Presty the DJ for June 27

For some reason,  the Beatles’ “Sie Liebt Dich” got only to number 97 on the German charts:

The English translation did much better, yeah, yeah, yeah:

Today in 1968, Elvis Presley started taping his comeback special:

Today in 1989, The Who performed its rock opera “Tommy” at Radio City Music Hall in New York, their first complete performance of “Tommy” since 1972:

This would have never happened in the People’s Republic of Madison, but … in Milwaukee today in 1993, Don Henley dedicated “It’s Not Easy Being Green” to President Bill Clinton … and got booed.

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for June 27”

I will not drink to this

The MacIver Institute reports:

A high-profile meeting last Thursday attended by many – but not all – of the stakeholders affected by proposed changes to the system regulating Wisconsin’s alcoholic beverage industry ended with very different accounts of what transpired and more questions than answers, multiple sources tell MacIver News Service.
Attendees agreed to return to the table as soon as next week for further discussions.
There is a push by the state’s alcohol distributors and the Wisconsin Tavern League to tweak the current three-tier regulatory system of the production, distribution and sale of alcohol by creating an Office of Alcohol Beverages Enforcement, appoint a new ‘alcohol czar’ and hire an additional six enforcement officers with more authority to crack down on violations.
State Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) said he organized the meeting “to address the misinformation in the media,” about the draft proposal.
“It was a working document,” Swearingen said, adding that one of the top priorities for the meeting was to explain the proposal’s implications to the various stakeholders.
Swearingen owns a restaurant and is a member and former president of the Tavern League.
According to Swearingen, the list of attendees included representatives from the newly formed Wisconsin Craft Beverage Coalition: the Wisconsin Brewers Guild, the Wisconsin Distillers Guild, and wineries; lobbyists Eric J. Peterson and Scott Stenger; and Reps. Rob Brooks (R-Saukville), Shannon Zimmerman (R-River Falls), Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) Swearingen, Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester.
“Once people from the wine and beer wholesalers explained the proposal, the group almost came together for the most part,” Swearingen said.
Others who attended had a different assessment of the meeting.
Brian Samons, president of the Wisconsin Distillers Guild, said the proposed changes to an incredibly complicated body of laws and codes are moving too fast. And too many stakeholders are being left out of the discussion, he said.
“There’s no need to rush, if we’re talking about making good policy, and I hope we are,” Samons said. “We’re not against enforcement of the rules and rules that make sense, good public policy. The problem is when it’s neither clear or good policy.”
The big concern is that the crafters of the “drafting instructions” will try to sneak the changes into the budget through a “999 motion,” or concluding wrap-up motion that dodges public scrutiny.
William Glass, president of the Wisconsin Brewers Guild, said he was disturbed by the number of lawmakers in the room who seemed satisfied with tacking the measure onto the end of the budget process.
“The problem is there are still people not in this room debating this bill,” he added. “The special interests are trying to force an issue without having the proper avenue to vet it.”
But Swearingen said the Legislature is not prepared to act unless all the stakeholders can reach a consensus about what steps the state should take.
If that happens, it could either be part of the budget or separate legislation.
Swearingen led the discussions, but sources said Vos was very involved in the meeting, which some attendees described as “uncomfortable,” and “heated” at times.
Kooyenga said the meeting was a “huge step forward.”
“For many years there has not been a representative from the wineries, the distillers, or the small brewers in the room,” he said.
Vos’ office did not return an email request for comment Thursday or Friday. Kit Beyer, Vos’ spokeswoman, told MacIver News in a story Wednesday that the speaker was “asked to join the group.”
“Rep. Swearingen, as chair of the Assembly State Affairs Committee, is holding the meeting to see if there are things that all sides can agree on,” she said.
Beyer made clear that Vos “does not support the three-tier proposal.”
Sources said Vos urged the participants at Thursday’s meeting to voice their support of the long-standing three-tier regulatory system, however.
Glass said the proposal seems to run afoul of free-market principles. He said he was heartened when one lawmaker raised the same point.
“John Nygren did make a comment in the meeting about how this does not politically align with conservative values,” Glass said. “He said, ‘We’re not for growing government or restricting entrepreneurs but that’s what we’re talking about here.”
The Prohibition-era system in general aims to keep alcoholic beverage makers, wholesalers and retailers, including restaurants, bars, and liquor stores, out of each others’ businesses. The law has long aimed to stop monopolies and protect smaller operators, but it has locked entrepreneurs out and carved out protections for established players.
“Breweries, wineries, and other alcohol-beverage producers can distribute their products only to independent, licensed wholesalers (also called distributors). These wholesalers then distribute the products only to independent, licensed retailers. Only licensed retailers can sell the products to the public. Thus, under a strict three-tier system, alcohol beverages must pass through both a licensed wholesaler and a licensed retailer before reaching the consumer,” a State Bar of Wisconsin piece summed up.
There are many exceptions to the rules, and apparently that’s what the “drafting instructions” look to clarify.
Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin and other critics are warning that the plan is to beef up the onerous “three-tier restricting” law.

