Comments: 270

  1. Good op ed. Another thing to focus on are the tariffs now imposed by China. Small business owners and institutions of all sorts are now beginning to experience the economic backlash of Trump's policy in their pocketbooks, along with health care, taxes, and other areas where the GOP has failed miserably. The key for the Dems is to hone in on the issues that matter to everyday Americans.

  2. @Birdygirl
    Except it's not an Op-Ed.
    The author is a member of the editorial board.
    How apt.

  3. “With less than a month until Election Day, it’s time for Democrats to hunker down and get serious about their midterm messaging.”

    When oh when will the Democrat party look beyond the next election cycle and develop a solid platform of policies for the longterm future? With a robust economy (admiitedly not quite so robust for people who got slammed by the 2008 crisis or just low-wage jobs), how can Democrats develop a “message” that has traction in just a few short weeks? I’m sick of “messaging” and await the day when I see the kind of longterm plan for gaining power that the GOP and its very powerful donor class has been implementing, with great success, for decades. I wish Democrats would smarten up. And forget identify politics; I want to see policies that are meaningful to the vast majority of Americans, regardless of gender and color: subsidized education, infrastructure investment, universal healthcare, financial security in old age and retirement, etc etc. Until that happens and until we can persuade large numbers of current Trump supporters to move in our direction we will never have sufficient power to implement the sweeping reforms we need in so many areas of American life.

  4. @Gerald Democratic Party.

  5. I agree. But take subsidized education. An MSNBC reporter went to a conservative Cal. district and asked a group of...10-12 college students (waiting for a bus, it appeared) how many intended to vote. None. After asking several more times, one student raised a hand.

    He should have asked how many had student loans, how many had ....Nana loans (aka family loans), how many had health insurance plans (student plans, or on their parent’s plan). How many were even registered to vote- in their home district or college district....and how many knew what kind of voting machines their state was using.

    Their apathy, total involvement in their own little world- pretty darn discouraging. If social media is supposedly reaching these youngsters- they missed the memo, for sure. A good, long term progressive platform would be great- but even with a message- who’s going to wake up voters long enough to listen?

  6. @Gerald
    The left is fighting for all of those things. The Democrats call them extreme.

    And you do not need Trump voters and will never get them. They do not care about truth or logic, so they cannot be shaken from their beliefs. Democrats need to stop trying to attract Republicans and try to attract their natural base: workers and left activists.

  7. Kavanaugh, as you note, will not be an issue except as just the latest example of why so many are fed up with Mr. PTSD, Persistent Trump Stress Disorder. But, never underestimate that master media manipulator to try to spring some sort of October surprise in the next few weeks to motivate his base. There are many possibilities: firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replacing him with Lindsey Graham as has already been rumored; pardoning Mike Flynn and/or Paul Manafort; or threatening to impose marshal law to prevent "mob rule," and who knows what else. Meanwhile, the Democrats have the issues, the candidates, and the momentum. They just need a massive turnout to retake the House and perhaps even the Senate. And with the markets showing their usual October jitters due to Trump's trade war, those who thought the economy was a Republican plus may see that's not the case. so #RememberThisNovember and V-O-T-E!

  8. Very well written. The key for Democrats is to not let Trump and McConnell set the discussion. They want the Dems to fight about abortion rights or Trump breaking laws, but the truth is that the Dems have winning issues in Healthcare and the huge deficit that the GOP is exploding. Even the so called "greatest economy ever" is not looking so strong after today's massive drop, rising inflation and the tech down turn. China will probably also fight back closer to the election as an attack on Trump and his supporters.

  9. I am glad this Dem. chose to present some of the important issues at stake. I do believe however that Dems. do indeed need to spell out the Rep's. agenda. track record, and overall irresponsibility in their messages. I think a lot of people do not know these and other things they (Reps.) represent, and they could change their minds if they did know them. Ours is a winning side all facts pertain.

  10. If it's true that Millennials are historically the least reliable voters among analogous generational cohorts, then even I, a lifelong liberal, find my motivation flagging. Who are we supposed to be advocating for? Young citizens who can't be bothered? People who aren't even citizens of my country? Protesters who sometimes seem more interested in protesting than voting? The Democratic Party needs a giant, glamorous, galvanizing marquee issue around which we can't help but rally; 2020 is already shaping up as closer than it should be.

  11. @Blair
    NOT TRUE! I taught college for 30 years, and young people are the most idealistic group since the Civil Rights era. Look at those kids from Marjory Stoneman shooting. Look the kids at the Bernie Sanders rallies. They're victims of income inequality and they hate the 1% who were "born on third base."
    They're struggling to get an education, repay Darwinian college loans, and often work 2-3 jobs to make ends meet.They want to save the planet. They believe in LGBT rights, they hate racism. Some are born-again and reject abortion. But they wouldn't bomb a clinic.
    Because right-wingers destroyed public education, they are not taught Civics in high school (as I was)--the Constitution, 3 branches of gov't; how a bill becomes a law, etc. When I taught Early American Literature at a good community college, it was the first my students read the Constitution. Lazy? No. Victims of "teach to the test."

  12. @Blair

    "The Democratic Party needs a giant, glamorous, galvanizing marquee issue around which we can't help but rally"

    Yes, turnout is key.

    We need a wildly motivating stretch target, like Tax the Rich or Ban Corporate Donations. Something that will fit on a red (not blue) hat.

    But first the entire Democratic leadership of oldsters must be entirely replaced with under-40s. And not a tepid "so we can say we did something" change.

    Only that will regain integrity. Without drastically cleaning house you're asking people to vote again for the same old corporate politicians who lost the country and the future. Which is what the current Democrats think will win next month.

    What we need instead is a young progressive Trump, like a Beto who has proved he (absolutely not a She) can turn red to blue.

    A She is too risky right now.

  13. One must wonder how effective this focus on issues could be, stacked up against the mind-bending attack ads so expertly wielded by the opponents. It may be the most important mid-term election since the Civil War, weighted as it is by the need to reestablish a check on the other two branches of our Constitutional democracy. Democrats must be bold as well as rational in their choice of platforms. They must do so with a sense of moral rectitude not displayed across the board so far. Are they capable of energizing those who descry the loss of decency in government with a cleaner hand than last week? Lord, we need good leadership.

  14. "I don't belong to any organized party, I'm a Democrat"
    - Will Rogers

    Hopefully we've learned from those days of disorganized messaging that reaches absolutely no one.

    Here in Georgia, Stacey Abrams for Governor is doing a terrific job at targeting our two top issues, healthcare, specifically Medicaid, and public education. And most of what I've been reading, candidates from other States are targeting issues that ring true with their constituents.

    Make sure you vote though.

  15. 100 million voters stayed home in 2016.
    Are they still saying there’s no difference between Trump and Clinton?
    Isn’t it time to apply some control to the Trump chaos train?

  16. @Brad I'm on ANOTHER discussion thread on Facebook today, with someone I don't know on a friend's page, who says that Hillary Clinton ruined the democrats and we shouldn't vote for them. Apparently this person isn't a Russian troll but a real one, just like my many Bernie fan friends who still insist they'll never vote democratic again because "of what they did to Bernie". (Nope, Hillary got more votes in the primaries, that's what happened).

    We're doomed if this keeps up.

  17. @Brad
    If you want them to vote, you have to give them real reasons to vote for Democrats. As long as Democrats keep playing Republican Lite, most people can't really tell the difference.

  18. @Brad
    People see the Senate Minority Leader, defacto head of the Democratic Party until the next presidential election, not do anything to stop Mitch McConnell and Trump from taking away their state and local tax deductions.
    Schumer mounted no attack on the Trump nominee of a Supreme Court Judge, even though we all know Trump is not fit to pick a Supreme Court Justice.
    Trump picked Kavanaugh to end the Mueller investigation, a Justice to obstruct Justice.

    Chuck?... chirp...

    Most of the country sees a Democratic Party that just surrenders ahead of time and never fights back.
    A solid third of the country does not believe Democrats or Republicans are worth voting for. Those are the people you should be trying to understand. That is the true middle, not the fake corporate "center" telling us the only sensible thing is to give everything to the billionaires. But Democrats think they can get Trump supporters to vote for them and fight over a few percent at the margins instead of the third in the actual middle.

    If you can't beat them, join them. That is the motto of the Clinton centrists.

    The fact that turnout dropped drastically since the Democratic Party surrendered is not a coincidence.
    A plane with a right wing and a center wing wants to go into a death spiral.
    Democratic Centrists implementing rightwing policies while attacking their own base, and telling workers and their families that there is no money for policies normal in industrialized nations created chaos.

  19. There are two reasons why Democrats must prioritize the economic justice issue if they are going to meet expectations in this midterm election and regain control of the House, and defeat Trump in 2020.

    First, millions of Americans in the heartland disagree with our stances on social issues, such as abortion rights, based on cultural and religious reasons. This is why Democrats are so stunned come election night when, for example, they are faced with the recurring surprise that they did not win as many white female votes as they expected despite the Republicans’ conservative views on women’s rights. Democrats must take a more deliberate approach when campaigning in the heartland for support for social issues.

    Second, given the attention the media has given to the capture of our American government and economy by the wealthy corporate elites and the resulting economic damage it has done, a growing group of progressive Democrats have smartly focused on bringing economic justice to working Americans in the middle and lower classes. They have been focusing on achieving measures, such as living wages and worker participatory rights in corporate decision-making.

    Bernie Sanders’s success last week in pressuring Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to raise the Amazon minimum wage to $15 per hour and help us increase the federal minimum wage, is proof that the economic justice issue is the most common political denominator Democrats must prioritize to win back control of the government.

  20. Democrats need to stay on message and they need to include absolutely everyone under the tent.

    On jobs, Dems need to drive home the point that although unemployment is now low, jobs don't pay what they need to, nor are they for as many hours as people need. They also need to drive home the point that they know that those then middle aged workers who were laid off at the start of the Great Recession still await the work they'd hope to long have resumed by now. The latest job numbers indicate that older workers aren't fully participating.

    Voters long to hear that Democrats are going to be a check on Trump. They also want to know that Kavanaugh's investigation will be completed, in earnest, even post-installation on the court.

    Voters long to hear about healthcare and that Democrats have their back when it comes to including more Americans - not less. They want to hear about premiums coming down. They also want to hear that the price gouging on medications will come to an end.

    Voters want to know that Robert Mueller will be safe and that once he's done with his work, a united, unflinching Democratic House and Senate will mete out justice.

    Voters want to know what Trump and his cabinet have been doing. We don't hear nearly enough about that from Senators and members of Congress.

    Oh, and on Bloomberg? Donna Brazile is wrong. Oligarchs on the right, oligarchs on the left. Not a good look...

    ---
    Things Trump did while you weren't looking
    https://wp.me/p2KJ3H-2ZW

  21. Here's an article from this week about Democrats' agenda, if... More than one person has told me they wished its contents were more widely known:

    Dems eye ambitious agenda if House flips

    emocratic committee leaders are ready to roll out an ambitious legislative wish list if the House majority flips in next month’s midterm elections.

    After eight years in the minority, Democrats have big plans, from shoring up ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank financial rules to protecting “Dreamers” and the integrity of elections.

    They are also vowing to aggressively probe the actions of the Trump administration — an oversight role Democrats contend was virtually abandoned by Republicans.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/house/410679-dems-eye-ambitious-agenda-if-h...

  22. The Democrats have boxed themselves in between two possible positions; social justice warrior, or tech billionaire's stooge. Neither position appeals much to the general voting public any more. If it's either Bernie or Hillary, then the voters will reluctantly chose Trump.

    Their coalition is quite incompatible. As long as affluent suburban professionals dominate the policy-making wing, the other groups are going to feel uncomfortable. The GOP has already picked off some unionized blue-collar workers, and with a little effort could pick off some black and Hispanic men.

    I agree that the last thing the Dems should do is send forth hard-core 'progressives' to represent the party, but the press and the hard-core political base are cheering every time one of these candidates wins a primary. It will be very enlightening to see what happens when they all lose.

  23. After seeing the UN report on climate change and currently having a monster hurricane Michael that was significantly exacerbated by global warming, climate change should be THE highest priority for anyone. If this issue does not inspire people, we are doomed and head to a potential extinction of human species. Although time is short, Democrats need to make people aware of this and persuade them. We really need a strong leader to deal with this.

  24. We keep hearing that the Democrats have no message. Baloney!

    Affordable healthcare for all isn't a message?
    Investing in renewable energy isn't a message?
    Realistic public college tuition isn't a message?
    Worker training isn't a message?
    Taking down the oligarchy isn't a message?
    LGBT rights isn't a message?
    Civil rights isn't a message?
    Reducing the deficit by rolling back tax cuts for the super rich and corporations isn't a message?
    Gun control isn't a message?

    There is so much that Trump and the Republicans have totally screwed up, no single message will do.

    The Republicans have greatly benefited from the two or three word slogan. Trump is the master of this tactic. Democrats should not fall into that trap. Tearing something down can be done with a few words. Trump is also the master of that tactic. Building something up takes more words. Restoring America can't be outlined in a sound bite. It takes a bit of speechmaking. Let the Republicans grunt and moan. We have something worth listening to. We just need to get the people to listen.

  25. @Bruce Rozenblit

    Pick two or three topics to hone in on like Republicans do. The American public cannot digest and understand all the items that you have enumerated.

  26. @Bruce Rozenblit
    It's not that the Democrats don't have a message.
    It's that they don't know how to get the message out.
    They have to understand that they must do the heavy lifting to get the messages out, not the people.
    The Republicans do know this, and that's why they dominate government from federal to state to county to municipal.

  27. @Bruce Rozenblit
    That's a great message. Now if you could just get the Democrats on TV to promote that message, we could win elections.

    Show me Chuck Schumer fighting for any of those things. He doesn't and that is the problem.

  28. I don't get why this would be a hard choice. And for those who say it makes no difference, you probably haven't voted in years, let alone gone to a city council or school board meeting, etc., and that's why we're in this mess. We have to start where we are with what we've got. If you think you can do better, than run for something. Voting is the least anyone can do.

