An open letter to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

Conor Lamb

If you lower the bar far enough a slug can win the high-jump.

Got this email the other day from

Dear Activist,

On Tuesday night, Democrat Conor Lamb won in PA-18, a district that voted for Trump by nearly 20 points.

This district is so conservative it once was represented by Rick Santorum — winning here is a BIG deal. So we want to send Conor a thank you card from grassroots Democrats everywhere — will you add your name?

Sign our card to congratulate Conor Lamb on his victory, and say you’re all in for 2018 to help Democrats compete in EVERY election!

We are seeing Democrats’ enthusiasm all over the country. In the last year, Democrats have:
• Won in ruby red Alabama
• Elected Democratic governors in New Jersey and Virginia
• Flipped 39 state legislature seats from red to blue

But we can’t make this the only win of 2018. We have so many Democratic Senators up for re-election in November — we need you to use this same energy to help Democrats win everywhere.

Add your name if you want to help Democrats flip the Senate blue!

If we can hold on to our seats and flip two red ones blue, Democrats can control the Senate. Conor Lamb’s victory shows that we can win anywhere, so it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get the job done. Are you in?

Thank you,


I’m not sure how I got on this list, but I do want to take a moment to reply.


Dear DSCC,

Thank you for writing. Now, do fuck off.

Yes, a Democrat won, but only in the sense that a Republican by any other name, etc etc.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m damned happy to have another seat out of control of the Koch-gargling, race-baiting GOP. On the two-party scorecard, sure, this is a big deal.

But beyond the pragmatics – as in, how damned low can the bar really go? – you have to be desperate for success to ramp up any enthusiasm for Conor Lamb. At best he’s what we might call a “Trump Democrat.”

If Lamb made anything clear in his campaign, it’s that he most certainly will vote with Trump on occasion. On guns, for one thing: Lamb opposes a ban on assault weapons, such as the AR-15 he was shown firing in one of his campaign ads. He supports the president’s trade policies, too including the new tariffs. He pooh-poohs single-payer healthcare. He’s as “pro-military” as a person could be. (He is also “personally opposed” to abortion, though he says it should be legal.)

If he’s done or said anything critical of Donald Trump, it hasn’t been within earshot of a reporter.

Not that any of this surprises me – the Democratic leadership hasn’t had a clue since … no, wait, give me a second … I’ll come back to it. They must have gotten something right sometime.

The article continues:

But the Democratic establishment doesn’t just see Lamb as a model for running in deep-red districts that are overwhelmingly white. They want him to be a model for Democrats running everywhere – to see Lamb’s victory, in Jonathan Chait’s words at New York, as “proof of concept for a strategy that could replicate itself across the country.” And so, of course, do the conservative Blue Dogs. Tim Ryan, the anti-Bernie Bro from Ohio who challenged Pelosi for speaker last year, says that Lamb “embodies to me what the next iteration of the Democratic Party is going to look like. Veterans, working class, really representing people who are underemployed, who were maybe making some decent money 10-15 years ago but aren’t now.”

The Dem philosophy since the ’80s has been pretty predictable: Republican-Lite. When they move right and get whacked, their conclusion is that they didn’t move far enough right. It’s hard to blame the voter. I mean, if you’re going to vote for a Republican you might as well, you know, vote for a Republican. And if you want to vote for a Democrat, good luck finding one.

The worst part, though, is how they work to kneecap any candidate to the left of Nixon. The Houston example linked below is instructive, and there was also that Bernie guy a couple years ago.

Tell you what. You faux-Democrats can get all stiff-nippled over Lamb if you want. From where I sit, though, it accomplishes nothing if we elect a pack of “Democrats” who are indistinguishable from the GOP. If you lower the bar far enough a slug can win the high-jump.

In the interest of fairness, I acknowledge the opinions of those I respect who think I’m wrong. Their take is Lamb was pro-union, pro-choice and anti-Ryan, all of which are good things.

Maybe, but even if I buy that:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is pursuing a centrist strategy for winning in the fall, working in close coordination with the Blue Dog Coalition. The DCCC chair, Ben Ray Lujan, started the cycle last year by announcing there would be no “litmus test for Democratic candidates,” signaling that the Democrats would support “candidates that fit the district.” Which is code for: You can hate abortion and Obamacare and love guns and run like a Republican, and we’ll still support you if we think you can win. In places where Democrats have both progressive and moderate candidates running in primaries, the party has tried to persuade left-wingers (including some notable candidates of color) to step out of the race—in some cases, sharing “opposition research” they expect Republicans would use against the leftie in a general election. In Texas, before a congressional primary in Houston, the Democrats went public with their opposition research against the most liberal candidate in the field. (It backfired pretty spectacularly.)

How about this – instead of trying to put up meaningless statistics, how about supporting candidates who’ll govern in the best interests of the people they allegedly represent?

Your mission may be cut-and-dried: elect folks in blue shirts. For those of us actually trying to get by in the face of a government that seems bent on killing us, though, it doesn’t matter what color laundry the neo-feudalist sociopath is sporting.

We’re trying to win a war here. Now, if you useless Vichy motherfuckers will step aside…



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