When the experts are wrong

Matthew Continetti:

Events are turning me into a radical skeptic. I no longer believe what I read, unless what I am reading is an empirically verifiable account of the past. I no longer have confidence in polls, because it has become impossible to separate the signal from the noise. What I have heard from the media and political class over the last several years has been so spectacularly proven wrong by events, again and again, that I sometimes wonder why I continue to read two newspapers a day before spending time following journalists on Twitter. Habit, I guess. A sense of professional obligation, I suppose. Maybe boredom.
The fact is that almost the entirety of what one reads in the paper or on the web is speculation. The writer isn’t telling you what happened, he is offering an interpretation of what happened, or offering a projection of the future. The best scenario is that these theories are novel, compelling, informed, and based on reporting and research. But that is rarely the case. More often the interpretations of current events, and prophesies of future ones, are merely the products of groupthink or dogma or emotions or wish-casting, memos to friends written by 27-year-olds who, in the words of Ben Rhodes, “literally know nothing.” There was a time when newspapers printed astrology columns. They no longer need to. The pseudoscience is on the front page.
Nor are the empty conjectures and worthless hypotheses limited to Donald Trump. Yes, pretty much the entire world, myself included, assumed he would lose to Hillary Clinton. Indeed, a not-insignificant segment of the political class, both Democrat and Republican, thought the Republicans would not only lose the presidency but also the House and Senate. Oops! I remember when, as the clock reached midnight on November 8 and it became clear Trump would be the forty-fifth president, a friend called. “Are we just wrong about everything?” he asked. Perhaps we were. But at least we had the capacity to admit our fallibility.
There are few who can. Conjectures and guesswork continue to dog Trump in the form of “the Russia thing,” the belief that the president, his “satellites,” or his campaign worked with the Russians to influence the election in his favor. Months after the FBI opened its investigation into whether such collusion occurred, no evidence has been found. The charge itself is based on an unverified and gossipy and over-the-top memo prepared by a former British spy for Democrats.
Compounded by Trump’s own mistakes, the Russia story has now traveled so far afield from the original suspicions that we in Washington are no longer all that interested in the underlying charges. What concerns us instead is the possible obstruction of justice in the investigation of a crime that seems not to have taken place. And yet Russia continues to dominate the headlines, command the attention of pundits, generate rumor and insinuations from people who ought to know better.
The certainty of our best and brightest is immune to disproof. Back in May, for example, I attended a dinner with two experts in British politics. These men were not only observers in the upcoming elections, they were participants, and they reflected the conventional wisdom at the time. Theresa May, they projected, would win a major victory on June 8. Her majority might be as high as 100 seats. May’s caution was an asset, Labour was a wreck, Corbyn was frightening. At least the part about Corbyn was true. The rest was false, as I was rather surprised to discover when the voters actually had their say.
The list of misplaced confidences goes on. After the initial vote on the American Health Care Act was called off, the consensus was that the bill was doomed. “Don’t look now but the Republican health care bill is in trouble again. Again,” reported CNN on May 2. It passed two days later.
For weeks prior to Tuesday’s special election in Georgia, we were told that Republicans were in trouble, that the polls looked bad for Karen Handel, that a “referendum on Trump” would motivate Democrats in this swing district to support Democrat Jon Ossoff. That evening, cable anchors warned that the night would be long. The race would be close, and winner might not be announced until the following morning. The Real Clear Politics average showed Handel barely ahead, with a margin of two-tenths of one percent. The race was called by the 11 o’clock news. Handel won by 4 points.
What had been billed as a no-confidence vote in Trump’s presidency quickly became, after Handel’s victory, no biggie. Yes, Ossoff may have doused in gasoline and set alight more than $20 million of Hollywood and Silicon Valley money. And yes, had Ossoff won, this special election would have been covered as a harbinger of the Resistance’s coming triumph over the autocrat in the White House. But really, now that the authors of the email bulletins I receive each morning think about it, Republicans shouldn’t be too happy with the result. After all, both Democrats and Republicans have won special elections in the past only to lose their majorities.
True, but Republicans also won special elections in 2001, and expanded their majority the following year. So which is it? We won’t know until—and I know this is a radical concept—the actual midterm election takes place. Which won’t be for more than a year. And by which time, a seemingly infinite number of things might happen. But come on, who wants to wait? So much more fun to pretend to be in the know, to assert with absolute confidence one’s theory about the world, proclaim one’s virtue, despite all evidence to the contrary.
“Like a bearded nut in robes on the sidewalk proclaiming the end of the world is near, the media is just doing what makes it feel good, not reporting hard facts,” Michael Crichton once said. “We need to start seeing the media as a bearded nut on the sidewalk, shouting out false fears. It’s not sensible to listen to it.”
As the editor of an online newspaper, I am reluctant to agree with Crichton entirely. There are still news sources, liberal and conservative, even in Washington, that seek to report rather than explain or analyze or decipher the context and implications of facts. Sometimes these publications carry opinions, such as the one you are reading. Sometimes they have a little fun. And that is fine, so long as they are upfront about it, and are “half a step up from Daily Caller.”
But please, please, please be wary of the supposedly nonpartisan and objective experts who have looked at the DATA and determined which course history will take. In fact, be more than wary. Run in the opposite direction.