  29. Republicans probably know the words of Article III of the Constitution that establishes that there are no limits to the number of supreme court justices for the Supreme Court. If a Democratic president and congress want to put 20, that's not against the Constitution. The Republicans, therefore, have far more to fear of Democratic retaliation and are far more motivated. Sadly, the Democrats seem to have no idea of the power they waste.

  30. I have never known a Democrat to accept this advice since the 1960s. With the McGovern rebellion, was lost any deference to pragmatic politics, in favor of poetic impersonation. What a dreadful coalition of inadequacy this Party now is. So we have rampant indiscipline, in the frame of an actual Senator of the United States, posing knowingly falsely as Spartacus, and endless murmurings of reliance on the compulsive confession of victimhood. Is this a leadership? Not, obviously, of people genuinely acquainted with struggle, which is to say, the Democrats' hereditary base.

  31. If you want to know what resonates with Democratic voters, read the 600+ comments in the magazine section on illegal immigration.

  32. @Talbot Yes. In 2016 Trump struck political gold. As long as the Electoral College is a fact, then Dems are stuck. What can they trumpet and crow about? "We support lax immigration laws!"? Pleasing Brooklyn, Pacific Heights, and West Hollywood is a recipe for losing the square states.

  33. @Talbot

    I took the suggestion and had a look at the comments thread from the nytimes magazine article on illegal immigrant. It really is an eye opener and suggests how deeply divided Democrats are on this issue, and a sad harbinger for elections.

  34. @Talbot

    Democrats' problem remains its fixation on identity politics. The Kavanaugh hearings were a nuclear "War on Women".

  35. You have to remember that the Democrats are paid by their big corporate donors from Wall Street, Big Pharma and Silicon Valley NOT to advocate for ideas that are popular with the American people. Therefore, don't expect anything but platitudes and identity politics. Expect to hear their common phases of "We lead with our values. We support good jobs and a chance at the American dream. Trump bad. " The Democrats that do address these issues, those of the progressive wing of the party are not getting any support from the DCCC or the DNC.

  36. @FXQ
    How true. Bernie had a program and that was a threat to the DNC. Now elements of that message reappear but are they too late to be believed? The Democrats finding a center appears to be a longer process very slowly finding its way out.

  37. @FXQ

    Sure Democrats accept donations, but not wild streams of dark money from the Koch brothers and other threats to democracy as we know it. And they face certain defeat if they sell out as openly as all the Republicans in office now (voted for disgusting tax bill, almost repealed Obamacare, etc) ...

    Peer pressure from fellow Dems will keep Dems from doing too many onerous things
    where as
    Peer pressure from fellow Reps will MAKE Reps do onerous things

    And always possible that Dem Congress and Senate could pass bills that actually mandate doing the right thing or NOT doing the wrong thing, executive branch is doing onerous things because the current Rep party will not stop ANYTHING.

  38. @FXQ
    Yes, exactly.

  39. Pound away at the GOP on health care and the debt. The GOP has dealt itself a losing hand by attempting to destroy Obamacare. How does that benefit us? On the debt, remind the voters that no one receives value from their taxes when those taxes are diverted to debt interest payments. Back off on immigration - it never had much support - and it has cost us elections.

  40. Amen. The country doesn’t need impeachment. It needs quality, reasonably priced healthcare, living wage jobs and quality education. Concentrate on that. Compare what Democrats are offering to what republicans have done and will do. Repeat it over and over again. Republicans can’t win on their ideas so they gerrymander districts and disenfranchise voters to win. Time to call them on it.

  41. @Sharon if we have 12 more years to survive, should we really waste 1/3 of this precious time denying climate change, lining the pockets of the 1/10% and adulating exulted autocrats the world over? I agree don't talk about it - but I disagree that it does not need to be done - and fast.

  42. @Sharon

    I agree that is what we should focus on for the midterms but boy do we also need impeachment.

    Yugely as the electoral college president likes to say.

    But there is no point talking about impeachment until we have the House and 2/3s of the Senate, and that is not happening at this election.

  43. But we also need impeachment. Both of Trump and Kavanaugh. Don't throw away justice because it's a difficult process. We need justice.

  44. This is a tune up for 2020. Many of the issues are local, but to the extent that national issues are important, they must be aimed at the middle class. They must show that the Democrats have a plan that will benefit the entire country, not just Trump's buddies on Wall Street.

    Try to avoid the 'pie in the sky' promises, such as Universal Health Care. Great idea, how do you pay for it? Having said that, strengthening the safety net is a winning proposition, the Boomers are getting old and will need good insurance.

    Let's help those who were left behind in the recovery, let's show people how we would govern, let's show people how we would address problems around the world with out going to war with our allies. Let's demonstrate that we would bring civility and sanity back to our government.

    America is a centrist country, Trump has gone over the far edge, we do not have to go over the edge the other way. He is our best argument for a change. Be engaged, thoughtful, and caring of people's concerns. Let the extremes rant and rave, be the calm center of good, effective government and that will be a winning plan.

  45. @Bruce1253 You pay for it by shifting what employers and self-employed currently pay toward premiums, toward taxes to cover the cost of increased medicare coverage (+ savings from single payer and eliminating for-profit middlemen private insurers).

  46. @Bruce1253 "Universal Health Care. Great idea, how do you pay for it?" Funny how other, less prosperous countries can pull this off, isn't it?

  47. @Bruce1253 My self, I would pay for Universal Health Care by cutting the defense and foreign relations budgets in half. But I also realize that you don't have to accomplish something like this and gun control in one big step. Many smaller steps will also get you there. Americans are, however, not noted for our patience.

  48. I don't watch much TV or Social Media, nor do I know much about political advertising, but it seems to me that this is the most perfect occasion to use "generic" vote Democratic ads.

    There are so very many things well known and widely objectionable about Trump (who can go unmentioned) as well as these Repubs (also unmentioned) that a bunch of ball players, celebrities--- admired and famous folks of varying ages, colors and gender----could encourage their admirers to simply vote Democratic. The whole ticket.

    Look at Taylor Swift's recent political message. Celebrities are persuasive to a lot of people, and particularly those that belong in the Big Tent. Non-specific, simple "Vote Democratic!" ads on various screens could be effective at this time and used anywhere.

  49. I'm pretty sure the best way for Democratic Congressional leadership to help is to stay home. The best they are able to come up with is the stellar "Better Deal". Saints preserve us and they needed focus groups to do that.
    I think Taylor Swift can help more.

  50. @etfmaven
    Agreed. To retake Red States, remember that in most rural districts, manners and kindness are important, regardless of politics.
    Remember the Civil Rights movement. Stop screaming about "white privilege" and "patriarchy," too often seen as issues of entitled upper class women, regardless of race. Stop screaming, period. Last week was the time for outrage. Now, work steadily to win.
    Demonstrations should be non-violent. Dress well, speak politely. Rev. Martin Luther King called this "nonviolent confrontation." TV footage of police setting attack dogs and fire hoses against peaceful marchers electrified America. And helped pass the Voting Rights act, which recent right-wing supreme court decisions have gutted.
    There are many kind, generous men and women in the red states who voted less for Trump than against Hillary. Forge alliance: unions, blacks, Hispanics. The Repubs will do everything they can to suppress the vote of these groups. Reach out to blacks and Hispanics, whose turnout is critical, but often feel ignored by the major party,
    Don't lecture, ask: what are your biggest worries? What do you think could help?
    This election is the most important in history. We now have three branches of government installed illegally (Bush v. Gore, etc.), Merrick Garland's stolen justice.
    A majority of Americans believe in legal and safe abortion, independent press, immigration reform, Medicare for all, Constitutional checks on the Executive. But if we don't win, fascism will.

  51. "... the rest is just noise."
    ===================
    Let me suggest that Democrats have to learn from Trump how to generate their own "noise", on a daily basis.

    An important part of what got Trump and the Republicans elected was this constant, daily, noise, in the media. Trump Tweets daily, and the country and the world takes notice.

    On the other hand, Obama, and the Democrats have been too laid back and well, just plain... boring. Obama was no drama.

    I hope that Democrats can win the House by learning from Trump.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  52. Unless all these women who’ve been more than offended by Kavanaugh, McConnell, Graham, Hatch, Collins, and yes, even Mr. Flake actually take their anger to the polls on Nov.6 we will be in a living nightmare as Trump throws all caution to the winds and begins to hire, fire and forgive just like any other two-bit dictator, and nobody in Congress will say a word. They will all be kissing the rings of their money men. Those last two years ought to reveal the truly ugly underbelly when dysfunction overtakes governance and white men get a chance to see how ignorant decisions make their lives even more miserable than they were before 2016.

  53. "...looking to drive their voters to the polls with the specter of a wild-eyed, rage-filled Democratic “mob” hellbent on destroying the Republic."

    These are the sounds of the beating war drums. By all means, vote, but consider what the 2nd amendment is for and whether or not you should embrace it. Whether all the rallying cries made by those in power about treasonous intent is performance art, loose talk, or something far more sinister.

    The preposterous claims that are made, the immediate self contradictions, all of these will be legitimized or edited out of the history books by the victors if we are not prepared to defend ourselves once the beating of the drums goes silent.

  54. For one thing, try to avoid another debacle like the one we witnessed last week. Couldn't have worked better for the GOP if they had staged it themselves. By the way, did anyone ever figure which GOP operative -- sorry, I mean which Feinstein staffer -- leaked the unfortunate Ms. Ford's name?

  55. "Democrats must resist the urge to follow Republicans down this spider hole, or that of any radioactive topic designed to inflame partisan passions." Exactly. Don't take the bait, Dems.

  56. @Dawn: Avoid, "radioactive topic designed to inflame partisan passions". Could this be interpreted instead as a 'dog-whistle' to Dems to keep quiet on their real priorities until they get into power and only spring their extreme-left agenda on the nation then?

  57. Democrats should also talk about ending illegal immigration and having border controls. Not a wall. But all my Republican friends think the Democrats are for open borders and letting anyone and everyone into the USA no matter what. That's not true, so they need to state what their position is first, then go on to state how they intend to solve the problem.

  58. @Jim Illegal immigration is THE issue that will kill us (Democrats). We should be talking eVerify, all 50 states. We don't. The silence is deafening. Are the Democrats for open borders? Well, yes, apparently, but don't say that out loud.

  59. @Jim

    Republicans will not vote for Democrats so pandering to their Fox New, Trumpian influenced fears is not a strategy for getting Democrats and Independents out to vote ...

    Ending illegal immigration would mean expansion of legal immigration and work permits to actually have someone pick the fruit, take care of children and the elderly, and provide other sub-minimum wage labor with no benefits

    .. because we just can't pay anyone, American citizen or immigrant, a living wage to do our work ..

  60. @Jim
    Democrats should be demanding prosecution of businesses that hire illegal aliens.

    Illegal aliens did not take your job. The guy that fired you to hire the alien took your job.

    If no one hired illegal aliens, they would not bother coning here.

    Businesses want immigrants to be illegal because they can pay them less and use them against American workers.

    Workers that blame other workers instead of the guy that fired them are suckers doing their ex-boss' job for them.

    If all of the workers demanded equal rights for all workers, they would not be able to play us against each other.

    The more illegal you make the immigrants the more likely it is you will be replaced by one.

    Legal immigrants get the same pay and benefits as you, so there is no incentive to replace you with a legal alien.

    (This all applies to low wage work, not the H1b Visa Program which directly replaces high wage worries with legal low wage immigrants. It is supposed to be used to fill jobs that no Americans can fill, but in practice they are replacing entire departments with immigrants who are trained by the old employees. Trump's "merit based" system would expand this fraud.)

  61. "Democrats want to turn America into Venezuela."

    This is the kind of statement that should cause everyone who lives in the United States to question Trump's sanity. His lack of veracity has already been proven. Venezuela is a humanitarian catastrophe, but unfortunately there are many such catastrophes in the world. Why did he choose Venezuela; because it is a Latin American country? He could have said Syria or Myanmar, etc. I know of no person living in the US who wants to turn it into Venezuela. Trump boggles the mind.

  62. @James RicciardinThe reference to Venezuela relates to the Democratic Party moving to the left, with socialists like Bernie Sanders and the new rising star in New York. Venezuela reached its current desperate situation thanks to the socialist governments of Chavez and Maduro.

  63. @James Ricciardi My friend we have a lot of Venezuelans in Texas that think the Democratic Party is taking America in the direction of Big Government Socialism. They all vote Republican as do the Cubans.

  64. Dow down more than 800 points today...

    It’d dropped 2000 points in a 2-week period, back in January...

    Will become very interesting if – including today’s performance – it drops 4000 points in the next 4 weeks...

    For clarity – not wishing or prognosticating this...

    But if that did happen, ensuing Blue Wave might make Michael – and Russian meddling – look tame by comparison...

  65. @W in the Middle
    I have not heard the Dems say anything about the stock market this cycle. So if it doesn't matter to them that it has been on an upward track, why would it matter when it goes down?

    Dems have been all about resist, delay, obstruct, form angry groups of protesters (some would call these groups a mob; def; a large crowd of people, especially one that is disorderly and intent on causing trouble or violence) who "get in people's face', scream at them, throw water on them, spit on them.....
    Now that's a sad platform.

  66. There is no angry Democratic mob, there is no mob, there is no message on the left. Democrats are not heard. I haven’t heard a message even when Hillary was running. Their platform is the same as usual: more healthcare, good wages, pet Bambi, and blah blah blah. I just want to see the anger and outrage on the left in the eyes of the politicians in office and running for office that is there constantly in the GOP and in Trump. Because it is working for the GOP and Trump. Truth doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t vote as we’ve found out with Trump. Anger and outrage do.

  67. They probably will, they have in the past. They'll muck up a free lunch. They're like sloths, slow , lazy except when its feeding time. Spineless too. When push comes to shove; they'll get pushed by their opponents instead of the other way around. I'm glad i'm an independent.

