If Dems were smart, they’d watch and learn from the opening segment of today’s Morning Joe.

In his item of last night, Prof. Jacobson noted how Dems were taking the wrong lesson from the election, claiming that a close loss was a win. The message from Morning Joe was starkly different.

As Mark Halperin put it this morning, this was an “unmitigated disaster” for the Dems.

Joe Scarborough said that “all the chips were pushed to the middle of the table here. This was a winner take all and it was a huge win for Republicans and a big loss for Democrats.”

In analyzing the loss, the panel pointed to the failure of Dems to nominate candidates who reflect the district.

Joe once again broke out his line about Ossoff looking like a walk-on in the movie “Reds,” about American Communists during the Russian Revolution. But Halperin made the point that party leaders don’t control the process. They might want to choose more moderate candidates, but in the primaries, the very liberal base of the party will tend to nominate one of its own.

Joe and Mika had another warning for Dems: participating in marches, being out there singing and chanting with people who agree with you, might make you feel good, but it’s the hard work of knocking on doors and listening to others that wins elections.

Note: I’d call attention to the very beginning of the clip, where we hear Ossoff in his concession speech.

After months of claiming to be a centrist, of saying the election was not about Trump, etc., Ossoff revealed his true colors, claiming in apocalyptic terms that “darkness has kept across this planet  . . . at a time when politics has been dominated by fear and hatred and scapegoating and division.”

I have a feeling that the voters in Georgia saw through Ossoff’s claims of moderation, and understood that he was indeed the Nancy Pelosi liberal that Handel depicted him to be.

And is it just me, or can one hear some of Barack Obama’s cadences in Ossoff’s speech?

JON OSSOFF: The more than 12,000 of you who, as darkness has kept across this planet, have provided a beacon of hope for people here in Georgia, for people across the country, and for people around the world . . . At a time when politics has been dominated by fear and hatred and scapegoating and division, this community stood up, women in this community stood up.
[ Cheers and applause ]

. . .

JOE SCARBOROUGH: All the chips were pushed to the middle of the table here. This was a winner-take-all and it was a huge win for Republicans and a big loss for Democrats . . . If you have a young guy like that without a family, he’s not been in the community, he doesn’t live in the community, he doesn’t teach Sunday school or go to the synagogue every Saturday. If he doesn’t coach baseball, if they don’t know who he is, then it’s a lot easier to stick a picture of Nancy Pelosi next to Jon Ossoff and say, oh, if you’re voting for this guy, you’re voting for Nancy Pelosi.

If you get a guy or a woman that’s from the district, that people have seen in worship services for 30 years, that know their families, they’re at the PTA, you know, you get a guy who is a banker, a small community bank that talks, oh, come on now, Jim, you know me, I’m going to represent you, I’m not going to represent that Nancy Pelosi. You know, not even trying to be funny here, it just the truth. And I think that’s one of the Democrats’ biggest challenges coming off the last night.

. . .

MARK HALPERIN: It’s an unmitigated disaster for the Democrats who are about an eighth of the way through Donald Trump’s term. We’re an eighth of the way through and to paraphrase Pauline Kale, most of the people in the liberal wing of the party think of course Donald Trump is a disaster, everyone in the country hates him, of course everything is going to be a referendum on him.

This, there is not a perfect test. I don’t think Ossoff was that bad a candidate. I take your point about not being a perfect fit for the district. But it is one of the most educated districts in the country. And he wasn’t running against the best political athlete of all time in the new congresswoman-elect.

The reason I think this is such a disaster for Democrats is they put everything in, as you said. This was a race that they could have won and they came up short. And you talk about candidate recruitment. Could they have recruited a better candidate than Ossoff? The problem is, it’s easy to say if you’ve got a strong party, we’re going to recruit candidates to match the districts.

But the liberal wing of the party is ascendant. And so in a lot of the primaries that are coming up that will determine who their nominees are, they can’t recruit, and be sure they’re going to get nominees who are the perfect fit.

. . .

JOE: Marching in the streets, great pictures, makes you look good.

MIKA: Exactly.

JOE: Does not win elections.

MIKA: Well here’s what I said to one of my best friends who took part in the Women’s March. And it’s to your point. They’re great, you’re shouting in the street, you’re chanting and you’re singing with people who agree with you. So going out and knocking on doors, as you talked about, gets you listening.

And we’re seeing the same problem that we’ve seen all along, the same problem we saw when we had the second-in-command of the DNC [Keith Ellison] on the show, who just seemed to be going off and spouting, come on, men, we’re good, we’re going to be good, we’re good.

No! What’s the message? What is going to bring people in. I think, Willie, the mistake that Democrats make is to think the president is at 36%, there are some obvious problems with the Republican party and his presidency. Of course people are going to come to us! No. We’re not inevitable. This isn’t ours: we have to work for it!


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