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I knew I was onto something when I started my Taking Back The House series in the beginning of the calendar year. While we have been able to carve out a small niche for those who are excited about elections, we weren’t able to muster that much excitement.
However, I had faith in one thing. It was the basic belief that the Republican Party would do anything to sabotage its electoral prospects for future cycles. Thanks to the rabid obsession of right-wing practices by the “non-establishment” Republicans, the country now sees the party for what it truly is. A party hijacked by extremists, ideologues, faux-reformers and Ted Cruz.
If I, a confessed Democrat loyalist, had to pick one gripe with the Democrats its that they don’t do enough. The party that should house liberals under its tent plays a fairly conservative game. They compromise easily, they try hard (and usually succeed) to quell contested primaries and really; they don’t reach far.
But that strategy might pay off as the Republican Party radicalizes to be ya know, the party that temporarily shut down a part of our government.
I’m not one that quite can buy the potential that Democrats can take back the House of Representatives. There’s still a whole year of Republican scare tactics and while they clearly seemed to have lost the public; they always have a way of rebounding fairly quickly. You’ll now see them trying to re-shift the focus to the ongoing saga that is the website that is the focal point of the Affordable Care Act.
But I’m not quitting. In fact, our odds are increasing on at least making significant headway to recapturing the House of Representatives. But you need to join. You need to become active and its high time that you join the cause because we can’t do this alone. Apathy or feigned passion will get the party nowhere as we need to capitalize on the unforced errors that the GOP seems to be prone to making.
So here are some tips that we can do to ensure that we have a shot at making some damage.
1)-Learn the Names
- Most important thing to do right now is begin the process of shifting the word “Generic Democrat” to actual names. All these polls that show the Democrats beating identified Republicans look great! But they don’t mean much other than show that certain Reps. are not popular.
But that doesn’t mean they are losing right now. Instead, they are losing to the idea of someone that doesn’t exist. A flawless, uncontroversial, unnamed Democrat. By the time the election cycle will kick into full gear, we will get to see biographical ads and attack ads launched in quick succession. It’s going to take some manpower to fight back in some of these elections that will take place in Republican-favored territory.
So right now, here’s a simple exercise. Familiar yourself with the names of Gwen Graham, Ann Callis, Jerry Cannon, Andrew Romanoff, Pete Aguilar, Pete Festersen, Kevin Strousse, Shaughnessy Norton, Erin Bilbray, Sean Eldridge, Michael Eggman, Domenic Recchia, Martha Robertson amongst others. We already gave you links to some of these candidates Facebook and Twitter accounts so start simple and “follow” or “like” them.
2. Try To Stay As Local As Possible
- No races are really local anymore but a common problem we face is when the “national” party gets involved. If you are from Florida, in a gerrymandered district that really seems to be uncompetitive; look at the closest local race. Help out a neighboring state even. But try to stay as local as possible so we can show the opposing party that we want our states back.
- This is the biggest one and might be the hardest. A lot of these political operations, while they have some national help when it comes to organizing and fundraising, could always use an extra person to spread the word. Buy campaign gear to increase dollars, phonebank, participate in Get Out To Vote campaigns, show up at local rallies and convince a few like-minded friends to join you.
Democrats need to unite together. In campaigns like this, some critical races will generate more attention than others. Always stay active and we will help you out when it comes to those who look to be underrepresented!
4. Don’t Expect Perfection
- There are a few candidates we have that seem fairly progressive and will be a boon to our national party. There will likely be a few senatorial or gubernatorial prospects in the mix as well.
However for the few bright spots that will emerge, there will be some duds. There will be ones who don’t fundraise well, who make a few critical gaffes or even some that appear to be a bit too “conservative” for your liking. But do not give up, the only way we’ll get a “blue tide” is by keeping the tent large and then we can start looking at primaries or something similar in the future.
5. Defense Will Happen As Well
- Its fun to think that all the Democrats need to do is pick up seats but the truth remains that there will need to be some defense played as well. Republicans will be looking to increase their majority or trying to negate any gains that the Democrats make by ousting names such as Jim Matheson, John Barrow, Ron Barber or Raul Ruiz.
Always keep an eye what’s going on in your backyard.
6. Help Us Out!
- We will be helping you along the way, but sign up for alert system or like us on Facebook/follow us on Twitter at the links at the very top of this article. Help us help you as we will be offering constant updates as election day 2014 rolls near!