The DNC Meets The Resistance

NBC News: “Both the DNC show and its organizing program are attempts to connect with a fired-up and somewhat alienated grassroots base that has largely put its energy and money into other organizations. The DNC wants to bring into the fold ahead of the midterms and 2020 presidential race some elements of The Resistance that want nothing to do with the party organization, partly based on what is perceived as the DNC’s shabby, finger-on-the-scale treatment of Senator Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary against Hillary Clinton in 2016.”

“A sign of the problem: Last month, the DNC posted its worst April fundraising haul in eight years, even as other Democratic committees and left-leaning groups raked in cash at unprecedented rates.”

Democrats Lack a Core Economic Message

Los Angeles Times: “Democrats have no clearly defined leader or universally accepted direction aside from opposition to Trump.”

“Democrats essentially remain in the box where Hillary Clinton spent the general election: able to unify Trump opponents, but unable to craft a message for those not motivated by distaste for him.”

Said pollster Peter Hart: “The Democrats are closer to where the electorate is headed, but have shown a tin ear and an inability to understand the groups that formed the backbone of the Democratic Party for decades.”

GOP Lawmaker Says DNC Hack May Have Been ‘Inside Job’

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) told CNN that the attack of the Democratic National Committee servers may have been done by Democratic staffers.

Said Farenthold: “There’s still some question as to whether the intrusion at the DNC server was an insider job, or whether or not it was the Russians.”

When pressed on this claim, Farenthold said there is proof “circulating on the Internet.”

Democrats Have Suddenly Changed in the Trump Era

Ben Smith: “Donald Trump has already changed the Democratic Party more than his own Republican Party. While the president has merely reduced his own party into a panicked mess, the Democrats’ trajectory seems to have moved subtly and decisively away from the center-left Clinton liberalism toward a politics whose planks make Barack Obama look like Al Gore.”

“I know, it’s been a distracting month. So you’re forgiven if you missed the big development on the Democratic Party policy front: the call for ‘a large-scale, permanent program of public employment and infrastructure investment.’ That plan, titled A Marshall Plan for America, came not from Bernie Sanders but from the Center for American Progress, the Clintonite Washington think tank John Podesta led. The proposal breaks in tone and substance with the Clinton–Obama focus on an economy led and dominated by the private sector.”

“The plan’s radicalism, CAP President Neera Tanden told me, is aimed at a jobs crisis that they’re talking about with an urgency that was absent from the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration.”

House Democrats Smash Fundraising Records

“House Democrats have already raised more money in online contributions this year ahead of the midterms than they did during all of 2015, the most recently comparable year,” a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee official told NBC News.

“The unusual fundraising haul is the latest sign that President Donald Trump is motivating Democrats in extraordinary ways as the party looks to win back the 24 seats it needs to retake the House of Representatives in next year’s midterm elections and put Rep. Nancy Pelosi back in the Speaker’s chair.”

Democrats Spend Big on Online Ads

HuffPost: “This is a golden age of Democratic online organizing. According to experts, the wave of anti-Donald Trump sentiment may represent a rare opportunity for lawmakers to shift away from a reliance on big-money donors and toward a system popularized by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during his presidential run: small-dollar giving that begets sustained forms of activism.”

“Campaign fundraisers say the deluge of money currently coming in online is unlike anything the party has ever seen in the first quarter following a presidential election. More than one operative described investments in digital advertising as ‘free money,’ and as a chance for someone with an eye on the White House to build a foundation for that campaign.”

Democrats Tackle a Rebuild

Politico: “The DNC headquarters remains mostly empty, devoid of almost any senior staff. It has a new chairman, Tom Perez, but there’s still no executive director. There’s a completely new organizational chart, but the gutted political, finance, and tech offices remain in search of new leaders. In other words, the DNC is showing signs of life after a long period of dormancy, but progress is slow. And it’s about to get more painful as Democrats prepare to embark on a delicate round of group therapy sessions — otherwise known as unity commission meetings — that could reopen intraparty wounds from the Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton presidential primary fight.”

“In private conversations with fellow Democrats, new Chairman Tom Perez describes the precarious situation as trying to repair a plane that’s already in the air. The committee had been largely neglected by party leadership in the final years of Barack Obama’s presidency.”

Pelosi Says Abortion Should Not Be Litmus Test

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told the Washington Post that the Democratic Party should not impose support for abortion rights as a litmus test on its candidates.

Said Pelosi: “I grew up Nancy D’Alesandro, in Baltimore, Maryland; in Little Italy; in a very devout Catholic family; fiercely patriotic; proud of our town and heritage, and staunchly Democratic. Most of those people — my family, extended family — are not pro-choice. You think I’m kicking them out of the Democratic Party?”

Democrats Give Up Any Hope of Working with Trump

Politico: “The crisis of confidence they felt after Trump’s shocking win has faded and his record-low poll numbers have killed any incentive in their minds to suck it up and compromise with him.”

“As far as Democrats are concerned, the idea of a moderate, post-partisan staff rising to guide Trump into building bridges with them—even for the sake of building actual bridges as part of infrastructure investments Trump talks about and they agree are needed—has now entered the realm of complete fantasy.”

House Democrats Bury 2016 Autopsy Report

“House Democrats are going to extreme lengths to conceal a report on the party’s problems,” Politico reports.

“After nearly five months, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) will present his investigative report to lawmakers during a members-only gathering at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee headquarters Thursday night. But members are not allowed to have copies of the report and may view it only under the watchful eyes of DCCC staff.”

The Resistance Is Alive But Fractured

Politico: “The first three months of the Trump administration have demonstrated that the energy and anger of the electorate has shifted unmistakably to the left as Democrats assume the role of opposition party after eight years of controlling the White House.”

“But the movement is decentralized and diffuse, lacking a singular leader and splintering into multiple fronts. Ask more than a dozen progressive activists to define the goals of the Trump resistance… and receive almost as many different answers.”

Ron Brownstein: Can Democrats reconcile two very different economic visions?

Are Democrats Overlooking Their Problems?

Politico: “Trump’s first 100 days in office appear to have resuscitated the party, if for no reason other than the rank-and-file loathe him so deeply and furiously. Grassroots activism and organizing is surging. Irate Democrats are flooding GOP town halls even in conservative states like Idaho and South Carolina. Small-dollar fundraising is also on fire — six of the 10 Senate Democrats up for re-election in states Trump won collected over $2 million in the first three months of the year. For some of them, that represented more than had ever been raised in their state this early in the election cycle. But while the president has generated a vibrant culture of resistance on the left, it’s obscuring the depth of the hole that the Democratic Party still finds itself in.”

Democrats Head to Campaign School

NBC News: “If an anti-Donald Trump wave is coming, House Democrats want to be ready to catch it. So they’re sending hundreds of operatives to school in a massive training operation that they say is bigger and starting earlier than anything the party has attempted before. Over 1,300 aspiring campaign managers, field directors, and finance chiefs have so far enrolled in what the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is calling ‘DCCC-University.’”

“Sessions are scheduled in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Raleigh, North Carolina in coming weeks, as well as online, open to anyone who applies.”

The Trump Resistance Builds

“From pink-hatted protesters to big town hall turnout, the anti-Trump resistance has been in full swing since January’s inauguration. The left is taking a page out of the Tea Party playbook, and building the resistance from the grassroots up,” Axios reports.

“We saw a similar rise on the right in 2009-2010 shortly after Obama was inaugurated, and a huge number of Republican lawmakers were voted into office. That movement shook up US politics and changed the face of the Republican Party, and we could see similar aftershocks here.”