Congressmen/Governors/Senators (or to rig primaries).

    Maybe it should be more powerful like the head of the RNC is but it doesn't seem likely to occur unless we become as disciplined as Republicans. Given the fractious and unreliable nature of a good part of the Democratic base, that seems unlikely.

    I am glad there doesn't seem to be a big white working class are everything candidate

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  • AstaerethAstaereth In the belly of the beastRegistered User regular
    Presumably the DNC head would have the opportunity to change some of the culture of the organization. Somebody needs to figure out how to reverse the left's thirty year decline, and if not the DNC, then who?

    Also the figurehead status is not unimportant, given how many lefties got in a twist over DWS this election. We can help unify the party by ensuring the appearance of unification and unicorn-hood. Hope both these guys are very, very clean.

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    PantsB wrote: »
    Both seem reasonable. The full time argument makes sense. The idea of having someone who has never really run a campaign run a campaign support organization also seems questionable.

    I think the role of the head of the DNC is also VASTLY overestimated. It seems primarily to exist as a scapegoat in the imagination of Democrats. The DNC can't magically create good candidates willing to run and doesn't really have the power to dictate campaign strategy for sitting Congressmen/Governors/Senators (or to rig primaries).

    Maybe it should be more powerful like the head of the RNC is but it doesn't seem likely to occur unless we become as disciplined as Republicans. Given the fractious and unreliable nature of a good part of the Democratic base, that seems unlikely.

    I am glad there doesn't seem to be a big white working class are everything candidate

    Wasserman was terrible though

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    The Democrats seemed to have a pretty unified strategy in 2014, unless they all individually decided to act like fucking idiots campaigning to get the Republicans to vote for them

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  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    The Democrats seemed to have a pretty unified strategy in 2014, unless they all individually decided to act like fucking idiots campaigning to get the Republicans to vote for them

    Was 2014 the one where the strategy was for Democrats to run away from Obama as fast as possible?

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    daveNYC wrote: »
    The Democrats seemed to have a pretty unified strategy in 2014, unless they all individually decided to act like fucking idiots campaigning to get the Republicans to vote for them

    Was 2014 the one where the strategy was for Democrats to run away from Obama as fast as possible?

    Refusing to even admit they voted for him, yes

  • rhylithrhylith Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    I'm glad Ellison agreed to step down if he gets the job. We really really need our DNC chair to be 100% focused on building that position right now. And I think that having a younger black Muslim man who also has the backing of Sanders and Warren running the party can go a long way to maintaining the party's appeal to minorities and promoting identity politics while also trying to bring back all those disaffected white voters in the Midwest with a strong economic message is a really good thing.

    Perez would also be good as a means of trying to continue the Obama legacy, but I think I'd lean Ellison based on what the party seems to need at this moment.

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  • Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    daveNYC wrote: »
    Is the Maryland Governor race a long shot or something? If it's still winnable, is there another Dem who can run there?
    I'm neither here nor there on whether Ellison or Perez would be a better DNC head, but the impact on Maryland race is kind of a thing.

    He's a Republican in a Dem state, but with a very high approval rating even among Dems. It's going to be a tough race, and I don't know if it's fair to call it a long shot for Dems two years in advance, but we need the best candidate we can get.

  • RozRoz Boss of InternetRegistered User regular
    edited December 2016
    I'm tired of trying to work with Republicans, which one best represents a hostility to their politics?

    Roz on
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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    PantsB wrote: »
    Both seem reasonable. The full time argument makes sense. The idea of having someone who has never really run a campaign run a campaign support organization also seems questionable.

    I think the role of the head of the DNC is also VASTLY overestimated. It seems primarily to exist as a scapegoat in the imagination of Democrats. The DNC can't magically create good candidates willing to run and doesn't really have the power to dictate campaign strategy for sitting Congressmen/Governors/Senators (or to rig primaries).

    Maybe it should be more powerful like the head of the RNC is but it doesn't seem likely to occur unless we become as disciplined as Republicans. Given the fractious and unreliable nature of a good part of the Democratic base, that seems unlikely.

    I am glad there doesn't seem to be a big white working class are everything candidate

    Wasserman was terrible though

    No one has been able to say in what way. We had very few no uncontested Congressional seats. Fundraising was fine. She's not in charge of an agenda. This is what I mean by scapegoat. Dean also got too much credit in 2006

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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    The Democrats seemed to have a pretty unified strategy in 2014, unless they all individually decided to act like fucking idiots campaigning to get the Republicans to vote for them

    Right, but that didn't happen. Some Democrats, primarily those in red states or districts did. But they didn't do it because DWS told them to. They did it because we're in an incredibly polarized, nationalized political environment and emphasizing independence was the only way many of them thought they had a chance when every indication said the GOP would make substantial gains. It was a midterm with a Democratic President, Obama's net job approval was -10 and in many places it was far lower.

