Tuesday, July 20, 2004

How not to support a Democratic candidate

Amen to Brother Kos:

What these assholes at the DCCC don't realize is that you never, NEVER, talk down a candidate. Now, assuming Schrader is staying in the race as promised, that genius Speed has made it look as though she's second choice. That given the chance, the DCCC would've preferred someone else in the race.

Well, if the fucking DCCC wanted someone else in the race, they should've recruited that person to begin with. But from where I'm sitting, Ginny is doing just fine. She has great creds, and has been working the district tirelessly over the last few months. And that $7,000 in the bank has taken a turn for the better over the last 8 hours, no thanks to the geniuses at the D-trip who have handicapped the Democrats into long-time minority status.

Let them try to touch her. Just let them.

The rules are changing. The party committees no longer have unquestioned control over such decisions. We now have a voice, and I'm taking this chance to flex ours.

[Background: Ginny Schrader, Democratic candidate for a House seat in Pennsylvania, got a lucky boost yesterday when her Republican opponent announced his retirement. Suddenly, her unknown campaign, unsupported by the national party, has become the cause celeb of the left side of the blog world and nearly $20,000 has been raised for her in less than 24 hours. But now some Democratic leaders are making noises about how she should be replaced by a more "winnable" candidate.]

The thing that the Democratic leadership consistently fails to understand is that they are not the be all and end all when it comes to deciding the course of Democratic politics. They have abdicated that position over the years by becoming increasingly focused on a small, narrow range of "winnable" campaigns and abandoning the rest of the party to the winds of chance (such as the unexpected retirement of a Republican opponent). They expect to be the "grand poobahs" that everyone will listen to instead of doing what they are supposed to be doing and listening to us

Sorry. No. You aren't the ones in charge. You have the knowledge and talent for running those campaigns. Use that talent where it is best suited. But the choice of the campaign to run is not yours to make.

Update:

This has spawned an interesting thread over at the DailyKos. Some people think Markos has over-reacted to the DCCC's lack of unequivocal support for Schrader. I think he is spot on. Whether the DCCC spokeman meant to undermine Schrader, his "no comment" in response to the question of replacing her left a blank into which the reporter could put any kind of story he/she wanted. That's simply bad press management.

This is not varsity play. This is the major leagues. In a political world as on the edge as our is even little mistakes like that can be costly. I can understand making them, but I can't forgive them.

The Democrats have got to understand that they should always talk up their candidates, even if, behind the scenes, they are thinking about replacing them. The Republicans don't make that kind of mistake. That's why Al D'Amato's comments about Cheney stepping aside got so much attention. It was newsworthy because it was unusual.

But Democrats undermining other Democrats is par for the course. It's that kind of shit that has to be stopped.

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