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Tuesday, May 29, 2018


Something to vote for and against

by Tom Sullivan

The Propaganda President just apologized on Twitter. Really. (If it was the president. Apologies are for the weak.)

Sorry, he said, rather than spending the rest of his day propagandizing you, he was going to have to focus on the job of being president. Enterprising netizens could start a pool on how long that will last, but Donald Trump's propaganda fast would be over before they could organize it.

Democrats themselves need to do better at focusing on two things as they head into the 2018 mid-term elections. They need to walk and chew gum at the same time. They need to keep up the heat on the Trump administration's corruption and win public attention for their kitchen table agenda.

Paul Waldman addresses the problem for The Week:

There's one more reason to focus on the kitchen table: It seems to have been working really well since Trump got elected. In off-year and special elections Democrats have been performing spectacularly well, and if you look at those races, you'll see candidate after candidate talking about local issues and things like health care. They've benefited greatly from anti-Trump feelings driving Democratic voters to the polls, but their campaigns haven't been about Trump.
The propagandist-in-chief commands attention in the center ring. Democrats have to put on a compelling show outside the Beltway that spotlights voters' concerns. If they cannot draw attention to their proposals, they might as well not exit.

Bloomberg highlights the travails of an Ohio community hit by a power plant closing. Residents face leaving their communities for uncertain futures elsewhere or staying as their fortunes and middle-class lives slip away:
Lee Anderson, director of governmental affairs at the national Utility Workers Union, has spent years trying to get elected officials around the country to grapple with what’s happening in places such as Adams County. But there’s just no political will, he says. There’s support on the left for public investment in struggling areas, but less so, he says, when it comes to communities that are increasingly voting Republican—Adams County among them—and whose decline is linked to fossil fuels. On the right, he says, there’s no appetite for public investment, period. Not to mention that the scale of the challenge is so huge and the potential solutions so expensive.
Democrats should ask voters where people fit in this changing economy. Like a certain president, the economy serves itself. The rest of us are just fodder, and we feel it. People need to hear what Democrats plan to do about that, or else all voters will hear his who comfortable Republicans blame for it. That is, when GOP candidates are not insisting economic misfortunes result from voters' moral failings.

Still, avoiding the corruption to avoid appearing all anti-Trump, all the time is to leave the country defenseless from Trumpish predations. Even as the country risks becoming numb to Trump fatigue, Democrats must defend our public institutions. Republican janissaries drank blood from the skull years ago and show no flickering inclination to.

As Waldman said, voters need "something to vote against and something to vote for.

Update: The Propaganda President focused on his job for 123 minutes (unless he spent it watching Fox News).

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For The Win 2018 is ready for download. Request a copy of my county-level election mechanics primer at tom.bluecentury at gmail.