Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Historically speaking, the Republican Party and Donald Trump should be trounced in the midterm elections.  If there's anything resembling a free and fair electoral system in the United States -- and with all that gerrymandering, that's not really the case -- then the party of the most noxious, venal, dishonest, and idiotic entity to ever occupy the White House should take an absolute beating.   Only a moron could lose against Trump, right?

Yet I fear the moron is sitting right there on the other side of the aisle.  Simply put, this thing is about to slip through the Democrats' hands.  Contrary to popular thought and logic, not only are they unable to annihilate the most corrupt Congress and unqualified President in the nation's history, they might not even be able to flip the House two years after a Presidential win, a relatively commonplace fate that befell Clinton, Obama, Bush, Eisenhower, Truman,  et al.

Part of the problem might be that Trump is so awful it's inconceivable that he wouldn't be punished for simply being... Trump.  There seems to be an attitude endemic amongst progressives of, "But who could possibly support that man?"

This is head-up-your-ass thinking, the same kind that anointed Hillary Clinton, ran that awful campaign, allowed the gerrymandered map to take root in the first place, and left the Democratic Party rudderless, cash-less, and leaderless.   Instead of fighting for the country, Democrats have spent precious resources fighting among themselves against the Berners, arguing about gender rights and #meToo, bathrooms and flags and soft issues that have no bearing on getting rid of Trump and his trolls in Congress or his Gringotts on Wall Street.

For far too long, Democrats have believed that they will win the House because, well, they should.  When you press for details as to how this is going to accomplished, however, you only get murmurings about what the Mueller report is going to reveal, or what effect further news of Trump's corporate shenanigans will have on good wholesome people.

This fills one with distress.  In fact, the Mueller Report is far past its Best Buy date. Most Americans don't care about the Mueller report.  I'll wager most of them think it's already been issued.  You might get a shrug of the shoulders when you let folks know the report is still to be released.  As for Trump's corporate shenanigans: he's a crook, everyone knows he's a crook, and even the New York Times' extensive and well reported piece about his entire financial life being a lie -- in fact, his life itself being a lie -- had zero effect on his popularity.

His numbers have gone up since.  Dangerously.  And there's still two long long weeks before the election.  Those numbers have plenty of room to go higher.  It is simply the wrong time for Trump to be rising.

So do the Democrats really believe that voters are going to be so horrified by things like the President calling the porn star sex partner "horse-faced" that votes are going to change?  That  replaying the "Access Hollywood" tape is going to mobilize voters?    I don't even believe that just grinding the axe about healthcare is enough to do it.

What most amazes me is that the Democrats can't even be found on the Sunday shows or nightly cable news making the case for themselves.  The Democratic pundits are there, but actual elected Democratic leaders are in short supply, whereas Trump clearly understands the core fact of life for the last one hundred years.  It's something I honestly believed everyone knew.  Here it is:

Johnny Carson was the most famous and powerful figure in American show business when I was a kid.  That's because Johnny was on TV for 90 minutes every weekday night for  thirty years.  A generation before, it was Arthur Godfrey, who had a radio show and a couple of TV shows and seemed to be everywhere all at the same time.  Before that, it was probably Bing Crosby, who was the #1 movie star, radio star, recording star, and live act.

Exposure matters.

And every night -- every single night -- I see Trump at some rally in some blood red state throwing meat at the crowd and everyone gobbling it up.  I see him hugging Ted Cruz.  I see him ranting about caravans of brown people coming to rape and pillage white America, about Democratic mobs who are out of control and storming the gates (I wish).  I see him literally making shit up on the fly and people screaming in delight to "lock her up", whoever she is.  This tribal pitchfork act, I note by checking Trump's schedule, is to continue  right up to the Monday night prior to the Midterms.

Stupefyingly, the Democrats seem to believe this is good for them.  That somehow this will reveal Trump to be a bad guy.  As if he hadn't won The Asshole of the Planet Award already.  Worse, they pick up the dog turd thinking they're holding steak.  A perfect example of this is the White House rather cagily putting it out there that they might repeal gender parity rights for transgender folks across the country.  Democrats seem to be taking the bait:  rising up in righteous indignation, pumping their fists for a segment of the population most of America is dubious about at best, and certainly dubious about compared to being able to afford your co-pay when you take your kid to the emergency room for a broken arm (it's $100).

The Democratic Party needs voices, loud voices, and it needs them now in these crucial two weeks.  It needs people who make the case nationally and talk about things that actually matter to the greatest number of Americans.

But there's a forest for the trees situation here.  When we talk about voices, let us not forget that this is the same party that got rid of Al Franken, one of the most outspoken and progressive voices in the party, on the charge of dubious behavior that took place before he was a Senator -- when he was, actually, a professional comedian -- on the basis of  standing up for women.  This is utter lunacy.  If you cared anything about women's rights you would have kept a Senator who consistently voted for access to healthcare, assisted education, and pay equity and, if you you needed to, send him to Sensitivity Counseling on the weekend.  But don't give up such a powerful force on issues that matter to real working women -- not women in the U.S. Senate -- and certainly don't be so stupid as to give up a safe seat in Minnesota when the Senate is 51-49 against you.

This is the Democratic Party in a nutshell.  No cohesion.  No strategy.  No structure.  It's a polyglot of good intentions signifying nothing.

There is a way to turn this thing around, however.  Be simple.  Be clear.  Be harsh.  Talk about healthcare.  Scare people. Show them what's going to happen to retired mom and dad when they can't afford their medication.  Show the eleven-year-old who will die in a living room.  Show the border.  Show pictures of children being ripped from their parents.  Make Trump the villain.  The thing is, he actually is a villain, an actual monster, so what are you waiting for?  Just focus on those two issues relentlessly.  They would.

But the Dems won't do it.  They still think he's a joke.  They still think all you have to do is make fun of him and point out how ridiculous he is and people will come flocking to your non-message.

The truth is, I'm not sure Democrats deserve to win.  Not just because they don't understand what Trump is,  but because they don't understand what -- and how serious -- their responsibility is.

1 comment:

  1. $100 for an emergency room visit copay is ONLY if you are lucky enough to have excellent insurance. If you were unlucky enough to have drunk the kool-aid and bought a Trump-care health insurance plan you may discover that your kids visit to the emergency room isn't covered at all. God help you if you need to be admitted to a hospital for any reason at all. Unless you are closely related to Bill Gates, it could bankrupt you.



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