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Nancy Smith

Making Democrats Great Again ... Gonna Take Awhile

June 23, 2017 - 9:45am
Democrat John Ossoff loses in Georgia June 20
Democrat John Ossoff loses in Georgia June 20

Putting Humpty back together is off to a rocky start. Could there have been a more disastrous week for the Democrats?

They went 0-for-4 in special elections Tuesday, when out-of-district Democrat John Ossoff lost to Republican Karen Handel in Georgia.

That's after spending $25 million to win a House seat in the Atlanta suburbs for a candidate who had a seven-point lead going in.

We'll get to what happened in Florida last weekend in a minute.

I Beg to Differ

Meanwhile, reflect on Georgia's 6th District. It never was Trump country. Trump only carried it by 1 percentage point. But after Democrats lost their shirt in Virginia, Montana and Kansas, the media somehow decided that if establishment Republican Handel could lose in the 6th, then it would be a major smackdown of Donald Trump for Ossoff to win there.

I've never seen where just hating the other guy ever worked as a sole party strategy. 

Besides, I'm beginning to wonder if an anti-Trump fever actually exists. The media say it does -- as the Washington Times  put it, they're "hysterically trying to will Donald Trump out of existence."  But the media said the same thing going into Election Day 2016. They sent Hillary Clinton a false positive, and the Democratic presidential candidate is still puzzling how she lost.

One of my idols, Peter Kann who spent many years as an editor at the Wall Street Journal, said "that facts are facts; that they are ascertainable through honest, open-minded and diligent reporting; that truth is attainable by laying fact upon fact, much like the construction of a cathedral; and that truth is not merely in the eye of the beholder.” Not only do I agree with him right down the line, I believe this is how most journalists did their work before the 24-7, partisan, talking-heads genre of TV news came along. And why I say what I do now about the quality of political coverage.

Anti-Trumpism could happen, certainly. But later.  And not because the media will it. The Dems would do well to heed the advice of Congressman Seth Moulton, D-Mass., who said in a Tuesday night tweet, “Time to stop rehashing 2016 and talk about the future” ... Democrats “need a genuinely new message.”

Yes, they do. And new leadership. They have no one. Nancy Pelosi energizes the GOP base. And Joe Biden? Forget it. Last weekend the ungracious former vice president, in Florida as a Blue Gala keynote speaker, didn't even pretend he was happy to be in the Sunshine State.

The point is, there's nobody at the head of Team Blue right now or, frankly, in the foreseeable future. No one to generate excitement, no one with a fresh message. No one to move beyond the idiotic allegation that Trump's relationship to Russia won him the election.

There is no one in the party to wave the flag once in a while, ignite a flame in the American people -- and with Barack Obama gone, no charismatic leader who can impart a shining vision for this country  and the world, something we can all believe in.

The Democrats' bad week started in Florida with the cash-strapped FDP's $1 million Leadership Blue Gala fundraiser. What was billed as a "coming together" event turned into a proper donnybrook after Chairman Stephen Bittel's racial trip-of-the-lip.

“They’re like children, these black lawmakers. They just don’t get it,” Bittel told Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation. “I raised more money in this amount of time than they ever could.” 

Bittel made the comment referencing lawmakers who were unhappy because their names didn't get called on stage at the Florida Democratic Party.

The party made a decision not to introduce black lawmakers by name because keynoter Biden wanted to get the show on the road. He said the Blue Gala was cutting into the time he and his wife planned for their 40th wedding anniversary.

Bittel's remarks exploded on social media and, apparently, though the chairman apologized profusely during a Sunday closed-door meeting, could have cost him his job. Politico reported one of the Democratic lawmakers at the meeting who spoke to Bittel said the chair would be “ready to quit if asked.”

No one asked for Bittel's resignation, but hard feelings remain.

The Florida Democratic Party may yet shock us all and develop a winning strategy. But for the moment, it looks like a shadow -- a phantom with a collection of individuals taking out papers to run who haven't a clue how to win. Like I said -- nationally and in Florida -- rehabilitation's gonna take awhile.

No wonder Republican leaders think they can get away with almost anything. They can.

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith   


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Comments

I am waiting for a single democrat to say anything, AYTHING, that relates to improving our everday lives. Sadly, I think I shall have to wait awhile.

