This just in from Neil B. Goldstein, long-time New York politico:
At least a couple of the Democratic Presidential candidates have argued that it’s not enough to merely defeat Trump and elect a traditional Democrat. They passionately tell us that compromise solutions have failed our nation in the past, and led to the subsequent election of Republicans. What the country needs now, and is yearning for, they say, is fundamental change. And they tell us that, if they are elected, that is what they will deliver.
So, is there any realistic chance that can do what they say. Or is it all delusional “happy talk” aimed at voters so desperate for change that they are willing to suspend mature judgment and be conned one more time?
The problem with fulfilling these candidates’ vision and their promises is that enacting the ambitious, fundamental change they propose requires the votes of Congress. And that’s not going to happen as long as there continues to be a Republican Senate majority under Mitch McConnell. So, it turns out that the single most crucial question to ask in 2020 isn’t, which Presidential candidate is most electable? It’s, which Presidential candidate is going to make it possible to win the Senate?
Let me put that more precisely, because it’s so important: WHICH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WILL ENABLE US TO ELECT DEMOCRATS TO THE SENATE IN THOSE STATES WHERE REPUBLICAN SEATS ARE WINNABLE, AND WILL MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO RETAIN ANY DEMOCRATIC SENATORS WHO ARE VULNERABLE? The answer to that question — and the choice we make in response to that answer is crucial, because, unless we can capture the Senate, too, all those ideas about fundamental change go right out the window. In fact, even modest change (e.g. restoring a liberal Supreme Court majority) will remain impossible under a Democratic President without a Democratic Senate.
According to my reading, those states that are in play are Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Colorado and Maine. Take a good look at that list when you choose who you want to head our Party’s ticket. The special election taking place this month in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional district tells us quite a bit about what the Republican strategy will be to hold those seats. What is going on there, shows that the Republican strategy to paint the Democrats as a party of radicals continues to work to defeat us in North Carolina. And it could work in the other key Senate states as well. In that contest, the Republicans are trying to paint the Democrat, Allen Thomas, as a socialist radical — tying him to Ilhan Omar, Rashid Tlaib, AOC, Bernie Sanders and the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
And their strategy is working . . . the Republican is ahead by 9 points! Sure, a Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren could stop building Trump’s border wall or put an end to Trump’s family separation policy through executive action alone . . . ANY Democrat could and would. But their plans to outlaw private health insurance or to address the climate change crisis will require Senate acquiescence, and that will require a Democratic majority in the Senate. The irony is that, if they top the ticket, that’s not going to happen.