Thursday, April 13, 2017

Did Dems Blow Kansas Congressional Seat Because Candidate Was Bernie-Like?

The Nation:
Republicans proved to be savvy as the Kansas election approached. They recognized that Thompson’s old-school economic-populist campaign against Trump and Trumpism (as well as against unpopular Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and the Kansas-based Koch brothers) was closing the gap, and the GOP establishment panicked.

 National Democrats? Not so much. An election-eve story by CNN, headlined “GOP cavalry heads to Kansas ahead of close House election,” noted, “The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is not spending money on this race at all, and even the Kansas State Democratic Party rejected Thompson’s requests for funding for mailers.”
The DCCC made some last-minute calls, and a lot of excuses. There were even those who suggested that the strategy was to “fly under radar”apparently missing the fact that Republican radar detected what was happening and mobilized at precisely the point when Democrats could have and should have moved money and attention to the race.

 Thompson suggested that the tepid level of DC Democratic engagement with the Kansas race reflected “establishment thinking.”
Jim Dean, the chair of Democracy for America, was blunter. Dean hailed Thompson’s runwhich DFA backed, along with Our Revolution, the group that evolved out of the Sanders presidential campaign. He celebrated Thompson’s aggressive approach, highlighted the role of grassroots activists in creating a “progressive surge,” and explained that “If we can make Republicans go into full-on freakout mode in a ruby red Kansas congressional district now, we have the power to rip the gavel out of Paul Ryan’s hands in November 2018.”
But Dean concluded with a cautionary note for the people at the top of the Democratic Party:
The article in The Nation calls upon the Democratic establishment to wake up but I don't hold out much hope. They would rather keep losing than give up control. That is the exact way our UFT/Unity Caucus leadership thinks -- rather than risk allowing anyone to get a foothold they will make no changes, even if faced with losing 30% of their dues payers.

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