Wednesday, October 17, 2018


I saw this ad on network television last night. It was produced by Future45, a pro-GOP super PAC founded in 2015 and bankrolled by the likes of Paul Singer and Sheldon Adelson.

It's the Republicans' standard line of attack this year -- mob rule, socialism, Nancy Pelosi -- but pay attention to the last line of the ad:

The screaming. The violence. The smears and death threats. The far left moving to socialism. Undefended open borders. Immediate tax increases. One hundred percent government-run health care. The booming economy stopped. Nancy Pelosi back in power. Gridlock, and then impeachment.

Is that really what you want? Voting for any Democrat gets you all of that.
The last line is what Democrats and Democratic PACs never say, in campaign ads or in any other forum: Don't vote for any member of the other party.

It's easier for Republicans to say this because Fox News and talk radio proclaim 24 hours a day, in campaign years and off years, that all opponents of the GOP, from moderate Democrats to window-smashing anarchists, are part of one grotesque hydra-headed beast that wants to empty your bank account, burn down your neighborhood, and put MS-13 members under your bed. Republicans don't just nationalize every election -- they've nationalized every political conversation in America. As a result, every unpopular Democrat or left-leaning professor/entertainer/athlete/demonstrator is a millstone around every Democrat's neck.

By contrast, our side is often reluctant to say that every Republican member of Congress, even the ones with a reputation for moderation (deserved or undeserved), will still vote for the party leadership that does all the smashmouth partisan things voters hate, and that most of those allegedly moderate Republicans will vote in lockstep with the party on the majority of issues. Outside of deeply progressive media, our pols and PACs never simply say simply that the Republican Party is the problem. And we don't link right-wing extremism to the GOP -- Republicans now are pounding the message that Antifa equals the Democrats, even though Antifa despises both major parties, whereas Democrats aren't even running ads linking the pro-violence Gavin McInnes and his Proud Boys to the GOP, despite the fact that this unabashed advocate of violence was invited to deliver a talk at a Republican club, where he valorized a right-wing political assassin from Japan, after which his followers rioted in the streets.

It's the Republican Party, stupid. Democrats will struggle to gain power until they make this their explicit message.

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