I’ve believed for years that Democrats are far too nice to the Republican Party — they won’t portray it as the major roadblock preventing the enactment of broadly popular polices (on healthcare, the climate, guns, taxation, infrastructure, and many other issues) and they won’t create a counternarrative to the GOP’s incessant “Democrats are evil” messaging. Certain groups in the population — non-whites, college-educated city-dwelling whites, suburban women — have intuited that the GOP is the problem, but not because Democratic officeholders or officials ever say it is. Establishment Democrats won’t say it because they endlessly dream of a return to an Eden where the parties get along and compromise. The new wave of progressive Democrats won’t say it because they’re nearly as critical of mainstream Democrats as they are of Republicans. Many of the media outlets we pay attention to have been frank about Donald Trump’s moral bankruptcy, but can’t wrap their minds around the nihilism and extremism of Mitch McConnell and his crew, or the heartlessness of vote-suppressing, COVID-denying GOP governors and legislators.
Does anyone in the Democratic Party get it? Does anyone know how to fight back? […]
He goes on to quote from a piece from Jerry Taylor, a former ALEC and Cato operative who is surprised at how little discussion of politics occurs at his new think tank, which is the opposite of how the right wing think tanks operated. As Steve M points out, it’s not a coincidence that the best attack ads of this cycle have been produced by a bunch of former Republicans at the Lincoln Project.
The issue of Democrats not being able to paint horns and a tail on Republicans as effectively as Republicans have demonized them is complicated. One issue is that current senior Democrats like Pelosi consider themselves legislators first and politicians second (she’ll say that she’s a legislator all the time, with pride). It’s much easier to be a Republican since you never legislate, as the current clusterfuck around a relief bill demonstrates. Another issue is that the current role of money in politics takes some of the fight out of Democrats who need to raise a couple of million bucks every cycle from donors who are at best “centrists” and certainly don’t want to hear that Republicans are bad.
Still you can’t legislate shit if you can’t get into power, and there has to be a way to fix this, or we’re all dead.