Ah, the Consultants

It sometimes seems like the political consultants who run the Democratic Party are unbelievably stupid. When you bore down into the details, though, it looks less like the problem is that they're too dumb then that they're too smart. As Brad Plumer notes here their contracts are structured in such a way as to create massive inherent conflicts of interest between developing a smart campaign strategy and making money. And, of course, having your candidates do poorly is no obstacle to continuing to be employed since any candidate who declines to hire the same tiny circle of corrupt, ineffective political strategy firms will be locked out of DSCC/DCCC funds which, in turn, sends a negative signal to big money donors, etc.

See this 2005 article from Amy Sullivan for more. In one of its "doesn't actually have anything to do with blogs" moments, Crashing the Gates also has an insightful discussion of this issue. And, yes, the GOP operates differently and, not coincidentally, get better results.