Friday, January 13, 2017

NOT EXACTLY AN EVENING AT THE IMPROV, DEMOCRATS

The Rude Pundit is wondering what's wrong with the Democrats:
In just the last day, we've had it revealed that Trump's incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn, a batshit insane actual leaker of classified material, had been in phone contact with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. just before President Obama ejected 35 Russians in response to the DNC hacking. And then today, House members had an intelligence briefing with FBI Director James Comey and others, and the Democrats left the meeting feeling angry and openly hostile about what they'd been told. This is not to mention President-Elect and lost Crayola color Donald Trump bugging the fuck out on Twitter this morning about Russia, the media, the intelligence community, and Hillary Clinton.

And, if you're like me, you sit here and wonder, "Where the fuck are the Democrats? Where is their messaging? Why aren't we at Def-Con Watergate?" You go to their website and there is nothing about it. Their public statements are all over the place.

If Democrats were any good at this game, they'd already have a strategy: Forget about the odious cabinet picks, forget about the business conflicts, forget all that other shit that people either don't care about or don't understand so they don't care about it. Instead, hammer Trump and the Republicans on the one goddamned thing that is easy to understand: Was Trump elected because of the Russians?
Why don't Democrats have a coordinated message on this? Last month, Politico attempted to explain why Democrats don't seem to have a coordinated answer on anything:
The party loses its standard-bearer once President Barack Obama leaves office, and the Democratic National Committee won’t get a permanent chairman and staff until March, two months into the presidency. That Democratic power vacuum has raised concerns about the party's ability to provide a united message -- or even to stand up a centralized rapid response operation -- for the president's first 100 days in office....

“It's a very serious concern. I just went on TV twice today on Fox and MSNBC on the Cabinet appointments and I winged it,” said Bill Richardson, the former New Mexico governor and 2008 presidential candidate. “You need something right now. Trump every day is doing something outrageous. What do we do? Criticize everything he does? Hold back a bit? I know we need to develop an economic message but that's long term. We need something now. Most of the Democrats I talk to are down, and they're asking who's in charge.”

... the question of message coordination is an immediate one for those who are faced with spouting the party line with the Trump train barreling down the tracks.

In the words of one Democrat who remains a frequent television commentator, but who has noticed the ranks of prominent party surrogates shrinking as the number of talking points and centralized messaging memos wane, “People are afraid to go out there."
This raises a couple of questions. How was it decided that the Democrats wouldn't pick a party head until March? I know this is America, so we're used to interminable election campaigns, but you realize that others country elect heads of government after six-week campaigns, right? It's crazy that this has to take so long.

But the more important question is: Do you really need message coordination before deciding to talk about the Trump's obvious treasonous loyalty to Russia? Do Democrats really need to check with higher authorities before raising an alarm about that subject? Just wing it! How hard is that?

But too many Democrats are afraid to improvise a shout of "Fire!" even when the country is on the verge of burning to the ground. I'm reminded of what Johnny Carson once said disdainfully about Chevy Chase, whose comedic skills he didn't respect:
He couldn't ad-lib a fart after a baked-bean dinner.
The Democratic Party is the political equivalent of Chevy Chase.

8 comments:

Ken_L said...

Couldn't agree more. I was stunned when I read that Richardson quote last month. He's a former governor and he needs to be TOLD how to attack Team Trump, the most target-rich opponent since America sailed ships up and down the east coast helpfully illuminated for the German U-boats by the brightly illuminated cities.

Yes it's pathetic that the Democrats are so disorganised, but that doesn't mean sitting on your ass doing nothing until you get some instructions from head office. Just assume the order has been "Fire at will". Any attack is better than no attack, and who knows, you might even get some more Democrats following you. It's called leadership.

CF2K said...

John Lewis has stepped up and is boycotting the inauguration. They all need to.

Cirze said...

Just a guess, but could this be the same strategy they used in the election?

Belvoir said...

I don't see the problem with Rude Pundit's point. As a Democrat myself, I am appalled at the state of attrition the party is in. It's alarming how all our heroes are senior citizens, and there does not seem to be any cultivation of powerful young new blood coming up. The Republicans have dozens of young or youngish politicians, we have an empty bench.

Seriously, who should we propose for 2020? It's staggering how remiss the Democratic party has been in cultivating new young talent. Yes, Obama came seemingly out of nowhere, but he was a once in a lifetime star. It's just authentically disturbing and strange that there's no younger guard coming up. We should have ten or twenty of them in national life right now. Where are they? Why is every Democrat I admire 70 years old or so? And Republicans have dozens of up-and-comers so much younger? This is a terrible situation. And this lack of planning, cultivating new talent, really could be the death of the Democratic party. But why? This was so avoidable. Who is on the horizon?

homelessonthehighdesert said...

Another prominent mark of 'Meircan exceptionalism, aside from the exceptionally stupidity and exceptional inability to accept responsibility for their actions and the consequences thereof, is 'Meircan's exceptional inability to see the big picture, to see beyond the end of their noses.

Back when I was living in an old school bus on the High Cascade with the 'ol lady and kids and guns and dogs and goats and a year's supply of dried goods and ammunition fairly convinced Ronnie Raygun was going to toss a few nules at the Soviet, back when MTV was new and actually played music videos, popular entertainer "Sting" published a short, haunting (only saw it a time or two), black and white mushroom clouds in the backdrop video postulating "Do the Russians love their children too?"

Do 'Meircans love their children?
Ten Bears

Victor said...

It's time for one of the younger Dems to make Bluto's speech from
"Animal House!"

And then follow-up with creative destruction, like the frat did in the movie!

Blackstone said...

Richardson once ran to be president, i.e. a leader. Bill, leaders lead.

Fiddlin Bill said...

Hillary Clinton as presidential nominee was a symptom of the same problem.