  68. Not to worry, Dems muck up everything they touch.

  69. @skanda You are absolutely right. Republicans have been playing the long game; Democrats couldn't put a parade together. I say this as a person raised in a Republican house wanting to vote for Democrats but just so amazed at how pathetic and incompetent they are. Even if they got control of things I doubt they would get anywhere - environment, healthcare, education, things that I care about I have doubts they could do anything. The Republicans will - they will cram their agenda down your throat until we all can't breath the air and can't see a doctor to be treated for it..

  70. Democratic voters need to be energised with red meat, not amorphous policy proposals. Focusing on Donald Trump's serial lying, gross ignorance, blatant misogyny,and his daily demeaning of presidential dignity, is not a political mistake,it's a recipe for political victory.The vast majority of Americans have had enough and want Trump checked and exposed. A Democratic House, armed with subpoena power,and public hearings, can do that, even if the Senate remains Republican.

  71. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party has drifted too far to the Left to appeal to moderate voters like ourselves...particularly as regards illegal ‘immigrants’. The Left-Prog faction appears deeply committed to their hysteria-driven cheerleading for foreign nationals...people who unilaterally decided that our nation’s sovereignty and immigration laws don’t apply to them...who cross our borders illegally and park themselves permanently on our soil so that we can provide them with the all necessities of life...food, housing, healthcare, welfare, education, jobs... while we ourselves struggle to provide for our own families.

    Please let us know when the Democratic Party will once again rally behind the interests of American Citizens. Until then, we’re voting the other side.

  72. @Shenoa
    The immigration "problem" is vastly overstated.

  73. @Shenoa

    I agree with your anger about the unsupportable Dem position on illegal aliens. But your decision to vote for people crashing our debt, taking health care away from everyone, making us a laughingstock globally, putting perjured officials on the Attorney General's office and on the Supreme Court, facillitating terrorists' and student mass murderers' access to military weapons of mass destruction, and trashing the environment and ignoring climate change which is already bankrupting us, is beyond idiotic. You are not changing the Dem position on this, and you are not putting the interests of Americans first, unless you are under the delusional miscalculation that all Americans are billionaires with off shore accounts.

  74. Dear Democrats, please please run on impeaching Trump and Kavanaugh. Thanks, Republicans

  75. It’s a bit too late not to “muck it up”. The republicans don’t need to scaremonger, all they have to do is play video of the Dems doing what they are told to do and what they apparently want the American people know what they plan to do.
    Awful, hateful behavior during the BK testimony. Delay & resistance, withholding Ms. Ford’s letter, Senators giving speeches rather than asking questions, (average of 3:22 pontificating of the 5:00 minutes allotted for questions), and outright slander.
    Unhinged: Unsatisfied that the slander did not derail BK’s appointment to the SC, Dems are promising to impeach him from the SC if they gain the house. Despite needing 2/3’s of the senate (extremely unlikely) to remove him.
    The new standard as per Dems; Uncorroborated allegations that “must be believed” because a woman made the allegations. Guilty until proven innocent? Are the Dems willing to resign whenever any woman accuses them of a crime? If so, why is Keith Ellison in a leadership position and running for office as a Democrat? Hypocrites.
    Advocating violence. Maxine “get in their face”, “not welcome here or anywhere”. Booker “get in their face”. Holder “kick them”. Despicable.
    It’s already mucked up, and people are voting early.

  76. Of course, simply refusing to advise and consent at all - for over a year - for President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, was just fine, right? Hypocrisy.

  77. @Steve "Are the Dems willing to resign whenever any woman accuses them of a crime?" Al Franken?

    Is "get in their face" the same as Trump saying he will pay the legal bills for physical violence he incites?

  78. @Steve - sounds like you might have played one too many games of devil's triangle before watching the hearing. I'd stay away from the spicy food too; it's bound to make you boof. Just ask the Renate Alumni.

  79. If the Dems continue to endlessly promote sanctuary cities, open borders, illegal immigrants, DACAs, refugees and others, consider themselves toast.

  80. @MS Did you know that Obama deported more individuals than Bush - Oh you didn't? Easier to use comments of Fox and Trump than do independent thinking.

  81. The Democrats have to develop a platform beyond gender issues and perceived support for illegal aliens and sanctuary cities. Right now if you are simply a white citizen or a black citizen, the Democrats aren't interested in you. You're passe. However if you are white or black and you are "gay" or if you are an illegal alien then the Democrats want to help you. Also, while President Trump is developing security and trade policies to confront China, I hear nothing from the Democrats on these critical issues (apologies too Sherrod Brown). As dreadful as the Republicans are, the Democrats offer nothing if you are an everyday American. If the Dems make solid gains in the midterms, it won't be because they have earned them by virtue of their policies.

  82. @Norm Weaver

    Agree mostly with your comment with the exception that democrats do not help anyone with their division politics. They use division because their socialist ideas just don't work and the people know it.

  83. @Norm Weaver "Right now if you are simply a white citizen or a black citizen, the Democrats aren't interested in you. You're passe. However if you are white or black and you are "gay" or if you are an illegal alien then the Democrats want to help you"

    What? You make as much sense as Trump at one of his rallies- or any other time.

  84. This is a tricky insight to use. Dems don’t have a policy for black or white straight men. Is it true?

    Republicans are for repealing the ACA and defunding Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to pay for tax cuts that mostly help the wealthiest Americans. Dems want to improve on the ACA, protect and expand Medicare and Medicaid, and protect people with pre-existing conditions by reversing some of those tax cuts for the wealthy. I don’t see how that will skip over straight people of any race or ethnicity.

    Maybe the point is, Dems trying to help vulnerable immigrant children, bullied gays and transgendered Americans, sexual assault victims, injured veterans, the poor, and terrorized Muslims, are saying they think these people are special, the way Trump treats white billionaires, predators, and foreign dictators as singular, exceptional people.

    I know campaigners have to meet voters where they are, and treat each voter as special, at least through the wave or handshake, but this is odd. By celebrating Kavanaugh, Trump makes straight men feel special? Are we supposed to identify with Kavanaugh? I don’t. Trump’s message to me is, if you support me, I’ll ignore all those sex crimes you committed (see Roy Moore, Bret Kavanaugh, himself).

    I’d like to support leaders that have character and good policies. Are we still the people that turned away the Jews fleeing Hitler and interned Japanese-Americans, kept slaves, exterminated natives and wore klan hoods? I can’t support them.

  85. Conservatives now control the Supreme Court--perhaps for decades. Why? Because it wouldn't have even OCCURRED to Democrats to hold up a candidate for months and not even consider him. And McConnell, who was most responsible, howled with rage when the Democrats held up Cavanaugh for a WEEK. His hypocrisy is staggering.

    Much worse is to come unless unless Republicans are defeated soundly next month. And the millions who don't vote, or vote for third party spoilers, are--in effect--voting for Trump.

  86. Democrats are in the minority. No opportunity to hold things up, not even for a nanosecond. It was Flake, an R, who went through the motions; otherwise he’d have been confirmed a week earlier.
    Until Democrats have a majority, they can’t do anything. What about that do you not understand?

  87. bnyc,
    Stein received 1 million votes.
    Trump won 7 million Democratic votes.
    Maybe you should rethink or include the 7:1 difference.
    But that would cast blame elsewhere wouldn't it.
    Dems cant have that.
    Point everywhere else but at yourselves.

  88. @bnyc
    Not disagreeing with you about Democrats playing fair for the most part as opposed to Republicans who will use every trick in the book, even of questionable legality to hold on to power. But the reason conservatives now control the SC is because democratic voters do not take the SC seriously until there is an existential threat like Kavanaugh looming. By then it is already too late. Even if he had been defeated, another Federalist Society approved candidate would have been put forward, just as partisan and conservative, to be confirmed by the Republican majority. The time to confront this was during the 2016 campaign when the voters needed to understand the calculus behind McConnell's unprecedented power grab to deny President Obama his SC nominee. It was so brazen and appeared doomed to failure as Hillary cruised to victory. As president she would likely have named a more liberal/progressive nominee. And then the Democrats cut off their nose to spite their face by either not voting or casting a ballot for Johnson or Stein. And with some Russian assistance and James Comey's 11th hour shenanigans, we are now saddled with a corrupt and incompetent CIC and an archly conservative majority on the SC for a generation. But it really is the Democrats who need to own this debacle and I have no patience for anyone who either didn't vote or pulled a lever for some 3rd party candidate. Vote on Nov 6th to bring some accountability to this out-of-control administration.

  89. Hillarys message. No civility till we are in charge.

    Holder’s message: when republicans go low we should kick them.

    Good luck with that.

  90. Worked for the winner, didn’t it?

  91. @Fred Smith

    "Hillarys message. No civility till we are in charge."

    Give her credit. She's finally figured it out. Better late than never. The Democrat leadership is still playing to not lose, rather than to win.

    Hillary had it in her to be a good knife fighter - if only she'd not been hobbled by corporate donations and her hand-wringing Democrat centrists. She failed to listen to her natural instincts and came off as inauthentic and thus failed ignominiously.

    People will not turnout for someone not 100% committed to winning. In a war you commit to either win or lose. Centrists get killed in war, and what's worse they get others killed.

    If you won't risk losing you don't deserve to win.

  92. @Fred Smith

    They are simply responding to the most extremist views of their leftwing: Democrats must fight harder. They have the least understanding of Americans and, so, it is not surprising that they would have the least understanding of how to win a majority of them.

    The progressive leftwing has backed itself into a corner and taken democrats hostage there. Most Americans want no part of it.

  93. Dear Michelle,
    It ain't easy when you got the courts stacked up against you, when you got unlimited and anonymous cash against you, when you got the media covering rallies free of charge like they're news, against you, when you got three branches of gov't against you, when you got hostile sovereign nations against you, when you got a Senate leader who ignores the Constitution against you. Other than that, we should be able to knock this one out of the park!

  94. @Mike B

    It would be easy, regardless of all that, if you think different. Otherwise impossible.

    Just need to Entirely replace the walking dead oldster Democrat leadership with under-40s that have passion, and champion Progressive policies, and refuse all corporate donations.

    Kinda like Beto.

  95. Ive been worrying about the Dems tendency to mess the bed for months now. All the talk of a blue wave, of excitement and unprecedented turn-out...have me worried. Very much so. Because as a powerful turn-out and vote video by Knockthe vote, explains - old white people vote way more then young voters. And in every election. They don't forward memes and tweet their outrage, they go and Vote!

    Being young and energetic doesn't mean much if there are no votes to be counted. Tweets don't count. Memes are not on the ballots!

    And the women worry me too...lots of talk, but then their (too many responsibilities kick-in (their dopey men, family, work, etc) and they dont show up.

    There is no real excuse to not voting. None. Unless you're incapacitated, or seriously being restricted by outside forces looking to hinder your vote - there are no good excuses.

    But even if the Dems win next month...I'm more worried that the Dem leadership is gonna go all complacent, get all nice and civil, and forgiving of the real Opposition Party. Playing T-ball, while the GOP plays Whack-a-mole with axes.

    I simply don't trust Pelosi, or Schumer to get aggressive and fight with guts and real conviction.

    The GOP has clearly made this a blood sport, while blaming the Dems...and then all Schumer does is look over his glasses and speak in slow, measured tones, like he's reading aloud to himself. Or a baby is sleeping nearby...

    Mucking it up...its a Dem thing of late...

  96. Character matters, and truth telling is a big part of character. Lies are meant to deceive, so the Democratic party needs to make very clear *what* the GOP lies are and *how* those GOP lies are hurting the average voter.

    The GOP are also masters of anger, and many Democrats feel that stooping "low" by employing anger is beneath them. Anger, though, is a tool that is neither inherently "low" nor "high" - it has been given to us as part of our fight-or-flight response...and if Democrats are to win, they cannot allow flight...they must fight and, if necessary, get dirty doing so.

    Yes, the Democrats need to put out a positive message of "what we will do if elected" that puts the 99% up front...but mixed with generous portions of anger. Righteous anger at the haughtiness of the GOP, the callousness of the GOP, the ineptitude of the GOP, and the corruption of the GOP.

  97. Democrats would do well to follow the Beto O'Rourke model of visiting every single voter county and talking with, and listening to, voters graciously, with true decency and humanity, and with the passion to do right by his constituents - all of his constituents.

  98. @common sense advocate Beto is running a losing race. He has been a big waste of money and a distraction from races that Democrats can actually win. Texas is not ready to turn blue.

  99. not in the current left DNA.

  100. @common sense advocate

    Many Democrats have been doing this and will continue to do so. Among them are Kara Eastman in NE, Xochitl Torres Small in NM, and Alexandria Ocasio Cortes. It looks to be not only a good strategy, but the right thing to do.

  101. Amen. Eventually, you get what you Vote for. Or what you ALLOW, by NOT Voting. Please, let’s stop the infighting and get to Work. We can resume the fracases AFTER the Midterms.
    Seriously.

  102. Three ideas:

    1. Single payer health care for everyone who works for a living. Throw a bone to American labor.

    2. A Marshall Plan for central America instead of the current program that is costing us elections.

    3. Loosen up the child labor laws so our children can get a real education.

  103. Single payer health care will be a total disaster health wise and electorally when it fails in Congress. Better to tell people they will get the government out of the doctor patient relationships and not just for abortions. Democratic majorities both were lost by going too far too soon on health care and this is even further. Simple solution to complex problem is usually wrong and We won’t see Democratic leadership for 20 yrs. Being more emphatic about what didn’t work won’t work. Simple solutions marks Republican behavior where bigotry is easier. We must not be intellectually lazy and not here the objections. Marshall plan for Latin America is brilliant idea. Could answer many issues if presented right.

  104. Loosen up child labor laws? Where’d they get that education? In the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory? (Google it)

  105. Sadly, the Dems are a center right party on economic issues, and party of war too. They are fighting tooth and nail to not be a people's party, so if they take back control don't get your hope up. Equanimity the cure for disappointment. Besides, we saw what good hope did us with corporate, centrist Obama. It got us Trump. Sorry Russia. You were not the problem. As it goes in a Woody Guthrie song, "So long, it's been good to know ya."