Presty the DJ for June 26

My German side should appreciate this: Today in 1870, Richard Wagner premiered “Die Valkyrie”:

Today in 1964, the Beatles released their album “A Hard Day’s Night”:

Today in 1975, Sonny and Cher decided they didn’t got you (that is, them) babe anymore — they divorced, which meant it was no longer true that …

(Interestingly, at least to me: Sonny and Cher revived their CBS-TV show after their divorce. Also, Cher did a touching eulogy at Sonny Bono’s funeral.)

Today in 1990, eight Kansas and Oklahoma radio stations decided to boycott singer KD Lang because she didn’t have a constant craving for meat, to the point she did an anti-meat ad:

Birthdays start with Billy Davis Jr. of the Fifth Dimension:

Jean Knight, who was dismissive of Mr. Big Stuff:

Rindy Ross, the B-minor-favoring singer of Quarterflash:

Presty the DJ for June 24

Proving that there is no accounting for taste, I present the number six song today in 1972:

Twenty years later, Billy Joel got an honorary diploma … from Hicksville High School in New York (where he attended but was one English credit short of graduating due to oversleeping the day of the final):

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for June 24”

Fixing (maybe) what is (maybe) broken

While the bigger news from the WIAA was the three-seasons-away institution of the shot clock in basketball, bigger news may be reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Before private schools joined the WIAA and before the growth of small charter/choice schools in the Milwaukee area, basketball teams from small towns and rural areas won state titles almost every year.

If a proposal presented to the WIAA Board of Control on Thursday wins favor, that would again be the case in Divisions 4 and 5.

Board member Luke Francois of Mineral Point presented to the board a plan he crafted that he thinks could solve the issue of competitive equity in boys and girls basketball, a matter that has been simmering in the southwest corner of the state for the past few years.

