Monday, December 6, 2021

People in DC must stop saying "you can't" when it comes to action. Or in making GOPs pay.

Look, I understand that it is difficult to have Democrats in Congress pass bills on their own, given the extremely tighty margins they have in both houses, and that Republicans would rather talk down how things are going and avoid doing anything to improve things in the hopes that voters will put them back in power after 2022. But that doesn't mean Dems should throw up their hands and say "Well, that's all we can do for now."

Brian Beutler of Crooked Media says that DC Democrats aren't taking enough action to confront the major challenges that are hitting the country. Especially when voters elected them to pull us out of the numerous messes that existed after Donald Trump left office, and the other messes to come due to a rigged SCOTUS in 2022.

When Roe [v. Wade] falls, people are going to turn to their elected leaders for relief, and Democrats are going to need a better answer than “elect [more] Democrats.” Not because the answer is wrong, exactly, but that it awkwardly and conspicuously ignores the obvious: Democrats turned out harder than voters have ever turned out in an election in 2020, enough to give Democrats undivided control of government, but now they say there’s literally nothing they can do other than hope the midterms go even better.

It’s true in an almost trivial way that the solution to the problems Republicans create is to elect more Democrats. If the country had elected more Democrats in the past, we wouldn’t be facing the demise of Roe, and faced with the demise of Roe the only thing that will restore the right to an abortion is more Democrats. But if after the singular effort to unseat Donald Trump, the number of Democrats currently in power isn’t enough to do more than fundraise and campaign off of Republican minority rule, people are going to notice and some are going to assume the situation is hopeless. Lecturing them about the past would be a terrible idea, but treating their frustrations over the party’s paralysis as unfounded wouldn't be much better....

The problem is almost too daunting to contemplate, and almost certainly insoluble unless Democrats accept that they must solve it now. Unlikely as that is, it’s definitely not going to happen if the party’s leaders don’t come to terms with how bad things are and plead with the rank and file not to stand idly by while the minority party seizes power and wrecks the country beyond fixing.
And in order to make things better, you need to be honest about how bad things are. In addition, isn't the point of winning elections and getting power is to use that power to right the wrongs of the past, and improve things for the future? Or it should be.

Far too many DC Dems want to push the responsibility of getting things done and influencing public opinion back down to the voters or the GOP, instead of leading it themselves. Beutler notes how President Biden and other DC Dems continue to talk about how disappointed they are that GOPs won't lift a finger to clean up problems that Republicans caused, and that after news surfaced last week that Donald Trump likely knew he was COVID-positive when he debated now-President Biden in Fall 2020, Biden blew off a chance to rip The Former Guy.

DC Dems aren't taking the gloves off and attacking a reckless, anti-democracy GOP, in a deluded belief that "going high" and valuing tranquility will be rewarded by voters. Beutler rightly says that deciding to ignore the scumminess of Trump and other GOPs is a stupid strategy.
There are any number of reasons Biden should be thinking about what Trump’s up to, including his, um, ongoing efforts to overthrow the Constitution. But [Trump hiidng his positive COVID test] is an absolute gimme! It would not require him to take any personal umbrage; he could say “I’m less concerned about Trump's willingness to kill me than to kill others who wouldn’t have had access to the best care,” and leave his surrogates to express outrage at the incredible fact that Trump knew he was COVID-positive at that debate. The whole party could support an inquiry into the chain of infections that stemmed from Trump’s behavior to better understand the toll of his conduct. They might find out he killed someone! They might find out government doctors gave him palliatives to mask his symptoms. And there’s already a House committee constituted to investigate it. But by saying, in essence, “NBD!” Biden gave the national press and House Dems the high sign that it’s fine to move on, and presumably they will.

Whatever psychological pleasure Democrats derive from floating above the fray like this, or whatever polls tell them about its political wisdom, it just doesn’t work, and it doesn’t work because it’s incongruent to the realities staring them in the face. It’s how you wind up responding to a coup attempt with an infrastructure bill while the fascists convince more voters that you’re the real threat to democracy. It’s how, faced with the completely predictable demise of Roe v. Wade, you constitute a court-reform commission to put the kibosh on court-expansion efforts, only to realize at the last possible moment that court expansion has been our only hope all along. More than anything in the world, Democrats want it to be one way. But it’s the other way.
And DC media is equally failing in dealing with the horrible actions of Republicans. The Washington Post's Dana Milbank ruffled the feathers of many Beltway types over the telling the truth about the not-so-liberal media.

I suspect my peers across the media have fallen victim to our asymmetric politics. Biden governs under traditional norms, while Republicans run a shocking campaign to delegitimize him with one fabricated charge after another. This week, Republicans threatened a government shutdown to block Biden’s vaccine mandates, after a year of efforts to discourage vaccination. Yet, incredibly, they’re simultaneously blaming Biden for coronavirus deaths — deaths occurring almost entirely among the unvaccinated. “More people have died of covid under President Biden than did in all of 2020,” proclaimed Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.), GOP conference chairman.
In fact, Milbank ran the numbers, and showed that the media is tougher on Biden in 2021 than it was for Trump during a disastrous 2020 in America.
Artificial intelligence can now measure the negativity with precision. At my request,, a data analytics unit of the information company FiscalNote, combed through more than 200,000 articles — tens of millions of words — from 65 news websites (newspapers, network and cable news, political publications, news wires and more) to do a “sentiment analysis” of coverage. Using algorithms that give weight to certain adjectives based on their placement in the story, it rated the coverage Biden received in the first 11 months of 2021 and the coverage President Donald Trump got in the first 11 months of 2020.....

After a honeymoon of slightly positive coverage in the first three months of the year, Biden’s press for the past four months has been as bad as — and for a time worse than — the coverage Trump received for the same four months of 2020.

Think about that. In 2020, Trump presided over a worst-in-world pandemic response that caused hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths; held a superspreader event at the White House and got covid-19 himself; praised QAnon adherents; embraced violent white supremacists; waged a racist campaign against Black Lives Matter demonstrators; attempted to discredit mail-in voting; and refused to accept his defeat in a free and fair election, leading eventually to the violence of Jan. 6 and causing tens of millions to accept the “big lie,” the worst of more than 30,000 he told in office.
Far too many in DC are consulting a bygone playbook that has gone out the window, and is likely to lose in a time of rampant misinformation and a GZOP that refuses to operate within the bounds of reality or legality. Proper debate and shaming will not work, so it's time to use the power that you have been given to pound these fu**os with words and actions. Not just Democrats, but the media as well.

Don't tell us you can't step up, get things done and hold the scumbags accountable. You can, if you choose to.

No comments:

Post a Comment