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    Roz wrote: »
    I'm tired of trying to work with Republicans, which one best represents a hostility to their politics?

    Both of these guys have made a career out of throwing the finger to Republican policies (and in Perez's case, donors). Ellison has occasionally co-sponsored stuff in congress with Republicans, but only completely non-controversial, National Puppy Day sort of things. Perez worked in the Obama administration, but as Labor secretary, which basically makes him the Bizarro Lex Luthor to Republicans.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
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  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    ...Can you guys not survey the field for a nice young professional?


    Are there none in the Democrat party?

    With Love and Courage
    Unlucky
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    ...Can you guys not survey the field for a nice young professional?


    Are there none in the Democrat party?

    That's a good description of both Ellison and Perez.

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  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    I mean people in their early 30s max. Young people.


    Folks that could actually be shown the ropes for getting involved in politics & offered a reasonably credible position within the organization without being burdened with an inter-party campaign.

    With Love and Courage
    Unlucky
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    The President must be 35 or older, so 31 is the youngest that could be tapped right now.

    People that young are building their political careers rather than running for president. Guys 40-60 are probably the ideal age for running for president.

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  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Well gee whiz I wonder why you can't get young people involved in politics, when you don't even offer up reasonable career outlets for them while they figuring out their career stuff in life. It's truly a Goddamn mystery.

    With Love and Courage
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Well gee whiz I wonder why you can't get young people involved in politics, when you don't even offer up reasonable career outlets for them while they figuring out their career stuff in life. It's truly a Goddamn mystery.

    What are you even talking about? There's no major party in the world offering major positions to 30 year-olds. That would be insane.

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    I'm not sure I can really conceptualize a path to the level of head of one of two major parties that could be done by the age of 30.

    Ellison is 55, Perez is 53. Each is still looking at at least two more decades of political action, probably more.

    The DNC has never been a springboard for higher office. It's an internal position that requires steady leadership and vision. That's the kind of thing that generally takes a while to develop.

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  • Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Well gee whiz I wonder why you can't get young people involved in politics, when you don't even offer up reasonable career outlets for them while they figuring out their career stuff in life. It's truly a Goddamn mystery.

    DNC Chair is a terminal or near-terminal position.

    It's really not the sort of thing you use as a "career outlet" to people who are "figuring out their career stuff in life," any more than it makes sense to hire a kid straight out of undergrad as the CEO of GE because you think more young people should get involved with tech.

    It's also only one position, so it's not like saying you'll open it up to 30 year olds will suddenly attract hundreds of thousands of young people to become permanently involved with the party.

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I'm not sure I can really conceptualize a path to the level of head of one of two major parties that could be done by the age of 30.

    Nepotism.

  • FakefauxFakefaux Cóiste Bodhar Driving John McCain to meet some Iraqis who'd very much like to make his acquaintanceRegistered User regular
    edited December 2016

    He's also been endorsed by the AFL-CIO. For those not following along, this is the largest federation of unions in the United States. Granted, union strength isn't what it used to be, but this is a big get for Ellison.

    Fakefaux on
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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Fakefaux wrote: »
    Granted, union strength isn't waht it used to be, but this is a big get for Ellison.

    One thing the Democrats need to do: fix that. Without access to power and stability through the unions, working class men are really lashing out, flirting with far-right politics.

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  • rockrngerrockrnger Registered User regular
    Fakefaux wrote: »
    Granted, union strength isn't waht it used to be, but this is a big get for Ellison.

    One thing the Democrats need to do: fix that. Without access to power and stability through the unions, working class men are really lashing out, flirting with far-right politics.

    Public unions are done as soon as the new justice is in.

    That milk is spilled.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Fakefaux wrote: »
    Granted, union strength isn't waht it used to be, but this is a big get for Ellison.

    One thing the Democrats need to do: fix that. Without access to power and stability through the unions, working class men are really lashing out, flirting with far-right politics.

    This has been a long running problem for decades, though, thanks to America's unique conflation of class and race. Socially conservative union members fucking themselves over by aligning with capital on social issues has been going on for decades.

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  • FakefauxFakefaux Cóiste Bodhar Driving John McCain to meet some Iraqis who'd very much like to make his acquaintanceRegistered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Fakefaux wrote: »
    Granted, union strength isn't waht it used to be, but this is a big get for Ellison.

    One thing the Democrats need to do: fix that. Without access to power and stability through the unions, working class men are really lashing out, flirting with far-right politics.