  106. @Munda Squire You are so correct President Bush (Sr. and Jr.) were both Democrats, my bad.

  107. Yes, but no. Yes, talk about important issues to voters, but no--Democrats need to stop being cowed by the hateful propaganda of the Trump party. There is no reason to discount impeachment, of Trump or Kavanaugh. Dems should matter of factly say that of course they will pursue investigation and impeachment of any public servant if the facts warrant it, and move on to other topics. If Democrats refuse to speak their own measured truth to this ugly power they will not win the house or the senate. And if they are feeling really emboldened, it wouldn't hurt to point out that the Trump party's constant complaints of victimization are just plain SAD.

  108. Yes. Perfect message. Keep on threatening impeachment. The Dems will definitely win with that mantra. Ignore working class blacks and whites. They don’t really matter. They’ll vote Dem no matter what (until they don’t). And also put a lot of focus on who gets to use what public bathrooms. Another winning issue for the Dems.

  109. Has anyone noticed that the Blacks have sort of disappeared from the mid-term election battle? I suppose Democrats know that emphasizing Black Voter desires for more social services is guaranteed to rile White Republicans, but (and isn't there always a 'but"?) if this election is really about the anxieties of White Women, and climate, and abstract constitutional issues, and Blacks see themselves relegated to the margins of Democrat concerns, isn't there a chance that many of them will feel sufficiently uninvolved that they stay home on election day? All the Democrats need is perhaps a 5% fall-off in the Black vote and they won't win anything--yet I don't see Democrats taking any particular notice of Blacks at all. Then there's the well known fact that Republican voters are undercounted in polling data. This is partly a Republican game--not being available to pollsters. We saw the effect that had in 2016--about 5%, a big margin. If you put together Black uninterest in this election with Republican 'invisibility' to pollsters, Democrats could be in real trouble and not even know it.

  110. Excellent point. I wonder, too

  111. I hesitate to propose this, but I wonder if dems also need to start fighting back via Twitter. Twitter seems to be one of Trump’s most powerful weapons against his opponents (of all kinds) and a powerful means of mobilizing his base. Is it not time for certain dem reps to hit back on that platform? Call him out (using factual evidence) as the criminal and ignoramus that he is? It’s not taking the high road, but in these increasingly desperate times we may no longer be able to afford such principled restraint.

  112. @PoliticalTango Yes, fight on Twitter like the rest of the adult toddlers.

  113. @PoliticalTango
    "principled restraint" and "taking the high road" in no way reflect what the Democrat party has evolved into.

  114. It's already mucked. The liberal agenda needs to be re-centered around the working class, which isn't in the liberal agenda at this time.

    So, after the continuing goring the Democrats will receive come November, maybe we can start a real dialog centered around the working class and less centered around the identity movement.

    Or not. The working class can still cast it's strength to the Trump conservatives, meanwhile the liberals will wonder what ever happened to the working class. The rest of us will continue booking tickets to Australia and South America...

  115. Excellent point about appealing to the working class. Not a new idea but for todays dems it is

  116. Actually, Clinton took the majority of votes of the working class. And the poor too.
    What you’re taking about is the white folks. Once again, an example of the unthinking bias that recognise only, ever, white working class.

  117. @robW

    Focusing on the working class is focusing on an identity movement.

  118. Don't muck this up?
    With Pelosi. Schummer and Clinton, the Democrats have already lost.

  119. @Anand Naidoo

    "With Pelosi. Schummer and Clinton, the Democrats have already lost."

    Yes, the Democrats don't have the heart to replace their entitled 80-year-oldster "leaders" just because they lost the Presidency, the Supreme Court, both houses of Congress, 70% of the State Houses, the country, and the future.

    And why haven't they been replaced?

    Because at least they tried. And besides - Hillary really won!

  120. @Anand Naidoo
    But they bring in the cash! And that is all that matters.
    No specific platforms that may offend. "We lead with our values!"

    Good luck with that Dems.

  121. Got it. Just throw in more half-crazed mobs calling for blood, even without any proof of any wrong-doing, stalk some Republicans to their homes, offices and where they eat; shout down more speakers on campuses who you don't agree with ... and then accuse Trump of bringing totalitarianism to America. That'll do the trick, for sure.

  122. @JW So ok - what is it - "precious little snowflakes" or the second coming of the French Revolution. Can't be both. Were you as upset when the Tea Party acted out in more disturbing ways? Don't think so. Memo to Rand Paul: Someone did get killed - but was a resistance member who was the victim

  123. @JW , Using the phrase "half crazed mobs" suggests that you have internalized the right's popular talking points, as "violent mobs" is a recent favorite of Fox news and the President. ahead of the midterms, the President has used his unique position to demonize the Dems and the press, something that was unheard of with prior presidents. Protest and not giving alt right speakers a platform is mild compared to the abuse of power by Trump and his congress.

  124. I'm a Democrat and even I think we are past the point of anyone being able to help us. Yes, I'll vote. But unless the Democrats start doing some hard core maneuvers toward thwarting global climate change, it won't be much different than the Republicans. It will be politicians beholden to big corporations who got them elected. If the Democrats were in power, do we really believe they'd say "no" to coal and fossil fuels?? To beef production? To human overpopulation?

  125. Human over-population? What’s the platform-no more babies?

    Oh yeah, that’s the winner.

  126. @RCJCHC How can you observe what's happened in our nation under full republican control and a trump presidency, and still make that statement that dems "won't be much different than republicans". Have you seen how the congressional votes always line up along party lines, and the dems votes are the opposite of the r's?

    Regarding the fossil fuel thing, while I'm a committed environmentalist, I realize the extent to which things like the military machine and fossil fuels industries are what's been holding up our economy since after WWII. Unplugging all that money and all those JOBS that these two behemoths provide, won't be instant or easy, even though it's necessary.

  127. Thanks for the view of political climate from the NYT newsroom. As I see it not much has changed. The view from below is that unfortunately Trump is as popular as he was in 2016. Despite all the critical and adversarial coverage attitudes have remained frozen. The only game in town is turn out. Issues such as healthcare and tax windfall for the rich will not matter. For Democrats turn out depends on antagonism to Trump and for Republicans turn out depends on continued antagonism to Hillary, imagine she is still occupies so much Republican mind-space, and reinvigorated antagonism to mainstream media. Keep the focus on mobilization articulating all the angst in antagonism to Trump.

  128. It couldn't hurt the party to buy 15 minutes or a half-hour of prime-time at some critical moment before the election to do some simple math on health-care policy to show how their position on the issue will actually give the American people better health care for less money. The enormous advantage is that a simple explanation of it will track with the reality, which is that the American people pay twice as much as other countries for less health care. In such a case, some of the party's most respected leaders--especially Barack Obama and others--could help stabilize people's feelings on this issue, which massively favors Democrats. I have been bitterly critical of the culture radicals in the party, but this is one issue which engages the American people where they really live. Does the national leadership of the party have the good sense to try something like this?

  129. @David A. Lee The Democrats play an opposition party on teevee. It has been very clear since Obamacare was passed that the Dems are just the pearl clutching face of the two faces presented to the public by the oligarchs who own both parties. Both parties like to look like fighters and neither benefits from actually winning any fight, on abortion, campaign finance, immigration, jobs, trade, you name it. Any big issue of the day, whatever the voters want, stalemate works best for the leaders of both parties.

  130. @David A. Lee: very good point. Anyone else out there old enough to remember Ross Perot’s little handwritten graphs? Very effective....

  131. @David A. Lee We've been trying to do this for ages. However, the trump voting block is located in the Fox News saturated areas of the old south and rust belt, who listen to Rush Limbaugh etc., and won't even read two lines or will switch off any commercial or announcement by a democrat. Also, their preachers are on board with the republicans because of gays and abortion, and those folks down there are very religious.

  132. There is only one way for the Democrats to win the midterms, they have to make healthcare the main priority in their agenda. Gun control will only damage their agenda, and will cause them to lose votes. Bernie Sanders understood all this, Hillary Clinton did not.

  133. Actually, Hillary Clinton understood it perfectly. She got cremated in the 90s for trying to reform health care, so she and Ted Kennedy got what they could — CHIP. Link got Medicare and Medicaid. Pelosi and Obama got the ACA.
    What’s Bernie done, in 30 years, to increase anyone’s access to health care? NOTHING. Nada. Zip.
    I prefer a bit of, you know, progress with my progressivism.

  134. @American Patriot Why is health care the only thing people care about. Since the majority of the people don’t actually use it I think that issue only talks to the few that do.

  135. Maybe I am just too old to matter anymore

    but I think LBJ would be choking on

    his Pork Ribs and Fresca if he read this editorial.

    Democrats: Stop pandering to the Left, they don't matter

    nearly as much as the Blue Collar workers you abandoned.

    Health Care, Health Care, Health Care and cutting the price

    of Secondary Education/Training and a more just

    Immigration Policy that puts American Citizens looking

    for work - first.

  136. @John Brown
    OK, enough with the fake history. The Democrats did not drop the blue collar workers. (Many blue collar workers are still Democrats, BTW, and not Trump voters, who tended to be white collar workers doing quite well economically making $75,000 +) Blue collar workers dropped the Democrats after LBJ passed Civil Rights legislation -- hence the term, Reagan Democrats! Or did you think that referred to a bunch of limousine Liberals? The blue collar workers worshiping racist Ronnie left the Democrats, even though the Democrats continued to fight for things like union rights, where reactionary Ronnie demolished the unions (despite heading one in his Democratic past). Remember the air traffic controllers? I do.

    Health Care., health care, health care. That is a leftist idea. So is cutting the price of secondary education/training. And stopping illegal immigration and inflated legal immigration because of its negative impact on poor American workers -- leftist idea -- check out the late great Barbara Jordan if you don't know this. So basically you are telling the Democrats to adopt leftist ideas while telling them the left doesn't matter.

    Yes, I do agree that the Democrats should focus on these leftist ideas of health care and lowering cost of secondary education and training and adopting a sensible immigration policy instead of the idiotic one we have now. I agree they need to stop being the party that seems to care more about illegal immigrants than citizens.

  137. I feel despondent. The Democrats have already lost. They don't have a clear, consistent message that appeals to most Americans: good jobs, good health care, good and affordable schools, clean air. They respond rather than act. They're against Trump and but aren't loud and clear and forceful and persuasive about what they're for.

  138. Yeah, the Democrats have nothing but anger.

  139. @embDemocrats are loud, they are forceful, they are clear. They a are not persuasive.

  140. @emb: "Good jobs, good health care, good and affordable schools, clean air." IS the Democratic message. You are trying to read a book with blinders on and then complain it has nothing in it...

  141. Agreed. This article is spot on. Democrats win when they talk about issues that matter to voters: stagnating wages, ending Trump's tariffs (North Dakota!), affordable access to healthcare, women's rights, and investigating corruption (or at least protecting the investigations into corruption - Mueller!). The principled Democratic Senators from North Dakota to Missouri need our help. Donate, vote, talk to your friends and neighbors if you have any in those states, or if you live there. And Texas: Make us proud and elect someone with some decency and morality: Beto O'Rourke is quite clearly that person. The Democrats will take the House:

    We must focus on taking the Senate.

  142. The Democrats need to decide who they represent and develop legislative proposals that will draw the voters back who see little attraction in their existing appeals.
    There is a diminished damaged Middle Class still in need of help and hope many of whom fell for Trumps promises and are waiting for leadership. Find them – lead them as you once knew how to do. Elect the young progressives they have a vision.

  143. It is very hard to interpret one poll like the Politico Poll quoted by Ms. Cottle, as we know that averaging of numerous polls is the only way to get reasonable interpretation.

    Having said that, the Real Clear Politics averages of Generic Ballot show sharp drops in the Dems advantage since Ford's name was disclosed on Sept. 15. Likewise, on Oct. 4 fivethirtyeight.com published an analysis based upon averages of many polls showing Trump's approval rating has gone up significantly since Sept. 15, as have House GOP and Senate GOP chances (although their House GOP chances are still not in favor of GOP).

    These much more reliable average of polls do seem to be showing a Kavanaugh bounce (or more likely a Ford bounce since it starts on Sept. 15) for the GOP.

  144. @Dan: Maybe, but we already had a monster hurricane and a monster drop in stocks since then. Kavanaugh is already old news. Plus Trump going on a rant against women (except the pliable ones he deems a "10"). Still over three weeks to go to the elections. More to come...

  145. Three more specifics where the GOP is vulnerable:

    1. Trump's $1.5 trillion tax cut. It's already so unpopular in all the polls that GOP candidates are running away from it like it was Kryptonite. DON'T LET THEM. Relentlessly remind voters that 85% of that tax cut went to "The One Percent", while families earning median incomes of $50K per year only got the crumbs (maybe enough to buy the family a night out at McDonald's each month).

    2. The GOP's relentless threats to slash Social Security and Medicare (because the tax cut for the uber-wealthy "broke the budget" - so the GOP now demands that average Americans must now accept Draconian cuts in the benefits they've paid for all their lives in FICA taxes).

    "Trump gave billionaires huge tax cuts - and now he wants YOU to pay for them." That's a message that would almost fit on a protest sign. Dems need to hammer that simple message home EVERY TIME they speak about the midterms.

    3. Yes, health care. Specifically, on TV the Democrats should endlessly replay Trump's extravagantly empty promises from 2016 to replace Obamacare with something "really terrific" - which would "cost less, cover more people and provide better care."

    "Trumpcare" - Where is it?

    IMHO, the fact that Trump has lied blatantly and without shame to Americans over 5,000 times in the last 20 months should be enough all by itself to make Trump and the GOP off-the-charts radioactive.

    But Trump's "fake news" propaganda barrage has rendered "truth" as irrelevant.

