In 281 BC, the Greek city-state of Tarentum consulted the Oracle of Delphi before picking Pyrrhus of Epirus as their general. It was a move that would turn an otherwise unremarkable rebellion into a truism. The following year, Pyrrhus landed on the Italian peninsula with some 25,000 troops. He would win every battle with the Romans – but excessive losses and his decision to battle both Carthage and Roman at the same time would lend his name to a type of victory that leaves the victor so weakened as to be useless.
I believe that the 5th is winnable by a Democrat. Voting trends have been moving towards this fact for four Congressional elections. But Democrats are still outnumbered by Republicans and far, far outnumbered by unaffiliated voters. For a Democrat to win, a candidate would have to mobilize strong Democratic support, pick up at least half of the moderates, and neutralize (at least) some of the moderate Republicans in the district. Camille Abate is not this type of candidate. A win for Camille Abate in June will be a Pyrrhic victory as her uber-negative, slash-and-burn campaign style will do nothing but unite Republicans and Independents against her – and against any Democrat in the district.
I was encouraged by her willingness to work between elections. But apparently, the goal of her work was to make herself an even more polarizing figure. While campaigning is always about spin and hyperbole, Abate manages to take that into vicious territory that is sure to destroy her broader support. Take, for example, her new mailer: