More McCaskill

Claire McCaskill has released another batch of ads that could be titled “I love Republicans.” The ads list all of the Republicans who have said something nice about her over the years. The word “Democrat” is not used in the ads at all.

I support McCaskill in what she’s doing. What people from elsewhere don’t realize is this is how you win in Missouri. And believe me, you want her to win. She’s good for the state, she’s good for the region, I’ve been following her work for years, and she does a lot. Her opponent is ridiculously bad.

As a Democrat, you just don’t win in Missouri, Illinois, West Virginia, etc by screaming like a banshee how much you detest Republicans. The winning word for a Democrat in these states is “bipartisan.” She’s not trying to appeal to voters in California. She’s trying to reach her voters in a language they respond to.

I’m writing this because I see people pile on her for this because they are not in touch with the realities of Missouri. So let’s lay off McCaskill, let’s lay off Manchin, let’s lay off all the folks who are working their tails off to flip the Senate in difficult circumstances. It’s easy to be ideologically pure when you don’t have to face voters in rural Missouri every day of your campaign.

God, everybody is so judgmental because a person is trying to reach the voters she’s got and not the spoiled pricks in a completely different part of the country.

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10 thoughts on “More McCaskill”

    1. Bill Clinton, with all his faults, was very good at this. And he won. So it worked. Hillary got herself a little bit too under the thumb of the crazy wing and she lost.

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  1. ” She’s trying to reach her voters in a language they respond to.”

    One of the (very many) weird things about modern progressives is how little they understand something like that. It all has to be pure and uniform everywhere…. and they don’t even perceive the contradiction….

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    1. I think they do understand it but they feel such blinding, rage-filled contempt for anybody even a tiny but different from them that they see what McCaskill is doing as a mega betrayal. I don’t know what she’s supposed to do to please them. Concede the seat? Let somebody like Ocasio-Cortez run in Missouri? What is she supposed to do? She’s a public servant, so she tried to serve the public. I think it’s actually pretty cool.

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      1. “What is she supposed to do?”
        Lose honorably?
        Some years ago I knew a Canadian guy who was failing to thrive in Poland, he absolutely could not deal with any behavior that was different from what he knew in Anglophone Canada (he had lived in Quebec and apparently spoke pretty good French though he had similar problems in adjusting there).
        At some point he was having a crisis because someone asked him to do something he thought was unethical. I didn’t think it was and I explained why and I also told him a couple of culturally appropriate different ways to get out of it if he wanted but he wasn’t having it and he was stuck over it. Above all he was intensely frustrated that he had no way to convince them that they were in the wrong for even asking…
        Finally I asked “Do you want to be right or do you want to get what you want?”
        Ultimately he wanted to be right and left Poland a few months later.

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  2. I agree that politicians should be attentive to their local voters. But what I think is difficult about this approach is that it leaves very little reason to vote Democrat. Why not just vote for a “real” Republican if the Democrat emphasizes his/her appreciation for and support of Republican policies?

    I think that part of the reason H. Clinton lost is because too many voters (mistakenly) collapsed Hillary with Bill and (again mistakenly) decided that the two parties were indistinguishable. In general I wasn’t a huge fan of Sanders but I think he had one thing right: there are more registered Democrats than registered Republicans in this country but Republicans are more reliable voters. So Democrat victories hinge on “turning out the vote.” And “Republican lite” (which is how the public largely saw Hillary) doesn’t seem to turn out the vote.

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    1. It depends on how important you think out-of-state support is and how important in-state voter enthusiasm is.

      Volunteer once for Habitat for Humanity, and every single lefty PAC/Democratic party organization finds its way to your email box to beg for money, time, labor and to scream about the Supreme Court, for years. Years! I just won’t donate any of that to an out of state candidate who voted for Sniffledrunk (Manchin) or someone who actually voted for Trump (Ojeda). That goes for organizations like the DCCC, DNC, DSCC. If I lived in West Virginia I’d probably vote for them, because what are you going to do? But GOTV when it’s actually more dangerous for me personally than it was in the past? Hell no.

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      1. In state enthusiasm is much more important. An Ocasio-Cortez clone running in WV could get all the out of state donations she wants, there’s still no way she’d win. The enthusiasm of people who can actually vote in the election is what matters; money can be valuable for harvesting that with GOTV efforts but you can’t get just anyone elected with that money.

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        1. Very true. People won’t turn out just for anybody.

          I can’t tell my students to register to vote until I’m blue in the face but if they aren’t excited by the candidates, it will be useless. It’s sad that 90% of them don’t vote.

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    2. In Missouri and Illinois, people will turn out for Democrats because they always have, because their Dad who was a steelworker and their Mom who was a teacher always did. But they need to see somebody reasonable, who will do actual work in the Senate. And you can’t do work in the Senate if you aren’t ready to see points of contact with the other party.

      I have a neighbor who is a unionized factory worker, active in the union. He’d be happy to turn out for Democrats, like his family has for generations, but the Ocasio-Cortezes he sees on TV can’t possibly connect with him.

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