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Thu Nov 5, 2015, 08:07 AM

Warning From KY: Managerial Democrats Can Lose to Extreme Republicans

Warning From Kentucky: Managerial Democrats Can Lose to Extreme Republicans
by John Nichols
The Nation
11/4/15

A Republican referred to as “Kentucky’s Trump” just beat a mainstream Democrat in a race the Democrats should have won.

Democrats who think they can win simply by highlighting the extremism of Republicans—a popular notion as Dr. Ben Carson, Donald Trump, and Senator Ted Cruz rank high in Republican presidential polls—would do well to consider the case of Kentucky.

Yes, Kentucky—where cautious Democrats just clashed with extremist Republicans. In an exceptionally low-turnout election, in which two-thirds of eligible voters failed to cast ballots, the Republicans prevailed.

....snip....Democrats have dominated Kentucky statehouse politics with only a few exceptions since the end of the Civil War. Even as other border states were following Southern states into the Republican fold, and even as Republicans were winning federal elections in Kentucky, Democrats (some of a populist persuasion, some with strong personal followings) have held their own in state races.

The party has lost Kentucky’s governorship in only two elections over the past 70 years. They held it even in 2011, just after the 2010 Republican-wave election that saw the GOP take control of statehouses in far bluer states such as Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan.

This year, Kentucky Democrats took the “safe” route. They discouraged populists such as former Lieutenant Governor Dan Mongiardo, a coal-country physician who talked of running “a campaign for the soul of our Democratic Party,” and settled on state Attorney General Jack Conway, who lost a 2010 Senate race to Republican Rand Paul. Conway had plenty of money, plenty of statewide name recognition and the solid record of outgoing Democratic Governor Steve Beshear to run on. Conway repeated his talking points and presented himself as a suitably experienced, if drably managerial, successor to the popular Beshear. But it wasn’t enough. Conway lost. Badly.

Full story~
http://www.thenation.com/article/warning-from-kentucky-managerial-democrats-can-lose-to-extreme-republicans/

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Warning From KY: Managerial Democrats Can Lose to Extreme Republicans (Original post)
RiverLover Nov 2015 OP
RiverLover Nov 2015 #1
kelliekat44 Nov 2015 #2
RiverLover Nov 2015 #3
raindaddy Nov 2015 #10
RiverLover Nov 2015 #13
raindaddy Nov 2015 #14
Hortensis Nov 2015 #12
Sunlei Nov 2015 #4
HereSince1628 Nov 2015 #5
Sunlei Nov 2015 #7
HereSince1628 Nov 2015 #9
SharonAnn Nov 2015 #17
jeff47 Nov 2015 #15
ananda Nov 2015 #6
n2doc Nov 2015 #8
ananda Nov 2015 #16
frylock Nov 2015 #18
ananda Nov 2015 #19
blackspade Nov 2015 #11

Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 08:22 AM

1. Conway is a centrist & ran as a sane republican calling himself a Democrat.

....However, Democrats make a mistake if they read too little into the results from Kentucky. The party’s gubernatorial candidate ran a circumspect campaign—so much so that The Cincinnati Enquirer, in endorsing Conway, described his plans as “realistically cautious.” Conway even attacked Bevin for supporting medical marijuana. And Conway was tepid on economic issues, counting on Kentuckians to choose the status quo over the populist promise of change for the better. That was a bad bet. This is a volatile political season—as the 2016 presidential race has confirmed. Bevin was the more volatile contender in Kentucky, the more controversial candidate, the guy who seemed most likely to shake things up, and he won.

Would Kentucky Democrats have run better if they had gone big? Would they have excited more voters if, in addition to proposing to maintain that which is working, they had promised to do a whole lot more to address urban and rural poverty, raise wages, and upset economic calculus that invariably favors the one percent over the 99 percent?....

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 08:25 AM

2. And Dems could run as Republicans and win....but they won't. nt

 

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 08:51 AM

3. The point is if you're a voter with Democratic values, but no one running shares those values,

where is the motivation to vote?

We need Democrats to be Democrats. That is how we will GOTV. We will keep losing if we continue to be the lesser evil, but still evil.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 10:52 AM

10. You're exactly right...

If the Democratic party had not moved away from it's traditional FDR values and replaced them by jumping on board with the republican party and their perpetual economic war on the poor and middle class they'd be kicking ass across the board...