  146. @Dave

    1) Add the SALT tax deduction cap of $10K which punishes middle income families in blue states or even high tax red states (where taxpayers pay to support the inner cities because the federal govt will not).

    3) Trumpcare means selling fake insurance, repealing Obamacare (which includes protection for people with pre-existing conditions, lower deductibles, no lifetime caps, access to insurance pools, subsidies for low-middle income people). Democrats are leaning towards a public option and Medicare age lowering (essential since 50+ people begin to have health issues and double whammy of age discrimination meaning an end to subsidized employer coverage) and an end to employment slavery tied to health care allowing more entrepreneurial part-time and other work modes for both husbands and wives. Return to bankruptcy as punishment for health crises.

    I would also add 4)
    Stripping away of protections against ripoff for-profit colleges, loosening of punishments for campus sex abuses, public land giveaways, loss of Clean Air and Clean Power protections,
    Americans do not support this stuff !

    5) lowest level of government ethics amongst political appointments in decades

  147. @Dave

    "Trumpcare....where is it?"

    In my spam box.

  148. @Dave

    Yes, with one additional point.
    We are already paying for most of Trump's tax cuts. Hidden behind the $1.5 number is the true equation: $5.5 trillion - $4 trillion = $1.5 trillion.

    There were actually $5.5 trillion in tax cuts for the rich.
    But there was also $4 trillion in tax increases on high-tax-state workers. This is mostly the end of SALT (state and local tax) deductions.

    Why are no Democrats saying this?

  149. I agree with all your points and suggest that Dems really need to focus on THE MONEY. Just a couple of examples:

    REAL tax reform. Simplify everything. It's fine for the corporate tax rate to be low, but the loopholes gotta go. After reading about Trump's finances here in the NYT, knowing that the rich are largely practicing the same tactics to avoid paying their fair share, we need a vision for a complete overhaul of the tax system.

    FULL TRANSPARENCY for PACs. The sources of all campaign and political donations must be publicly available. Any other fresh ideas about how to actually drain the swamp of the real pollutant - cash - is welcome.

  150. Democrats have already "mucked this up," and will soon be in their weakest position since their party's founding.

    Whereas Republicans are approaching Democrats in the generic Congressional polls, something that should be overwhelmingly favorable to Democrats at this point.

    Senate races are growing tighter, with new polling showing likely Republican gains in North Dakota and Missouri.

    House races are closer, but most pollsters agree they come down to about 20 undecided seats.

    But when President Trump steps in, all races tend to go in his favor.

    America is coming to understand that economic progress, military might and excellent health care are essential to all,

    And increasingly see President Trump as the man to make everything finally happen.

  151. @Rolf Oh, look, our representative from the Ministry of Propaganda is here.

    "Economic progress?" When wages are stagnant?

    "Excellent healthcare?" When Trump's bigly plan is to just kill all public healthcare, leaving people with pre-existing conditions to rot?

    "Military might?" Like what, Trump's big parade? A new war with Iran? This is a selling point when wages are stagnant and Trump is trying to defund healthcare?

    Russian trolls are less absurd than this. You must be a bona fide Trump supporter.

  152. @Rolf Thank you for stating the obvious. Sad others can't see it. Every midterm Republican vote is a vote for Trump and his MAGA agenda!

  153. There are quite a few congressional races, so I'm not following them all. But I am following quite a few. While they have talked about, the Democratic candidates I've seen are not particularly fixated on the Kavanaugh confirmation. In fact, many of the messages are targeted at issues that affect their specific constituency rather than broad national issues. Seems to me the hysteria is more in the imagination of pundits than in reality. All politics is local, so I doubt advice from the backseat drivers from hundreds of miles away have much value at this point.

  154. It is true. We cannot, with clear conscience, emulate Trumpublicans for the pure pursuit of power. If our experiment in democracy is going to fail, it will be while I stick to the high road.

  155. @Steven swan

    You take the high road, but I want my party to fight back against these evil people any way they can. The Republicans are mugging our politics, and you want to play by the Marquis of Queensbury Rules.

    You remind me of the old saying, "Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser."

    We need to win this one, if only to start fighting man made climate change in the ten years we have left to do it. This is no time to be noble.

  156. @Steven swan

    Test

  157. @Steven swan

    In war you set your conscience aside until after you win. It's called sacrifice.

  158. Democrats can't cede the economic issues.

    The economy is good, but it's been on a continually upbeat path for years. Extra juice from tax cuts - but at what cost? Benefits largely to the wealthiest, while cost of deficits likely borne by the rest in the form of reduced benefits and services.

    Trump always goes for the flashy deal, fueled by debt. He benefits, and leaves everyone else holding the bag. I'm sure he'll do the same for our country.

  159. Single payer healthcare.. but at what cost? Profiteering from hospitals, and rising healthcare!

  160. @Tkeennj
    Your point is important. The economy is always a huge issue and the Republicans have some vulnerability there despite the good economy.

    Huge deficits.

    Tax breaks for corporations and wealthiest with no trickle down.

    Precarious health insurance and too costly.

    The TPP, crafted by Obama but abandoned by Trump, should be explained as an organization of Pacific Rim countries, including us, designed to grow our trade in that region in competition with China and to prevent them gaining dominance.

    Tariffs that are hurting American companies, and which are PAID BY AMERICANS IN THE FORM OF INCREASED PRICES ON IMPORTED GOODS.

    All of this can be easily understood by voters.

    The economy is the biggest single factor, and the Dems need to FIGHT on that ground.

  161. If you step back and look at what the Republican party is right now, starting with Trump who is under investigation for possible collusion, tearing away at the walls of our institutions, furthering our environmental demise,incarcerating immigrant children etc. Then moving on to McConnell, Graham and the congress and their naked grabs at power, furthered by the wealthy, who are not in the least concerned about the working class

  162. Look the only way Democrats are going to return to sanity is by unfreezing their quota driven charters.

    Which while not specifying quotas of women, gays, blacks and the newest identity flavor of the month pretty much does demand quotas.

    The result is a party that sees everything through the prism of identity politics.

    Get these provisions out - let ideas prevail - let citizens unite on values not identities --- that is the only way democratizes will work there way out of their rut.

    Because there are differences between genders, there are differences between races just as there are differences between individuals. And the reality is that those differences will account in part for differing success rates and attitudes about everything under the sun.

    If we don't accept that we will be forever looking to blame someone for differences in outcomes.

    Focus instead on moral behavior (10 commandments are not a bad starting point), a little humility, and some empathy. And a recognition that we all are better off when we pull together.

    That should make for a good contrast with our winner take all president.

  163. What are these quotas you're talking about?

  164. If the Democrats want to run on a solid platform of universal healthcare, affordable college tuition and living wages, they need to first learn basic math. Rolling back tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations will only scratch the surface. Defense spending must drastically decrease. Social Security and Medicare reform will also be needed. Let's start having a real conversation; yes the painful conversations that even Democrats avoid.

    And please don't use the Nordic model for comparison. EVERYONE (even the middle class) pays high taxes. And the sovereign wealth fund that provides cradle to the grave benefits relies on oil exploration and extraction with large investment in international stock markets (particularly the US). So the Democratic rallying cries of environmental stewardship and corporate thievery are the antithesis to the very things they want.

  165. @I Heart So you're saying this is as good as it gets for the citizens and workers in the richest nation of the world? We just can't afford what other countries have? Poor us.

  166. The current Democratic Party's platform and talking points resonate only with urban city populations. Even in a staunchly blue state--20 miles outside the city is quite a bit red. The Democrats are also by and large depends on cities for their campaign funds. As Jimmy Carter pointed out recently, the Democratic Party cannot afford to ignore the independents and fair minded moderates, outside the cities, if they want to win a national election. The majority of the Democratic Party's Congressional Caucus is now only from 3 states---MA, NY, CA...

  167. Clinton won the pop vote by almost three million. What are you talking about? Check back with the Kremlin for a geography lesson.

  168. @ChandraPrince

    The problem for democrats is its progressive leftwing, whose identity and income are not even close to mainstream Americans.

  169. You can count on the identity politics driven, politically correct, socialist Democrat party to continue to run candidates who do not connect with enough Americans so that the Republicans, who are the adults in the room, will run our country, with Donald Trump as our President 2024. Perhaps then Democrats will again nominate centrists and be competitive nationally.

  170. Not sure the Republicans are the adults in the room at this point.

  171. @Alfred Francis "the Republicans, who are the adults in the room."
    Wow. Just wow.

  172. @Alfred Francis

    I hope that you inherit that future, but please leave me out of it. The consequences of total Republican rule through 2024 would be so destructive that any hope of a decent future for our children and their children would be a forgone conclusion. That there are so many people like you who can only see the propaganda of the Right Wingnut Media is astounding. Do you really believe that having caused the extinction of half of all known species of life on this planet in just the last 100 years because of how we have chosen to develop our civilization can really continue forward in the same manner without a cataclysmic outcome for ourselves? It is estimated that the worlds oceans have lost 90% of their usable protein capacity. Hundreds of millions of peoples water supplies are disappearing as glaciers melt and accent aquifers are depleted. You wake up with a digital alarm clock, make breakfast in a kitchen that was science fiction 100 years ago, watch the Faux News channel on a giant flat screen TV and believe that science is fake when it tells you something that you don't want to hear. Please tell me why you live your life in a world utterly changed by scientific advancement without questioning it's validity and then deny selective scientific studies that you don't want to believe.

  173. If they run on expanding the ACA, essentially expanding Medicaid, and that will be at the expense of Medicare, they will not win as big as they should. The Middle Class does not like ObamaCare, and neither do I... It's Medicare for all, or at least expanding that from 50 years old. That's the ticket. It has to be articulated so people will see it's the best thing. Get the for profit insurance companies out.

  174. @Doctor Woo
    That is the winning ticket but the Dems are as much in bed with the insurers as the Republicans. Remember Obama's vision was quickly crushed by the lobbyists pushing MLRs and guaranteed loss coverage (for the insurers) by the Federal Government. Medicare for all works best if it is slowly implemented by lowering the eligibility age by two years every year; unfortunately no politician or party supports a long term solution that will not have commensurate short term political gain.

  175. These are not normal times, and this is not a normal election. Therefore the normal approach to campaigning on the issues must be set aside for the moment and the focus shifted to Restoring Respect to America. The Democratic Leadership must unite around the core democratic values that are under attack, setting aside intraparty ideological and policy differences between progressive and moderates and band together to stem the rising tide of authoritarianism. Most Americans are desperate for a call to action to restore the basic values upon which our democracy was founded: fairness, equality, care, norms of basic human decency and interpersonal respect and to repair the divide. I agree the time for a clear cohesive message is upon us- but the priority at this moment must be on the existential threat to our nation’s values and thereafter on the issues. If the Dems do not unite, the tribal Republicans will have a significant advantage and, as evolutionary social psychology has shown us, the most cohesive groups survive.

  176. "The brutal fight to seat Justice Kavanaugh, which morphed from an inquiry into the judicial fitness of one man into a culture-war cage match over women’s rights and shifting sexual mores, electrified many left-leaning voters."

    It did electrify. But that electricity did not reach all the left leaning the same way. The culture war left is not the whole left. There is an economic left. There is an old school civil rights left that has stayed focused on the original and still frustrated goals of the civil rights movement.

    Electrifying also reached those offended.

    Electricity lasts about the same length of time for both sides. If one fades in three weeks post-fight, so may the other.

    The culture war left has convinced itself of itself. It has no idea at all of how it is perceived by others, nor how they react, except to be judgmental about their failure to be the same.

    This pattern of convincing themselves is how Hillary lost.

  177. @Mark Thomason, there is also the old civil liberties left, you know, the people who support the First Amendment right to free speech; the Fifth Amendment right to due process; and Sixth Amendment rights for criminal defendants. What the ACLU used to care about for all Americans.

    The culture war left that now controls the Democratic Party seems diametrically opposed to the old civil liberties left, leaving people to maybe write in someone like Bill Maher; Alan Dershowitz; or Rand Paul on their ballot.

    There is also the anti-war/hold-the-national-security-state accountable left. People who might read The Intercept. And Obama's 180 from his campaign rhetoric to becoming the longest wartime president in US history, by continuing Iraq and Afghanistan his entire 8 years, and expanding on it in Libya and Syria, betrayed millions of voters. Bernie Sanders fervent support for Lockheed's budget-busting F-35 fighter jet, regardless of negative impact on health and home values of his constituents, betrays voters. Obama's support for Brennan, after the CIA spied on Feinstein and Senate Intelligence Committee; or support for Clapper, after lies about mass warrantless surveillance, etc.

    It sadly has become apparent there is no room in the Democratic Party anymore for "Frank Church" Democrats.

  178. @Mark Thomason

    "There you go again".

    More of your "bad on both sides" rhetoric, just like the man that you helped to elect. Not that you will ever admit to your part in this continuing abomination of a presidency.

    Do you actually believe all of the carefully choreographed "outrage" that was manufactured on the right?

    I thought you were more discerning.

    Are you still feeling self-righteous about your decision in the last election? You still feel Hillary would have been just as bad as Trump?
    Consider what transpired in the news in just the last 24 hours.
    I doubt that Hillary would be feeding intelligence to the Saudis, causing the brutal murder of a journalist.

    I doubt that Hillary would have gone to a campaign rally instead of reaching out to the areas affected by Hurricane Michael.

    I doubt that Hillary would be actively trying to replace the current Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, and in broad daylight, in a blatant attempt to stop the Mueller investigation of his traitorous and corrupt ways.

    These are only a few of the things in the news today.

    Any one of these would be disqualifying.
    If we had Congressional oversight.

    Obama's "scandals" involved chewing gum, wearing a brown suit, and putting his feet on the desk.

    Trump actively conspired with the Russians, and is doing his best to undermine our democracy and our allies. He has engaged in countless criminal behaviors. And continues to do so.

    He has blood on his hands.

    "Both sides"? Nyet.

  179. The Russians are coming. The ties between the Russo-Republican party are clearer now than ever before. Russian oligarchs have pumped millions into Republican campaigns as documented by the American press. Trump publicly defers to Putin. Why? Money.

