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Democrats Never Learn

I am pleased to see the VERIZON (AKA HUFFINGTON) POST giving a publishing platform to the mentally ill and developmentally damaged. But a lot of what it runs is drivel.

This idiot, for example, DOES grasp something Mad Dog Maddow and her “blame third party voters” crowd can’t process:

It was people who voted for Obama (either once or twice)– but stayed home– who elected Darnold Turnip.

As I’ve shown a few times, Trump only improved on Mitt Romney’s totals in a few areas. In most areas, he did about the same or a little worse.

What happened, very simply, is that a lot of people were promised Hopey-Changey stuff in 2008. They didn’t get it, Obama turned off a bunch of his 2008 voters, but held enough of them in 2012 to beat Romney.

In 2016, voters looked at Hilarious Clinton and said (in the words of Samuel L. Jackson), “Aw, HAIL no!”

And this is where Lawrence Mauraun falls all over himself. Like virtually every academic, he doesn’t understand a rule that any political professional understands:

It isn’t the voters’ job to support anyone the party decides to nominate, stupid. It’s the party’s job to nominate candidates voters want to support.

***

Virtually none of the people who advocate the LOTE VOTE (since “Lesser of Two Evils” has become toxic, some people call it SLEEVE) have ever run a campaign or worked with voters.

They possess advanced degrees and have published scads of papers and books. But they lack the subject matter expertise that running as few as two school board races in a bedroom community would provide.

Any voter over the age of 27 (old enough to have voted in two presidential cycles) has probably been disappointed at least half a dozen times. In the best case, the candidate who promised to fix the roads, add more jobs, eliminate waste and rein in the lobbyists fought the good fight, made some progress but fell short on most grounds,

More likely, he or she turned out to be as bad as all the others.

Most voters eventually tune out 80% of the promises candidates make– ESPECIALLY if candidates have made the promises in the past.

People who lack experience on campaigns often tell me “Everyone is really excited about the race.” Unfortunately, ‘excited’ usually isn’t enough. Enthusiasm tails off at a fairly predictable rate. If your most committed supporters are “excited”, then the majority are mildly interested.

Candidates who haven’t been able to whip voters into a frenzy of blind, screeching hate for the opponent are probably going to lose.

Jon Ossoff v Karen Handel is like sending out Garfield to do battle with the Tasmanian Devil

***

If our 27-year-old is a Democrat– or an independent who leans D– said voter is is probably TWO OR THREE TIMES as likely to have been disappointed. And they’ve been more disappointed, based on how far short the reality fell from the promise.

Republican candidates KNOW the Tea Party types are watching what they do. They’ve learned, from nearly ten years of experience, that failing to keep as many of the promises they made as possible means a primary challenge– and very likely a loss.

Democratic elected officials know they can walk away from any commitment they make and not lose establishment support No matter how badly they reneg– how far away from their platform they wander– the party establishment will do everything it can to renominate them.

Should they lose the primary, they can run as an independent with the support of the establishment. After splitting the party– guaranteeing a loss to the Republican– party types will say “See, we knew your candidate couldn’t win.”

The concept of “holding a politician’s feet to the fire” simply doesn’t happen. Because establishment Democrats believe that the secret to winning is moving as far right as possible (both Mark Penn and F.R. Emanuel recently published screeds to this effect), moving right isn’t seen as disloyalty. It’s considered SMART.

If LOTE VOTE / SLEEVE enthusiasts had the hard practical knowledge of the mechanics of American electoral politics to the degree they think they do (they don’t– and, yes, that includes the Reed guy and that Norm fellow who get invoked), they’d be able to see that the appeal of the LOTE VOTE has been losing its grip on voters for years.

***

What happened in 2016? The veal that has been herded into the pen finally refused to go.

In 2008, Democratic voters were urged to nominate Hilarious Clinton, They picked a black guy with an arab name– a first-term Senator with a brief career as a backbencher in the Illinois Senate.

In 2016, Establishment Democrats thought they could guarantee Clinton the nomination by systematically driving out every other reasonable alternative. They persuaded Joe Biden not to run, Elizabeth Warren that Clinton was Senior Utero-American In Charge and told everyone else that they’d be taking their career in their hands.

The only guy who didn’t bend– because, frankly, he had nothing to lose– was a 74-year-old backbencher from a tiny state and a backstory (Jewish, a socialist, a guy who’d never held a job until he was elected Mayor, an ‘unusual’ family life, a history of positions that were hard to explain) that made him very difficult to elect.

He nearly won. It took a determined push by both the party establishment (and their ‘Super’ delegates) and the media– and the votes from primary voters in states that Democrats would never, ever win– to beat him back.

In the general, Professional Democrats and their Useful Idiots in the LOTE VOTE crowd imagined the same appeals that had been losing force over the past generation would work. They didn’t.

***

So here’s where we are. The Democratic Establishment won’t support a candidate who is too far to the left.

The base won’t support a candidate who is too far right– who calls Henry Kissinger her BFF, courts Republican Interventionists and thinks LGBT supporters should stop asking for special privileges.

And all the condemnation from the LOTE VOTE types won’t work. The first commandment of political strategy still applies:

NEVER ARGUE WITH VOTERS– LISTEN AND RESPOND TO THEM

Mr Mauraun and his proponents had better figure that out. The clock is running.

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