    Part of the question is how much will there is to do that. Labor has been systematically defanged on many fronts in this country, and the Democrats had a fair bit to do with that, going back at least to Jimmy Carter deregulating the airline and trucking industries. The old guard of the Democratic party, for all the terror that's unfurled after this past month, has not shown itself to be moving quickly and aggressively towards change. So far we've had Chuck Schumer endorsing Ellison... and that's about it. About the only significant move at the top level of the party since then has been Nancy Pelosi getting her position as House Democratic Leader renewed, which is definitely not a sign of change.

    This leaves labor, as well as a lot of more progressive voters, mulling over their options, which really fall into two well-tread paths: another party, or reforming the Democratic party from within. I think most of us here can agree that trying to start a new party is a dead end. If you're curious about the roadblocks in the path of that option, this is a very good read. Ever heard of the 1990s Labor Party? If not, look that article over.

    My personal fear is that what has happened is not enough. After Romney lost in 2012 there were about four months before the RNC put out their infamous autopsy report, but in those four months there was a lot of handwringing and arguing in the Republican establishment about mistakes made. So far, personally, speaking, what I've seen in the Democratic establishment has not been that. It's been casting about for sources of external blame. In that atmosphere, I read something like Chuck Schumer endorsing Keith Ellison less as a sign of real progressive change for the party, and more as a move by Schumer to keep the hounds from baying for his blood.

    It may take another loss, a big one, before the party is forced to change. And I say forced for a reason. I'm not confident a course correction will come from the top down, even if Ellison does nab the DNC chair.

    Fakefaux on
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  • Mr KhanMr Khan Not Everyone WAHHHRegistered User regular
    I'd think Ellison would be better even if there's a real soft spot in my heart for Perez. The concern is getting a DINO like Schultz up there who will promote people like the woman who last ran against McConnell who refused to verify whether she'd voted for Obama. We don't need to be lockstep, but at the end of the day we want to make sure every leader in the tent is going to endorse the party's sitting president or candidate for president unless said individual is about to be impeached (for a valid reason), and that they are going to generally promote progressive causes across the spectrum while acknowledging the realities of regional differences.

    Both meet the progressive litmus test, so the question of qualifications comes from who is more well-connected and who has the ability to rally support, and i would say that is Ellison with legislative experience and his midwestern connections would be better-suited for what we're doing rather than Perez who has experience only in and around the beltway, apparently.

    Perez should try for Maryland governor, he has more of a future politically than Ellison probably does.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Well gee whiz I wonder why you can't get young people involved in politics, when you don't even offer up reasonable career outlets for them while they figuring out their career stuff in life. It's truly a Goddamn mystery.

    Young people do get involved in politics. That's where old people in politics come from. What young people don't do is vote. But they don't vote, like, everywhere.

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited January 2017
    So hey there's a forum about this today.

    Buttigieg: dark horse but emerging as second choice and a possible compromise for the assholes making Ellison/Perez a Sanders/Clinton fight.
    Perez: Trump's claims about illegal voters are "bullshit, plan and simple.' Also says "We can't go to a knife fight with a spoon - we've got to come with a bazooka."
    Ellison: Referencing the old Republican speech about how they win when fewer people vote.

    enlightenedbum on
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  • Mr KhanMr Khan Not Everyone WAHHHRegistered User regular
    The whole DNC thing only has one ideological component: how far should we compromise ideals to find a winnable candidate? E.g. should we be dealing with any more Lundegran-Grimes types, Liebermans, or Manchins.

    Where *can* we flex acceptably? Can candidates be anti-Roe v. Wade, or merely personally pro-life but won't vote against reproductive rights, or do they have to be enthusiastically pro-choice? Can certain candidates stand up for the 2nd amendment and say guns are fine, we just need to be safe about them. Can candidates be pro-war?

    The rest is only strategy. Should we only focus on winnable races, how do we impact turnout, and how can we reconcile winnable races with the ideological requirements?

  • HedgethornHedgethorn Associate Professor of Historical Hobby Horses In the Lions' DenRegistered User regular
    Though I've never met him personally, Pete Buttigieg is a very close friend to a number of my friends. (Like, "former roommate of" and "frequent dinner guest of" some of my friends.) He's got a politician's life story: born in South Bend, Indiana; magna cum laude from Harvard; Rhodes Scholar at Oxford; several D.C. consulting gigs, tour of duty in Afghanistan, first openly gay mayor in Indiana, etc.

    I don't know if he's ready to lead the national party yet, but he's definitely got one hell of an attractive personality. I don't know that I've encountered someone who didn't like Pete almost immediately. And he's somehow managed to give South Bend a bit of civic pride again, which is incredible given that that city had spent nearly fifty years in mourning over the demise of the Studebaker Corporation.

