Long story short, we’ve played defense too long. The result is that we have lost seats, most notably in state legislatures.
But crisis equals opportunity, as they say, and while we talk about reaching voters, what we really need is more candidates.
So, for example, Orrin Hatch is up for re-election in 2018. Here’s a handy list of all the 2018 Senate races. Of course Hatch will get a challenger, but all the state senators, state reps, county sheriffs (or whatever) who expect no opposition and will have lots of time to help Hatch? We should surprise them with challengers.
GOOD challengers, ideally, but the current situation calls for rolling the dice more than we usually do.
The old method was to, challenge, say, Rick Santorum with a guy like Bob Casey — swallow Casey’s flaws, and hope he wins. Great — but err on the side of challenging every Republican officeholder. No safe seats, up and down the ticket.
It’s easier said than done. But it will do us good in two ways.
1. Not enough people run for office as Democrats. We need to lower the barriers to entry.
2. We need to energize our base.
Can it hurt? Yes. Guys like Jeff Perry damaged the GOP brand in Massachusetts. But the damage was temporary.
What have we got to lose?