Meet Our New Voice of Moderation and Centrism, Herb Shankman
In the interest of encouraging self-examination as to why Democrats lost key races in last Tuesday’s off-off-year elections, and to give equal time to the Manchin Moderate wing of the Democratic Party already so well-represented on cable news and the newspaper editorial pages across America, I’m turning my Substack today over to renowned and revered Democratic operative and consultant, Herb Shankman — who has some very important insights on what we’re doing wrong and what we must do to win next year’s midterms. Thanks, Herb, for helping to set us straight.
*The Center for the American Center, President
*Middle Americans For The Middle Way, Policy Advisor
*Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Visiting Professor of Centrist Studies
*Project For Moderate Middle East Liberation, Co-Chair
*Board of Directors:
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
*Clinton-Gore ’96, Pollster
*Political Commentator, CNBC
“Progressives” — who are really socialists masking themselves as Democrats — are going to be the death of the Democratic Party if we don’t stop them now. Last Tuesday, you saw the irreversible damage they did in Virginia (and other places like New Jersey where the Democrat barely won, plus a few other minor Democratic defeats I can’t recall right now). These leftists are not done yet in their mission to destroy the party of Joe Lieberman and Dianne Feinstein.
So here are the 6 steps Democrats MUST take to revitalize the Democratic Party, win the midterms in 2022, and save the Biden Presidency:
1. In Order For Democrats To Win Back Suburban Women, We Must Re-Invade Afghanistan Immediately!
Sending the U.S. military (and our patriotic private war contractors) back to Kabul must become the feminist issue of our time. Ruth Bader Ginsburg must have been rolling in her grave when President Biden shamelessly abandoned the women of Afghanistan by removing the beacon of female liberation known as the United States Armed Forces that had been bombing them for the past twenty years. As every serious military advisor with a network television contract told us in August, if we had just stayed in Afghanistan a few more months, we would have defeated the Taliban and won. And then Afghan women would have been guaranteed they’d be henceforth treated equally, just as they are here in the United States of America where now a woman is raped only once every two minutes every single day.
President Biden appeared to have come to his senses when, on our way out of Afghanistan, a U.S. drone strike wiped out 10 Afghan terrorists. The Blame America First crowd will point out that the attack killed 10 Afghan civilians, including 7 children, but the Pentagon assured us last week that it was an “honest mistake” that did not violate international law. So hopefully, this act of American strength and resilience is a sign of good things to come from President Biden.
My firm’s polling, along with sources on the ground in suburban Virginia (i.e. watching Andrea Mitchell on NBC), make it clear that Biden withdrawing from Afghanistan deeply upset suburban women voters and cost Terry McAuliffe the election.
2. Democrats MUST Reconnect With Working Class Voters
In order to reconnect with working class voters without a college education, national Democrats must continue to IGNORE the wave of union organizing, strikes and general labor unrest we are currently experiencing. If forced to comment, Democrats should simply recite vague, pro-worker platitudes. And add that people must now get back to work because numerous McDonald’s and Home Depots are having to close because they cannot find enough workers. But whatever Democrats do, they MUST NOT push for any actual material changes that will improve the standard of living of the working poor which will in turn hurt the fiscal bottom line of Democratic donors. And, for the love of God, unions and their Democratic leaders must call off these strikes which are only biting the hands that feed them!
10,000 John Deere workers and 1,400 Kellogg workers are on strike. Stay away, Democrats! I mean, these people look like the January 6th insurrectionists!
Tens of thousands of health care workers from Kaiser Permanente are threatening to strike due to possible wage reductions. Supporting these working class American health care heroes would be a disaster! And I’m not just saying that because of the massive campaign contributions Democrats receive from the healthcare industry. Or because my good friend, Congressman Jim Clyburn, is the #1 recipient of campaign cash from the pharmaceutical industry. And I’m sure-as-hell not saying it because I sit on the board of directors of Kaiser Permanente. I’m saying this because voters do NOT want us to live in the “entitlement society” that Joe Manchin has admirably warned us about.
I say this as someone who used to join hundreds of others in my neighborhood simultaneously banging our pots and pans together every night at 7pm to celebrate our healthcare heroes on the front lines. Signs and billboards have gone up across the country celebrating them as the courageous patriots that they are. That’s enough. Raising, or even maintaining their wages, would make them too entitled and sad victims of a “nanny state” none of us want.
3. Build Back Deficit Reduction
Democrats have already cleverly removed paid family leave, free community college, and a plan to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices from the Build Back Better legislation. Good start.
While the socialist wing of the party will point out that Medicare negotiating for lower drug prices was the most popular part of the bill (polls: 83% of voters are in favor of it), and while AOC and The Squad will whine that America is the only country in the world with no paid family leave, any smart election observer who watched the results last Tuesday will tell you the same thing: Independents and swing voters don’t care about lower drug prices and paid time off from work to take care of their newborns. Instead, they are clamoring for President Biden to lower the deficit! Americans are demanding less federal debt. They can’t sleep at night because they are up worrying about what the Fed is going to do next! So keep cutting the deficit and keep cutting taxes for our much-needed Democratic donors (who, because they are patriots, also donate to Republicans in the true spirit of American bipartisanship!).
4. The Real BBB -- Bed Bath & Beyond
After conducting countless focus groups in swing districts, I can confirm that there is one thing that average, everyday Americans of all races and backgrounds keep begging for more of from their government: Public-Private Partnerships!
After cutting out all the socialist parts out of the Build Back Better bill, one easy thing the government can do is to partner with America’s favorite BBB — Bed Bath & Beyond!
Under the moderates’ new proposal, a scaled-down, fiscally-responsible BBB bill, households earning between $35,000-$75,000 per year will receive three of these:
No one will be able to say we’ve abandoned working American families once millions of these coupons start showing up in mailboxes around the country, courtesy of your friends in the Democratic Party.
5. Build Black Better
The Afro-American community remains the backbone of the Democratic Party. No group of Americans are more loyal to our party. Now that we’re in power, we must prove that our commitments to the Black community are not just election season lip service. It’s time for results.
Democrats must establish the Bed Bath & BEYOND Beyond program targeted towards underserved communities and communities of color. Not only will they receive the three BBB coupons noted above, but also the below $75 off “MLK Day coupon” will be distributed to Afro-American households every January. Think of it as a pre-Black History Month gift to our most consistently loyal voters! Wakanda forever!
With this legislation, Democrats will finally help Afro-Americans reach that mountaintop Dr. King once dreamed of. And Black voter turnout will soar!
6. Our Biggest Victory Last Tuesday
While there was a lot of doom and gloom amongst Democrats after our defeats last Tuesday, there was one bit of good news that we can build on:
Nobody questioned the election results! There were no violent attacks or plotted coups. For the first time in a year, things felt like they were going back to...normal.
Let’s savor this moment of civility and democracy in action. Let’s carry it on into the next election cycle.
If Democrats losing elections are occasionally required to maintain our safety and security — and, in turn, give us a reason to thwart and purge the progressives and socialists from our Party — then by God so be it! THE patriotic thing we must do is to keep losing.
Thank you, Herb, for that rousing call to arms against those who are too liberal and who are going to cost us the election next year! We all know the only way to beat the Republicans is to sound more like them. Because Republican voters, when given the choice, would much rather elect a Democrat who sounds like them, instead of a Republican who actually IS them.
We will, here on this Substack site, bring Herb back from time to time to steer us in the right direction — away from what the vast majority of Americans want.
(You can follow Herb Shankman and his thoughts on Twitter: @HerbShankmanDLC)