Dems' Conor Lamb claims victory over GOP in district Trump won by 20 points

For most American liberals, all it takes to be lulled bank into complacency is having Dems, any Dems, in power.


Take a look at Lamb’s campaign literature and platform. He would certainly be termed a “DINO” by a lot of people on this site.


I don’t agree with the homogeneity inferred by that, but I do get the point.

Time was both teams wanted to build bridges. Actual Bridges and metaphorical ones too.

Now it’s walls v. bridges.

this isn’t liberalism under attack, it’s pluralism. You can be conservative and a pluralist, but you can’t be a Republican and a pluralist, currently.




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I think some of us need to review what “representative” government means. If we can only support the farthest left candidate, we will lose the purple-to-red districts like PA18. The reason Lamb won was that he was representative of the district, rather than a mouth-breathing Trumpist like Saccone. Most of the country does not sympathize with Trump, but if their only choice is a California-style liberal, they will vote for the Republican feeling they have no option. We need the “big tent” to take back those districts. It has come to the point that if you are not a racist, Nazi asshole, that’s good enough. Bit of wisdom – Never let “perfect” become the enemy of “good.”


Conor Lamb campaigned:

  1. For universal health care
  2. Against Trump’s tax cut
  3. For expanded background checks
  4. For stronger unions
  5. Against cuts to Social Security
  6. For a woman’s right to choose
  7. For medical marijuana

Do I agree with him on every issue? Certainly not. But if this is the kind of candidate Dems can get elected in deep-red Pennsylvania then imagine what the party could accomplish elsewhere.


Sure, but establishment/corporate Dems aren’t “good” merely because they’re not Republicans. They’re the ones who are working hard to keep progressive Dems out of the “big tent.”


Dem politicians and rank-and-file voters are currently struggling with core values, while the party establishment seems to prefer that the party have none. As happy as I am to see the GOP lose this particular race, it gives credence to the Third Way idea (barely so, given the slim margin) that the Dems can win in the Real America™ only by embracing at least a few toxic Republican-style social and economic policies.

It’s a two-party system, so there’s some justification to that. But yes, the job of American liberals is to demand better Dems. Fortunately, they’re now doing so via orgs like Our Revolution and The Great Slate, which are proving that living in “the Heartland” doesn’t necessarily have to mean being a “free” market extremist or a bigot or gun-hugger or Bible-thumper, etc.

There is an ever-growing cohort of young people who understand that they’ve been screwed over by their parents, and that the old model of whitebread exurbs and idyllic small towns promoted by conservatives and Libertarians is unsustainable.


Serious question, though: do you think that a Democrat who was significantly more progressive than Lamb could have won in Pennsylvania?

I mean, he’s not the candidate I would have preferred but I’m a California liberal so my ideal candidate probably wouldn’t have stood a chance in that district. Nor would Lamb have stood a fighting chance in my district.

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Which part of the district was the Pennsylvania Democratic Scion representative of? The dying coal towns? The farmers and hillbillies of the sw corner? Blue collar steel towns? Or wealthy Pittsburgh suburbs?

If you ask me (and I asked my friends who live there) Lamb won because famous name, and a sizable population that hates Saccone’s guts.

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There are two paradigms in a pitched battle for control of how Democrats operate:

  1. Get the lion’s share of funding from corporate donors, set up by lobbyists, in exchange for favors later.
  2. Get most of the money from grassroots organizing on a mass scale, by appealing to what they want. No favors, just keep listening and they will step up $20, $30, $40 at a time, but numbering in the millions.

We can thank #1 for Superdelegates and the lackluster, failure-to-launch campaigns of Al Gore, John Kerry and HRC.

#1 is the old way, still in control, hanging on as tight as it can. #2 is the long-term sustainable way that the #1’s are resisting with all their might, because it means they will lose control. But #2’s chickens are coming home to roost. They are coming. Democrats, as a group, need to wise up to this eventuality and kick the #1’s out now.

Progressive-minded liberals have been saying this for years, but we saw it almost happen in 2016. It’s closer than ever, so let’s just call the game and establish the new reality. Corporate donor control is an anachronism. It’s grand-pappy crowing, “Well, sonny, that’s the way we’ve always done it and it’s the way you should too.” No, granddad, it’s not. We are ready for something new.


I was speaking more broadly. There’s plenty of evidence that in general, corporate-funded Dems do what they can to keep their gravy train going. Fortunately, the rise of Trumpism has alerted a lot of people to the need to pull the Democratic Party back to caring in more genuine, active ways about the declining circumstances of ordinary people.


It depends on the age demographics, so perhaps not now but in 5-10 years, yes. To use some of Lamb’s less savoury campaign positions, young people already think that we need more restrictions on firearms and that the current system isn’t good enough, understand that brain-dead protectionism isn’t going to bring back blue-collar jobs and revitalise small towns, and don’t really want to hear that a candidate personally opposes a woman’s right to choose (even if he supports that right as a matter of law).


Back a Russia agent as U.S. president, lose your place in Congress. It’s that simple, Republicans.

Let’s stay on that, then. In the meantime I’m glad it looks like he won this one.


Saccone was rabidly antiunion in a district where unions are still a force, and I don’t understand the question about “what part,” since I would think the answer has to be the part that voted. My family is in that district and as deep blue as they come, but there are lots of “reddish purple” voters who just cannot be ignored if we want to take back the house, which is a vital step to controlling and eventually eliminating Trump and his reality show administration. No clue if Lamb’s name played a role or not, certain that Saccone’s positions played a large role, and Lamb’s relative sanity probably did also. In my humble opinion, the key to November is to find sane, representative Democratic candidates and then let the Reps pick the farthest right mouth-breathing Trumpastic candidate and then do our best to make the election about local issues while they make it about Trump. We win both sides of that argument!


By a very thin margin. It’s more important for the DNC to examine why he won. But they won’t and instead the establishment will just assume that he won because he was willing to shift right on issues that the party as a whole has to shift left on. And quickly.


The lesson I would hope they would learn (but they won’t) is that all politics is local and you have to be representative of the district you are running in.


“there ARE only”

“But there’s only a few hundred votes in it…”

Not in PA 18. That district was a GOP stronghold and it took telling a mistress to have an abortion to flip it. Even then it’s a razor-thin margin.

It scares the shit out of me every time someone brings up anything remotely like a purity test for the Democratic Party. One because it ignores the whole point of representative democracy. And two because that’s how you drive wedges in the party and between parties; it’s a fabulous way to ensure that shit never gets done.