The board did not approve the divisional placement proposal but did give it initial review and consideration and plan to make a topic of discussion at area meetings in September. The board did, however, vote to convene the basketball coaches advisory committee soon after the area meetings to discuss the plan’s merits. That group usually meets after the conclusion of the season but is being asked to meet earlier so that the proposal can make its way through the committee process and back to the board in time for its January meeting.

“Every proposal starts somewhere and this was the first opportunity that we’ve had to come together as a group and for me to lay out some of my best thinking with some of my counterparts and colleagues in front of the board,” Francois said. “It was an opportunity for us to poke some holes in it and ask some questions and clarify what the plan was.”

If the plans wins approval, it would take effect in 2018-19. Francois’ proposal called for it to have a two-year trial period.

Francois’ plan uses the designations given to each school by Department of Instruction, which categorize a school as city, suburban, rural or town, to place schools into divisions.

Here is how Francois’ plan would work.

*Division 1 – Schools with enrollments of 1,200 or more.

*Division 2 – Schools with enrollments of 600-1,200.

*Division 3 – Schools classified as city or suburban with less than 600 students and schools of 450-600 enrollment that are classified as rural or town but weren’t placed in Divisions 4 or 5.

* Division 4 – The 128 rural or town schools with the lowest enrollment after Division 5 is determined.

* Division 5 – the 128 rural or town schools with the lowest enrollment.

“In Mineral Point, the contention was that the geographical draw in the I-43 corridor in just a 10-mile radius drawfs the entire draw that Mineral Point would have in all of Iowa County, just from the number of kids who could potentially travel to or attend that school district,” Francois said.

“The whole idea of urbans playing urbans and rurals playing rurals is to try to have a similar geographical draw and similar opportunities for kids in like-minded classification codes, which would be rurals and towns urbans and suburbans.”

“You can drive 45 minutes down the road and the experience in basketball in one community can be vastly different, suburban-urban, than it is in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, which is more rural.”

Under this plan, a great majority of schools in southeast Wisconsin would play in no lower than Division 3 regardless of their enrollment.

The proposal didn’t make a positive first-impress on board member Eric Coleman, an administrator in Milwaukee Public Schools.

“I think it creates segregation,” he said. “I’m not against it being presented to the association, so that everyone can hear the information so that it’s not confined to a small group of people and let them come to their own decision. But as far as me, I don’t like it. I don’t agree with it.

“I think the bigger issue is a race thing. Certain pockets, certain schools feel that the private schools from southeastern Wisconsin, specifically Milwaukee that have predominately African-American players are keeping them from winning state tournaments, so if you take them out of the equation, it increased their chances of winning the gold ball.”

Leave it to a Milwaukee Public Schools bureaucrat to immediately play the race card.

The proposal created more than hour of discussion before a motion was passed to convene the members of the basketball coaches committee following the area meeting.

Initially, Francois asked the board to adopt the plan pending approval of a majority in two of three groups: coaches advisory, sports advisory council and advisory council.

Kenosha administrator Steve Knecht was one of the board members who said he wouldn’t support the plan without more time to review it.

“I think we had a lot of good discussion because it’s good to hear different points of view from different people from different parts of the state on what real problems there are,” Knecht said. “I don’t see it currently as a problem the way basketball is set up … What we’re going to put out there, it’s good to get the feedback. I didn’t want to act on anything today other than to get it out there for people to see.”

This proposal is aimed right at the private-school athletic factories of La Crosse Aquinas (state Division 4 baseball champion and state Division 4 girls basketball runner-up), Madison Edgewood (state Division 3 girls basketball champion), Appleton Xavier (state Division 3 boys basketball champion), Eau Claire Regis (state Division 6 football champion), Manitowoc Roncalli (went to state in Division 4 boys basketball), Chippewa Falls McDonell Central (state champion in D5 softball and state in D5 girls basketball), Marshfield Columbus (ditto), Stevens Point Pacelli (D4 softball runner-up), Wausau Newman (D4 girls volleyball champion), Oshkosh Lourdes (D3 girls volleyball runner-up), Waukesha Catholic Memorial (D2 girls volleyball and D3 football champion), Green Bay Notre Dame (D2 girls volleyball runner-up and D3 football runner-up), Lake Mills Lakeside Lutheran (state in D2 girls volleyball), Milwaukee’s Divine Savior Holy Angels (state in D1 girls volleyball) These schools and others (Burlington Catholic Central and Whitefish Bay Dominican) are accused of recruiting public-school students, which they deny and which in turn is never believed.

As with anything, though, trying to kill one bug (the previous paragraph) will kill others. Most Wisconsin private schools are not athletic factories, and yet a 100-student Christian school will be in the same class as schools six times its size, and will be accordingly crushed early in the playoffs. It’s also not clear whether this proposal will include another small-school bugbear, charter schools, which are public schools generally in large metro areas. (Milwaukee Destiny was last year’s state D4 boys basketball champion, one season after Milwaukee’s Young Coggs Prep won the D5 title.)

There is also an argument to be made about whether or not in the era of open public school enrollment this should matter. Students now go to schools other than in their own school district of residence for sports reasons. Whether this is bad or not depends on whether you believe where a student lives should force that student to attend that school regardless of reasons that shouldn’t be the case.

One wonders if the solution to the private-school problem is to simply separate them out — to have, for instance, three public divisions and two private divisions at state. That doesn’t eject public schools from the WIAA, nor does it separate them from playing public schools in the regular season; it would simply group the schools that appear to play by different rules. (For instance, girls volleyball powers play out-of-state tournaments, which public schools rarely do for resource reasons.)

It will be interesting to watch the reaction to this proposal over the next school year.

 

Fixing that which isn’t necessarily broken

On Thursday the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, everyone’s favorite sports sanctioning body (insert eyeroll here), decided to implement a shot clock in the 2019–20 basketball season.

The Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook’s Mark Miller doesn’t like the decision for five reasons:

1) Speeding up an opponent is a strategy used often by high school coaches during game planning for an opponent. The idea is to make the opponent play faster and thus rush into rash decisions that negatively affect their team.

After watching high school games all over the state, both in season and during the summer, it has become abundantly clear to me that the vast majority of players struggle when the pace of the game increases. Speeding up kids on the basketball court most often leads to poor decisions. The elite-level players can handle the quickened pace of a shot clock, but the overwhelming majority of kids playing the game are not at an elite level. When forced to make a quick decision at the end of a shot clock, poor shots will be forced. That can happen without a shot clock as well, but my hunch is you will see even more bad shots taken when the WIAA moves to a shot clock in a few years.

2) Yes, professional and college basketball teams play with a shot clock. And it is fun to watch plays develop with the shot clock winding down. However, the players at that level are good enough to play with a shot clock. Professional players have competed in the game much, much longer than high school kids. College players, no matter the level, represent a tiny fraction of the entire high school crop. The fact so few states currently use a shot clock is a clear signal that it’s not something most view as necessary for the high school game.

3) An occasional slow-down game does create some uneasiness among the fans in the stands. Antigo’s 14-11 road victory over Rhinelander in the 2016 WIAA playoffs being a prime example. But those games are rare. I feel adding a shot clock will greatly decrease the chances of the underdog to pull the upset. Teams with less depth, less skill and less size than their opponent will have to play in a similar way with 35-second possessions. It takes a good chunk of the strategy out of the game. That is not a minor loss to the game.

4) Part of the beauty of following high school basketball is watching a deliberate team play against a full-court pressing team. Which team will dictate tempo? Who is better at making the opponent play their style? Much of that is now out the window with the addition of a shot clock. Teams that like to make an opponent play defense for minutes at a time will now get a mere 35 seconds for each possession. Most teams able to run their offense for minutes at a time end up with very high percentage shots. It is much easier to play defense for 35 seconds than two or three minutes.

