Too little anger breeds a sense of complacency and decreases the urgency of voting. Too much anger produces self-defeating rhetoric that repels the very undecided voters that you are struggling to attract.

Such is the Democratic dilemma after the soul-destroying confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. The failure to win any support among Senate Republicans — with the conspicuous exception of Lisa Murkowski — can be viewed as the final vindication of Mitch McConnell’s scorched-earth tactics that stymied Merrick Garland.

Hillary Clinton gave voice to this bitter frustration when she told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about. That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”…

Heitkamp should be a Democratic hero after her principled, damn-the-polls vote against Kavanaugh. Instead, she had to react to Clinton’s ill-considered claim that civility should be on furlough until the Democrats regain power. As Heitkamp adroitly put it, “That’s ridiculous. I mean I can’t imagine how you get anything done if you don’t bring civility back into politics. And that goes for both sides.”