Category Archives: Democrats

Beyond ‘Trump, bad’

by Nathaniel Smith, The Times of Chester County, 6/23/18

The June 16 editorial “For GOP candidates the question is: To Trump or not to Trump?” makes a lot of good points about this year’s enthusiasm gap between the two major parties (see also the recent Pew poll) and the untenable position in which Trumpist extremism has put Republican voters.

The one critique I would make is of the assertion that “Democrats have been disorganized and completely unable to come up with a message beyond ‘Trump, bad.’”

Nationally, Dem politics right now does tend to be reactive, because the Trump game is publicity and power at all costs, however outrageous the issue at hand. Trump locks up small children without their parents… Dems and others react… Trump says he’ll lock up small children with their parents… What next?

At the County level, though, Dems have long been very conscious of the question “What do Democrats stand for?”…

keep reading in The Times of Chester County

Report from the PA Dem State Committee, May 15-16, 2018

by Bill Scott and John Hellmann
The Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee met on Friday and Saturday, June 15-16, 2018, at the Sheraton Hersey Hotel in Harrisburg.
The first day consisted of “Deminars” (seminars) educating attendees on topics such as New Chair Training, Engaging GenZ, New State Committee Member Training, Finance Compliance and Reporting, and Best Practices for Party Building. There were also caucus meetings for Veterans, LGBT, Labor, Rural and a DNC Committee meeting. In the late afternoon there was a Women Candidates forum followed by dinner. All caucus and Deminar meetings are open to the general public as well as to credentialed State Committee members.

Many feel that the first day (Friday) is the more stimulating of the two because then a lot of one-on-one conversations and politicking take place in the lobbies, restaurants, and elsewhere around the Hotel.  The banquet that night, for many, is the highlight of the weekend. (Cost is $20.18 per ticket.)  Democrats of national importance (Senators, Congressional Representatives, Governors, Cabinet Members and the like) appear and give significant speeches.  This time it was Conor Lamb, the new Congressman from western PA who recently won a special election in a Republican District against a candidate backed by Trump.  Lamb flipped the seat and gained much positive attention for our side.  It’s no secret that he is a nice-looking young man who stands tall at the podium.  Many have seen TV clips of him speaking on the stump.  But the banquet was a different kind of forum.  Lamb gave a speech of standard Democratic fare but he did so with humor and  a  fresh, appealing, and dynamic delivery.  He was a big hit.

The second day, the morning consisted of meetings for the Black, Progressive, Senior, County Chairs, Women’s, Latino and PA Young Democrats Caucuses.

Late morning hosted the Regional Caucuses which represent the Commonwealth by geographical regions: Southeast (the largest with 73 members), Philly (next with 49), Allegheny, Northeast, Northwest, North Central, South Central, and the Southwest.  Elections for caucus officers was conducted. The functions of the regional caucuses are to discuss issues of concern for their regions, pass nonbinding resolutions, provide a forum for statewide candidates, and make recommendations for endorsements.
The Southeast region consists of Berks, Bucks, Chester and Delaware Counties.  It will be critical for taking back the US House in this November’s General Election. 
The official business of the State Committee Meeting began at 12 noon.  315 Delegates were in attendance.
The outgoing Chair, Jack Hanna, spoke about the current incumbent in the White House threatening our life in America.  The ripping apart of families runs counter to the American way. We may lose the American Dream.  The recently passed tax bill means attacks on working families. The eroding of healthcare services means more of the same. To achieve commonsense gun regulations we look to Young Democrats to lead the way.  There are seven women US Congressional Candidates up for the General Election.  They need our support. Our job is to provide a venue and a structure to make change in our country.
We need to assist diversity in the Democratic Party.  There are reforms needed on the role of Superdelegates at the National Convention such as not allowing them to vote on the first ballot.  Hanna also spoke about the #METOO movement as an important milestone in how we as human beings treat each other.  He received a standing ovation from the committee in appreciation of his service.
Just as, locally, the Chester County Democratic Committee recently elected their officers following the Primary of the year the Governor is elected, so too the State Committee is required to do the same.  Candidates for State Committee Chair, Vice-Chair, and Treasurer were nominated and spoke.  Only recently elected PA Democratic State Committee Members could participate, i.e., speak, nominate, second and vote.  The meeting, however, was open to the general public.
Nancy Mills was overwhelmingly elected to be State Party Chair with 216 votes. She is the first woman elected to this position in the history of the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania. She had spoken about how our defeats in the past will drive us now.  This is where we learn.  As State Chair she will balance the interests of urban and rural areas.  We must move together; otherwise, “…this man can be reelected who puts babies into concentration camps.”  We must win elections to prepare for 2020.
Sharif Street was elected to Vice-Chair by unanimous acclamation as was Alex Reber for Treasurer. (Photo: newly elected State leadership. Standing left to right: Sharif Street, Nancy Mills and Alex Reber.)
Following the general business meeting, votes were conducted to elect Executive Committee members by State Senatorial Districts.  The committee will meet as needed to select statewide candidates for special elections.
The meeting adjourned around 3 PM.
If there are issues of concern, please let your State Committee members know so they can be brought to the attention of the statewide organization.

Voters More Focused on Control of Congress – and the President – Than in Past Midterms

There are many interesting findings in this Pew poll, conducted June 5-12: Pew Research Center, 6/20/18.

For one, the issues on which voters trust one party or the other more show wide discrepancies, up to the 32% spread on environment–which is not surprising, since the Trump administration has made clear its disdain for any and all measures to reduce global warming, preserve natural parks, and protect the environment:

In another finding, voter enthusiasm about voting has risen to unusual levels, as “A majority of voters who favor the Democratic candidate in their district (55%) say they are more enthusiastic about voting than usual” and enthusiasm among Republican voters is almost as high; 50% of voters who prefer the GOP candidate say they are more enthusiastic than usual.” The Dem enthusiasm rate happens to be the same 55% as the R rate in 2010, the disastrous year when the Tea Party opened the gate for the GOP to become the Party of Trump; but the current challenge for Dems is that the R enthusiasm rate in June 2018 is higher than the D rate in June 2010, with 4.5 months to go till the general election.

Read much more at
Pew Research Center

Thomas Friedman: Vote Dem for US House and Senate!

Thomas L. Friedman likes to stick to issues like trade and human rights, illustrated by anecdotes derived from his world travels and conversations with heads of state. This time, though, the subject is at home and the issue is preserving our democracy from the clutches of Donald Trump. Friedman in effect invites us all to become single-issue voters.

From “Sounding Code Red: Electing the Trump Resistance,” New York Times, 5/29/18:

If I were writing the choice on a ballot, it would read: “Are you in favor of electing a majority of Democrats in the House and/or Senate to put a check on Trump’s power — when his own party demonstrably will not? Or are you in favor of shaking the dice for another two years of unfettered control of the House, the Senate and the White House by a man who wants to ignore Russia’s interference in our election; a man whose first thought every morning is, ‘What’s good for me, and can I get away with it?’; a man who shows no compunction about smearing any person or government institution that stands in his way; and a man who is backed by a party where the only members who’ll call him out are those retiring or dying?”

If your answer is the former, then it can only happen by voting for the Democrat in your local House or Senate race.

Because what we’ve learned since 2016 is that the worst Democrat on the ballot for the House or Senate is preferable to the best Republican, because the best Republicans have consistently refused to take a moral stand against Trump’s undermining of our law enforcement and intelligence agencies, the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Civil Service, the basic norms of our public life and the integrity of our elections….