There was much hope Democrats would pick up at least one of the open congressional seats in the special elections. But that's all it was, hope. The seats were in deeply held Republican districts, and Democrats lost. But the did over perform. They did much better than otherwise would have been expected. The races were competitive in districts where congressional seats are normally not competitive. So what must Democrats do to win Congress back next year? Some say Democrats must ditch Pelosi as she has become someone Republicans can easily vilify and use to smear Democratic candidates. It's not fair, and while I'm not a fan of Pelosi, she certainly doesn't deserve the crap Republicans have thrown at her. I think Democrats need to do the following: 1) The need to co-opt the "drain the swamp" meme. This has always been a part of Democratic ideology. But Democrats haven't really done much with it. They need candidates like Warren and Bernie who can credibly play this meme. As Trump demonstrated, it's a meme that works. Despite his rhetoric, Trump has done nothing to "drain the swamp", and he has no plans to do so. If Trump has done anything, he has flooded the swamp. This is Trump's Achilles heel. This is the Republican Achilles heel. 2) If Republicans proved anything during Obama's presidency, they proved obstruction works. So Democrats need to obstruct at every opportunity. And they don't need to be particularly gentle or discrete about it. 3) They need to remain true to their values. 4) Talent: Democrats need good candidates. They need to find and develop good candidates. And frankly, I'm not seeing a lot talent within Democratic ranks. 5) They need to mitigate Republican gerrymandering. They need to change the congressional electoral map. It won't help much in 2018. But this must be a longer term objective. 6) Democrats need a long term strategic plan. Republicans have one. Democrats need one too. 7) Better organization, Democrats need to be better organized. Owing to the Koch brothers, Republicans have a very well organized and well financed political machine. Democrats need their a political machine of their own. Democrats need to realize Republicans are playing to win regardless of the cost to the nation. Republicans aren't playing by the old gentlemanly rules. Republicans aren't good actors. Democrats need to understand that. Republicans will not be joining Democrats in a round of Kumbaya anytime soon. Obama and his fellow Democrats made that mistake in 2009 and throughout his first term. So, what are your ideas? What must Democrats do to win back control of government in 2018 and beyond?