Progressive Candidates to Democratic Leaders: You Can Do Better Than “A Better Deal”

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

“You wanna learn where America’s at?” Jim Keady asked me. “Stand behind a bar.” The owner of Lighthouse Tavern in Waretown, New Jersey, was venting his frustration with Democrats in Washington, rolling his eyes at the mere mention of their new message rolled out this week: “A Better Deal.” At his restaurant on the Jersey Shore, he’d never sell burgers by saying they were slightly better than the other guy’s. “I got the best burger you’ve ever tasted!” he said, giving me a proper pitch. “I got the coldest beer you’ve ever drank!”

Keady is a Democrat, but too often he feels like his party isn’t connecting with his customers—those fishermen and hunters downing drinks and scarfing seafood, some of whom