Time to Go On Offense, Democrats

As I understand it, the plan is for Democrats to make one more attempt to get through a couple of thick skulls, and then they will schedule a roll call vote on the voting rights bill tomorrow. The Republicans will fillibuster, and Chuck Schumer is expected to introduce a bill on the rule change. And then all the votes on the filibuster will be on the record. Manchin and Sinema will vote no, but I question whether they understand — Sinema almost certainly doesn’t — that they’ve destroyed the last residue of good will toward them from within their own party.

And then the Democrats will have to salvage the midterms and convince voters that if they had just two more Senators and can keep the House, they really could get things done next time. Cross their hearts.

Yesterday, watching Martin Luther King Day interviews on MSNBC, it seems to me that a lot of people were being more open in their disgust with the Deadly Duo than they have been. Democrats are beyond fed up with them. There’s always a chance they’ll switch parties, of course, which is a concern, but I doubt Manchin would do that. He’s smart enough to know that once he joins the Borg Collective becomes a Republican, he has no more individual power, and there will be no reason for anyone to give a rat’s ass about him or how he votes. Sinema may be too much of a ditz to grasp that.

Other people are fed up in other ways. Out in the wider world, a big backlash is going on against the unvaccinated. Yasmeen Serhan writes in the Atlantic that recently French President Emmanuel Macron caused an uproar when he vowed to antagonize the unvaccinated of France.

But what looked like a risky move for Macron could prove to be a more politically shrewd calculation, not because of whom it alienates, but rather because of whom it doesn’t. In France, and in other democratic countries around the world, the unvaccinated make up a relatively small segment of the population. Macron and his peers in countries such as Australia and Italy have calculated that condemning this group could be more politically effective than pandering to it. Even world-famous celebrities such as tennis star Novak Djokovic, whose unvaccinated status dashed his hopes of defending his Australian Open title, have become the targets of politicians’ ire. By taking a tougher line on the unvaccinated, Macron and other democratically elected leaders facing elections this year may be courting an energetic new voter base: the vaccinated, and ever more impatient, majority.

And on Sunday, the Parliament of France followed through and passed a law, by a vote of 215-58, that bans unvaccinated people from all restaurants, sports arenas, and other venues. More than 90 percent of French adults are vaccinated, so it’s probably safe to say that most French voters will not mind. Polls show that two-thirds of French adults support the bill. Similar restrictions on the unvaccinated were established in Italy recently and enjoy broad support. People are fed up with the unvaccinated.

The recent drama involving pro tennis player Novak Djokovic is another example. His deportation from Australia had overwhelming support from the Australian public. No 21st grand slam title for you, jerk. Djokovic will probably find himself barred from the French Open and possibly from the Spanish Open as well. It appears kicking Djokovic around is popular with voters in many parts of the globe, although perhaps not with hard-core tennis fans.

I don’t think restricting the unvaccinated would work the same way in the U.S. — too bad — but I do think it’s past time for Democrats to employ the same principle and go on the offensive against the Right. No more cowering in a corner because people on Fox News might say nasty things about them.

Democrats have been with the majority opinion on most issues, from covid mitigation to abortion rights to voting access. It’s time they started acting like it. It’s also way past time to take their message to people directly, because news media do a piss-poor job reporting on issues in this country.

The January 6 committee is planning televised hearings that, Rep. Raskin promises, will “blow the roof off the House.” They’ll be like the Watergate hearings, he says. Let’s hope. That may be an opening for the Democrats to go after right-wing extremism directly. And loudly. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade this summer, as expected, Dems need to use that, too.

So, as Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain said at Gettysburg — charge.

6 thoughts on “Time to Go On Offense, Democrats

  1. Some great wit re-christened Djokovic's first name to "No-vaxx."

    No-vaxx Djokovic – FUNNY!

    If you don't read Steve M at "No More Mr Nice Blag, it's a shame.  You should.  He's terrific!  And he often writes about how weak the D's messaging is all of the time.

    And also, he notes that while ALL Reich-wingers paint ALL D's as being child murdering and eating Bolsheviks – and worse, if possible – the D's always try to be nice and not publicly criticize RepubliKKKLANs too much.  The D's often talk about doing things in bipartisan ways.  But the GQPers never talk about that.  "Who'd want child-eating Bolsheviks on their legislation?"

