A Lesson from Kentucky

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Francesca Rheannon <rheannon05@gmail.com> writes:

Declaring #kygov election over with a 5,000-plus margin, Gov.-elect Andy Beshear appoints transition team chair and looks forward, as Bevin questions results.

Kentucky Democrats did not win the Governors race by launching esoteric attacks on Bevin about the norms and guardrails of Democracy or lofty ideals like freedom of the press even though Bevin is probably even more hostile to the press than Trump. They did it by staying lightning focused on the way that Bevin had hurt working class families.

Being back in the state was a big reminder for me about how non DC/NYC elites talk about politics. Just listen in this piece to how Teamsters Local 783 President John Stovall describes Trump. It’s way more effective than the Ukraine/Russia/norms and guardrails handwringing that you are hit over the head with here.

Stovall says that: His members who supported Trump are “starting to see that (the rhetoric) is not true. What he’s done is he’s hurt the middle class and lower income and his tax credits and all that have benefited the rich.” Simple. Straightforward. Connected to people’s lives. Not contempt-filled, judgey or condescending.

New polls this week of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan have shown that Trump is in position to win the Electoral College again. Dems shouldn’t use this Kentucky victory as an excuse to feel like everything is going fine with their impeachment strategy and national messaging, instead they should use it as an opportunity to learn from this “red state” that unexpectedly turned blue on the back of a working class populist backlash.

About D. Posnett MD

Emeritus Prof. of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
This entry was posted in 2020 elections, Canvassing, democrats, Education, GOP, Health Care, Trump, Uncategorized, Zeldin and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Lesson from Kentucky

  1. bcolbath42 says:

    First of all, I do not trust Krystal Ball. She has said some really unhelpful things lately.

    Leaving that aside, the approach of just attacking Trump qua Trump will be a certain loser. This is especially true if the economy stays strong — as measured by the Dow, gross unemployment numbers, etc. There was a recent analysis examining unemployment rates in various battleground states and, if memory serves me, in all but one state unemployment increased. There was another recent study that found farm bankruptcies to have increased by 24% since the Trump trade wars began. House prices across the country have fallen. Healthcare uninsured levels have risen. These are the issues that are impacting the heartland and should be the message. Do we really think that a family in Oklahoma is sitting around reading the Ukraine testimony

  2. Nobody is talking about Krystal Ball. It is about Teamsters President John Stovall. Watch the video. It is effective. Your comments about bankruptcies, unemployment and housing prices feed right in to this narrative. And even the Ukraine testimony, which is considered less important than the bread and butter issues. Sounds like you agree!

  3. This is exactly why we need a real progressive agenda – one that draws the distinctions clearly and makes clear that Trump has always been a sham and never had the interests of working Americans in mind. We need a candidate that has bona fide progressive credentials, one who has been fighting for working people his entire career. As Paul Krugman astutely pointed out the other day – considering the state we’re in we cannot afford to nominate a centrist. Bernie IS electable and will go beyond the rhetoric to put programs in place that benefit working Americans

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