5) And now the kicker. The fifth foul so to speak. More game-management personnel for each game leads to more expense. The implementation of a shot clock at the prep level is mind boggling when you consider most — not a few — but MOST schools struggle to keep track of the score, the game clock, the possession arrow or the scorebook accurately. Schools need to find a competent person to run the shot clock, pay that person and find room for that person at the scorer’s table. Adding shot clocks to close to 500 gyms across Wisconsin is obviously a big expense. Running the shot clocks during games only adds to the expense.

And by the way, where will the shot clock be located? Are all gyms equipped to add a shot clock above the basket? Will it be located next to the scoreboard? How many times during a game will officials have to stop the game because of shot clock malfunctions and/or mistakes?

In short, the WIAA Board of Control committed a huge turnover today by adding a shot clock to the high school game. Others obviously disagree with that statement, but it is my belief the WIAA just hand-delivered a big headache to athletic directors across the state while at the same time taking away a great deal of coaching strategy from a game that wasn’t in need of a fix.

I must say I prefer watching up-tempo basketball. (Though it is harder to announce.) However, as a fan I like to see a variety of styles of basketball, not just one (as sometimes is seen with all the Dick Bennett and Bo Ryan disciples out there). One thing that was cool about announcing the Division III Midwest Conference is that you had the whole gamut of basketball styles, from plodding (St. Norbert and Lake Forest, though not so much now) to what’s-defense? (Monmonth under Terry Glasgow) to Grinnell, which was in its own universe as far as pace.

Basketball coaches play the style that they’re accustomed to playing based on the talent of their teams. It is unlikely teams with three offensive linemen playing forward are going to be able to run up and down the floor. As for teams with quicker players, there is nothing stopping them from playing an up-tempo style now. I can foresee a lot of teams running 34 seconds of offense and then flinging a shot up at :01 on the shot clock. I can also see a lot of blowouts because teams with good coaches will be able to adapt to the shot clock, because good coaches always can adapt to rules changes.

The WIAA may be visualizing a dramatic increase in scoring on the level of high school all star games. (This year, on the boys side: Division 5 South 102, North 86; Division 4 South 83, North 73; D3 South 111, North 87; D2 North 107, South 96; D1 North 109, South 85.) They’re not going to get that. As with the three-point shot, scoring may blip slightly upward, but it will settle back eventually once teams learn that all they need to do stop another team is play 35 seconds of defense. The three-point shot is useless if you can’t shoot from the outside, and the shot clock is useless if you can’t run an offensive set to set up a shot before the buzzer goes off.

 

The $30 million lOssoff

Erick Erickson on Tuesday’s Georgia Congressional special election:

In 2016, Rodney Stooksbury got 38.3% of the vote in Georgia’s sixth congressional district after spending only around $1000.00. Less than a year later, Democrats spent $30million to get only ten percent more of the vote and still lose.

There are some real issues here that the cheering and moralizing will overlook. Democrats will say it should not have been so close, but Republicans can counter than outspending the GOP and still losing is a big deal. It is. The Democrats can note that the GOP was winning this district by twenty points regularly and now are barely winning. That is true too.

But there are some fundamental problems for Democrats that they are going to overlook as they declare moral victory.

First, the national netroots rallied to Jon Ossoff, who was completely unknown to the sixth congressional district. There was a state senator from within the district who had a built in constituency that crossed party lines. But that guy got rejected for this unknown who lived out of the district.

Second, Ossoff did live out of the district and that cost him a number of votes. Democrats want you to believe this race was about healthcare and a referendum on Trump. The reality is more voters talked about Ossoff being a carpetbagger than they talked about where either candidate stood on the issues.

Third, Democrats got cocky. In the last two weeks of the race they started knocking on Republican doors to try to turn out the vote. Yes, they needed to persuade persuadable Republicans to vote Ossoff, but they did not just target those voters. They blanketed the district, knocking on the doors of Trump voters. They saturated the district with robocalls. They overbought television advertisements. They overexposed their candidate.

Fourth, Ossoff never defined himself. He went negative on Handel, who had won this district in three elections and who was known by 90% of the district. He could not define a woman who everyone already knew and mostly liked. But no one knew Ossoff and he got defined as a Pelosi loving carpetbagger.