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Response to raindaddy (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 11:15 AM

13. Well said.

Thanks raindaddy.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #13)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 11:28 AM

14. You're welcome RiverLover

As you probably already know....The Democratic party is not only losing elections it's losing it's membership.. down to 30% and decreasing... The "New Democrats" are creating a situation that's not sustainable...

Thank you River Lover

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 11:05 AM

12. The point I see is that the campaign should have

focused strongly on the candidate's democratic values. This was a good candidate for this not-blue state, but his campaign made the same mistake dozens made in the 2012 midterms -- it took what seemed a safest route meant to appeal to the greatest number by offering a sensible but bland message. And inspired no one.

It's like the difference between telling a quarreling family that, yes, turkey, ham, and roast beef would all be great for Thanksgiving OR that Thanksgiving just is not Thanksgiving without Grandma's turkey and stuffing -- and that the jellied cranberry sauce from the can is a must!

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 09:05 AM

4. two-thirds of eligible voters failed to cast ballots.

But one number is worth noting: Turnout for this high-stakes election in Kentucky was 30.7 percent. The overwhelming majority of eligible voters did not participate in an election that reshaped the political calculus in the state—moving the state far to the right on economic and social issues, setting the stage for the loss of access to healthcare for hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians, opening the way for an assault on collective-bargaining rights.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 09:55 AM

5. But why? Is the default that voters should be shamed for not voting or

is it a sign that the party isn't working as it should?

The DLC rationalized it's pushing aside of labor friendly/status quo liberals in favor or more donor friendly pro-corporate support because of ... election losses.

Why doesn't that argument obtain for all these state elections? Why can't we say that, KY Dems, like WI Dems before them, have failed to provide options--philosophies-policies-and personalities--that attract voters?

Maybe Dems need to rethink how to build a strong party base that appeals to and engages voters.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 10:05 AM

7. I don't know what can be done. Some people seem apathetic/depressed? they don't pay attention to

elections even at the most local of levels. Actually local elections are the most important but many times positions are unopposed.

I don't know what can be done. I wish we were more like some other countries about our vote. Everyone is auto registered at the national level and it is very easy to cast the vote from home.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 10:25 AM

9. I don't see why state democratic parties can't take over administration of partisan elections.

I don't see any reason why, for example, WI Dems couldn't turn to mail-in ballots and have election periods that last a week or more.

Acceptance of imposition of voter-suppression techniques on partisan democratic elections by republican controlled governments is truly worthy of ridicule. If state dems want to have elections by mail to increase opportunities for people to participate they should go ahead and do that.

Personally, I think not-voting is undesirable, but I think lack of participation is a result of failures within the party.





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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 12:28 PM

17. State elections laws are pretty specific, and vary by state.

You either have to work within the existing laws or get them changed, which is nearly impossible in most states.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 12:23 PM

15. Voters do not owe anyone their vote. Candidates must earn their vote.

If a candidate loses, they failed to do their job.

Lots of status-quo supporting Democrats will scream "stupid voters!!!!" because that's a lot easier than re-examining the party's strategy and positions.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 10:00 AM

6. It's a sign all right.

People are willing to completely give up access to healthcare
and a decent living wage in order to make an ideological
statement against people they hate.

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Response to ananda (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 10:11 AM

8. Well, 16% of voters were willing to do so

14% were not. And the rest sat on their asses. Someone should really try to figure out why they did so.

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Response to n2doc (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 12:28 PM

16. To me, not voting means consent.

.. a willingness to just go along with the conservative trend.

That is because a voter would have to be an utter cretin
not to understand that leaving the state to the GOP means
utter ruin for its people based on ideological hate.

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Response to ananda (Reply #16)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 02:45 PM

18. Isn't that what the party has been doing for almost 40 years now?

Just going along with the conservative trend?

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Response to frylock (Reply #18)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 03:57 PM

19. It does look that way.

I've been thinking for quite a while that this problem will
not be solved by any one "savior" president or leader.

Only mass organization on a very large scale, and one that
doesn't back down at all, will make a difference.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 10:59 AM

11. He lost because his messaging was stupid.

The Party mobilization was also awful.
It didn't help that Bevins running-mate was an engaging AA woman which pulled a number of AA voters to him.
The fact that Grimes and Beshear won is a miracle.

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