Monday, July 22, 2019

Now And Forever

November 2020 is a long way off but we’re already seeing the rumblings of punditry telling us that Trump has a lock on the Electoral College and the Democrats are in total disarray.  I’m not sure if there’s methodology to this, but it seems that like a summer heat wave — both predictable and unprepared for — the plotting and the hand-wringing comes along with it.

Right now you can pick and choose your poison and night sweats about about Trump in office for another term, or you can take a deep breath, exhale, and get to work coming up with candidates and policy ideas that are less a response to the spasms of this id-driven narcissist and more grounded in what the country actually needs.

I think Frank Bruni makes a couple of good points here.

The Democratic Party and the Democratic candidates for president need to be smarter, more realistic and more disciplined than they are now. Enough with internal feuding. Enough with taking the president’s bait and bumbling into his traps. If he sets the terms of the political discussion, he wins.

He wants to spend the 15 months between now and Election Day talking about “the squad”: Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley. Democrats mustn’t follow suit. Absolutely they should defend the four congresswomen, and make clear that they are every bit as American as Trump is. In taking issue with his leadership and finding fault with our country, they’re exercising and honoring our most dearly held rights, which the president is trampling on.

So say that once, loud and clear. Maybe say it twice. Then move on. Trump wants to define all Democrats in terms of the squad, when they’re but a part of a diverse party and hardly its ideological proxies. So don’t let him. Don’t let all the other issues get muscled off the stage. If everyone’s talking about Omar, no one’s talking about health care or jobs: the stuff that actually turns elections and will turn this one. If Trump has his way, this campaign will be a bogus referendum on a bastard definition of patriotism. It will be a race-obsessed and racist jubilee. Don’t play along.


…Reeling from the ugliness of his actions and words — which are meant to make them reel — Democrats want to repudiate him as forcefully as possible. But that can lead to a reaction that’s neither smart politics nor good policy.

Nancy Pelosi knows this. It’s why she hasn’t been talking up the Green New Deal, single-payer insurance or impeachment, and the suggestion that this makes her some squishy centrist pushover — some musty relic from a timid era — is bunk. She has her eyes on the most meaningful prize, one she pursued successfully in the midterms: Democratic victory. And she can see that in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll published a little over a week ago, just 21 percent of registered voters said that there was enough evidence for Congress to begin impeachment hearings.


I wonder what would happen if the Democratic nominee simply refused to talk about Trump. No responding to whatever stupid nickname he comes up with. No sweeping denunciation of some deed of his that any sensible American already knows is wrong. Just the articulation of better solutions to America’s problems. Trump would go mad with the lack of attention. And maybe then, thank heaven, he’d go away.

I wouldn’t so blithely say he’d go away; even if he’s dragged kicking and screaming from the West Wing, we’ll have to endure his tweets and his plotting to come back like a bad repeat of Grover Cleveland’s second term, so far the only president to win again after losing re-election.  So this has to be a permanent win; not just the White House and the Senate in 2020, but for the next two to four election cycles.  Democrats have the numbers to be a permanent majority and they’re growing all the time.  They just have to use them.

3 barks and woofs on “Now And Forever

  1. Unfortunately Pelosi is a musty relic from a timid era who is going to cost us votes in 2020 because her cowardice is demoralizing the Democratic base; even the supposed “progressive” bills the House is passing are half measures.

    • Wrong wrong and wrong again. Pelosi is ten times smarter than Trump and he knows it. She knows, for instance, that caving to the House’s yammering about impeaching Trump is a waste of their valuable time – BECAUSE the Senate as now composed would never even take it up much less concur. She also knows there’s no demand for it in the general population. And she knows impeachment is something Trump dearly wishes she’d try because he’d win in a landslide. The red states may have fewer numbers that the big-city blues, but they have a lock on the Electoral College.
      And the bills that are passing now are those that are passable, not those we wish for. Time to get out the vote and take over the Senate and stop bitching.

  2. I do vote. But tell me: what consequences have there been so far to Trump’s behavior? None. Suppose that in 2020 Trump wins, the GOP retakes the House and holds the senate. How are you going to feel then about Pelosi’s supposed caution? With Russian interference and gerrymandering that scenario is not only possible but likely. A lot of us are feeling like we wasted our time in 2018 and Pelosi can’t just dismiss that feeling. It doesn’t matter what the Senate will do – the House can just prolong the hearings until the election. Pelosi is supposed to be a leader – she isn’t supposed to wait until public opinion catches up. It will never catch up with her opposition and neither will support in the House.
    Have you looked at the bills? The minimum wage one doesn’t kick in until 2025 and the supposed drug price control is a joke. I used to be a Pelosi supporter – now I want someone in there with energy and vision. She longs for the old ways of doing business, when she could serve the rich and powerful and throw an occasional scrap to the middle class.

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