    Sometimes the D's heap praise on individual RepubliKKKLANs:  Take Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, for example.  BTW, neither of them voted in the House for the voting rights bills.  

    In summary, the D politicians are terrible at messaging.  And they water-down their criticism of the GQP.

    So the message the public gets, is that ALL Democrats are child-snacking Commies, but RepubliKKKLANS can't be too bad, otherwise the D's would be screaming about the RepubliKKKLANS the way they do the D's.


    Is this any way to win elections?

  2. Maybe, the battle cry should be, "These people are crazy!" 

    Trump has several times pivoted to back the vaccine. His base freaks every time. So why is Trump going there?  62% of voting-age citizens in the US have been fully vaccinated. If Trump aligns himself with the vax deniers, he's pitching to at most 38% of voters. I'm not suggesting Covid is the only issue, but it's dominated our day-to-day for over two years. Even Trump knows he can't blow off the serious majority with Q-style fantasies. (On the other hand, Trump can't lose the Q kooks. Ergo, the problem between Trump and DeSantis.) 

    This is a soft spot in Trump's campaign – he wants to capture the low-information not-too racist, not-friendly-to Democrats voter. Trump has to convince them he's not behind what happened J6. I read the full transcript of Trump doing an NPR interview last week. Trump hung up and fled when the interviewer challenged Trump with facts. 

    Yesterday, Bannon screamed because Fox didn't cover the Trump AZ rally. OAN is getting dropped this year by Direct TV. (I think, it's Direct TV.) That means they lost almost all of their audience and advertising base. Yeah, they can go Internet, like Glenn Beck. (How'd that work out?) At the end of last year, DeSantis was on Fox, literally hundreds of times in the last 14 months. Has Fox selected DeSantis as the GOP nominee for 2024? As Trump pivots to try to move beyond the 38%, DeSantis is sniping at Trump for not being as Trumpian as DeSantis. 

    I have no inside information but it may be that, like Liz Cheney, Fox management doesn't want to dance to Trump's tune. They have three years to groom a replacement and seem to have settled on Florida's governor. And the playing field is tilting to limit Fox's competition. Limbaugh is in hell – the people who are addicted have to get their fix daily. (I'm not suggesting DeSantis is not dangerous, but if he and Trump go head-to-head, they will fracture the conservative movement.) 

    Which brings me back to the message from Democrats, which should be "sanity." Because if Trump's competition is more fascist than Trump, we should pitch that Democrats are getting things done and would get more done for everyone if their majority was bigger.

  3. "Democrats have been with the majority opinion on most issues, from covid mitigation to abortion rights to voting access. It’s time they started acting like it. It’s also way past time to take their message to people directly, because news media do a piss-poor job reporting on issues in this country."


    But I disagree about the COVID restrictions; the majority of the country supports them…in fact I'd start with this issue to prove taking the message to the people works.


  4. What happens when you sell out to big business?  Sometimes what is good for one business is not good for another business.  This time is now.  

    We are now in the middle of a big problem with a conflict between two huge industries, the airline industry and the telecommunication industry.  Why?  Because, it appears, sold out Republicans can't and won't problem solve.  So, we now have a big conflict left over from the Trump administration part because of what they did and part because of what they did not do.  

    What they did do was to allot our public air waves to telecommunication for 5G service.  The FCC is in charge of that and sold our radio frequency spectrum to that industry during the Trump mal administration for the change to 5G level phone service. What they did not do was to clear the use of that spectrum at the power level it was to be used at with the aviation industry who also was using our radio frequency spectrum for essential instrumentation for landing safety.  This concern was recognized and reported to the Trump mal administration by the FAA which did not get the conflict between agencies solved.  Only yesterday, when the expensive 5G towers were ready to be activated, and flights canceled for safety concerns did this problem get 'kicked upstairs'. 

    Do not expect any Republican to take the blame for not solving this conflict before it became a crisis.  Why was the spectrum sale of our radio frequency spectrum approved before this conflict was resolved?  Is that not the way government agencies must operate?  Can agencies operate that way when those who supervise and control them are sold out?  Why is the media not fixing the blame on the Trump administration and the Republicans who were in power at the time of the fumble?   I for one think it was another major error.

    Republicans want the power to exploit our air waves, not to properly care for our radio spectrum.  This started in the Regan administration.  They need to have these stinking problems hung around their necks where it belongs.



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