For the last 22 months, Robert S Mueller III’s trump-Russia investigation has been a political total eclipse. It has spent that time blotting the sun out from pretty much everything except mas shootings. But as I wrote earlier today, even though it is critical that the full Mueller report becomes public, we cannot afford to have the sure to be long, drawn out legal battle to make it so continue to obliterate coverage of everything else. For the simple reason that there is really important shit going on out there that needs to be publicized and highlighted.
Here’s a perfect example of what I mean. I can’t remember the exact day, but on either Thursday or Friday, on a break in tournament coverage, I was watching Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace. She said on the air that in conversations with several close Trump advisers, including some on his reelection campaign committee, they had already conceded the idea of His Lowness being able to win a popular vote majority in 2020, and were now focusing their attention purely on an electoral college strategy.
WHAT?!? If ever there was a conclusive argument for finally ditching the electoral college, this is it. In what kind of a democracy does an arrogant, racist, incompetent, blowhard, two-bit hood run a campaign to be president by explicitly campaigning to get a minority share of the vote, as long as that minority is packed into the most effective places?
This needs to be shouted from the rooftops with megaphones. The Trump reelection campaign just gave away their playbook. They are already conceding that their “base” has shrunk to the point that there is nothing that they, Trump, or anybody else can do to rehabilitate Glorious Bleater’s tattered reputation. So they are going to run the same old, tired playbook of 2016, and pray for rain.But there has to be cause for concern at the highest levels of the Trump campaign.
Because, if 2018 proved nothing else, it proved that there is no such thing as a “sure thing” anymore, not in the age of Trumpelforeskin. Arizona, which was no cake walk for Trump, rejected Martha McSally for Kyrsten Sinema. While Beto lost, the Democrats flipped both state and national House seats, and edged Texas closer to purple. Jon Tester won in Montana, a state that Trump carried in a walkaway in 2016. Even with rampant voter suppression, Stacey Abrams came within a hair of pulling off the upset in Georgia. Democrats flipped the state houses in both Michigan and Wisconsin, and cleaned up in Pennsylvania with the help of sane congressional district lines. Blood red Kansas elected a Democratic Governor, and a native American lesbian former MMA fighter to congress. And with the effects of the Trump tariffs being felt more every day, Iowa may be a rather inhospitable place for both Joni Ernst as well as Trump.
And if there’s one thing that 2016 showed to Democrats, it’s that you can’t afford to take shit for granted. There can be no more “flyover” rust belt Midwest states. And there shouldn’t be any “flyover” states at all. 2018 showed what a dynamic 50 state strategy can accomplish. The Democrats have a great advantage here, they already know that the Trump campaign is going to do. You can always still hope to complete a Hail Mary pass, but it’s a lot harder when the other team is defending it. This not only allows the Democrats to monitor specific states more closely, it also allows them to identify, monitor, and move more aggressively in red states where support for Trump may be flagging.
The country gave the Democrats the House to finally provide oversight on President Snake pit, so the investigations and oversight must continue. But the Democrats also ran on local kitchen table issues, and all of those are still front and center in the country today. Now the Democrats need to legislate their asses off on those issues to show that they’re following through, and then campaign like hell on those issues for the general election. may be the only lunatic in here, but I honestly don’t think that the Senate is out of reach for Democrats in 2020.
In the end, it will be Trump’s arrogance and narcissism that may well prove to be his undoing. Trump will take to the “red states only” strategy like a fish to water. This will assure him of large, adoring throngs of drooling Trombies at every stop. But Trump is a one trick pony, he only does one thing, and that is to brag. And in battleground states, while his usual inflammatory rhetoric may wow the brainless yahoos who attend his rallies, his hour long free association tirades are not going to do him any favor with wavering voters in those battleground states that actually care about things like healthcare, college tuition, and paying the rent.But they sure will get substantive positions from whichever Democratic candidate clears the rugby scrum of the 2020 primaries. But Trump’s massive ego will hear only the applause, and any hints of underlying weakness will of course be, “Fake Polls!”
While Washington itself remains firmly in the grip of Muellermania, reporters out in the field with Democratic candidates are saying that while voters want to see the Mueller report, they aren’t asking candidates questions about it on the trail. And I’m heartened to hear from the same reporters that the candidates themselves are not bringing it up as a standard part of their stump. That’s the way it should be. Deal with Washington shit when you’re in Washington, but when you’re in the field, deal with what’s most important to the field. Especially when you know exactly where to go to do it most effectively.
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