Saturday, May 5, 2018

Sage Advice to Demos: Appeal to Republicans by Agreeing With Them!

Editors' Note: What may be the last free midterm election in American history is barely six months away, so it's high time that The Spy rev up its award-winning [What awards? – Ed.] political coverage under the leadership of the dean of American political pundits, e.g.,  an old white man, David Bloviator.  The team is roaming the country to track down the hottest stories, not to mention the hottest takes, from Campaign '18.  Today, we start with the latter.

By Emma Goldman
Political Correspondent

We had to take a break from the daily offerings of the International House of Hot Takes d/b/a The New York Times Op-Ed Page to see what we could glean from the competition.  We've read some past columns in USA Today that seemed to make a certain amount of sense, and once we learned the paper is still being published, we decided to wade in.

It did not go so well.

The piece was styled as a plea to Democrats to appeal to never-Trump Republicans, all 27 of them.   Maybe there are more but you'd never know it from the behavior of the terrified GOP sheep and turtles on Capitol Hill, all of whom have concluded that their political survival depends upon staying on good terms with the Trumpistas, who are always ready to believe whatever their leader tells them.  (Who knew until Amy Hoggart covered a recent U Bum rally in Michigan that the key issue on their minds was peace with North Korea?)

Never-Trump Republicans debate what Democrats
would need to do to earn their support
At any rate, the way to appeal to this supposedly critical voting, um, bloc is not as you might have decided from the sordid pasts of the loudest anti-Trump gasbags, invading Iran, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, Qatar, and Chicago, in that order.  Rather, according to our columnist, Democrats need to drop everything they stand for to appeal to this group.

The Democrats' guide to the political mating habits of this elusive species is one Cheri Jacobus.  Who she?  We never heard of her, possibly because every time Republican bloviators appeared on cable television over the last few years we found something else to watch, even if it was Bundesliga soccer games.  And no one can possibly give a schiess about them.  Apparently she had a career filling a Republican seat on the rotating CNN panel of GOP gasbags, until she offended Corey “Slappy” Lewandowski, whereupon she was banished to, well – USA Today.

With that background we had high hopes for her political prescription.  Until we tried to swallow it:
If the far left of the Democratic Party uses the current climate to push a far left message, it’s a sign to moderates, independents, Never-Trump GOP and former GOP that the Democratic Party is not in “adult mode” either. The party then runs the risk of courting rejection by these voters, who will instead stay home on election day, or worse, hold their noses with one hand while checking the box for Trump’s congressional Republicans with the other. . . . Merely being the lesser of two evils is weak sauce for a nation in agony.
Let's unpack this, shall we?  Although our columnist would not specify what Democratic positions qualify as “far-left,” we have to assume she means loony left ideas like providing health insurance to all, protecting consumers from the depredations of powerful grifters, like the current occupant of the White House, saving our children and grand-children from the catastrophic consequences of unchecked global warming, and seeking to protect women, minorities, and other disempowered groups from the grievous harm they continue to suffer at the hand of powerful white men (like the current occupant of the White House!)

None of this makes any impression on this brave spokesperson for the vast never-Trump hordes.  What should Democrats emphasize instead of that agenda (which won about 3 million more votes in 2016 than the pro-pussy grabbing lies of the current occupant of the White House)?   It's easy: Democrats should adopt the Republican views on the deficit:
Adult leadership would focus on tackling a budget deficit that is now predicted to exceed $1 trillion every year for decades with responsible spending by first and foremost zeroing in on budgetary and government waste and fraud in a meaningful way. Americans expect this and are angry Washington doesn’t do this annually by default. Be the grown up party and do it. 
So she doesn't mean the actual Republican view on the deficit, which is that it is OK to run up a huge debt to pay for tax cuts for the rich (see 1981, 2001, 2003 and 2018).  She means the mythic Republican policy of frugal government.  That all Democratic social initiatives in our lifetime have been paid for seems not to have made any impression whatsoever on her and the other 22 DC gasbags who hold similar views. Of course, if she's advocating the repeal of the Republican budget-busting tax cuts for the rich and big corporations, let me assure her Democrats are ready to join her.

She also would like to sneak in a tired Republican talking point about the superannuated Democratic leaders (although we don't recall these age-based attacks gaining much traction when Democrats trotted them out in 1984 while campaigning against a clearly-demented Ronald Reagan):
Embrace the future, not the past. Celebrate those who’ve given their all, and carve out advisory “senior statesmen/women” or respectful “emeritus” roles and titles to benefit from their experience, wisdom and institutional knowledge, but move forward with a new slate of leaders that reflects and acknowledges the new reality and the challenges ahead.
Which youthful Republican does Ms. Jacobus think best reflects and acknowledges this new reality?  Little Marco?  Lyin' Ted?   Sleepy Ben?  Quittin' Paul Ryan?  Sen. Yertle the Turtle?  Wilfred M. Romney?

But step back for one minute and consider the most fundamental idiocy of Ms. Jacobus's argument.  This Republic is facing an assault on its fundamental values and norms from the corrupt grifter in the White House and his Republican enablers.  What could be more important than electing a Democratic Congress to fight these attacks on our constitutional order and restore honest government of, by, and for the people (to quote a Republican idea)?

Are deficits more important?  Nancy Pelosi's age?  Republican unwillingness to admit they have been wrong about every critical social, political, international, and environmental issue of our time?  CNN's unwillingness to invite our guest columnist back on camera?

To ask the question is to answer it.

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