Here’s how to beat Trump
“We have a Republican party with no principles, but a spine, and we have a Democratic party with principles, but no spine.”— Allan Lichtman, author of The Case for Impeachment
Surveying the wretched hellscape of the American presidency and the Democrats’ efforts to combat the flames and the one thousand or so people running for the Democratic nomination, I’ve had lots of thoughts ricocheting around my brain. The main thought is that this isn’t just another Republican president. This is the Founding Fathers’ nightmare. The level of executive power abuse, self-enrichment, corruption and the elevation of party over country touches on the fears many of them had in the nascent years of the republic.
We cannot afford to fuck this up.
I guess we’re all supposed to defer to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi because everyone assumes she’s playing four dimensional chess with Donald Trump while he’s playing tic-tac-toe. What if she’s wrong? What if she’s been wrong to clamp down on those in her caucus calling for impeachment? What if she’s playing into the hands of an idiot savant?
As soon as Trump’s hatchet man Attorney General William Barr put out that four page memo exonerating Trump while hiding the 448 page Mueller report, the House should’ve immediately subpoenaed Robert Mueller and all of his deputies.
If you believe like I do that Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice (and colluded with the Russians, but we’ll let that go for now), how could you not open an impeachment investigation and summon the principles? It’s going to look political no matter when you do it because politics is involved in the process. But to sit on it, to try to weaponize it for later use, just makes it look even more political. What’s the difference between Mitch McConnell and the Senate shirking their constitutional oversight role and bending over for Donald Trump and the Democrats formulating their own 2020 reasons to shirk their duty?
Here it is over six months after the Democrats took over the House and just now they’re filing suit to get Donald Trump’s taxes. Just now they’re bringing Robert Mueller in to testify.
In recent months witnesses have ignored Congressional subpoenas or have shown up only to exercise fantasy privileges enabling them to avoid answering questions and the Democrats walk out of those sessions looking outfoxed, outplayed and over-matched.
When a subpoenaed administration official sits down before Congress and refuses to answer questions based on some rectally-derived legal theory, why doesn’t the House invoke its inherent contempt powers and order the Sergeant-at-Arms to physically detain that person immediately? Why that would be shocking! It hasn’t been used in nearly 100 years! Sean Hannity would have a stroke! (One can only hope.) So what? It’s legal. It’s been upheld by the courts as an implicit power of Congress. When are Democrats going to take the gloves off?
I know what some of you petrified Democrats are thinking: But if the Democrats impeach Trump, the Republican-controlled Senate will acquit him and Trump will play it off as if he’s been exonerated. Trump is already playing it off as if he’s been exonerated! First, you give Mitch McConnell too much credit. I don’t even think he would take up impeachment in the Senate if the House impeached Trump. Why would he? He has no fealty to the Constitution. You impeach Trump because he’s committed high crimes and misdemeanors and YOU have fealty to the Constitution. And when the Republicans fail to convict him, then use that to run against the Republican Senate!
I don’t expect these Republicans to hold to their oaths and do the right thing. Should I expect Democrats to duck it too?
Switching to the Democratic presidential field… Two dozen candidates? I get it. They’d all be better choices than the current occupant. I’ve often said you could throw a dart at an open phone book and hit a better potential president. But this isn’t the time for vanity.
While I realize we’re in the midst of a wokefest, I was astounded when I saw Democratic presidential candidates raising their hands during the first debate that they would extend their health care plans to undocumented immigrants. Remember when Congressman Joe Wilson yelled out, “You lie!” when President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress? Wilson was saying Obama was lying about not covering illegal immigrants in his health care plan. Obama wasn’t lying. Obamacare doesn’t cover those here illegally. After all, getting health care for citizens was the priority and still a Herculean task.
Undocumented immigrants, contrary to popular belief, are ineligible for most government programs. They’re not citizens. However, we’re not monsters. Of course we would treat any person in our country in an emergency situation, but we’re really going to run on extending health care to undocumented immigrants? How many votes does that win you?
Several candidates support decriminalizing unauthorized entry to the country. You don’t need to do that in order to stop child separations. And if it’s just a cynical play for Hispanic votes or to win the Woke Olympics, I don’t think it’s worth it. If you’re serving up decriminalization and health care to undocumented immigrants, then you make Donald Trump ring true when he accuses Democrats of wanting open borders. And the kiss of death is making anything Donald Trump says come within a mile of the truth.
As for Medicare-for-All, free college tuition, student loan forgiveness, cancer cures, guaranteed incomes, 72 virgins and whatever else candidates can think of to give away, it makes the party sound exactly like Trump describes. God help us if we get to Election Day and Donald Trump looks like a reasonable alternative!
There are logical policy proposals among the various candidates for many of these things. Medicare buy ins, which is very popular with the public (including Republicans), plans to give college help in exchange for community service, helping with community college and vocational schools, allowing students to refinance debt and so on.
My advice to the Democrats would be to refuse to participate in debate stage hand-raising exercises and tell the moderators if they want to hear your ideas, you’re happy to give it to them. Let’s not help Donald Trump caricature Democrats.
Many pundits say Democrats have to go after Trump voters in order to win. They’re delusional or high if they think a Democrat is going to win over a MAGA hat wearing, Fox News watching, Trump-excusing voter. Forget those MAGAfuckers. The Democrats’ strategy should be two-fold. The first thing is to expand and turn out the progressive base and the second thing is to give politically homeless suburbanites somewhere to go. This is how the Democrats retook the House.
We don’t want anyone staying home or flushing their vote on whichever third-party candidate Vladimir Putin’s bots directs them to. We want the votes of those Republican women grossed out by this sexual predator in the Oval Office. We want the votes of those people who listen to their MAGA-hat wearing friends and family members and nod politely and then go in the voting booth and vote Democrat. Trump had a lot of stealth voters in 2016. Let’s reverse that.
Finally, what Donald Trump does better than anyone in politics is branding. Crooked Hillary. Little Marco. Low Energy Jeb. Lyin’ Ted. Bob Mueller and his 17 angry Democrats. No collusion. Every Democrat should be saying what Jimmy Carter said, that Trump is an illegitimate president. He’s illegitimate because he’s a conman. The Donald Trump presidency has been about enriching himself, enriching the ruling class, forgetting the “forgotten man” he conned into voting for him, breaking our system of government and obstructing justice when it comes to any oversight. We gave the keys of the country to a conman.
My proposal to beat Donald Trump in 2020? Have the balls to open an impeachment inquiry and go outside the box to hold him and his administration accountable. That fires up the base. Have the brains to offer voters popular and realistic proposals without playing into Trump’s tiny hands. That reaches the suburbs. And brand the hell out of this guy. Remind voters every day just who is occupying a seat once held by men worth a damn.