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Est. April 5, 2002
November 08, 2018 - Issue 763

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Mid-Terms Show Flaws of Democrats
Getting their butts kicked is becoming routine


"Progressives need to step back and think about
how we’re going to build political power in this
current climate and despite the Democrats. The
midterm elections show that our strategy
and tactics could use some polish."

Remember that camp song some us learned? “Make new friends but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold.” We may need to create an updated version of the song for the Democratic Party who still—in 2018—takes its traditional base for granted. Yes, the Party may have flipped the Congressional House but it gave a bunch of key races as gifts to the ungrateful Republicans.

Missouri is a case in point. U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill lost her seat to a young, conservative whippersnapper who challenged her two-term incumbency. State Attorney General Josh Hawley aka Golden Boy (as he’s called by state Democrats) won his first elected office and came out blazing, taking aim at the Affordable Health Care Act, along with his fellow Republican Attorneys General. He had served only about nine months as AG when he was encouraged by his Party to take on McCaskill.

In response to Hawley tossing his hat at McCaskill, she went on a state tour of 50 town halls to white, Republican-majority areas. Standing out like a neon blue thumb in a red state, I understand a persuasion strategy to woo a certain percentage of voters not in her universe of supporters, then move on. Her goal was to “go out of my way to places where I’m not that popular.” Claire, you weren’t that popular in the urban centers of Kansas City and St. Louis but you spent precious little time with African American voters!

Career politician McCaskill raised about $35 million for her re-election bid and spent way too much on people who she admitted “have never and will never vote for me.” Senator McCaskill lost by about six percentage points. I’m betting those could’ve been Black and Brown voters who watched the senator serenade racist, white voters who were avowed Trump supporters.

Thanks to tone-deaf Democratic Party leaders, Missouri is flaming red with a super majority Republican state assembly and Governor. State Auditor Nicole Galloway squeaked past her Republican challenger and is now the only Democrat to hold a statewide office.

Dems seem to be clueless about how to select and support candidates, how to value their constituents and how to counter the Republican steamroller. A couple of good examples are squeaker races like Beto O’Rourke in Texas and Andrew Gillum in Florida. Both were high quality candidates who ran exemplary campaigns. O’Rourke didn’t want Party support and did pretty good without it. New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blazed her own campaign trail and goes to Congress as a Latino socialist.

As Black Commentator goes to press, Georgia’s Stacey Abrams has rightfully refused to concede to her gubernatorial opponent, Georgia’s Secretary of State. The Georgia Democratic Party should’ve been screaming to the next galaxy that Brian Kemp would be stealing and suppressing votes and called for his immediate recusal. The Party was slow to support Abrams as a candidate until her campaign gained momentum and national attention.

Despite the Democrats, there were some laudable wins. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar will be the first Muslim women in Congress. They’ll be joined by Sharice Davis, the first open lesbian and Native American. Davis will be joined by another Native American, Debra Haaland.

Some races are still too close to call. There’ll be a lot of election analysis going on for a while but thankfully, no more political ads to endure. We will have to endure a gloating trump and an emboldened U.S. Senate.

Progressives also need to step back and think about how we’re going to build political power in this current climate and despite the Democrats. The midterm elections show that our strategy and tactics could use some polish. Editorial Board member and Columnist, Jamala Rogers, founder and Chair Emeritus of the Organization for Black Struggle in St. Louis. She is an organizer, trainer and speaker. She is the author of The Best of the Way I See It – A Chronicle of Struggle.  Other writings by Ms. Rogers can be found on her blog jamalarogers.comContact Ms. Rogers and BC.
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Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
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