That leads me to the fifth point, Nancy Pelosi is as much an anchor on the Democrats as Trump is on the GOP, if not more so. If Democrats want to win GOP seats, Pelosi needs to stay in the shadows.

Sixth, Ossoff was way overexposed. People got tired of his ads. They were on constantly. They never changed. People tuned them out over time. He never shook up the advertisements or rolled out new attacks or positive messages. Democrats saying this was about healthcare want to focus on his literally last two days where he talked about healthcare. He otherwise did not go deep on policy on the campaign trail.

Seventh, this was a Republican district that was won by a well known and liked Republican who was able to offset poor fundraising with high name ID and likability. Trump voters turned out for her and got her across the finish line.

Eighth, and this is the most important point, Ossoff ran as a moderate Republican. He never attacked the President and opposed universal healthcare. But the national noise about this campaign filtered in. Local voters and local news coverage knew the national progressive activists viewed an Ossoff win as another step towards the impeachment of President Trump. By being so vocal about the implications of this race, the Democrats fired up the GOP voters to defend Trump. It is a poor strategy moving forward for them. This is a district they need and they lost it.

Ninth, despite the rhetoric, you should know that this was one of the most civil races I have witnessed. Yes, there were crazies and bad things happened to both sides, but largely the candidates and campaigns were very civil to each other and the attacks were relatively mild.

Tenth, expect Karen Handel to be her own person in Congress. She will stand up to both sides and she will not be a yes woman for anyone. Jon Ossoff too will come out of this with an enhanced reputation among Democrats. He is going to be a force to contend with in the future. His political career is just starting.

Ossoff’s political career may or may not be starting, but even though the Democratic Party isn’t going to go away, it’s not going to win anything anytime soon either based on Stephen Miller‘s observations:

The only thing Democrats won recently was the congressional baseball game, while the only way Democrat voters can seem to get Republicans out of Congress is by shooting them. And they can’t even do that right.

Jon Ossoff’s loss-off, and the three prior to it, has left the party messaging fractured and split along two primary lines of thinking; abandon the moderate center (which Ossoff attempted to cater to), by going further left (the Bernie/Warren activist wing), or moderate the message by attempting to peel away disenfranchised Trump voters, along with independents who have come to believe the White House reality show is a failure.

Two glaring examples of these fault lines have emerged on Twitter.

“Maybe instead of trying to convince hateful white people, Dems should convince our base—ppl of color, women to turn out. Cater to them,” Tweeted noted far-left feminist and author Jill Filipovic. Filipovic went on to rail against bigoted voters in proceeding tweets. “At what point is this not a failure of Democrats but toxic, vindictive voters willing to elected hateful bigots.”

Herein lies the Democrats’ problem, just as it was a problem when Hillary Clinton bellowed about a basket full of deplorables during the 2016 campaign. The Democrats and their base (Hollywood) think the key to winning elections is to insult voters. “They don’t vote for us because they are bigots” is not a strategy I would employ as a campaign manager but they are welcome to keep trying this, and they are welcome to keep losing.

Another problem with Filipovic’s theory: Trump won educated white women over the first major party female nominee in history. ”

The otherization and dehumanization of large swaths of the voting public is a primary reason operatives like Filipovic have been reduced to tweeting from the havens of their Upper West and East Coast cities. These urban islands are where the party is forced to mine for talent to send into strange flyover districts. As Heat Street reported, Ossoff had nine times as many donors in California, as his home state of Georgia.

The key to winning, according to Filipovic, is to act contemptibly toward voters and put up candidates in districts where they don’t live, while simultaneously marching through their streets and blocking highways. Bold strategy.

On the other end of the spectrum, is former Obama administration advisor Dan Pfieffer, who between CNN gigs basically wanders around acting like he had nothing to do with the past eight years or the rise of Donald Trump.

In a series of tweets, Pfieffer argued that the key to Democrats’ getting back on their feet is to go after swing voters, specifically those voters that flipped from Barack Obama to Trump in the 2016 election. Those voters handed Trump narrow victories in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Florida and that other weird state that starts with a W that Team Hillary seems to have completely wiped off the electoral map.