    Russian oligarchs wishing to diversify and protect their wealth are acquiring a stake in America by buying its politicians. Democrats are about sharing wealth and power, Republicans not so much.

    Republicans, like their Russian oligarch allies, are all about concentrating wealth and power at the top. Democracy is a nuisance to oligarchs, and an anathema to Putin.

    This may be a negative campaign theme, and dismissed as fake news, but it's real. Voters should understand the deep ties between shady Russian money and the Republican party.

  180. I'm pretty sure running on tax cuts is a winning strategy. just saying

  181. @imbeke

    Your President has been raising taxes all year.

    Democrats are actually criticizing them. Too bad the networks aren't explaining that to the voters.

  182. There are long-term and short-term trends. The long-term trend is toward the right in all the western countries. One way or another the mid-terms won't change that.

  183. Intriguing; have not heard of this analysis. Why to the right? If you mean towards nationalism, that in itself is a concept whose days are numbered. Why? Because the natural environment is changing and things won't stay status quo, which is to say, the indefinite continuance of nation-state structures.

  184. First, Trump “fibbed” when he said that he wouldn’t fiddle with preexisting conditions? How about lied? Why for god sakes, would you soften what’s really going on? He’s telling not just a lie but The Big Lie. The Adolf Hitler kind of lie that accuses your opponent of what you do yourself. And because it’s so outrageous, people will believe it.

    Second, you acknowledge that the Ds are doing everything right but you shame and scold them like they were children.

  185. I hope that everyone who eligible and wants to vote is able to register and vote and that the votes are accurately counted. I hope that there are organizations and people who can help to deal with issues about registering and voting. I also hope that the votes are properly counted with no external or internal meddling.

    The current GOP members of Congress are not fulfilling the oversight role of the President to put kindly. Good people need to be voted into office and they need to start getting our country back on track.

  186. Don't just hope! Call up one of those organizations and volunteer your time... and donate money!

  187. Democrats need to have a plan for addressing problems on election day. Voter suppression is going to be more brazen this year. Also, free shuttles in competitive districts would be nice.

  188. trump and the gop have messed up the economy, causing the 900 point dow jones drop today. first the 2017 tax cut. it was a disaster from the start. it only benefitted the ultrawealthy like trump himself, and gop donors-the Koch brothers and Charles schwabs. The tax cut has limited the SALT deduction in states like California, raising our taxes. It has added 2 trillion to the deficit which is a staggering 21 trillion now. The government will soon be paying trillions just in interest. Trump and the GOP as in the past have been utterly irresponsible fiscally. The tax cut has also increased money supply, fuelling inflation and the rise in interest rates.Then trump's sanctions against iran. It has caused oil prices to soar. Trumps tariffs have been a complete disaster. It is battering US companies and consumers alike. Supply chains in china cannot be replaced because of limits to and lack of skilled expertise and facilities in the US and elsewhere, in areas like electronic chip design and development.These can't be relocated to US, Africa or Vietnam. Interest rates absolutely need to rise. They have been kept artificially low for years. CDs and savings accounts should be returning 5 percent and people should not have to buy stocks and take high risks because of low money market rates. Tech stocks dropped 90 percent during the dot com bust, and the average mutual fund by 50 percent during the financial downturn in 2008. It is time to boot out the failed GOP.

  189. It seemed so simple 2 years to say to Democrats with Michelle Obama, "When they go low, we go high." Since then, when Democrats lose a Congressional fight, they are considered "spineless" if they are civil, or an unruly unhinged "mob," if they are outspoken and contend with passion. . Leaders like Pelosi and Schumer are decried as too old, too centrist, too "establishment, " Bernie Sanders tied Hillary Clinton to " Wall Street" in ways that suggested she and the party as a whole were no different than the Republicans. If she called for improving the ACA, he said we should get rid of it and start all over again. Is that the best path to health care for all ? Perhaps he can get away with being referred to as a socialist, but calling oneself a Democratic Socialist is confusing and perilous. And of course , the word "liberal" has become a denigrated term of opprobrium since the Reagan presidency, It's hard to get across a message of social justice when Trump and company control the narrative through Twitter, rallies, Fox News, and paid political ads. Now voters may be deluded into believing that Democrats want to abolish coverage for pre-existing conditions and Republicans want to preserve it.

  190. The problem is NOT that Democrats aren't organized. It's that they are organized around only one issue: Immigration.

    But Democratic leaders are not aligned with voters on this issue. It's the reason why working-class (and many middle-class) people voted for Trump.

    The leadership under Perez, Pelosi, Schumer et al stopped representing actual American citizens decades ago. The Democrats are solely focused on helping illegal immigrants, migrant workers, asylum seekers, and immigrants. But our current immigration practices are unsustainable and incredibly unfair to American taxpayers and workers. We don't want lax or open borders. We want the laws changed and enforced.

    When are Democrats going to start fighting for actual tax-paying citizens?

    The corruption in the Senate, judiciary, Washington, White House must be addressed. But we also desperately need to look to examples in advanced nations (Canada, Europe, Scandinavia and Japan) to restore our democracy:

    1. Single payer universal healthcare
    2. Modernized updated infrastructure
    3. Non-privatized utilities, cable, internet cell data
    4. Sane immigration policies
    5. End Citizens United, gerrymandering, lobbying etc
    6. Restore consumer protections, environmental regulations, clean water, air, food
    7. Livable wages, benefits
    8. Restore checks and balances, regulations, services for which we pay taxes. We The People NOT corporations and NOT illegal immigrants.

    Democrats will lose again if they don't wake up

  191. I vote for you. Why don’t you start a new party. Dems cannot and will not propose this so time to leave em behind.

  192. The Republicans are the ones forcing the immigration issue on the Democrats, because the Democrats still care about human dignity and have souls. The Republicans love illegal immigration: Divisive wedge for their xenophobic base, exploitable labor for their corporate paymasters, and an excuse to militarize another aspect of American life. I agree that the Democrats need to focus more on labor rights and healthcare, but they can't totally cede immigration to the GOP

  193. @Humble Beast
    Yes, I agree we all of those goals.
    And I agree that the Democratic Leadership has immigration as a distraction while not actually trying to solve that or any other problem.

    60% of the population works for a living. We are the largest "special interest"' in the political landscape. Politicians should be trying to make the biggest voting block happy with higher pay and a safety net to insure against disasters, instead of doing all that for global banks which makes up a fraction of a percent of the population, but costs more. That is what they are distracting from.

    Amnesty may or may not be just, but it is definitely not a solution for our broken immigration system.
    The solution for immigration is legal immigration and protections for all workers, so that immigrants can't be used against citizen employees.
    A wall is also not a solution, because most people come through the gate!

    Meanwhile somehow capital gets a $5.5 trillion tax cut over ten years, but Democrats tell us that universal healthcare and subsidized education are "pie in the sky" and "unicorn dust," even though these things are normal in industrialized countries.
    And long vacations are also normal in the first world.

    Democrats are never going to win elections by being the bad parent and lecturing voters on how taxing the rich to invest in workers and their families its bad.

    Take the side of workers because we need representation too.

  194. Democrats should focus in the mid terms on creating jobs, keeping the economy running smoothly, expanding medicare, quality education, clean air and water, renewable energy, investment in infrastructure, sensible gun control, immigration policies that work, transparency and accountability, and good leadership.

  195. A fuller and timely editorial on how GOP is implementing Trump's "I love debt" IDEOLOGY would be the ideal battering ram to let ordinary folks understand exactly how this economy is going to tank on the POTUS watch. Focus on DEBT.

  196. @Juvenal
    Keep it simple, stupid.
    GOP - the borrow and spend Party.

  197. If nothing really different is being offered why should the turnout be any different? Most people don't vote in midterms and only a slim majority vote at all.

    At one time it was different in this country (ie. in the late 19th century) when precisely the same issues were on the table and turnout was typically over 80%.

    Because then there were real alternatives.

  198. @Lycurgus: Trump is really different. Do you like it?

  199. @Lycurgus

    Part right, Lycurgus.

    Because some other things were also true back then.

    For example, Republicans had not yet taken to announcing daily that everything and everyone in Washington is owned by, and works exclusively in the interests of, the very rich and the corporate.

    Coincidentally, "the people" had not yet realized this wasn't their fault, due to their lack of worth or drive or qualities as human beings or, more importantly, that it wasn't because God wanted it that way.

    There were still several people who had not yet figured out that "patriotism". "honor" and similar clap-trap were snares set by the elite for the dimmest in the lower class herd, those willing to give their lives and livelihoods for some larger cause that wasn't personal riches.

    The Ruling Class had not yet reached the outer limits of how big their lies could be and still work, and were proceeding in that direction only timidly.

    And there was no Internet.

  200. @Lycurgus

    "If nothing really different is being offered why should the turnout be any different?"

    Exactly. The Democrats are incapable of learning and adapting. They think they just need a new message rather than a new party.

  201. “They stupidly handed us the best issue they possibly could going into the fall election…" Mitch McConnell was quoted as saying after the confirmation vote. And he’s right!

    The Republicans are playing by a different set of rules; they're playing to win. Too many urban Democrats are still dwelling on divisive, cultural issues; they’re still smugly patronizing the working class; they're still framing issues in terms of moral absolutes. They're NOT prioritizing winning.

    In the case of Kavanaugh, the Dem’s made their case without regard to the political cost, failed utterly in stopping his confirmation, and now they’ve put the Senate, already a long shot, beyond reach. Why? Because they managed to do the unthinkable: they created a backlash; they fired up the opposition. It’s called shooting yourself in the foot.

    If the Democrats want to save democracy and decency in this country, they MUST win the House. To do that, they MUST tone down the moral absolutism, the 24/7 moral outrage, the constant finger-pointing, and concentrate on economic issues, including health care. It’s called pragmatism.

    If the Democrats don’t clean up their act, they won’t win the House, and the country will surely descend into authoritarianism, perhaps becoming a single-party state on the model of Putin’s Russia.

  202. @Ron Cohen

    so, in summary, you want the Democrats to lie when they can and hide their thoughts and agendas from the voters? And this strikes you as workable in the long run?

  203. @Ron Cohen
    Nonsense. Republicans are in 24 hour moral outrage, and moral absolutism and win. Democrats keep hiding in the center and lose.

    People vote for candidates that believe in something.

    Democrats pretend they have no principles and lose.
    Republicans pretend they have principles and win.

  204. If we let the current Democratic Leadership have their way we are as sure to lose this election as we were to stop Kavanaugh's confirmation. We no longer have a Republican Party opposition, we have a stump party opposition. To give this renegade political party any creditably is a huge mistake. We must stand with the new younger Democrats and their more progressive policy ideas. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity. We must give the voters a reason to make the effort to go to the polls and vote or we face the same "lose by a nose" elections we have had for years now. Wake up and smell the new deal, a better and brighter future, one worth fighting for. Lay down and play it safe and forget about anything getting any better, it's only going to get worse.

  205. I think Dems should run like good civil servants. Listen to voters and try to work for most of them. Campaign on issues that serve your constituents well in a broad sense. And when you meet individual voters for more than a handshake, listen carefully.

    Where your ideals overlap and you have specific policy goals in mind, share them carefully, like someone testing out how voters think of this idea or that. “What would you think if we did this?” Instead of, “let’s impeach Kavanaugh,” try, “If we win a majority, we’ll have to wrestle with what to do about Kavanaugh, do you think we should move on or investigate?”

    I bet most Dems already do some version of this, since politicians are usually careful about getting ahead of the curve. So I’m a little confused. Are the authors trying to get people to criticize and isolate the politicians that have called for impeaching Kavanaugh? If all politics are local and those that have come out have listened and know where their constituents stand, why not let them say it?

    As the article clarifies, the leadership is disciplining their message. We can be sure no impeachment/investigation will occur if Republicans win, but one might occur if Dems win and persuade colleagues to pursue it. We can expect governance and healthcare to deteriorate with Republicans, and Dems may be able to fix that if their wave is big enough. More than perfecting messaging like Trump, Dems’ tent is big enough for diversity and dialogue to solve problems.

  206. Even though I am a Republican, I would happily vote for a strong Democratic candidate for President. I happily voted for President Obama in 2012, mainly because he organized the operation that killed Bin Laden. I thought Bill was a great President, particularly in his choices of Cabinet members. One in particular who stood out was Robert Rubin as Secretary of the Treasury. I believe that for a couple of years the US ran a government surplus under his stewardship.

    I know many people who would vote for Mayor Bloomberg if he should run as a Democrat. Strong Democratic candidates are good for America. Decent people vote for the best person for the job. That person could be a Democrat.

  207. @John Murray - Even though I am a Republican, I would happily vote for Bloomberg.

    He was making a difference for gun control and crime in NYC with stop and frisk.

    Perhaps he could get the courts to revisit that.

  208. @John Murray

    Rubin stood out---as an unmitigated disaster.

    Rubin was responsible for three hideous decisions. He wanted to block the regulation of derivatives ( called financial weapons of mass destruction by Warren Buffet) proposed by Brooksley Born.

    He urged Clinton to reappoint the now totally discredited Alan Greenspan as Federal Reserve chairman, clearing the path for 10 costly and disastrous years of indifferent regulation of the financial sector.

    He was behind the decision to repeal Glass-Steagall. This last decision did not create the banking crisis, but, in the bank consolidation that resulted, it created ample future opportunities for banks to extend too much credit to companies whose stock their financial arms are trying to sell, and—perhaps even more worrisome—is creating even more corporate entities that will henceforth be deemed "too big to fail."

    Millions of Americans had their lives destroyed under the astute leadership of Rubin.

  209. Ms. Cottle’s exhortation to Democrats is a fair one for an exponent of Times editorial interest. This is an important election for liberal Democrats. Lose it and your ability to do what the Tea Party did dies. That could damage the emotional grittiness required in future to present a compelling counter-argument to conservatives.

