It may be quiet here for a couple of weeks

Between some projects at work and a slow, slogging effort at longer-form writing, things may be quiet around here for the next couple of weeks. I’ll still assemble link posts and once in a while I may pop off a short piece. Feel free to start threads over in the Off Topic section on anything that catches your attention. I’ll be back soon.


  1. Of course this would come up just as you said you would be away for a while, but it’s Illinois related, so you’re the only one I can ask. Democrats just picked up a lot of otherwise Republican seats in local municipal elections, and I wanted to know how unusual this is, if it is at all.

    Kankakee City just elected its first African-American Democratic Mayor.

    West Deerfield Township will be led entirely by Democrats for the first time ever.

    Elgin Township has flipped to an all-Democratic board.

    Normal Township elected Democratic supervisors and trustees to run its board ― the first time in more than 100 years that a single Democrat has held a seat.

    Small victories, but certainly not the trend you want to see if you’re a Republican running in Illinois (looking at you, Gov. Rauner). So what’s up? You feeling anything building in Illinois?

    1. On that local, one of the things about the DNC that induces headdesk:

      They blew it by not investing in that Kansas special election. Even if they had only managed to shift a 7 pt. loss into a 3 or 4 pt. loss, it would have sent a very important message. Even a 7 pt. loss is a huge neon sign given the demographics/recent voting history of that district. I understand that Georgia looks winnable, but please, pay attention to Montana!!

      1. Fly, this is the DNC’s typical problem; they are totally DC based and only look at the high profile, so called winnable elections. They neglect the local and state parties. That has been the pattern at least since 2009. In the meantime we’ve lost the presidency, Congress, many governorships and statehouses. Why they don’t start focusing on the local and state level is a quandary to me. There have been innumerable assurances that the focus will be shifted, but nothing seems to happen.

        Like you said don’t forget MT. That state is fully winnable particularly with Trumpikins in power, but to the “elite” in DC MT is just a bunch of hicks. That is not true. The Western part of MT is more progressive than the elites like to think, and that is where the greatest density of population and the cities are located.

      2. As far as Montana goes, Quist doesn’t seem particularly eager to have much national help pour for him, and he’s said as much. And from a certain standpoint, one can see why. The man’s got a lot of name recognition in the state, people like him, and he doesn’t want to give any undue inference that he’s somehow a shill for the national party if they look like they’re pouring in support for him.

        Of course no one’s saying that Democrats shouldn’t support him. It’s just a careful balancing act of how much is necessary versus overkill.

      1. Very interesting article – very positive. Thompson is particularly correct when he mentions that the DCCC needs to poll every district on a semis-regular basis and to contest every district. As he says, the Democrats can make almost every district a contest with the right candidate and message. To be sure there are a some that are definitely Republican. Regardless, I’ve found that the ordinary people are almost all fairly reasonable people and want a fair shake. They want the government to be honest, open and transparent. They want good health care and education. Regarding social issues they are fairly reasonable, though they may be conservative. The Democrats consistently allow the Republicans to outflank and outmessage them.

        Going back to MT, that is a state with which I have some familiarity. I have worked there and practiced there. I hold Professional Registration there. Western MT tends to be mountainous and there was a lot of mining. There has been a long history of the big corporations extracting the minerals, taking advantage of the workers, destroying the environment and running. As a result unions at one time were quite strong. On the other hand Eastern MT is more ranching and similar to the plains states. Thus many western Montanans are more progressive and the major population centers are located more in Western Montana and it tends to be more progressive. Nevertheless, they tend to be conservative socially. They love hunting and fishing and tend to be individualistic. Regardless they want good health care and education and do not want the environment trashed. Thus, the appeal of Quist.

        With these population characteristics, one can understand why a typical elitist, urban professional, corporatist, button-downed candidate has little appeal. Quist is obviously concerned that if the DCCC openly spends a bunch of money and sends a lot of staffers there, he will be tarred as an elitist, corporatist, Pelosi type of Democrat. The Republicans would deploy every caricature that could be dreamed up. On the other hand, if the DCCC would discretely help with some money, staffers and support, I am sure it would be helpful, provided Quist could be in control and run the type of campaign that he knows Montanans want.

        This is the type of problem that the DNC typically has. They want to be top down and to run things. A better approach would be to build the state and local parties, to support them, and to be more of a bottom-up organization. In my opinion that is the main reason the Democrats are in such poor condition nationally.

      2. Given that Quist’s opponent is a millionaire tech entrepreneur from New Jersey,trying to connect him to East Coast liberal elites is classic pot meet kettle. OTOH there are still people buying into the notion that a born on third base New York billionaire try gives a damn about the working classes. By all means, assist him discreetly if the situation demands it, but help him any way you can!

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