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Press Release | November 9, 2022

"Aggressive Mundaneness" Doomed Democrats, Government Watchdog Argues

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Contact: Max Moran, moran@therevolvingdoorproject.org

Ahead of widely-predicted Democratic losses in the 2022 midterm elections tomorrow, the Revolving Door Project released a nine-page memo arguing against the national Democratic Party’s message strategy of “aggressive mundaneness.” The term comes from a deeply-reported New Yorker feature on swing-seat Democratic races.

The Project’s memo argues that Democrats did not clearly articulate what they stand for by making unpopular enemies and provoking fights with specific, unpopular villains. They failed to drive news coverage or social media interest, because they refused to be provocative or generate conflict. While Democrats did argue that they’d protect abortion and democratic norms, they did not make themselves credible on these issues by using their control of Congress to vote on reproductive rights or voter enfranchisement bills in the crucial two months after Labor Day. Voters thus had little reason to see these appeals as more than empty political rhetoric.

This left voters with few affirmative reasons to turn out for Democrats. By trying desperately not to alienate any potential constituency, “aggressive mundaneness” left all voters without a sense of what Democrats’ actual principles are, and how they plan to actually wield power if it is granted to them. This made Democrats appear boring at best, and untrustworthy at worst.

“We’ve been saying since January that the Democratic Party needs to show what it is for, by proving what it is against,” said Revolving Door Project Executive Director Jeff Hauser. “This is why we’ve written several white papers on untaken executive actions, and did polling showing enormous bipartisan support for cracking down on corporate malfeasance. There were plenty of lay-ups available to Democrats to show they mean what they say, but the party didn’t take them. Just saying ‘we’re not Republicans’ isn’t enough. You have to show people what you stand for.”


PHOTO CREDIT: “Nancy Pelosi” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

2022 ElectionCorporate CrackdownExecutive Branch

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