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« The party wants to what again? | Main | More Ossoff post-mortems »

"Our brand is worse than Trump"


Their candidate, Jon Ossoff, raised about $25 million, mostly in small donations, and assertively courted right-of-center voters with promises of economic development and fiscal restraint.

That vague message, Democrats said Wednesday, was plainly not powerful enough to counter an onslaught of Republican advertising that cast Mr. Ossoff as a puppet of liberal national Democrats, led by Ms. Pelosi, an intensely unpopular figure on the right and a longstanding target of Republican attacks.

I agree with that headline and the bit about the vague message, but unfortunately the rest of the article doesn't give me a lot of hope. The article is about increasing opposition to Pelosi as leader. The problem is that the Democrats are taking the wrong message from Ossoff's loss, as usual. They continue to think the problem is that they are being perceived as being "too liberal" and they want to move to the right. The guy quoted in the headline, Tim Ryan (who ran a challenge to Pelosi's leadership at the start of this session) is to Pelosi's right.

The Dems are looking at the losses of the three populists and saying that between that and Ossoff's loss it proves that populism doesn't work either, ignoring the relative swings and fact that those guys got zero support whereas Ossoff got millions. Bernie is literally the most popular politician in America. Clearly his message is the way to go. You can't beat the fact that your brand is worse than Trump's by becoming even more like Trump's party.

If we're going to have to defend someone for being "too liberal", they might as well try actually being liberal. Ossoff's platform was basically a conservative's (eliminating government "waste", "medicaid fraud", lowering taxes, opposing single payer) and he wouldn't even admit that he would support Pelosi. And if Pelosi is that toxic then she's also not worth defending from the "too liberal" charge. In her personal views/votes, she's actually not terrible (although not nearly as good as you'd expect from someone representing San Francisco), but as leader she's very much bought into the perspective than we have to go right to win (e.g.). The real issue is that we can escape the liberal/conservative framing using economic populism, and Pelosi is very much unreceptive to that. The problem is that it seems likely that whoever we would get to replace her wouldn't be either. It should be Keith Ellison, but we already saw the "ZOMG! Black Muslim!!!" freakout when he ran for DNC chair.

By fnord12 | June 22, 2017, 8:11 AM | Liberal Outrage