Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Hey Dems, Want To Beat Trump? Here's How


Ok, so here we are. Almost 18 months into the presidency from hell and one thing is for certain. Those who hate Donald Trump, really hate him; and those who love him, for some strange reason continue to love him. The electorate has never been so divided or polarized as it's been since he took office.

I'm not about to spend even a microsecond analyzing how anyone could like, much less love, this president. I neither have the patience, nor the psychological training to tackle that subject. But I do want to take a few minutes and talk to those of you whose loathing for this man holds no bounds.

I get it. He's an embarrassment to the country like nothing we've ever witnessed before. Next to him, Bush was Dwight Eisenhower, yada, yada, yada. You want him out of office; well, so do I. The question is how.

For the moment, let's take the Russia investigation off the table. We have no way of knowing what Robert Mueller will find or when he will release his report. And as I've mentioned about nine thousand times, there's no way Republicans will vote to impeach him; and even if Democrats take the House this year, they won't have the 67 votes necessary to convict him in the Senate. Face it, Trump will serve out his full term in office. The only question is whether he gets reelected in 2020.

So let's concentrate on how we can make him a one-term president. I've been giving the matter a great deal of thought and have come up wth three things that Democrats and progressives can do that if executed properly will all but guarantee a Democrat will be in the White House come 2021.

Number One: Avoid unnecessary distractions. I cannot empathize enough just how unproductive it is paying attention to the plethora of bullshit that comes from this man's Twitter feed. It's like watching someone with Turrets syndrome trying to communicate. Look, we all know he has the impulse control of a four-year old; that doesn't mean we're required to respond to every one of those impulses. Recently, he was taken to task for using the incorrect spelling of a word in a tweet where he bragged about his prowess as a writer. I don't give a shit whether he can spell or read! The question is why would you or anyone else care? Here's a helpful hint: ignore his tweets and you'll drive him up the wall; paying attention to them only feeds his already massive ego. Just think spoiled brat desperately in need of a time out, only bigger and much older.

Also, under the heading of unnecessary distractions, stop with the protests at restaurants already; it isn't working. The ten seconds of satisfaction that you get from screaming at someone while they're eating isn't worth the negative optics it generates among the voters who we are counting on to give us the House this November and whose vote in 2020 will determine who the next president will be. Besides, do you really think you're going to shame Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Her father is Mike Huckabee and she works for Trump. If she hasn't jumped off a bridge by now, she isn't going to. Face it, these people are impervious to your slights; if anything, like the Orange menace in the Oval Office, it only emboldens them. Let them have their meal in peace; trust me, history will have its way with them in the long run.

In my last piece I wrote that it was a mistake to call Trump stupid. If anything, he's the political equivalent of a genius. And he knows exactly what he's doing and why. Just look at his tweets. He's managed to run us ragged keeping up with his verbal diarrhea. We have to stop making it so easy for him.

Number Two: It's about the policy, stupid. While all of you were preoccupied wth Lord Fauntleroy's pour grammar - get it? - this little tidbit appeared in Politico. "Republican lawmakers are losing their patience with the president’s trade war, saying it’s hurting their states and the party’s chances in the midterms."

You know what they call this in political terminology, boys and girls? They call it a winning campaign issue. And right now, Dems need anything they can hang their hats on going into the fall. The tariffs that Trump is imposing on foreign-made products will not only hurt consumers at the cash register, it will cost potentially hundreds of thousands of jobs, most of them in GOP-held districts and states. That's why Republicans are shitting their pants. They know what's at stake.

Then there's the tax law, which for some strange reason Republicans aren't even running on. Want to know why? Because they know what every first-year accountant knows: 1. It isn't having the economic impact they thought it would [no shit, Sherlock, most of the benefits went to the top one percent and to corporations who used the money to buy back stock]; and 2. When voters file their income taxes in 2019, a good percentage of them are going to figure out how badly they got fucked. Put succinctly, if you're married, with two or more kids and you own a home, you might want to bend over and start coughing now. It'll be less painful then waiting till next April.

Dems need to drive both these points home every chance they get, not go off on these stupid-assed tangents that may resonate with the base, but have little impact among others within the party. And speaking of others within the party.

Number Three: Bury the hatchet. Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away, Democrats dreamed of being a big-tent party. Of course, there was only one small problem: not every one under the tent was dreaming the same dream. Some were liberals, while some were centrists, or what we used to call Blue Dogs. Today, most of the Blue Dog Democrats, like Ben Nelson of Nebraska, are gone. A few remain, but don't have much of a voice in the party platform. In the last presidential election, the DNC all but caved to the Bernie wing of the party. Since the election of Barack Obama in '08, Democrats have moved considerably to the left. The party of Bill Clinton is all but extinct.

Some of that was due to changing demographics within the various constituencies. We saw that play out in the New York 14th. Long-time Congressman Joe Crowley lost to 28 year old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a district that was almost 50 percent Hispanic. The question wasn't how did Crowley lose, but, rather, why did it take so long?

But while New York's 14th Congressional district finally has a candidate that is representative of its actual population, not all is hunky dory in Demland, where a growing number of progressives are still obsessed with the one-size fits all approach to governing. As I wrote in an earlier piece regarding the upcoming Supreme Court vacancy, party leadership must do everything in its power to prevent Trump and the Republicans from appointing another nominee to the bench. "Any attempt to soft pedal the process and acquiesce to the 'political realities' of the Senate could have disastrous consequences for Dems this November."

But as I also pointed out, Red-state Democrats like Joe Manchin and Jon Tester will likely cross party lines and vote to confirm the pick. That's where things could get personal. And that's where party leadership will have its greatest challenge. Put simply, the liberals and the centrists have to come to an understanding. Like it or not, Democrats in West Virginia and Montana are different than Democrats in New York and California. And they all don't vote the same. There might be Democrats in West Virginia and Montana who support raising the minimum wage but who are anti abortion. Those same Democrats may like Trump, but still want a Democratic Congress to act as a check on him. And, finally, those very same Democrats may like Manchin and Tester but despise Nancy Pelosi and the DNC. The bottom line is that if they don't show up to vote, both states become pickups for Republicans this fall.

Democrats cannot let that happen. Regardless of whether or not Manchin and Tester are your favorite cup of tea, they are vital to any chance the party has of winning back control of the Senate. Right now, Trump and the Republicans are counting on both factions warring with themselves. It was Abraham Lincoln who once said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." If progressives and centrists don't bury the hatchet and focus all their energies on the upcoming midterms, the party will not only waste a golden opportunity to retake the House, it might very well forfeit any hope of getting rid of the number one enemy of the free world in 2020.

And if that happens, may God have mercy on their souls.

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