The big news going around is that four open socialists won in the Dem primaries, bragging that Pennsylvania is turning the right kind of red. For people who think “this makes them easy to beat,” two of those socialists have already won, because they face no challenger. Those are very safe Dem seats. Also, socialism is not a bad word anymore. I don’t care that most young people don’t know what socialism is when they mention they support it; they didn’t grow up with it being a bad word. Venezuela can happen here. It’s nothing to take lightly. Eventually, I believe the loons will be firmly in charge of both parties. That’s just the way things are going. But which side’s loons are closer to the mainstream?
Those of you who live in my district, the
8th 1st Congressional District, no doubt know that Dean Malik was trounced by Brian “I Love Assault Weapons Bans” Fitzpatrick. This isn’t surprising. Malik ran an awful campaign. Fitzpatrick’s last minute ads on Facebook touting his conservative bonafides were so awful as to be laughable, but only if you’re paying attention, which most people aren’t.
Malik ran on a “Real Republican” and “Real Conservative” message. Guess what the new voters Trump has bought into the coalition don’t give a crap about?Â Malik never really made the case for why it was better to replace Fitzpatrick with himself. He ran on a more conservative than thou platform rather than building a case against Fitzpatrick with voters. If he did, I never noticed it. The only TV ad for Malik I saw was vague and generally awful. While I’ll grant that “Real Republican” is at least not so awful as “The Time is Now” as a campaign message, it’s not a deal sealing message.
I am a Gen Xer, but I consume information more like millennials do. I don’t have cable, and don’t watch TV. I am really only reachable these days via social media, e-mail, and streaming video ads. I saw a ton of ads for Scott Wagner. I knew who he was early. Neither Malik nor Mango (seriously, if your last name is Mango, you don’t have a future in politics) reached me with anything, and the stuff I sought out wasn’t compelling. Facebook ads are dirt cheap and very effective. I hate Facebook, but there’s no excuse, other than cluelessness, for not using it heavily. This is not even about reaching young voters: young voters use different social media. Facebook is for reaching core political demographics of middle aged and older voters.
That said, if I’m Brian Fitzpatrick, I’m not feeling too good that 1/3rd of my base hates me enough to vote me out for a candidate that ran a ho-hum campaign. I am feeling good that the Dem establishment candidate got beaten from the left. But the redistricting isn’t going to help Fitz any. Neither is the fact that neither myself nor a lot of other gun voters will ever vote for him again. Once you endorse gun bans, what difference is there between you an the Democrat? Wallace is a nut, but do I hate the nut enough to vote for the worm?
I get this is not a solidly conservative district, and any candidate is going to have to be left of the base, but my problem with the Fitzpatricks is that they’ve never played that game well. They play the game like they don’t really understand their base. Any candidate standing more center than their base is going to do a few things here and there to disappoint, but the Fitzpatricks are constant disappointment. I say this as someone who volunteered for Mike Fitzpatrick’s campaign to oust Patrick Murphy. As it is now, I would have been better off with Murphy, who at least supported National Reciprocity! The Fitzpatricks have made clear they don’t give a shit about gun owners, so I no longer give a shit about them. I’m done with the Fitzpatricks.