    But her argument about “messaging” is months late. The time to have coalesced around a set of salable and moderate messages was many months ago (as I urged here many months ago). Instead, you approach this election riven between messages of moderation and the desire to transform us as a society into … Denmark.

    As a consequence, if you’re able to flip the House, it won’t be by a strategic shift of the people leftward, but by a conviction by enough voters that Republicans have gone too far. You’ve lost the initiative and perforce must rely on perceptions that you don’t control. And this is happening at a time when Trump claims serious wins: the economy and unemployment, foreign policy generally, and a willingness to address important issues over which other administrations simply have kicked cans down roads – North Korea, Iran, China, among others. And the creation of an originalist federal bench is an issue that appeals to more than Republicans.

    I just don’t see Ms. Cottle’s comfort that Democrats are “staying on point”. This election is a crapshoot, you’re badly divided, and people should suspect polls as they SHOULD have suspected them in 2016.

  210. @Richard Luettgen
    Yeah, we'd be lucky to have a little "Denmark" in our lives -
    a constitutional monarchy with happy citizens. Surely, we
    lack the latter. What we need going forward is some sense
    of stability after the chaos we have now with Trump and his inept minions. I'm heartened that former mayor Bloomberg
    is shifting to become a Democrat- He might just be the candidate that could straighten the course we're on, bring
    back some decency, stabilize our economy and move us into the global world with leadership once again.

  211. @Richard Luettgen

    Yes this advice might have been useful a year ago, but between democrats' progressive leftwing, which is highly out of touch with most Americans, and the behavior of democrats toward Kavanaugh, it is too little too late.

    Thanks to Feinstein, et al, democrats now need some rehabilitation to get back into the game Ms. Cottle believes they are playing.

  212. @Richard Luettgen
    If everyone in the Republican Party spent two weeks in Denmark the party would turn into socialists.
    Their productivity is comparable to ours. They have a higher percentage of the population in the workforce, and they get six weeks vacation and go home at five o'clock.
    Americans are working ourselves to death to enrich billionaires. We are getting robbed.

  213. If the Dems cannot flip the House this cycle, then what? If not now, then it looks like Dems may have to wait until the next major economic downturn like in 1992 and 2008 to regain significant power. Perhaps the economy will crash by 2020 or even 2022 but that hardly seems like a strategy.

    Worse case is if Republicans outperform, because they have all but announced that they are going after entitlements in order to reduce the deficit. If you like your social security, Medicare, and Medicaid, you better hope that Republicans lose the House in four weeks. Whenever you hear the GOP start saying that we have a government spending problem you better hold onto your entitlements. And, they have been saying all year that we do not have a revenue problem, but a spending problem.

  214. @Shend - Wait for the economy to crash?

    Wow, that's a strategy to get behind.

  215. Democrats DO have a message. In fact, they have lots and lots of messages.

    That's the problem. Too many messages makes the "lean Republican" voters confused and dubious about putting Democrats in charge.

    What is missing from the Democrats is true leaders. Sorry, Nancy; sorry, Chuck; sorry, Elizabeth; sorry, Bernie; sorry, Corey; sorry, Kamala.

    None of you cut it because you're competing with each other.

    The GOP have - like it or not - one voice. A big booming voice named Trump and he uses it all day, all night, every day, every night, on Twitter, on TV, everywhere. He is campaigning, campaigning, and campaigning. This is not the President speaking - this is a campaigner speaking.

    Dems are sorely lacking a counterweight - one big booming voice - discrediting Trump's every lie.

  216. @Mimi
    Yours is an extremely succinct statement about the state of the two parties. I completely agree with it.

  217. @Mimi...Discrediting Trump's every lie with a lie of your own is not exactly a winning strategy for our Democratic friends in the swamp. Labeling volks as deplorable dregs isn't smart, either.

  218. @Mimi...

    Or offering any alternative other than the discredited policies of the Obama administration.

    Your problem -- like it or not -- is having a message that The Voter is willing to buy in addition to not having a statesmen with which to deliver it.

    But there is a bigger problem facing the Democrats, and it boils down to the reason why Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, and John Kerry didn't get elected:

    The all-out liberal, no matter how decent he or she might be, never plays well national stage.

  219. The Democrats do not seem to have a central theme. They seem to be opposed to what the Trump administration is doing without offering any alternatives. I can’t find any consistent policy statements that the party has put forth. Republicans should loose control of the house but if they don’t it will be a major defeat for the Democrats. The Republicans should maintain control of the Senate but if they don’t it will be a major loss for them. Maybe with the House in control of the Democrats and the Senate in control of the Republicans is the best choice.

  220. That's because you haven't looked! They put out a Better Deal program last year.

    Plus, scores of Democrats are running on affordable college, $15/hr minimum wage, expanded health care, repealing the tax cuts for the rich, and infrastructure rebuilding to provide more jobs at better wages.

    What the Party stands for doesn't matter much, in any case, compared to particular candidates are promoting -- and their personal biographies and record of integrity.

    Decrying Trump and the Republicans' corruption and calling out their turning their backs on the middle and working class is part of a winning political formula, too!

  221. @clayton: Did you not find the 2016 Democratic Platform? Still very relevant, if not more so.

  222. @clayton

    It's hard to argue with the Trump economy. "Tax cuts for the rich" only works if no one else is seeing benefits. This is not the case. Most Americans will see a tax savings because tax tables don't lie. Democrats are left arguing over points that don't necessarily resonate.

    Partisans can claim it's really the Obama economy, but a 20% tax break for small businesses is all Trump's.

  223. Total voter turnout in the last midterm election 2014 was just 36.4%, the lowest in 70 years. Almost two out of every three eligible voters did not even bother to vote in 2014.

    Forget about Rs and Ds for a second. You cannot have a democracy when nobody votes. When only 36.4% of voters even show up that is not even a quorum in my book, let alone a functioning democracy. We are no longer majority rule, we are more accurately an 18.5% rule.

  224. @Shend
    Voting is a right, not a duty, and it is overrated. All the Republicans in New York who voted for Trump in 2016 and rejoiced in his victory, proud that they had put him in office, actually saw their votes tossed into the waste bin as Clinton won the overwhelmingly Democratic state by 23 points. And all those New York Democrats who voted for Hillary -- tough luck. Even with the popular-vote victory, she lost the election.

    The Constitution makes no rules about low-voter turnouts. We don't cancel or redo elections because 100% of eligible voters didn't exercise that right. Citizens who vote have no greater authority to criticize their government than citizens who don't, just as partisan losers don't become second-class citizens because they backed the wrong team. Personally, if I'm faced with the choice of a rotten-egg sandwich or a black, moldy banana, I just won't eat.

  225. @Shend

    Yes. That is because we keep pretending that the middle is halfway between extremist Republicans and centrist Democrats.
    If that was true than everyone would be able to find someone to vote for.

    Instead we have a party of the rich, and another pay of the rich, so most people see no point in voting for either party.

    The Democratic leadership thinks that if you keepi you mouth shut and raise money from the rich to run attack ads, they can win. It never happens.

    The real middle of America is not the fake corporate "center," sold to us by corporate media and the Democratic Leadership.
    They don't want massive tax cuts for the rich, followed by massive cuts to the social programs that help their children.
    Why anyone would believe that the Democrats should basically help Republicans pass policy to help the rich, while calling policies that all more successful countries have impossible. (I call them successful because they have a bigger percentage of the population working, but with far more more comfortable lifestyles). What Denmark and the Netherlands already do is not impossible!!!!

    It is not the job of the Democratic Party to tell workers and the young that they can't have what they need.
    The job of the Democratic Party is to raise taxes on the rich to pay for what workers need.

    It actually says that in the Constitution.

    Tax and Regulate Trade and Income to pay for the GENERAL welfare.

    Read your Constitution and sell it to the American People!

  226. "I don't belong to an organized political party. I'm a Democrat."

    Will Rogers.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  227. @Tom
    The new paradigm of our age is ground up, distributed organization.
    The Democratic Party leadership keeps trying to discipline its base. Even the Republicans don't do that.

    Your base is your power. If you keep telling your base that what they need is "pie in the sky and unicorn dust," while the Republicans promise their base everything their hearts desire, then your base will not vote for you.

    Bernie Sanders almost beat Hillary using bottom up organizing techniques. The Democratic Party leadership keeps asking for $3, but doesn't want you to actually involve yourself in the campaign or policy. People that give $3 are not invested in the results. They can easily blow off the election. People that go door to door, or are otherwise physically involved, are invested in the results.
    The Tea Party took over the Republicans because they were going to Town Hall meetings and protests. They were involved and they were invested.

    Corporate donors will not save the Democratic Party. You have to stop asking for money and start asking for humans to get involved.
    You have to stop telling people that are trying to get involved that they are "not real Democrats."

    The Democrats have lost control of gerrymandering, because they loose 2/3 of all elections. You lose 2/3 of all elections because you keep telling the workers and activists in your base that they are unreasonable.
    They are not unreasonable. They know far more than Chuck Doormat Schumer.
    The base knows how to win.

  228. News flash: Democratic Party unable to develop strategic approach to connecting with electorate.
    Advice: focus on making education affordable, nationalizing health care, program to remodel nations infrastructure
    Most importantly, start serving your constituents. Please.

  229. You just described the Clinton-Kane 2016 platform!

    At this point, attacking corruption, eviscerating Trump and the Republicans for voting to take away people's health insurance, calling out Trump's broken promises on employment, tax cuts, and health care-- and promoting positive alternative, decrying their disrespect of women, minorities, and immigrant families, and calling for us coming together to move the country forward would resonate well.

  230. @Skidaway

    The Corporate Democrats (ClintonCrats) see the Progressive agenda as anathema. They are Republicans without the Evangelical Social values. I distinctly remember Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton advocating the means testing of Social Security- which would undermine the system which is a universal insurance system.

  231. So I think what this election cycle will come down to is the INDEPENDENT voter. Both party bases will vote for there party. The other question is to wish extent will the moderate republican vote for the democrat. I am a member of the Concordia Social Club , established in the 1880's. I am one of two dems out of about 50 or so members. The repubs in the club are silent about trump. They are more than likely staying home on election day.A few mat vote democratic one can only hope.

  232. @oscar jr I disagree they will stay home on election day. My experience has been better off (richer) Trump supporters are quite about their support because the vocal left shames them for not agreeing with them; so they say nothing. The shaming though probably encourages Trump voters to dig in their heels and stay with Trump no matter what.

    If the left was smart they would stop playing to their crazy base and start offering bridges to Trump supporters. I doubt that will happen and the left has created a silent majority again.

  233. @oscar jr
    Stop assuming that independent voters are halfway between extremist Republicans and centrist Democrats. They are not.

    Independent voters are angry at both parties because both parties keep aiming all policy at global corporations and the billionaires that own their stock.
    That is why both parties are near record low popularity. That is why turnout is down. That is why Bernie almost beat Clinton (If the DNC didn't cheat to help Clinton) and why Trump beat all of the establishment Republicans. That is why so many people voted to "blow up the system."

    Democrats keep trying to woo Republican voters, instead of wooing the 60% of the population that works for a living and their families.
    The Reagan Democrats are never coming back. They left because they are greedy racists, easily manipulated by the likes of Trump.

    Republicans don't waste their time trying to win over the left or the center. They put their energy into building up their base. That is why they win.

    The majority of Americans tell pollsters that they want to raise taxes on the rich to invest in them and their families

    Ever since Democrats stopped promising to do that they have been losing 2/3 of all elections.

    This has been going on for 25 years. Experience doesn't mean anything if you don't learn from it and fix your strategies based on your experiences.

    Stop trying to understand the Republican base, and start trying to understand your own base. Your base is not voting, because you dis them.

  234. This article reminds me of the constant complaints from the Clinton camp in 2016. If only the people could see the real Hillary, they might like her. That after 30 years in the public eye.

    If only the Dems could have a clear message, they might win. That they are trying to find a message 30 days out is frightening.

  235. @Evan: I know what the Republicans clear message is: Authoritarianism with Trump as Dear Leader for Life. That's all I have to know this time around. IF we want a democracy - even just a semblance of one that we now have - THIS is the election that defines who we are and what we want. I don't care what the message from D's are right now. They're against autocracy and authoritarianism and that's good enough for me - this time.

    I'm a very reluctant Democrat and I don't have fond thoughts for people like Tom Perez who is supposed to be the organizing master, or the Clintons. But the D's have Amy Klobuchar, Sheldon Whitehouse, Chris Coons, etc and lots of House people who are GOOD people, not criminals as is 99% of this Trump Party. I am tired of criminals 'leading' us, making gobs of money off of us, embracing Trump who embraces dictators and is not protecting us, who lies to us every single day, who only is the president of his base, who calls the press the 'enemy of the people' and now is awfully quiet about the Saudi Washington Post columnist, who doesn't believe in climate change and who readily says (his government) we will be up 7 degrees F at 2100 and wants to put MORE carbon and methane into our atmosphere, etc, etc. etc.

    Vote D as if your life and the lives of your children and grandchildren depend upon it. They are not perfect. But they are not criminal.

  236. @Evan - If you would have taken the few minutes required to read Hilary's platform or detailed fact sheets, you would have seen her clear message that was not covered by the media who were only concerned with two improperly marked and improperly classified eMails.

  237. @Evan
    Yes, exactly.

    The Republicans pretend they have principles and win.
    The Democrats pretend they don't have principles and lose.

    The Republicans spent eight years treating Obama like a corrupt liar and win.
    The Democrats treat a corrupt liar like a normal president, and have already let him seat two Supreme Court justices, one of whom just lied under oath.

    Nobody votes for spineless doormats. Democrats have to fight for the people or get out of the way so that a real party can fight for workers.
    Chuck Schumer is letting Mitch McConnell walk all over him and his party.
    You can't hide in the center and expect to win elections or make policy. Democrats, like Joe Manchin, that even vote with Republicans on Supreme Court nominees, are worse than Republicans, because they let extremist Republicans claim they are "bipartisan."

