The right has Benghazi, the Veterans Affairs scandal, Dr. Ben Carson and Obamacare. Democrats may have something even more powerful: liberal fear and self-loathing.
As the end of the May fundraising month approaches, emails to supporters from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have gone from gentle concern to Defcon 1, apocalyptic panic. It's a time-honored tactic to get supporters to open an email, and their wallets, but rarely has it been employed at this level of alarm. "All hope is lost," reads the subject line of a fundraising email sent Friday morning. "Quick Reminder: the Kochs are beating us -- BADLY," the email begins.
In 2012, one of the Obama campaign's most successful emails was one from campaign officials warning "We could lose," breaking through a barrier of invincibility that had developed among Obama supporters as the Republican Primary dragged on.
For the DCCC the challenge may be the opposite. While it's better funded than Republicans' National Republican Congressional Committee, few believe Democrats have any chance of retaking the House of Representatives this fall given midterm turnout patterns and redistricting. So Democratic fundraisers have been doing their best to install a near suicidal sense of foreboding in the liberal ranks.
And it's working — already the DCCC has raised more money online than it did in the entire 2012 cycle.
"With Congressional Republicans prioritizing their special interest backers over the American people, the stakes of this election are high for middle-class families," DCCC spokesman Josh Schwerin said. "We rely on our grassroots supporters to keep pace with the millions of dollars we face from the likes of the Koch brothers."
Below is a sampling of the emails from the past week with their heart-stopping subject lines meant to drive open rates:
All Hope is Lost
throw in the towel