“To take back the House, we need lean GOP voters who disapprove of Trump to vote for a Dem. This is hard, but very doable over 18 months.” Pfeiffer believes that Democrats should highlight the unpopular Obamacare replacement and hammer nothing else until 2018.

Pfieffer’s peel away strategy has immediately met with resistance from Mike Casca, a former communications director for both Rep. Keith Ellison and Sen. Bernie Sanders. “What if we proposed things our voters like? that seems easier and more honest,” Casca tweeted in response to Pfeiffer, and then ended his night with “i think a simple thing democrats could do to help in the midterms is to be more openly hostile to capitalism.”

The far left wing of the party has a problem however because Pfeiffer is for the most part correct. If Democrats can’t win back the white working class vote that Clinton ignored in 2016, and to whom Filipovic is openly hostile, they aren’t going to win another election for the next 30 years, until that demographic dies off. Long time to wait.

The problem with Pfieffer’s direction are two-fold. While there are Republican voters disenchanted with Trump, they may not be disenchanted enough to close their eyes and pull the lever for Democrats. That’s an awfully big gamble for a party that just threw $30 million down the toilet.

The second, as evidenced by Casca, is the far-left base, still enamored with Obama’s cultural justice campaigns and falling head over heels for Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have no intention of modifying or moderating their message.

This is the rudderless, sinking ship the Democrats are faced with as they attempt to find their identity after Obama.

Democrats either want to be a party that offers a more sane and measured alternative to Trump’s chaotic, unpredictable craziness, or they want to keep putting together symbolic marches while attempting to explain why some of their more extreme supporters are staging campus riots, talking about blowing up the White House and stabbing people on trains or shooting up baseball fields. Maybe they’ll figure it out post 2018, or a couple of years into Trump’s second term.

Democrats are, suffice to say, not happy. The New York Times reports:

Among Democrats in Washington, the setback in Georgia revived or deepened a host of existing grievances about the party, accentuating tensions between moderate lawmakers and liberal activists and prompting some Democrats to question the leadership and political strategy of Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader.

A small group of Democrats who have been critical of Ms. Pelosi in the past again pressed her to step down on Wednesday. And in a private meeting of Democratic lawmakers, Representative Tony Cárdenas of California, Ms. Pelosi’s home state, suggested the party should have a more open conversation about her effect on its political fortunes.

But the most acute and widely expressed concerns were economic. Speaking after a meeting of the Democratic caucus on Wednesday morning, Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York said the party was preparing to be “aggressively focused on job creation and economic growth.” And Representative Jim Himes of Connecticut, who represents an affluent district near New York City, said Democrats must do more to compete with what he described as expansive and unrealistic promises by President Trump.

“It’s not enough to say, ‘I want jobs,’” Mr. Himes said. “You need more than that, particularly when you’re competing with a guy who is telling fantasies.”

Representative Debbie Dingell of Michigan called for Democrats to go “on offense” and attack the president’s perceived strength on economic matters with working-class voters.

“We need to show working men and women we understand their anxieties and fears,” she said, “and show that Trump is treating them like just another politician.” …

Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, an open critic of Ms. Pelosi, called the Georgia result “frustrating” and urged a shake-up at the top of the party.

That “toxic brand” includes immigration and environmentalist extremists, along with whatever freak show discharges from such Democratic strongholds as the People’s Republic of Madison. (How many genders are we up to now?)
University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato told CNN:

For Democrats obviously, it’s pretty depressing. That’s the word I’ve seen on Twitter more than any other from Democrats about the result. I think if Democrats learn a lesson from this election, it’s that the euphoria that they felt for the last several months as Donald Trump has fallen in the polls and they began to believe that this would be not easy but doable to take over the House of Representatives and eventually replace Donald Trump, that euphoria is gone and it’s replaced with reality. And the reality is, it’s going to be a long twilight struggle. Day in and day out if they’re going to be able to retake the House and eventually defeat Donald Trump. iI won’t be easy. It may not be possible but it certainly won’t be easy.