Ds must tie all Rs to the lies they have enabled and the ludicrous stunts of the former president. Candidates for office who remain allied with an authoritarian movement led by a crackpot should expect to be mocked, shamed and denounced.https://t.co/6Uv4thHk8P
— Jennifer 'pro-voting' Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) September 19, 2021
I don’t think respectable conservative ladies like Ms. Rubin permit themselves (at least in public) to flip off those who have offended them. But after this weekend’s Media Mudlarks mean-girl kerfuffle, this seems to me like a reasonable substitute:
Republicans haven’t made many allies nor changed many minds since President Biden took office. To the contrary, they remain invested in opposing overwhelmingly popular measures. Biden’s economic agenda maintains a high level of support (generally 60 percent or more); the GOP’s unfavorable ratings are sky-high; and voters consider Republicans more extreme than Democrats. Republicans have drawn a line in the sand on vaccine mandates — which a large majority of Americans support. Certainly, Biden’s poll numbers are down — but that has not inured to Republicans’ advantage in any noticeable way, in part because they insist on sticking to their unpopular, ludicrous positions (e.g., downplaying or denying domestic terrorists’ Jan. 6 insurrection).
As for the Republicans’ anti-mandate hysteria, the death tolls and misery are practically off the charts in deep-red states. And governors endangering children and other residents by blocking mask and vaccine requirements have seen their popularity plummet.
Meanwhile, the MAGA crowd still fanning the flames of the “big lie” have been on an embarrassing losing streak (though one would be hard-pressed to find “Republicans in Disarray” headlines)…
None of this means that the Trumpist threat is gone or that the majority of Republicans have emerged from the alternative universe constructed by right-wing media. We surely have not defused Republican efforts to suppress voting and install mechanisms to overturn unfavorable results. House members still wink and nod at, if not embrace, violence. However, when a movement depends on the triumphant victory and constant “winning” to feed toxic masculinity, losses — embarrassing losses — can be especially debilitating. Fizzled rallies deplete the MAGA crowd’s excitement and allure.
Democratic strategist James Carville has counseled candidates to throw drowning opponents an “anvil.” How should Democrats (and those defending democracy) put that into practice?
First, a massive show of police force worked on Saturday. Law enforcement with consequences for criminal conduct is essential. Keep the peace. Investigate wrongdoing and domestic terrorist plots. Prosecute where appropriate. (That should apply to the instigators, enablers and funders of the Jan. 6 riot, up to and including the former president.) We will need a robust security presence to prevent voter intimidation and violence during and after elections.
Second, Democrats must tie every single Republican on the ballot for House and Senate to the lies they have enabled and the ludicrous stunts of the former president. (A letter telling the secretary of state of Georgia to decertify the election takes the cake.) Republicans have rationalized or simply tried to ignore indefensible conduct; now they must be held accountable for their loyalty to a dangerous cult leader. Candidates for office who remain allied with an authoritarian movement led by a crackpot should expect to be mocked, shamed and denounced.
Third, it’s precisely the right time to make adjustments in the Senate filibuster rules to enable passage of basic voting rights legislation. Democrats have replete evidence of Republicans’ utter unreasonableness and irresponsibility (e.g., refusal to agree to the Jan. 6 commission, refusal to raise the debt ceiling). They have examples of the GOP’s intent to impose minority rule by whatever means necessary. Accordingly, Democrats wary of reforming the filibuster in the MAGA era should feel compelled to give up the notion that the filibuster is sacrosanct…