  • Mr KhanMr Khan Not Everyone WAHHHRegistered User regular
    Hedgethorn wrote: »
    Though I've never met him personally, Pete Buttigieg is a very close friend to a number of my friends. (Like, "former roommate of" and "frequent dinner guest of" some of my friends.) He's got a politician's life story: born in South Bend, Indiana; magna cum laude from Harvard; Rhodes Scholar at Oxford; several D.C. consulting gigs, tour of duty in Afghanistan, first openly gay mayor in Indiana, etc.

    I don't know if he's ready to lead the national party yet, but he's definitely got one hell of an attractive personality. I don't know that I've encountered someone who didn't like Pete almost immediately. And he's somehow managed to give South Bend a bit of civic pride again, which is incredible given that that city had spent nearly fifty years in mourning over the demise of the Studebaker Corporation.

    He seems young enough that he should be shooting for higher office. Dem candidate for the next round against the new Indiana governor in 2020, perhaps, and then parlay that into a presidential run in 2024 if he does well and the country is still standing (assuming 8 years of Trump, if not he can hold off till 2028 to succeed the antitrump).

    Perez too should be pursuing higher office (succeed Larry Hogan). Ellison seems best-suited for the position, because climbing from Congressman is a slower route and Minnesota already has a Dem governor and two Dem senators. For strategic purposes alone, Ellison should be the man.

    emp123
  • FakefauxFakefaux Cóiste Bodhar Driving John McCain to meet some Iraqis who'd very much like to make his acquaintanceRegistered User regular
    edited January 2017
    Mr Khan wrote: »
    The whole DNC thing only has one ideological component: how far should we compromise ideals to find a winnable candidate? E.g. should we be dealing with any more Lundegran-Grimes types, Liebermans, or Manchins.

    Where *can* we flex acceptably? Can candidates be anti-Roe v. Wade, or merely personally pro-life but won't vote against reproductive rights, or do they have to be enthusiastically pro-choice? Can certain candidates stand up for the 2nd amendment and say guns are fine, we just need to be safe about them. Can candidates be pro-war?

    The rest is only strategy. Should we only focus on winnable races, how do we impact turnout, and how can we reconcile winnable races with the ideological requirements?

    I disagree. I believe we should not back down from our ideals, but we need broad consensus on what those ideals are. Republicans win in midterms and in this past election because they believe they have something to vote for, an ideological goal to pursue. Democrats, notoriously, do not. They lost this election not to some great rising of the Right but due to the apathy of the Left. It feels like "Trump is a monster" should have been sufficient, but it clearly wasn't.

    The demographic makeup that did not turn out was largely young, minority, or working class. Whoever the DNC chair is needs to put together a simple, straightforward, appealing message that speaks to those constituencies and fires them up in a way previous messaging did not. Only then will races be won.

    We should not be considering how to woo people who will almost certainly never vote democrat. We need to ignite the spirits of the people who would like to vote democratic, but see no compelling reason to.

    Fakefaux on
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  • Mr KhanMr Khan Not Everyone WAHHHRegistered User regular
    Fakefaux wrote: »
    Mr Khan wrote: »
    The whole DNC thing only has one ideological component: how far should we compromise ideals to find a winnable candidate? E.g. should we be dealing with any more Lundegran-Grimes types, Liebermans, or Manchins.

    Where *can* we flex acceptably? Can candidates be anti-Roe v. Wade, or merely personally pro-life but won't vote against reproductive rights, or do they have to be enthusiastically pro-choice? Can certain candidates stand up for the 2nd amendment and say guns are fine, we just need to be safe about them. Can candidates be pro-war?

    The rest is only strategy. Should we only focus on winnable races, how do we impact turnout, and how can we reconcile winnable races with the ideological requirements?

    I disagree. I believe we should not back down from our ideals, but we need broad consensus on what those ideals are. Republicans win in midterms and in this past election because they believe they have something to vote for, an ideological goal to pursue. Democrats, notoriously, do not. They lost this election not to some great rising of the Right but due to the apathy of the Left. It feels like "Trump is a monster" should have been sufficient, but it clearly wasn't.

    The demographic makeup that did not turn out was largely young, minority, or working class. Whoever the DNC chair is needs to put together a simple, straightforward, appealing message that speaks to those constituencies and fires them up in a way previous messaging did not. Only then will races be won.

    We should not be considering how to woo people who will almost certainly never vote democrat. We need to ignite the spirits of the people who would like to vote democratic, but see no compelling reason to.

    My thinking is more on 50-state strategies. Candidates running in states that are red and trending redder shouldn't hobble themselves by taking positions on wedge issues that immediately alienate the majority, *especially* for state-level races where you don't need their cooperation for national efforts.

    I guess really, the question of ideological flexibility is only a problem for federal races so that you get a majority that can actually agree on progressive legislation.

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