    Compromise does not come first. It comes last.
    Democrats compromise before the election (so the left considers them traitors) then the Republicans move the goal posts and Democrats compromise more. Republicans never compromise. They just wait for the inevitable surrender of Democrats.

    You can't get actual compromise until you fight for your position, win some elections, and have the power to force the other side to give things up.
    Compromise its supposed to come at the end, not the beginning.

    The Clintons spent decades implementing Republican policy, and in return they got insults and investigations. Giving up our principles got us Trump.

  238. I'm not sure they will muck up the House entirely, but they certainly are trying to do so. The Kavanaugh hearings along with the pronouncements from hard left folks like Maxine Waters make it extremely difficult for stealth "were not really partisan" democrat candidates to be believable. I live in NC 9, which after a GOP primary win by a more conservative candidate, was considered a loss by the GOP. It's now a toss up moving towards the GOP. How many districts there are like that is an unknown.

  239. You are asking the party to restrain its progressive wing. That’s good advice, but the Republicans know exactly which buttons to push to get a rise out of progressives, and regrettably, the progressives always respond predictably. And mainstream voters don’t like it, especially when the economy is humming along just fine, relatively speaking. But, if indeed the culture wars can be sidelined, identity politics muted, protests moderated and most importantly, if Democrats can avoid insulting swing voters who supported Trump, then maybe, just maybe, Democrats have a shot at it.

  240. @MWR

    "just maybe, Democrats have a shot at it."

    Typical wishful centrist thinking: maybe get a "shot at it."

    Just like 2016: step on the Progressives, step on the future - otherwise (OMG!) mainstream voters might not like it.

    Another guaranteed no-risk, no turnout loss. 80% of Bernie supporters voted for corporate centrist Hillary; that won't ever happen again.

  241. @MWR No, the writer is not asking the party to restrain its progressive wing. The writer is suggesting that the Democrats concentrate on policy rather than on revenge. No point in trying to impeach anyone, which will fire up the Republicans, when you can talk about healthcare.

  242. @MWR
    You want the Democrats to restrain the progressive wing?
    When will Republicans restrain their regressive wing? Never.

    The Republicans pretend they have principles (when all they really care about is tax cuts for the rich) and win.
    The Democrats pretend they have no principles, and lose.

    Stop following the same losing strategy you have been following since 1992 and maybe you will start winning some elections.

  243. There is ground between the Republican win at all cost cohesiveness and the Democratic overly solicitous, staid lack of focus. The Democrats have to find it (and fast) to win. Unfortunately this means new leadership- whether they win the House, Senate or neither. Nancy Pelosi may be a top notch fundraiser. But the logical question is how is that money being spent? On the other side, this doesn't mean giving all leadership control to the Social Democratic wing. Nor does it mean lock step positions. Only, the Democrats need unity and a strong, clear CONCISE message.

  244. Everyone knows what the Democrats stand for: serious government, serious approach to the institutions of governance, better health care, civil rights. The rest is noise. As if the Americans care about policy: since when? It's a chaotic nation, already seen as just a richer Philippines.

    As for following Beto's model, as one person here suggested, one notes that he is losing in the polls. It's shocking, but his riding is a laboratory where fanaticism and cynicism triumphs over policy and sense; and thus undermines the argument of this article.

  245. @Terence
    No, not everyone knows that. Just take a peak over at Fox and see what the other side thinks.

  246. I have said this all along to my liberal friends, the Kavanaugh hearing has already lost traction, and while these hearings were in full view, my wife and her friends were out knocking on doors for local congressional candidates in our neighborhood. We keep forgetting that the Republican party is a minority party---if, we turn out, which according to my wife's canvassing, appears to be a done deal, the blue wave will be a Level 5. I would add, that a big mistake Republicans are making is making light of the "me-too" movement--even to the point of joking about it---not a wise political move.

  247. @ACJ Interesting point of view. While I don't disagree that there are probably more Democrats than Republicans in the country as a whole I think the difference is that Democrats tend to be in more dense areas than Republicans. Even for congressional districts, Republicans are able to marginalize a vote count based on the congressional maps.

    Perhaps Democrats should stop making fun of their hick Republican friends and move out to the country so they can win a few more elections. ACJ, will you move out of Chicago and move to Southern Illinois so you and your wife can help that Level 5 blue wave? I didn't think so... perhaps that blue wave won't kill as many Republicans as you hope...

  248. Sounds like a call for a fake Democratic Platform which will appeal to average Americans. But a fake platform, not one they really mean to stand by. What is the real Democratic Platform? Open Borders and no immigration enforcement. More government spending with no accountability for results. It cost the NYC transit system 4 billion dollars to build one mile of tunnel. NYC's Public Schools spend $30,000 per student per year yet barely half the students graduated high school in 4 years. That's $30,000 per student per year including Kindergarten and First Grade. A repeal of the Second Amendment. Democrats say they just want one more rule but when pressed they admit their goal is the end of private ownership of guns in America. Perpetual Welfare, Food Stamps, and Housing Assistance for half the population creating a permanent class of government dependent citizens. Limitless budget and trade deficits. Democrats refuse to say what they really stand for. This is not the Democratic Party that my family belonged to for 70 years.

  249. @Mike
    Uh, what? Can you point us to just ONE example of a Democrat being "pressed" and admitting the goal of ending private ownership of guns? And let's recall the canard of "more government spending" seems to ignore the fact that Congress (both parties) has already decided to spend what's in the budget, it's only Republicans (under the spell of their ultra-rich donors) who cut taxes so we run massive deficits. And you want to talk about spending with no accountability, try starting with the Republicans' military spending.

  250. I really get tired of these propagandists who lie about the Democratic platform. Go back to Fox and the Hill; your paymasters miss you

  251. @Mike
    This is all lies, and the most obvious is that NYC spend $30,000 per year per student.

  252. Often repeated when I was young: If you're not a socialist when you're 20, you have no heart. If you're still a socialist at 40, you have no mind." I don't agree, but those words sum up part of the problem Democrats will always have, the generational difference: fix it now versus look before you leap. It's the job of good leaders to meld disparate units into more effective forces. And America is so large and varied that such leaders face different challenges from state to state. Let's hope they find a way to win all across America.

  253. @Des Johnson
    If you are not a socialist when you are forty it is because you believe the lies told to you by global corrupt mass media, Republicans, and centrist Democrats.
    If the Democrats actually made the case for investing in We the People, the People would understand that taxing the rich to invest in them, their children, their infrastructure, and basic research grows the economy and really does trickle up to the rich.
    When the top tax rate was 70% and the corporate rate was 50% average growth was 75% HIGHER than it is now. Why do Democrats or the NY Times ever point that out? Supply Side Economics has never worked, but the Democratic Party leadership has embraced it, helping Republicans win 2/3 of all elections!

    No one is calling for a centralized economy, except the billionaires who have centralized half of the world's wealth under their control.

    But investing in We the People pays dividends into the future, while corporate tax cuts are more likely to be bet in the global derivatives market than invested in the American economy.

    The Social Democracies have higher rates of employment, and far more comfortable lifestyles than cutthroat USA. Markets tempered with socialism works far better than tax cuts for the rich and mass austerity.

    Capitalism puts machinery above workers. A lesser evil, second party of the rich cannot win more than 1/3 of elections.
    Workers make up 60% of the population and have families. Promise them the things they need, to win.

  254. One overarching concern is the integrity of the election system, including the accuracy of tallying the votes. What is being done to safeguard the Midterm election process from possible interference by a foreign power such as hacking by Russia? Even if Democrats have the votes, it would not matter if those votes are reported incorrectly.

  255. @Sleestak

    What kind of verification of integrity?

    Periodically purging people who haven't voted in multiple election cycles?

    Requiring photo ID for voters?

    Both blocked by Democrats.

  256. ".... it plays perfectly to the Republican base’s enduring sense of victimhood."

    Really? Whenever I see the term "privilege" - which is everyday in the Opinion section - it screams "I am a victim." That is the coin of the realm among Dems and the left wing.

    Any semblance of meritocracy that is left in this toxic environment where personal destruction reigns supreme resides among the Republicans, not the Democrats.

    Kavanaugh is the latest example, and Bork was the first.

  257. The rich and powerful are reasonably inclined to want others believe that their fortunes are of their own making. It's human nature to believe that you are responsible for their own success. Whether we like it or not, that's objectively untrue. Too many variables point away from individual choice and to inherited and external factors. That's why privilege is a frequent and relevant term in any discussion of social power dynamics.

    But yes, you're right that the illusion of meritocracy that pulls the wool over the poor and middle class while wealth is quietly transferred to the ultra rich is alive and well in the Republican party.

    The wealth gap is only going to grow if they have it their way. Those that are on the wrong side of the line are going to keep getting poorer (and if you don't think you've gotten poorer, you haven't yet realized that no standard calculation for inflation properly adjusts for rising health care and education costs...)

    So you know what? If you vote Republican and you're making less than 500k a year, you are a victim.

  258. Bork thought Jim Crow was perfectly fine, and Kavanaugh has ruled against workers, unions, indigenous peoples, the environment, et al. Both great dudes who definitely need in unelected life-terms.
    /s

  259. Democrats should realize that Trump et al use the marketing tactics of flinging back at detractors all that's said about them. It's childish but chilling for a president of the U.S. to stoop this low, e.g., "I'm rubber, you're glue, whatever you say goes back to you." His supporters are naturally blindsided because they live in a bubble of their making and tend to believe everything Trump throws at them. There is no sense of shame, as long as the base buys it, that's all that counts. Trump himself is blindsided since he obviously has no concern for his own legacy or reputation. He has no empathy and the only thing that matters to Trump is Trump. He disgraces himself and history will not be kind to him.

  260. "Midterm messaging?" Irritating that for so many columnists and commenters our fate as a republic somehow depends on the Dem party strategists - whomever they might be - to not "muck this one up," and devise some kind of appealing sheep-call so all the sheep are inclined to get off their tails and vote. As if somehow the vast majority of people inclined to vote Democratic - and a good number of Republicans as well - haven't figured out by now that we have full-blown disasters on almost every front, and that voting for Democrats all the way down the line is an essential act to get out of the stupid mess we've made of things.

    It's not up to Nancy, or Chuck, or Obama or a bunch of people in a back room trying to come up with a slogan for dimwits. It's up to you, me and anybody else who's horrified by this takeover of our country. We don't have to worry about "midterm messaging;" we vote in November and we vote in 2020. And hopefully some kind of healing of our country's soul can begin to take place, if it's not too late.

  261. Democrats, don't muck it up? It should be voters, don't muck this up. Ms. Clinton would have been a smart, hardworking and successful President, but they went with the game show host.

  262. They've already mucked it up: they've turned into a crazed mob. Saner people (pretty much everyone else) will not let our democracy go down the tube because there are no Democratic adults left in the room!

  263. According to Ms. Cottle, the Trump op-ed was "classic Trump: unhinged, breathtakingly dishonest and aimed squarely at making the opposition’s head explode." Yet, we're not supposed to mention impeachment? We're not supposed to mention having an unhinged, incompetent, dishonest criminal in the White House.
    We should discuss nothing else and make sure we connect the Republicans to him. Why are they taking money we need to fix our problems and giving it to their rich friends and donors? Why are they making it impossible for our children to get the same opportunity as their privileged kids?

    Tell people the reality show was fun for a while, but now we have to deal with actual reality, and it's not pretty or entertaining.

  264. What's not clear is how can the Democrats commit to lowering health care costs when they are simultaneously saying hospitals must remain under mandate to provide care for all of the estimated 16.9 million to 22 million illegal aliens (thereby requiring hospitals to pass on the costs by raising prices for everyone else and driving up insurance costs)?

  265. Democrats are mucking it up --- how could they not? They're representing the entirety of the anti-Trump movement, and they're doing it in the face of a opponent that seems worthy of the best totalitarian Leninist state in terms of developing spin & talking points (if you disagree with the Party, we'll put an icepick in your brain). How do you unify a group of people that include moderates conservative & liberal, Adam Smith liberals, globalist of all stripes, free-traders & free marketeers who aren't on the pro-corporate bandwagon, progressives, social justice warriors, and outright socialists? It is possible to do it but I am still waiting for the leaders who will present a good, solid vision of growth & opportunity to oppose Trump's dire dystopia of America as a failed state; who will oppose straight-out the GOP notions of "religious freedom" being the right of the 20% to impose their moralistic beliefs on the remaining 80%. We are a strong, dynamic, powerful, rich, nation; our strength is our people & our ideas, how did we end up with this used-car salesman of a President convincing people the US & half its people are garbage? Democrats have to offer a positive vision & concrete policies, not just reaction & crying hurt.

  266. I wish this storyline were true. That Democrats are pivoting. But the truth is that Washington Democrats setup messaging to turn out White suburban women months ago. Too late to pivot, even if they want to pivot ... which they don't.

  267. Where is the electoral advice for the Republicans?

  268. leading with anger, and fake staged outrage, rather than ideas? Tell me, dear readers, how is the platform of Bernie Sanders different than the policies of Hugo Chavez? Please study history, and economic history, dear readers. Socialism fails, over and over again. Capitalism ain't perfect, fer sure, but its far better than any alternatives.
    "Fair" is not relevant; what matters is lowering poverty and starvation to zero. This, capitalism has accomplished. Only in America are the "poor" holding cell phones and going home to air conditioned apartments while receiving entitlements.
    Let's count our blessings and become more civil to those of different views.

  269. These midterms and indeed all our elections are a yuuge farce. The country has been officially coopted into a totalitarian state where freaks like 45 and his cohort of wealthy entities, some human and some constructed by our law as individuals, known as multinationals, are the real rulers. The farcical game played with a worn-out political paradigm straight from the dark ages of the antebellum era, with 2 political parties, is a sideshow. People need to realize that it's time to sweep this rubbish from our "government" by any means possible and replace it with an entirely different system, one that is not pervaded by money and its corrupting influence...

  270. More focus on identity politics is a surefire way to win!