Both parties, Iran and
the U.S., appear to have backed off a more serious confrontation this time.
Trump got what he wanted—talking points as a tough guy so he can boost his
credentials with his “Christian” backers who are about as Christian as my
little dog, Gus. Meanwhile Iran got what they wanted and needed—their own
talking points about how they got “revenge” on the Great Satan.
Well, if this is as far
as things go, there will be no major war this time.
I don’t know about internal Iranian politics but I do know about U.S. domestic politics. Things are always so finely balanced: was it a good day for Dems or a good day for Republicans? The pulse shifts from moment to moment. The events of the past week haven’t really moved the needle, in my judgment. But if Democrats get the right message across, this could be bad for Trump.
What’s the right
message? Well, it’s not the one Democrats have been issuing the last few
days. They’ve been all over the map: it’s all coulda-woulda-shoulda. Trump
should have notified Congressional Democrats. Trump shouldn’t have been so
rash. Yes, Soleimani was a very bad guy, but that didn’t justify taking such a
The problem with these
angles of criticism is that they don’t mean anything to most people. They’re
the political equivalent of making a point in etiquette: “Trump put his fork on
the left side of the plate instead of the right side. Therefore, he’s unfit for
office.” But that doesn’t cut it. Nobody cares about points of etiquette, which
is what these coulda-woulda-shouldas amount to.
What people do care about—or would care about if it were pointed out to them—is that Trump deliberately risked started a war to protect his fat white ass from Impeachment and/or defeat in November. That’s something the public can understand: the wag-the-dog scenario I blogged about last week.
But so far, Democrats
aren’t putting it that way, and I don’t understand why not.
Democrats also are failing to thread the needle with Impeachment. They’re coming up with mealy-mouthed responses to McConnell’s intransigence, but they’re not looking directly into the cameras and delivering the one message that would resonate with the American people: Trump is preventing witnesses in a Senate trial because he’s guilty and he knows it. This is a cover-up.
That’s the winning ticket, not mushy nonsense like Pelosi’s latest: McConnell must release a “trial plan” before she refers the Articles to the full Senate.
Nobody cares about “trial plans.” Nobody knows what a “trial plan” is. This is arcane, inside-the-beltway stuff, boring to the extreme; it means nothing to the average voter. Instead, Democrats should be speaking in a single, undivided voice (just as Republicans always do): Trump is preventing witnesses in a Senate trial because he’s guilty and he knows it. This is a cover-up. Say it over, and over, and over: repetition, as Goebbels and Trump well know, is the way to penetrate people’s brains, not verbose statements that require actual analytical thinking.
Where does this leave
us, then? We have two huge issues right now: Iran and Impeachment. And so far,
Trump appears to be winning on both. He’s ended, apparently, the immediate
threat of war by not vowing further retaliation in his speech this morning
(despite his hyperbolic, self-serving rhetoric),* and he’s successfully
(through McConnell) prevented a full, fair trial in the Senate, meaning that he’ll
be acquitted and thus enabled to scream from the rooftops of Twitter
But this is far from over. The point is to get rid of Trump. Impeachment is not going to work, because Republicans don’t care about trivial things like Justice, Truth and Democracy. That leaves only the November election as our one, final chance to depose a dangerous, unstable and arrogant man, who never should have been elevated to power.
* Trump took…
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