Comrade Sanders cancelled his scheduled keynote address.

WASHINGTON — In the wake of President Donald Trump’s election, Democrats have faced a common question: Can they channel the energy of the anti-Trump resistance into beating Republicans in 2018?

Joel Silberman insists that the answer is yes — but only if candidates stick to an uncompromising progressive message. “I believe that I want to piss off the opposition as much as possible,” Silberman, a progressive messaging expert, said to a crowd of hundreds of novice candidates gathered in an underground hotel conference room on Thursday. “I want them to be so angry they repeat my message over and over.”

Silberman was speaking at day one of a national candidate training program put on by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which works to elect progressives from city halls to Congress. Up to 300 candidates from 40 states who have pledged to advance progressive policies are expected to attend the four-day training in downtown Washington, D.C.

“Someone who is an activist in their community doesn’t necessarily know what to do to run for office and win,” PCCC co-founder Stephanie Taylor said. “Candidates can go through these exercises, build confidence and go back home and do these things for themselves.” […]

While the training’s focus was often on how to win local races, the significance of the national health care debate playing out less than a mile from the training was felt by the candidates. Sanders had to cancel his planned lunchtime keynote address. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) made it, but only after a scheduling change.