Democrats Turn to Hollywood for Messaging Help

The DNC and members of Congress “are turning to Hollywood for help with voter turnout and messaging ahead of the midterm elections and 2020 presidential campaign, quietly consulting with a group of actors, writers and producers here,” Politico reports.

“DNC Chairman Tom Perez, several House members and other top elected officials have already met with the group, formed by members of the entertainment industry in the wake of the 2016 election, that participants liken to a TV writers’ room, complete with producers of such programs as Veep.”

Said writer and producer Alex Gregory: “It really is focused on what do we stand for? In some ways, how did we lose? It is a moment of soul searching right now in that, we lost to an insane person and that was more appealing that what we had to offer.”

Nearly All Democrats Want More Women Elected

NBC News: “Among registered voters of all political stripes, two-thirds (67 percent) say that the country would be better off if more women were elected to political office, while just a quarter of voters (24%) disagree. But it’s among Democrats that the pro-female candidate sentiment is most overwhelming. Nearly nine-in-10 Democrats (87%) say the country would be better off with more women in office, while 10 percent disagree.”

“Yet among Republicans, just 49% say the country would be better off with more women in office, while 38% say they disagree with that statement.”

House Democrats Seethe Over Superdelegates Plan

Politico: “The controversial issue of ‘superdelegates’ and their future in the Democratic Party led to an angry confrontation on Tuesday night between DNC Chairman Tom Perez and House Democrats… But the members’ angst may not help them as it appears that the DNC is ready to rein in the status of superdelegates, also known as ‘unpledged’ delegates, no matter what lawmakers say or do.”

Obama Will Appear at DNC Gala

“Barack Obama is set to help Democrats gear up for the 2018 midterm elections, which supporters hope could see the party take control of at least the House this year,” NBC News reports.

“Obama will appear at a Democratic National Committee Gala Dinner in Los Angeles on June 28, organizers said in an emailed invitation.“

If There’s a Democratic Civil War Nobody Told the Voters

Dana Millbank: “To peruse the coverage of the Democratic primaries of 2018, you’d think there was a battle royale within the Democratic Party: insurgent vs. establishment, Bernie vs. Hillary, progressive vs. moderate, grass roots vs. party bosses.”

“There’s been mention of a ‘battle between progressives and moderates’ (the Guardian), a Democratic ‘identity crisis’ (The Post), a ‘full-blown Democratic war’ (CNN), a ‘civil war’ (Fox News) and a ‘fight for the future of the Democratic Party; (BuzzFeed).”

“But if a civil war has been declared, somebody forgot to tell Democratic voters. They are stubbornly refusing to view 2018 through the progressive/moderate, insurgent/establishment lens…. Overriding all other considerations this year in Democratic voters’ minds (and candidates’ messages) is stopping President Trump and his congressional enablers.”

Democrats Will Never Win the Respect of Trump Voters

Paul Waldman: “In the endless search for the magic key that Democrats can use to unlock the hearts of white people who vote Republican, the hot new candidate is ‘respect.’ If only they cast off their snooty liberal elitism and show respect to people who voted for Donald Trump, Democrats can win them over and take back Congress and the White House.”

“The assumption is that if Democrats simply choose to deploy this powerful tool of respect, then minds will be changed and votes will follow. This belief, widespread though it may be, is stunningly naive. It ignores decades of history and everything about our current political environment. There’s almost nothing more foolish Democrats could do than follow that advice.”

Democrats Are Moving Left Without Self-Destructing

“During the first years of the Obama presidency, the Republican Party found itself out of power in Washington—and went to war with itself. Right-wing insurgents, mobilized under the Tea Party banner, brought out the knives against fellow Republicans deemed insufficiently conservative, particularly in party primaries and often with disastrous effect. Angry voters nominated a succession of hard-right candidates who took down more electable incumbents, inhibiting the party’s efforts to win back the Senate for six years even as it won control of the House in 2010,” Bloomberg reports.

