Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Counter battery fire

Since Newt Gingrich and his memo to GoPak (see link in column at right), Republicans have employed the strategy of demonizing Democrats.  They now do it routinely, and often disingenuously.  Like always calling Obamacare a "job killing bill."  They're consistent and on message, all the time, throughout the entire  R party.  It's one of their political strengths.

For example, Hillary went from a 60% approval rating while she was Sec. of State to somewhere in the 40s during the campaign.  This was a strategy of the Rs, starting with Benghazi and then morphing into the email faux-scandal.  And it worked.  Trump got elected in large part because lots of people disliked Hillary so much that they just could not imagine voting for her.  Based mostly on Republican lies.

So attacking and demonizing works.  But for some reason, Democrats just don't really do it.  Not like Rs do it.  Sure, here and there some D might attack some R, but typically not.  Remember Alan Grayson saying that the Republican health care plan was "Die Quickly"?

Image result for alan grayson die quickly

Remember what an uproar that caused among Rs?  Of course it did, because Rs 1) always attack, and 2) want to keep that effective tactic for themselves.  So they hypocritically attack Ds who try to use it.

I think it's time for Dems to employ that tactic just as the Rs do.  I don't come to this lightly, because it's bad for our political culture and makes cooperation and compromise very difficult.  But really, what choice do Dems have?  Dems are in a bad spot politically.  Rs have so many more offices nationwide, and have managed to rig the system in their favor, so Dems can't afford to ignore a proven effective tactic.

Look, over the years, Rs in Idaho have gotten such a negative view of Dems that there is nothing - NOTHING - that Dems can say to break through and sway some votes.  Rs just tune out Ds from the get go.  Idaho Rs just hate Ds and the D party.  In large part, I believe, due to the R lies and demonization.

Now is the perfect time to roll this out.  Trump's controversial actions give Ds plenty to fight over.  More importantly, R support of Trump and his policies expose them to attacks, attacks which will be all the more effective because they are true.  Like this:

Revelations that two of President Donald Trump’s nominees made false statements in their confirmation hearings were no reason to slow down their nominations, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday.
Dems should pound the "party before country" line relentlessly.  They should attack McConnell relentlessly for this and anything else.  They should have relentlessly attacked him for subverting the constitution and stealing the supreme court seat.  Ds should accuse him relentlessly of causing gridlock, party over country, and on and on.  Two-faced Mitch sounds about right, too.

I'd like to see Ds get together on this, so for a couple of weeks, it's "power-mad Mitch McConnell." Then for a couple of weeks it's "Trump toady Mitch McConnell."  Actually, any R should be Trump toady R for the next year.

I have little skill in demonizing and negative-framing, but I'm sure people with those skills are available to Dems.

It's time.  This will also fire up the Dem base in prep for the next election.  It's just time to start bringing a gun to the gun fight.

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