You ain’t seen nothing yet, the best is yet to come Frank Sinatra
This is actually a companion article to the one I published this morning about Senator Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax. You know, like those bright, colorful cartoon pictures the staff puts into the Presidential Daily Briefing to get him to pick the damn thing up?
There is an old saying that is often applied to politics, especially to a candidate or incumbent, “Death by 1,000 cuts.” It basically means that while a politician may not suffer one fatal blow, he is nonetheless done in by an endless series of minor nicks and cuts, and the cumulative effect does him in.
Trump has been suffering from this phenomena since his inauguration. The constant lies, starting with his crowd size at his puny, second rate inauguration. The flap over Jared Kushner’s security form omissions, then his being granted a security clearance over objections to his qualifications. The Michael Flynn fiasco. The Rob Porter mess. The Mueller investigation. The firing of James Comey and Jeff Sessions. The list goes on and on. And while any one of several of those would have been enough to scuttle almost any other Presidency, he has survived them, but the cumulative effect is killing him. His poll numbers are dropping, core constituencies are abandoning him, and he is seeing sudden, small but growing, reticence in his own caucus to blindly follow him down amy more rabbit holes.
Well, the condition that has been causing Trump so much agita is about to afflict the rest of the Republican party. And not just in time for 2020, but because of 2020. Slowly but surely the Democratic field of hopefuls is starting to trickle in, And the first two out of the gate, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, have already administered the first couple of nicks to the skin of the GOP.
In the 2018 midterms the Democrats discovered the secret sauce to beating not only Trump, but the GOP as a whole. And that was to ignore Trump and the personalities around him, and talk about the issues important to the voters. Not only that, but talk about them in terms that the voters can understand, and offer cogent solutions that voters can understand and approve of. It was almost unheard of for a Democratic congressional candidate to even refer to Trump by name, instead they focused on issues, many of them issues that their opponent had taken a stand on, and offered better solutions.
This is the kiss of death for the GOP in an election, for one simple reason. And that reason is that Republicans mostly advocate for things that most ordinary people really, really don’t like. They got away with it for a long time simply because the Democrats bought into their “safe gerrymandered district” bullshit and didn’t bother to run meaningful opposition to them. That changed in 2018, and you know what they say, nothing succeeds like success.
It’s already started, as I pointed out earlier. Elizabeth Warren has already come out swinging with her “wealth tax” plan, and it is well enough thought out to already provide details that show people how it would work, it isn’t just some vague, nebulous promise. And while Kamala Harris’s insurance company killing Medicare for all plan isn’t as advanced, she has nonetheless already sunk a couple of load bearing members for the house she wants to build. And we’re still only in the larval stages of this thing.
Corey Booker can be counted on to tout his success in criminal justice reform, and to trot out new and better proposals. Sherrod Brown will spotlight his “Dignity in work” theme, and anybody wanna bet that it includes a mandated federal minimum wage of $15 an hour? Think that Kirsten Gillibrand may have something to say about domestic abuse and sexual assault? And how likely do you think it will be that all of them will have something to say about dark money in politics, which will be especially relevant with the DNC’s decision to spotlight small donations to their candidates? The list is endless, with each new candidate bringing a signature issue, with already thought out plans and proposals.
The reaction from the Republicans will be as predictable as it will be blase and mundane. Every proposal will be ill conceived, impractical,will bankrupt the federal government, and a wild, far left socialist scheme. The basic problem with that approach is that the country actually is moving farther to the left, and away from the draconian claptrap that the GOP is peddling, and besides, if you’re going to piss all over somebody elses parade, shouldn’t you have a couple of floats and a marching band of your own?
The relative size of the fields notwithstanding, this is the starkest difference between the Democratic field of 2020, and the rolling klown kar circus that was the 2016 GOP field. In 2016, each candidate trotted out a tired, wheezy, time tested line of substance free bullshit, trying to snare voters who were concerned with sound and not substance. But as the rolling dumpster fire that is the Trump presidency has worn on, people have come to the conclusion that words are nice, but action works better. Solutions are better than problems, and details as to how the solution works is a feature, and not a bug. Every Democratic candidate will bring a signature problem to the table, along with enough details to make their solution plausible. This will lead to mannered, spirited debates, and in my opinion, some cross contamination as candidates acknowledge the legitimacy of other candidates issues and solutions, and admit their merit. All of which leads to a stronger last-man-standing for the general election. And what are the Republicans going to have to run on? Donald John Trump, Pestquire.
So, if you’re like me, and already liking the way this primary season for the Democrats is shaping up, then run to the 7-11 for another 12 pack, fire up the microwave with two bags of extra butter popcorn, put on your grubbies, and settle in for the show. Because, dis iz gwan be some fun chit choo bet!
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