My message to three prominent Democrats running for Senate is simple:
For the love of dog, please stop what you're doing immediately.
I'm serious. It's gotten to the point now where you are embarrassing the party. I mean when Jon Stewart shows your campaigns ads and then states, "Uh, that was actually the Democratic candidate for Senate..." then you've gone too far. Stop trying to out Average Joe your Republican opponent and focus on substance. As Joe Biden said back in February, the American people agree with the Democratic Party on every major issue. Every. Major. One. It's time to actually assume your voters are intelligent and engage them in meaningful conversation rather than pretending to be their BFF. There's simply too much at stake not to do so.
What's at stake, exactly? The policies and progress of the country for the next twenty years. With a Republican-controlled House and Senate, they will pursue impeachment charges against Barack Obama for the egregious crime of being president while black. As if that wasn't enough, Republicans would be more than content to pass legislation to cut back the EPA, place new restrictions on abortion, lessen the rules on poor Wall Street, and would attempt to gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Sure, President Obama would have veto power, but knowing Republicans they would unquestionably attach some of these measures to other, more meaningful legislation forcing the President to make hard decisions as he serves out his term.
In other words, it's time for Democrats to get their shit together.
According to Mark Zuckerberg lookalike Nate Silver, Republicans currently have a 60% chance of winning the Senate. As much as I admired Silver for using the concept of "math" during the 2012 election, I also think that his work fails to account for a large portion of people who vote blue: Those that are low-income, college students, or people who just don't participate in the polls because they don't respond to a strange number calling them at night. What this means is that in a number of close Senate races, it's all going to come down to turnout. Quite simply, if Democrats show up they'll win. It's as simple as that. That is why it is so frustrating to see these three Senate candidates dumb down their campaigns instead of focusing on issues that would bring voters to the polls. It is with this idea in mind that I decided to play campaign manager for three of the most prominent Senate campaigns to help them get their shit together.
To Allison Lundergan Grimes:
You started off so well and yet now I have no idea who you are or what you stand for. Your latest gun-toting ad made me vomit in my mouth. For the love of dog, stop what you're doing and fire your campaign manager. Stop trying to be a new and improved Mitch McConnell. People hate Mitch McConnell. When you started off your campaign, you attacked him for being what's wrong with Washington and yet now you seem to be trying to paint yourself as a Mitch Version 2.0. Stop trying to distance yourself of Barack Obama. Stop selling out to big coal. Stop threatening to turn back EPA regulations. Are you really a Democrat, or are you just a Republican lite?
My point, Allison, is this. People are tired of Mitch McConnell and his policies. So, start talking about your policies! The fact that you have ignored the success of Kentucky's state-based health care exchange that was set up by the ACA is a travesty. Your state's uninsured rate fell by 40%! For the love of dog, use this in your campaign. Go to rural Kentucky towns and let them know that Mitch McConnell wants to take away their health care. Go to big cities and announce that Mitch McConnell wants the state to go back to the golden days where two out of five people had to pay higher insurance rates. Right there Allison, that's ten of thousands of votes for simply stating the truth. If you want to unseat Mitch McConnell, stop criticizing how he holds a gun and instead start criticizing how he holds people's health care hostage for the sole reason of political gain.
To Mark Begich:
We get it. You live in Alaska and need to appeal to the same kind of people that thought Sarah Palin would make a good president. I guess that's why you're another Republican lite who rides snowmobiles and insists upon drilling in your state. As much as that ad appeals to the snowmobile voting bloc, I'm pretty sure that people in your state want more substance than that, especially when your opponent Dan Sullivan has already intentionally misled the voters with statements about your record in the Senate. To win as a Democrat in Alaska you are going to have to run on your record and to convince Democrats to turn out.
So how do you do that? Simple, Mark. You emphasize who you have been fighting for these past six years. You voted for the Affordable Care Act because you believe all citizens in Alaska should have access to affordable health care. You support marriage equality because you believe that people should not be denied rights because of who they love. You have gone on record against the Patriot Act because you feel that the government should not be able to spy on its citizens without a warrant. You recognize that global warming is an actual thing and not something manifested by 97% of the world's scientists. You wrote a bill that helped veterans by increasing the rate of their disability compensation starting on December 1st. You see Mark, people in Alaska care more about these things rather than how good you look riding a snowmobile. If you can show them that you not only care about them but also represent their views, then you should be able to retain your Senate seat come November.
To Mary Landrieu:
Again, I get it. You're in deep red Louisiana. However, for the love of dog, there has to be better ways to appeal to your state's citizens than by doing kegstands at an LSU game. I understand the need to reach out and bond with your fellow Louisianans but, trust me, there are better uses for your time. Specifically, by campaigning and shoring up your base. For you Mary, you've got an amazing target in your opponent, Bill Cassidy. As someone who is a Republican member of the House of Representatives, Cassidy's record should be the only thing you talk about between now and November 4th.
Because Mary, Cassidy is everything that is wrong with Washington today. You of all people should know this. He has been part of a caucus that has voted repeatedly to take away health care from tens of thousands of Louisianans and he opposes expanded medicaid to tens of thousands more. He has been part of a caucus that has refused to vote on jobs bills. He has been part of a caucus that has refused to recognize equal pay for equal work. He has been part of a caucus that voted to extend the Bush tax cuts that helped wreck our economy in 2008. In other words, Mary, make him run on his record. Your opponent is currently a member of the least productive House in history and the reason for that is because his views and those of his caucus do not fall in line with the majority of Americans. Make Louisianans aware of how extreme his views are and you will be able to keep your Senate seat.
This Senate race will be close. And yet, it shouldn't be. These three candidates are all on the right side of history with their stances on a majority of issues and these candidates' constituents agree with them on these issues. Unfortunately, they are shooting themselves in the foot by participating in these low brow ads and antics. With just over a month to go, it's time for these candidates to push the issues that got them where they are and to showcase their opponents for what they are: Extreme, out-of-touch, and unrepresentative of the people they claim they speak for. A Senate consisting of Mitch McConnell, Dan Sullivan, and Bill Cassidy would destroy the progress made by this current administration and would set back the country for a good twenty-years.
Unless Democrats wake up to this fact, we may very well be facing this reality come November.