Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Two Mistakes Democrats Can't Let Themselves Make

If history is any indication, there are two reactions from Democrats that are almost inevitable in the next few months, neither one of which we can afford.

The first is to panic at every outlier poll and every attempt by the mainstream news to treat this race as a legitimate contest among equals.  The last vaguely competent Republican Presidential candidate was probably Bob Dole in 1996; before that it was the accidental candidacy of Gerald Ford.  The rest of them have been corrupt, ludicrous tools, which the Democrats should have never taken as serious choices to run the country.  But already the panic is spreading, with certain supposedly left-leaning characters already quivering in fear, and implicitly admitting that Trump has something going for him.  This must stop, and Trump must be treated as the patently impossible choice that he is.  A first step in this direction would be, as I have suggested, for Hillary to refuse to "debate" this clown.  The truth is the only thing the Democrats have to set us free and it must be employed over and over again.

The second mistake is to buy into the Republican and media hype about the great "split" in the Republican party, and the supposed tremendous Republican opposition to Trump that is supposedly appearing.  Cracks in this narrative are showing up every day, with people who seemed unalterably opposed to Trump joining him every day.  Why, even Paul Ryan is backing off from hi opposition, saying there is a path to his supporting Trump.

The truth is that Republicans love authoritarianism, and in the end they do what they are told.  They will vote for their candidate no matter how disastrous they know he will be.  By November there will be hardly a single anti-Trump Republican still standing.  Their voters will all gleefully tramp off to the polls and vote to send the country into an unbelievable disaster.

But remember that, at this point, that represents less than thirty percent of the populace.  Democrats must see to it that the other seventy percent knows the truth, and acts accordingly.  If they do that, they will crush Trump.  If they don't, Trump may crush the country.

But Wait:  Just moments after I wrote this, and I see the following from the Associated Press:

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- Key Senate Republicans voiced optimism Tuesday about Donald Trump's presidential prospects in November, signaling clearly to the GOP rank and file to unite behind the bombastic billionaire and turn their energy toward battling Democrat Hillary Clinton."

That didn't take long, now, did it?  I thought a lot of these guys would hold out for a few weeks, in order to get some personal advantage out of their flipping to Trump, but no, the stampede has apparently already started.  Never underestimate the cravenness of a Republican.  You just never go wrong when you assume that there is not one shred of decency in the entire Republican party.


isaac said...

One thing the Democrats and the eventual Dem nominee absolutely must NOT do is to let the Republicans frame the terms of the debate going into the election. And afterward, as well. When you let the other guy frame the terms, you're playing his game, and you are on defense.

One example that stands out to me is how the left allowed the right to make the word "liberal" a bad word. And Dukakis, to me, is a textbook example of it.

He spent a lot of time being painted as a "liberal" and a "wimp". To show he *wasn't* a wimp, he jumped in that tank, and that goofy grin he flashed made him look wimpy. He was playing defense instead of confronting the right wing framing. He allowed the other guys to define him, and it worked.

Not to say that it would have worked, but I would have preferred to see Dukakis making sure every voter knew how heavily liberalism played in creating the solid middle class (we used to have) and how conservative policies have been their ruination. Among other things.

One way many Democrats have chosen to "fight back" is to move further to the right. It happened in my own state, a state with a traditional reputation for being liberal and progressive. For a good while, the state legislature had so many Republicans it they had a quorum even if not one Democrat showed up to vote. And they took that and ran with it, because the Dems were too busy trying to be watered down rightwingers instead of embracing being lefties.

The right spends a lot of time, effort, and money coming up with words to frame the debate and stack the deck in their favor in the minds of people who don't think too deeply about what they are being told. And the Dems fall into the trap.

I don't have any confidence in the ability of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to steer the dems in the right direction. She could very possibly oversee what should be an easy victory go straight down the tubes. I still wonder whose bright idea to replace Howard Dean with her, and make her the head of the DNC.

Anonymous said...

Decency meaning you expect Republicans to vote for HRC because Trump is an incompetent fool? How soon we forget the country voted for Bush twice. Once after they understood he lied about Iraq. I'm with Bill Maher: Don't write Trump off, he could win the presidency and usual attack tactics don't seem to work against him.

Green Eagle said...

Anonymous, see my little post above. Of course, I have absolutely zero expectation that Republicans will do the right thing for the country, when their (real or imaginary) tax cuts are at stake.

Isaac, unfortunately, it is the press that frames the debate, and they are a totally owned subsidiary of the Republican party these days.