The Bully Pulpit. That’s what the President has every single time he sits in the Oval Office in front of a camera, or steps behind the podium. Whenever the president gives an address, briefing or update, it is national news, and carried nationwide at his request, with network approval. You can’t buy this kind of free airtime.
As with everything else in his pathetic, misbegotten life, Trump repeatedly blundered his use of the bully pulpit, especially during the corona-virus pandemic. Trump’s early press briefings were a nightmare scenario for the administration. Trump blubbered and bungled his way through an hour of free association gobbleygook and outright lies, which the media gleefully skewered. But while they were slow and clumsy to respond to the crisis, slowly but painfully the administration is beginning to have numbers that they can point to as positive accomplishments in their response to the virus. Which unchecked makes Trump falsely look in control and presidential.
The Democrats are at a major disadvantage in this media battle. Speaker Pelosi can take to the airwaves to announce a new Democratic bill or program to help the American people, and take a pot shot or two at His Lowness, but Pelosi isn’t running for president. And neither Bernie nor Biden can hold public rallies or speeches with which to generate any media buzz, and turn the heat up on El Pendejo Presidente.
But unless I went into a selective coma, as far as I know, Bernie Sanders is still in the race. And there are still primaries to be held. Pick a state with an upcoming primary, pick a site and a date, and hold a closed door, nationally televised debate. Just because people nationwide are in lockdown doesn’t mean that the Democrats don’t have to pick a presidential candidate, nor that the primaries are over. Besides, with a nation in lockdown, television ratings for a prime time debate should be nice and high.
Start with one about the coronavirus. Obviously the entire thing can’t devolve into Trump bashing. But each candidate can start by going into detail about Trump’s response, then highlight how their response would have differed, and what the possible differing outcome would have been. They can each lay out what their own plan of action going forward would be if they were President, and compare it to Trump’s hodgepodge response. And I have no problem with either candidate drawing out legitimate differences with each other, after all, this is a debate.
The next one could be on the economic crisis. Again, they can start out by graphically depicting Trump’s abysmal failure of common sense and leadership, and then parry with what they would have done, but more importantly, what their plan is going forward, again juxtaposing with Trump’s feeble bleatings. These could be held at least once a month, preferably every two weeks, as long as eligible states were still out there. This would give the Democrats a more equal footing in responding to the craven nonsense we’re getting out of these daily briefings.
There’s one more thing that the Democrats can do to even the playing field a little more. This is just a personal observation, but from where I’m sitting, Mike the “My Pillow Guy” is a total flaming asshole. For three years now he’s gone around the country like an old whoopie cushion, farting out this nonsense about Trump being anointed by God to save the US in 2016. Claptrap like that, and there has been a lot of it spouted from that podium, by total brain dead morons with absolutely no connection to the issue at hand turns the briefings into a purely partisan event. As such, every time it occurs, the Democrats should be howling like wolves at the FCC, demanding an equal amount of time as that of the briefing for a response under the Fairness Doctrine. If the Democrats start getting an hour and a half to respond to Trump’s nonsense, you’ll see those briefings start to shape up real quick.
But for the foreseeable future, Glorious Bleater is going to be able to use up heavy chunks of airtime at least five days a week, pushing as much nonsense as fact, and using that time to try to get his swagger back. There isn’t much that the Democrats can do about that, but there are steps they can take to level the playing field until things return to some form of normalcy. So, let’s do them.
To know the future, look to the past.before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen