Andre Van Vegten / Flickr Five Years Ago quot Occupy Chicago...
Andre Van Vegten / Flickr

If you watched MSNBC every day this week, the prime time line up of Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Brian Williams was interchangeable. It was all Russia all the time, with pundits speculating about the same things over and over.

To be clear, the Russia story and the Stormy Daniels story are important. What Trump and his band of thugs did and are doing is fundamentally marginalizing our democracy. We have a special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate these.

Yet the cable networks that spend all of their time on these scandals may be Donald Trump’s greatest assets. The constant media coverage likely caused Americans to tune out, The Hill reported.

More than half of Americans are not aware that special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has uncovered crimes, according to a new survey from the progressive group Navigator.

The poll found that 59 percent of those surveyed by the left-leaning pollsters believe Mueller has not discovered any crimes, while 41 percent believe that he has. …

Mueller’s investigation has issued 17 criminal indictments and has gotten five guilty pleas. Those who have pleaded guilty to crimes include former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign aides Richard Gates and George Papadopoulos.

President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is among those who have been indicted.

Americans are busy and while most know that there may be some wrongdoing, they do not necessarily see it as existential to our democracy. Neither the networks nor the Democrats tied Trump and his cabal’s action to something that materially affects the average American’s personal economies.

It wasn’t helpful when Chuck Schumer and other Democratic Party leaders made corruption a new major campaign issue. Again, the Trump administration’s corruption is real. But Americans believe the government, in general, is corrupt. It really does not need more accentuation.

HuffPost reports the following on Democrats attempting to mimic a few tactics that were successful in 2006, the year of a Democratic landslide.

Democrats are planning to make Washington corruption a central focus of their midterm messaging, reviving a successful theme from when they took control of Congress in 2006.

The anti-corruption push is the second part of Democrats’ “A Better Deal” platform. The first part, released last summer, focused on an economic agenda. The newest part is “A Better Deal for Our Democracy,” which puts forward proposals to increase access to the ballot box, fight special interests and combat big money through campaign finance reform.

The new initiative will center on both President Donald Trump’s administration and the culture in Congress that gives access to lobbyists and corporations. Trump’s Cabinet officials, including Environmental Protection Agency leader Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, have drawn a torrent of negative headlines over allegations of unethical behavior, travel practices and ties to special interests. The president’s hotel in downtown D.C., in particular, has been the subject of several lawsuits.

With the Russia and corruption scandals sucking up all the air on cable and broadcast news, there is not much time spent on bread-and-butter issues that affect poor and middle-class Americans. Democrats must find better ways to expose the problems directly created by the Trump administration, including the following:

Democrats must be articulating what they plan to do to make life better for poor and middle-class Americans.

  • Democrats will fix the health care issue once and for all with a single-payer Medicare for All system.
  • Democrats will provide student loan relief.
  • Democrats will provide need-based subsidized child care for anyone who wants to work.
  • Democrats will decriminalize marijuana and treat drug use as the disease that it is.
  • Democrats will make the criminal justice system live up to the “Justice is Blind” motto.

Every Democrat must be ready to articulate the five bullet points expressed in whatever form necessary in every district in America. These issues appeal to millennials, people of color, all working-class people, parents, and every demographic in between.

The bullet points above afford Americans a path to self-sufficiency. They would free every American from aberrations in the economy that cripple innovation and entrepreneurship, and stop the dependency and the enslavement of corporations. Ultimately, Americans won’t kick out the corrupt Republicans based on Trump’s misdeeds. They will vote them out because they see Democrats with an articulated plan they can believe in.

Ultimately it is still the economy, stupid.

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