It was a little blip on the political radar screen during the just-past election. Did it alter the results? Hell no. But it was awfully indicative of the Democrats’ inability — from the small town level all the way up to Hillary Clinton’s campaign — to offer voters any reason to vote for them other than obsessively shrieking, The Other Guy’s a Jerk.
The Indiana state democratic party a few weeks before the election sent out a mailer targeted to Republicans and conservative Democrats. It said, in essence, if you’re a good conservative, then carpetbagger Trey Hollingsworth is not the guy for you. Rather, vote for an “Indiana native,” Libertarian Russell Brooksbank.
It did not tout the party’s own candidate, Shelli Yoder. It didn’t even mention her.
Yoder & Hollingsworth
Hollingsworth is the son of privilege who moved to the Hoosier State in the fall of 2015, solely for the purpose — it is said — of running for Congress from Indiana’s 9th District. Hollingsworth’s old man reportedly dumped $4 million in cash into his boy’s war chest. Democrat Shelli Yoder raised cain about it but voters apparently couldn’t have cared less, electing Hollingsworth by a healthy 14 percent.
The party thought the race would be neck and neck. Some polls had showed Yoder and Hollingsworth dead even as late as a week before the election. State-level Dem strategists figured anything we can do to chip a vote or two away from Hollingsworth has got to be good.
It turns out the Dems needed to chip away upwards of 50,000 votes. No matter.
What does matter is the strategy itself. Yoder sold a fairly healthy package of proposals and philosophies. Still, the party felt the need to rely on its stale shriek.
Sez one party insider: “The mailer’s irrelevant. It’s not a story. It didn’t affect the outcome one way or the other.
Another insider argues: “It left the state party with egg on its face and was an embarrassment for Shelli.”
I’ll quibble with with Insider No. 1 only in pointing out the mailer damned well is a story — it screams of the dearth of creativity and understanding among those who make decisions within the Democratic Party, at all levels, in this year of somebody’s lord, 2016.
And my sole quibble with Insider No.2 is the entire goddamned election left all Democrats with egg on their faces. This was just one minute speck of albumen.