I grew up in the Florida Panhandle where everyone was a "yellow dog Democrat"--long before anyone heard about blue dogs (except blue tick hounds, of course). I have watched the Democrats, like lemmings, charge off to the left and they may have just gone off the cliff. If they don't collect themselves, they may well do it again, anyway!

The Dems have long been in a decline. They used to stand for the working man and woman, the party of labor and fairness. It was the party of my parents, and most southern parents... They have slowly declined into the party of entitlement, gov't and right or wrong, ethnic minority. They have become far too liberal and marginalized. This coming from an independent. They have not been relevant in this state in quite some time. The only time they have really been relevant Nationally is when there is a decent candidate in opposition to a bad Republican (which is often). This country is ripe for someone who is balanced, a bright spot for working folks, wants common sense change, believes in marginally regulated business, and believes in just enough government to advocate for its people and keep business and industry in check and honest. Someone who can see the merits of gov't when it works betters than big business and is cheaper for its people (which is often). Is not afraid to pursue single payer, even though the money and greed supports the status quo. Someone who believes that getting the money (all of it) out of politics is the only way to get honest, ethical representation again, This the America I remember, and the America I am longing to get back to. It sure as hell is not those idiots Trump and Clinton!

It ain't easy being a Democrat these days when the Party's leadership "shows their butt" like a bunch of spoiled preschoolers.

Lifetime Dem......until 2016, when I moved to NPA. Bernie was way too left for me and there was no chance I would vote for Clinton with her lifetime of baggage. Months later she's still blaming everyone but herself. And therein is a big reason for Dems current failures, they need to drop the whole victim deal.

You'd have to go back to the 60's to find a time when the Dem party stood for something good. And even then Kennedy almost got us nuked while he was busy with Marilyn. Today the Dems would reject Kennedy. He was white, privileged, believed in God, was rich, served in the military, challenged people to do something for their country instead of expecting the govt. to take care of their every need and whim. That's who and what the liberals hate today.

You want to make Democrats great again? That photo pretty much sums up a big part of the problem. This crying and boo-hooing and whining that it's not fairrrrrrrr has to stop. No one likes a sore loser. Stop labeling everyone, including fellow Democrats, who aren't in lockstep with the gospel on immigration or social issues as preached from on high at the DNC as a racist, sexist, homophobe, islamophobe or some other (fill in the blank)-ist or -phobe. How can Democrats be the party of inclusion when a big part of the policy and practice from the DNC is to sow anger, discord and fragmentation through a misguided and potentially fatal devotion to identity politics? Jobs, the price of food, gas, and insurance (both medical and property here in Florida), school quality, that's what people are worried about . We're not lying awake at night worrying about correct gender pronouns. We didn't leave the Democratic party - it left us.

FIRST: Let me state (ONCE AGAIN !), I am an "old fashioned, common sense, rationally thinking Democrat", who knows, feels, witnessed, and foresaw the "death of the Democrat Party": You can't "idolize" a candidate like he/she is a "Hollywood or TV creation" or "false majority favorite" seen in an ALWAYS "false, bright 'media' light"... THESE kinds of fake "heroes" have "clay feet" and self-serving agendas. The GLARING example of this phenomena was (and is) Barak Hussein Obama (aka: Barry Sowetoe), a candidate we STILL actually know nothing about (and won't until the "25 year "Presidential information-lockdown" expires). Democrats MUST re-enter the REAL WORLD (not the always out-of-reach "world" they DESIRE); Their politicians must NOT depend on false narrative "talking points"; they MUST be TRUSTED, INDEPENDENT thinkers who engender confidence and common-sense in constituents. Despite what many think, "politics" is much more than merely "a horse race": If AMERICA doesn't "come first" in ALL Americans' minds (politicians included), then 'political parties' are doomed to "go the way" of Lincoln's "WHIG" Party...and be replaced, or rebuilt. The "ball is in your court" Democrats: Mend your ways or keep "circling the drain" to oblivion: VOTERS DEMAND IT !

These people have no message. All they can say is Russia, Russia, Russia. Now it does not take much brain to see this does not work, but they are brain dead so as long as they are that way great for the Republicans.

America is Trump Country. Thanks be to a merciful Lord.

Democrats have long needed a strategy.

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nancy smith
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