Despite Huge Wins for Democrats Nationwide, Democrats In Iowa Have Lost Big Time
Thank you for the work. As I opined about what happened to Iowa in the Discord, I am reminded one of the reasons I am a subscriber here is because you tell that story, both how it has happened and how it may continue. As much as I hate the GOP agenda, especially the crassness of people like Bird, I am reminded that Democrats aren't providing much of a counter to that energy. At a certain point, polite point-making is a proven loser. Get people fired up, it's not like you've got a single seat to lose at this point.
And this quote says it so well: "They are the media equivalents of chain stores, offering a desirable product at a cheap price but ultimately sapping the life from the communities they say they serve." Like Dollar Stores and cheap fast food, anger media is the easiest to find, and it's designed to be addictive and engaging. It's hard to fight that.
My condolences. I have steadfastly refused to look at any news today. But I did read your newsletter and now I know that it is mostly safe to check the results. I am so sorry about the election results in Iowa. I am also sick about the Democrat Party's failures there and elsewhere. Remember Jim Hightower? "There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos."
First off, sorry. Second, this: "It’s understandable to try to go high when the candidate goes low, but in a state sapped of media outlets, putting it all on the line for votes, and getting scrappy, as John Fetterman did in Pennsylvania, doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Also, sanctimony has never polled well or got good headlines." The number of times my wife and I talk about this and just wish for Democrats to (metaphorically? occasionally literally?) just punch someone in the nose and not turn the other cheek. By all means, be eloquent and smart when you get to office. But on your way there, bust some jaws, please.
As a Floridian this all lands very close to home for me too. Thanks to gerrymandering, voter suppression and total lack of engagement from the DNC, Florida now is a supermajority Republican state and that's just infuriating.
I'm depressed. If it weren't for my three little granddaughters I would move from Iowa. I feel like there is no hope for things to change here. It isn't just that Republicans won. It is that Trump Republicans won. I moved here 32 years ago thinking Iowa was more progressive and valued edcation more than Texas or NM where I grew up. Now ignorance, hate, and fear of other reigns.
Eastern Iowa had great D candidates all up and down the ballot. No one outworked Thede, Figaro, and VandeGaast around here. Still Scott Co is now almost 100% R along with the State. Frustrating listening to DCCC ads running locally for Illinois candidates alone and chirps for Iowa. State party was a nonexistent player again in this area. When they don’t even try to play in the field they are handicapping the candidates and drag down the “party apparatus” if one even remains. As a union guy I reserve the right to critique the total lack of outreach by unions. Sure the glossy mailers are nice touches for the USPS but the lack of gotv is appalling. Membership education, or lack there of, has allowed the R drumbeats of individualism to critically hamper what used to be a reliable bloc.
It wasn't a Red Wave. It was a Red Wedding...
I know people who are talking about moving out of Iowa. Farmers yammering about imminent domain will have their lands taken from them. Any pregnancy problems for the women of Iowa and the religious right against all abortions and the LGBTQ community will some day have their comeuppance. Karma does come to roost. It may take time but it does come.
Spot on. All the changes you rightly note go hand in glove with the devolution of K-12 education in this state that once was a national model of effective teaching. Workers don’t read and AM radio gets primary attention along with myths about little furries and litter boxes. It’s viscera over reason, and it’s a severe steep climb back.
I see you, from Tennessee, where our solidly Democratic district 5 was gerrymandered out of existence and an asswipe former neighbor of my parents (and Trump acolyte) Andy Ogles is now headed to Washington. Our Party has zero national support. It’s a terrible feeling to know that the rest of the Party in your nation has just written the Democratic people in the state off and left us to drown.
On the subject of Iowa campaign strategy...from CA, I train phonebankers across the country to call voters in swing states. Because I am from Iowa, and love lots of Iowans, we also got involved there. I will say that it was the ONLY state where the campaigns trained folks to call and focus only on their candidate's positives. "Can't we talk about how bad candidate x is? No. That's negative. Maybe if they bring it up..." WTF? That is OLD thinking and it doesn't work when we are in this dire situation. Since 2016, Rachel Biticofer has been trying to get Dems to campaign on negative partisanship and plain old fear. Why? Because it works. Because we are facing an existential threat to our country. Dems across the country, (including the DNC and finally Biden), leaned into that. In fact, they've been leaning into it since 2018, though with varying degrees of commitment. Many reasons for what happened in Iowa, but that is definitely one of them. Sad this morning for all my hard working Iowa friends and family who put their all into this election. Democracy is very hard work.
The only good thing about Iowa’s Red Wedding is that everything that happens is now on the Republican Party. But, Iowans are so anxious to own the libs, uninformed, and full of revenge that they will still believe it’s Nancy Pelosi’s fault.
Let's talk about laundry - washing machines in particular. In the early 1970's my grandparents remodeled their house and they bought Maytag. You know, the dependability people featuring the lonely Maytag repair person. They were made in Newton, Iowa. In the late 1980's when I was getting ready to graduate from college, I read a book where the title was something like "100 Best Companies to Work For in the USA". One of those companies was Maytag. Fast forward several years later, Whirlpool took over and shut down in Newton. The quality also went down. We recently replaced our washer and dryer, and Maytag was on our list to investigate, but we ended up with Speed Queen made in Ripon, Wisconsin - it is what Maytag used to be.
I would have loved to be an engineer for the old Maytag. In Southwestern Ohio where I come from, we were an industrial powerhouse back in its heyday. Dayton, Ohio had a lot of engineers working for a lot of companies and for the government. There is still industry, but it is not what it once was. I am part of the Ohio brain drain.
Finally, I have never been to Iowa. I first heard of Iowa on a 1970's television show called "Apples Way" (made by Lorimar [Warner Bros] - the people who brought us the Waltons and Eight is Enough). I might just have to take a trip to Iowa someday just to say I have been there. In the meantime, what should I see in your state?
Now for my final final word: As in any profession, we engineers have to live where the jobs are - I am an electrical hardware engineer and that means I need to be physically present at work even during the pandemic (Note: Electrical Engineers who specialize in digital signal processing and image processing can work fully remote - for example, image processing to detect cancer in an X-Ray is an electrical engineering function, even when using AI - it is math intense - although software engineers can make it work faster.).
My friends in California often confuse Iowa and Ohio - they are very different from each other. I would like to learn about Iowa.
Thanks Lyz for this. I want to read it again and digest it more thoroughly. I believe you meant Ras Smith ran for governor, not president.
Thank you very much for this, your words are striking and eloquent but equally as devastating. As a volunteer with Moms Demand Action, the results on Public Measure 1 - a very extreme measure to add strict scrutiny to the 2nd amendment in the state constitution - won by a troubling margin. Gun violence in Iowa continues to trend upwards with the greatest risk being firearm suicide. When testifying in Committee and in front of the Sec of State's office about the severity of the measure and the difficulty for voters to understand the complexity, lawmakers rebuked that it's the job of volunteers and advocacy organizations to inform voters. Extremely difficult to do without a strong media network or voter guide.
It's a very depressing day to wake up as a queer and trans Jew in Iowa. I have so many fears about how the gun amendment is going to make it harder for synagogues, for example, to protect ourselves. I'm not surprised, but I don't think it ever gets easier to watch the erosion of our rights.