I’m really torn on this debate. On the one hand, I don’t really think purity is affordable if you actually want to beat the Republicans, and Lemieux is right that the Bernie Sanders model isn’t downscaleable to the state senate level. But on the other hand, even apart from being associated with bad rich people with bad ideas who are donors, the real problem that confronts us is that picking candidates mainly by their ability to fundraise is a big problem because it keeps giving Democrats shitty candidates who lose winnable races. Money is important, but it’s ultimately only as good as the message it’s being spent on. And that message is, all too typically, focus-grouped garbage that moves nobody, often obviously an afterthought, which is the opposite of how it should work. Ralph Northam got pretty much universal party backing because he could raise money, but he has no consistent message, and, well

I keep coming back to the apparent reality that what Democratic consultants and political pros learned from 2016 was nothing. Not all areas are going to prefer a Democratic candidate who has Bernie-style views on economics and social issues, but numerically speaking not every Bernie voter could possibly be a democratic socialist. Picking a moderate who doesn’t really have any beliefs or values and then slaloming between impactless positive ads and “…but this Republican is really nuts!” is how things are done but it shouldn’t be. Find people who understand average people and who know how to tell a story first. There are probably even a few moderates who know how to do this!

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