“Democrats, likewise shut out of power in the early years of the Trump presidency, face a similarly rebellious activist flank that risks pulling their party to an unelectable extreme by defeating Establishment-friendly candidates. But so far the left-wing ‘resistance’ hasn’t sparked an intraparty civil war so much as a genteel coffee-table discussion. During the first big wave of primaries this month, Democratic centrists did something their GOP counterparts often couldn’t during the Obama years: They survived. Instead of nominating radical outsiders, voters mostly went with moderate incumbents. Putting off any significant discussion about what the party truly stands for is just fine for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who on May 8 said at an event in Washington, ‘Just win baby.'”

Democrats Lose Ground with Millennials

Reuters/Ipsos poll: “The online survey of more than 16,000 registered voters ages 18 to 34 shows their support for Democrats over Republicans for Congress slipped by about 9 percentage points over the past two years, to 46% overall. And they increasingly say the Republican Party is a better steward of the economy.”

“Although nearly two of three young voters polled said they do not like Republican President Donald Trump, their distaste for him does not necessarily extend to all Republicans or translate directly into votes for Democratic congressional candidates.”

National Democrats Intervene In Primary Fights

New York Times: “With their forceful intervention in Orange County, national Democrats have lunged into an impatient new phase of the 2018 primary season — one in which they are clashing more openly with candidates and local political chieftains in their drive to assemble a slate of recruits for the midterms.”

“In districts from Southern California to Little Rock, Ark., and upstate New York, the party has begun interceding to help the Democrats it sees as best equipped to battle Republicans in the fall.”

“The approach is laced with peril for a party divided over matters of ideology and political strategy, and increasingly dominated by activists who tend to resent what they see as meddling from Washington. A Democratic effort to undercut a liberal insurgent in a Houston-area congressional primary in March stirred an outcry on the left and may have inadvertently helped drive support to that candidate, Laura Moser, who qualified for the runoff.”

Clyburn Backs Leadership Shakeup If Democrats Fail

Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) says this year’s midterm election is the last shot for the current Democratic leadership, Politico reports.

Said Clyburn: “If we’re still in the minority, all of us have got to go.”

Playbook: “Clyburn has been at the leadership table for years. He is now the only member of House Democratic leadership who has voiced what many have said behind-the-scenes: that if Dems can’t win in November it’s time for new leadership. Many Democrats complain privately that even if they take the House, it is time for Nancy Pelosi and her team to step aside and make way for the next generation.”

DNC Files Lawsuit Alleging Collusion to Disrupt Election

“The DNC filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the Russian government, the Trump campaign and the WikiLeaks organization alleging a far-reaching conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 campaign and tilt the election to Donald Trump,” the Washington Post reports.

“The complaint, filed in federal district court in Manhattan, alleges that top Trump campaign officials conspired with the Russian government and its military spy agency to hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump by hacking the computer networks of the Democratic Party and disseminating stolen material found there.”

“The lawsuit echoes a similar legal tactic that the Democratic Party used during the Watergate scandal. In 1972, the DNC filed suit against former president Richard Nixon’s reelection committee seeking $1 million in damages for the break-in at Democratic headquarters in the Watergate building.”

The Democratic ‘Civil War’ Is More Civil Than War

Francis Wilkinson: “Some civil war talk is likely a product of bothsidesism — the desire of pundits and reporters to find symmetry in increasingly asymmetrical political parties. Republicans have accommodated themselves to chaos and corruption so surely the Democrats must be ready to combust, too.”

“Except that the Democratic Party is not much like the Republican Party. As Lara Putnam and Theda Skocpol wrote in a much-discussed article about surging grassroots Democratic action in suburbs and small cities, sightings of a Democratic Tea Party, let alone a smash-everything Trumpist-style rampage, are largely chimerical. The movement against Trump is led by plenty of level-headed people, especially women.”

“The chaotic divider of America will remain a uniter of Democrats as long as he is in office. If there is a Democratic civil war to come, it is off in the distance — hopefully a brighter place — in which Trump and his coterie have met whatever fate awaits them.”