Friday, October 23, 2020
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Executive Summary: Hard Lessons from the Deeds (and other) Campaigns

The day after the Deeds Campaign and the Democratic Party of Virginia lost the election, I wrote my after-action report from the point of view of a grassroots worker, and published it on the blog bluecommonwealth in three parts. This report highlighted what I regarded prophetically as systemic problems in the DPVA. It was, at popular request, condensed into an executive summary and circulated about. In view of the recent elections, I am re-publishing that summary inasmuch as very little has changed (unfortunately), and the observations and conclusions might add to today's dicussions.

Do not believe the self-serving explanations for the recent Republican landslide victory in Virginia, such Conventional Wisdom mantras as: "Deeds was weak and ran a lousy campaign," "Obama wasn't an issue, it was all local," "Democrats were over-confident, history was against them," and the ever-useful, "Democrats were exhausted by the Presidential campaign and couldn't whip up any enthusiasm, whereas Republicans were angry."  

All these no doubt have a kernel of truth but they are mostly CYA.  The loss goes deeper than the Powers That Be care to admit---- or even acknowledge.  What follows is a summary of my first take on the systemic problems in the Democratic Party which this election exposed, and which I believe must be addressed, or greater defeats will follow. (First published in extended versions on in three parts entitled "Hard Lessons," with Tag "Reform Handbook;" that Tag includes other analyses by other authors as well).  Disclosure: I am an ordinary  member of a local Democratic Committee in the City of Fairfax; I had been a life-long Republican until May of 2004, when I converted.  This is entirely IMO: