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Old 03-26-2020, 07:27 PM
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What should be the main talking points of the 2020 Dem Pres candidate (presumably Biden)?


Just going all out on "trump is an idiot, a danger to the country, he has screwed everything up," etc., etc. isn't going to be enough. Being the anti-trump is a start, but it's not going to be enough. Name-calling his disgusting, pathetic, dangerous, demented predecessor, no matter now accurate, isn't going to be enough.

The Democratic candidate has to fairly REEK of decisive Leadership, with a capital "L." He (I'm going to say "he," because it has to be Biden, and Bernie has to get the fuck out of the way) has to inspire confidence, trust. He has to be more than Ford to trump's Nixon, because in Ford's day, the whole Executive Branch wasn't in shambles-- just the presidency. Ford didn't have to be a great leader, just a normal human being. There was still a Cabinet, agencies, a Justice Department. The 2020 Democratic candidate will have to outline how he is going to RESTORE the highest levels of government to functionality. To return the country to normalcy for openers, but also to show how the Democrats, once they have restored normalcy, can believably deliver a good future.

FFS, the Democratic party has to get its shit together and present a credible, confidence-inspiring course of action that can, at least from time to time, shove trump out of the headlines that he is so good at grabbing.

What should Biden and the party outline as the components of that restorative course of action?











The country is so divided... I don't have much hope that this is even possible. Biden cannot shout down trump. And anyway, if the Dems don't hang on to the House and take the Senate, this whole discussion is moot. Sorry for being Debbie Downer-- had to get that off my chest. I fear that if trump is still alive in November, he will win reelection, just because no one else will be able to get a word in edgewise.

Last edited by ThelmaLou; 03-26-2020 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:32 PM
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Hmmm...getting an idea of the scope of the problem...
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:39 PM
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Leadership will, justifiably, be a primary issue. Because Trump has shown that he lacks that needed quality in a crisis.

I suggested before that the Democrats should push the issue of sex crimes. It's an important issue. It's an issue where they can show a clear divide between how the Democrats have responded and how the Republicans have failed. It's an issue that Trump can't distance himself from. And it's an issue that can cut into the Republican base.

If the Democrats get control in Washington, I think one of their most important priorities has to be voting rights. The Republicans have been engaged in an ongoing campaign of manipulating the election system. We need to build some big strong walls around our ability to vote before the Republicans render elections meaningless.
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Old Yesterday, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
To return the country to normalcy for openers, but also to show how the Democrats, once they have restored normalcy, can believably deliver a good future.
I think this is the key - avoid this. Normalcy wasn't working for a lot of Americans who had precarious employment at best even before Trump. He obviously preyed on people's racism and economic insecurity. But the USA is already great line won't work for them.

Why "normalcy" first? Why not tangible policies that will benefit Americans who are suffering most right now? Nothing vague, nothing labyrinthinely means tested or otherwise complicated.

Biden can sell the cure to Corona impact with a smile: health care, job security for casual workers, higher minimum wage.

You can't beat Trump on leadership, go on policy for a change.
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Old Yesterday, 06:14 AM
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You can't beat Trump on leadership, go on policy for a change.

Trump has a sort of vacuous, superficial, self important leadership style that is effective when nothing of significance needs to get done. The kind that's suitable for the CEO of a family-owned company, host of a reality TV show, or president of a fraternity. That is to say, he exhibits the trappings of someone who is "successful", tells people what they want to hear, and mocks and belittles anyone who doesn't agree with him. And there is a certain subset of people who will follow that. And for the most part, when the economy was humming along and there's no major catastrophe out there, that's fine.

Trump does not have actual leadership required for an actual crisis. The kind that is required for making tough choices, giving people difficult news and inspiring them to pull through it. He can't Tweet or bullshit his way around COVID-19. At best Trump can try to throw blame around and defer it away from himself.

For a great example of actual leadership, look at NY governor Andrew Cuomo's handling of the crisis.


For a more conservative perspective, I look to a handful of friends who cling to bizarre conservative talking points and my wife's family who are dumb-as shit PA / Northern NJ hicks. The thing is, they will likely continue to vote for Trump because they are a) insane and b) dumb as shit. And what I mean is that no matter how bad things get, many will not vote Democrat because some of them think crazy shit like the Democrats will use FEMA to take all their guns and make the world Socialist. Or they will start locking up dissidents in the Federal Reserve. Or the dumb as shit ones like my simple inlaws will just vote Republican because that's just what they do and they believe anything Fox News or anyone else projecting conservative authority tells them.



I'm not a political consultant, but I suspect that whoever runs against Trump (presumably Biden) will need to project strong leadership that will get the country back on its feet, while allowing Trump to portray himself as the inept empty suit that he is.
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Old Yesterday, 06:25 AM
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I'm not saying you can't beat Trump on leadership because he is, or even seems to be, a good leader. He objectively is not.

I'm saying it won't work because it clearly doesn't matter. American re-elected a senile President and a hereditary faux-buffoon after leading the country into a war based on lies. Leadership does not matter.

Talk about what you want to happen.
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Old Yesterday, 06:41 AM
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Biden can sell the cure to Corona impact with a smile: health care, job security for casual workers, higher minimum wage.
Yeah, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Look, the main COVID-19 impact isn't going to be economic. It's going to be hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of dead Americans. Almost surely the latter if Trump remains in office.

As soon as the House passes and Trump signs the relief bill, the Democratic Party needs to speak with a unified voice: Trump's catastrophic 'leadership' will cost hundreds of thousands of American lives, and he must be removed ASAP. If he will not resign, then the Cabinet must invoke the 25th Amendment. If neither of those happens, then the House will impeach, and the Senate must remove.

Then when the deaths get into the hundreds of thousands - as they will - the Democrats will have gotten in front, and saddled Trump, the Senate Republicans, and the GOP as a whole with the responsibility.
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Old Yesterday, 07:38 AM
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Thanks for these thoughtful replies.
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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
...
As soon as the House passes and Trump signs the relief bill, the Democratic Party needs to speak with a unified voice: Trump's catastrophic 'leadership' will cost hundreds of thousands of American lives, and he must be removed ASAP. If he will not resign, then the Cabinet must invoke the 25th Amendment. If neither of those happens, then the House will impeach, and the Senate must remove.

Then when the deaths get into the hundreds of thousands - as they will - the Democrats will have gotten in front, and saddled Trump, the Senate Republicans, and the GOP as a whole with the responsibility.
I agree that this has to happen first. It should have happened already. It should happen today!

But what about AFTER... what about the presidential campaign? "Anybody but trump" will work for a while, but it won't be enough. As I said somewhere else, if trump is raptured soon and Pence takes over, HE will turn out to be the "anybody but trump," and will likely get elected on that basis alone. Then he will be McConnell's new hand puppet.

The Dems have to offer more than what their candidate WON'T be.
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Old Yesterday, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
Yeah, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Look, the main COVID-19 impact isn't going to be economic. It's going to be hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of dead Americans. Almost surely the latter if Trump remains in office.

As soon as the House passes and Trump signs the relief bill, the Democratic Party needs to speak with a unified voice: Trump's catastrophic 'leadership' will cost hundreds of thousands of American lives, and he must be removed ASAP. If he will not resign, then the Cabinet must invoke the 25th Amendment. If neither of those happens, then the House will impeach, and the Senate must remove.

Then when the deaths get into the hundreds of thousands - as they will - the Democrats will have gotten in front, and saddled Trump, the Senate Republicans, and the GOP as a whole with the responsibility.
Hmm.

So, right after Congress passes the Corona relief bill, with massive bipartisan support, the Democrats will rely on a groundswell of opinion to take time away from everything else for the House to hold impeachment hearings, vote, pass it to the Senate, then somehow all the Republicans and those Democrats in the Senate who voted to acquit last time are convinced to vote to remove this time, based on no new evidence, and Trump is removed. And Pence becomes President.

Then hundreds of thousands die anyway, and then Democrats can proudly point to the fact that what they focused on didn't do any good.

Not sure I agree 100% with your detective work there, Lou.

Regards,
Shodan

Last edited by Shodan; Yesterday at 08:26 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 08:43 AM
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Gotta admit, pushing for impeachment right now just smacks of irrationality. We get it, he's a moron and you hate him. Hell, *I* think he's a moron and I hate him. But I also know that's a damn stupid approach to take if you want to win elections.

Instead, Biden should focus on positive actions he plans to take. Let him stick to 'I'll do THIS for you and THAT for you' like he's singing about Bonnie Lasses going this way and that way. Let the rest of the team - Plouffe and others - run the negative ads. Trump, being so negative, will make it easy to make a strong distinction for Biden when he's positive about the things he's going to do. Please like positivity and WANT to respond to it. That's part of Trump's charm, believe it or not. Biden needs to sit back, maintain a straightforward, optimistic message and allow Trump to set himself up.

The do some mockery in the debates a la 'Malarkey' where he appears genial and working class and see what Trump gives him.
  #11  
Old Yesterday, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
Gotta admit, pushing for impeachment right now just smacks of irrationality. We get it, he's a moron and you hate him. Hell, *I* think he's a moron and I hate him. But I also know that's a damn stupid approach to take if you want to win elections.

Instead, Biden should focus on positive actions he plans to take. Let him stick to 'I'll do THIS for you and THAT for you' like he's singing about Bonnie Lasses going this way and that way. Let the rest of the team - Plouffe and others - run the negative ads. Trump, being so negative, will make it easy to make a strong distinction for Biden when he's positive about the things he's going to do. Please like positivity and WANT to respond to it. That's part of Trump's charm, believe it or not. Biden needs to sit back, maintain a straightforward, optimistic message and allow Trump to set himself up.

The do some mockery in the debates a la 'Malarkey' where he appears genial and working class and see what Trump gives him.
Yes. This.

From an article about Boris Johnson in the New York Times today. Sound familiar?
Quote:
...The problem is that he [Johnson] has been preparing for the wrong part. The man came to power playing Falstaff, a double-dealing, comically entertaining, shameless rogue; now he is suddenly onstage as Henry V, the wartime king whose solemn judgment, intense focus, charisma and conviction must lead his nation in a time of crisis. Mr. Johnson does not know how to play that part, and it shows. This is not a rehearsal. His careless, inexcusable reluctance to track and halt the virus earlier will have cost lives.....
This is what Biden needs to be, "Henry V, the wartime king whose solemn judgment, intense focus, charisma and conviction must lead his nation in a time of crisis," but the party needs specific steps, plans, a strategy to take the country out of this black hole, and it needs to present that strategy clearly and sell it during the campaign. The campaign needs a clearly articulated program to beat trump if he survives to run again or to beat Pence if he is president in November.

"Clearly articulated"... ogod...

Last edited by ThelmaLou; Yesterday at 09:14 AM.
  #12  
Old Yesterday, 09:16 AM
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Instead, Biden should focus on positive actions he plans to take. Let him stick to 'I'll do THIS for you and THAT for you' like he's singing about Bonnie Lasses going this way and that way.
Like what, for instance?

If he wants to get specific, that's great, but then he has to get specific. Spend more? Continue the lock down longer, or lift it sooner? (If he says "I'll lift it as soon as the curve flattens" that isn't different from Trump.) Implement M4A? Address global warming?

Positivity is great, too. "I would have done everything better and sooner" isn't all that positive. "I wouldn't have cut funding for the CDC to fight global pandemics" might fly, providing nobody notices that funding for the CDC wasn't cut.

Hindsight's 20/20, of course, so maybe he can sell it. But talking about what he is going to do to address the crisis is different from talking about what he would have done, unless he can point to somewhere where he mentioned the issue sooner than Trump, or other world leaders.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old Yesterday, 09:19 AM
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Last edited by ThelmaLou; Yesterday at 09:20 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 09:26 AM
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Like what, for instance?

If he wants to get specific, that's great, but then he has to get specific. Spend more? Continue the lock down longer, or lift it sooner? (If he says "I'll lift it as soon as the curve flattens" that isn't different from Trump.) Implement M4A? Address global warming?

Positivity is great, too. "I would have done everything better and sooner" isn't all that positive. "I wouldn't have cut funding for the CDC to fight global pandemics" might fly, providing nobody notices that funding for the CDC wasn't cut.

Hindsight's 20/20, of course, so maybe he can sell it. But talking about what he is going to do to address the crisis is different from talking about what he would have done, unless he can point to somewhere where he mentioned the issue sooner than Trump, or other world leaders.

Regards,
Shodan
You'll pardon me if I don't accept your advice on, well, anything when it comes to democratic politics and positive electioneering.

Being positive isn't about what he would have done. It's about establishing a vision and looking forward. No one accomplishes anything by saying 'what he would have done'. Biden needs to maintain that positive worldview and sell it. Problems DO have solutions. Difficulties CAN be overcome. He IS the one who can do it.

That's all people really want. The belief - justified or not (in the case of Trump, completely un-) - that they can vote for someone who believes he can move the needle in a positive direction. They'll vote for confidence long before they'll vote for competence. If competence were the deciding factor the progressive contender would have been Warren, not Bernie.
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Old Yesterday, 09:41 AM
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Gotta admit, pushing for impeachment right now just smacks of irrationality. We get it, he's a moron and you hate him.
He is a moron. But I've never hated him.

OTOH, I hate the fact that hundreds of thousands more people will die if he remains in office, than if he were removed right now, even to be replaced by Mike Pence.

This should fucking matter. I'm confused as to why anything else should.

This would be the House giving the Senate one last opportunity to reduce the scale of the oncoming catastrophe. End of story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
So, right after Congress passes the Corona relief bill, with massive bipartisan support, the Democrats will rely on a groundswell of opinion to take time away from everything else for the House to hold impeachment hearings, vote
How much time is needed? Two or three hours to list the ways that Trump not only has botched our response to the coronavirus, but continues to diddle around instead of doing basic stuff like invoking the Defense Production Act and setting a national shutdown so that everyone can be home for the same three weeks, and all the head games he plays with governors about how "if you're nice to me, I might help you out, and if I don't think you've groveled enough, I'll punish the people of your state."

This should be done and sent to the Senate this weekend.
Quote:
then somehow all the Republicans and those Democrats in the Senate who voted to acquit last time
JFTR, "those Democrats in the Senate who voted to acquit last time" is the empty set.
Quote:
are convinced to vote to remove this time, based on no new evidence
No new evidence?? We've got his coronavirus track record, right up to the moment the Senate votes.
Quote:
and Trump is removed. And Pence becomes President.

Then hundreds of thousands die anyway, and then Democrats can proudly point to the fact that what they focused on didn't do any good.
That the deaths will get into six figures is pretty much baked in at this point. I'd like them to not reach seven figures. If Trump is actually removed and Pence becomes President, I will take that as a win, even if Pence is elected to a term of his own in November. Because Pence will at least do the basics that any President, Republican or Democrat, would do in a situation like this. And that will save hundreds of thousands of lives.

Last edited by RTFirefly; Yesterday at 09:42 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 09:51 AM
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It's really simple, folks: Trump is the main obstacle to a coherent national response to the crisis we're in with the coronavirus. Therefore, Job 1 is to remove Trump, or to at least give the U.S. Senate the opportunity to do so.

What happens next is up to them. If they remove Trump, then thank the Lord. If they don't, then so many people will have died by November that the election will be about who's to blame. And the Democrats will have made that crystal-clear.
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Old Yesterday, 09:53 AM
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I agree with absolutely everything re trump and the danger of having him continue as president.

With respect, and at the risk of being accused of "junior modding," can we resist that side road-- at least in this thread-- and get back to the question: "What specific points do the Dems need to make to sell their candidate (Biden) as the one who can get the country back on track (whether Biden is running against trump or Pence)?"
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Old Yesterday, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
He is a moron. But I've never hated him.

OTOH, I hate the fact that hundreds of thousands more people will die if he remains in office, than if he were removed right now, even to be replaced by Mike Pence.

This should fucking matter. I'm confused as to why anything else should.
Because, against all efficacy, we impeached him a few months ago and it failed. Regardless of anything else, doing it again now will only work against us in November. AND it would fail again.

Every single time I hear someone - well-meaning and honest, surely - railing at the sky about how Trump STILL needs to be removed now I know we've just lost 2 or 3 more votes in November FOR NO GAIN.

The world isn't what we wish it to be. Nor is voter behavior. Impeachment was a mistake. It accomplished nothing. Doing it again would be a catastrophe and AGAIN accomplish nothing.
  #19  
Old Yesterday, 10:22 AM
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You'll pardon me if I don't accept your advice on, well, anything when it comes to democratic politics and positive electioneering.
No one ever does, worse luck.
Quote:
Being positive isn't about what he would have done. It's about establishing a vision and looking forward. No one accomplishes anything by saying 'what he would have done'. Biden needs to maintain that positive worldview and sell it. Problems DO have solutions. Difficulties CAN be overcome. He IS the one who can do it.
This is rather different from
Quote:
Instead, Biden should focus on positive actions he plans to take. Let him stick to 'I'll do THIS for you and THAT for you' like he's singing about Bonnie Lasses going this way and that way.
because there isn't any THIS or THAT.

Focusing on positive actions you are going to take is not the same thing as "I am confident we can solve our problems and make America great again! No Malarkey!"

Regards,
Shodan
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Old Yesterday, 10:34 AM
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  #21  
Old Yesterday, 11:00 AM
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ThelmaLou, I need to reply to this. Then I'll shut up, even though this is what I quite honestly think that this is what the Dems need to do about November.
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Because, against all efficacy, we impeached him a few months ago and it failed.
I don't get the significance of this. We knew it would fail then! We did it because impeaching him was the right thing to do.

This is far more true this time than it was then. That's a damned high bar to clear, but when your own President is a clear and present danger to the country, you don't sit on your hands, even if you've already impeached him for something else.
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Regardless of anything else, doing it again now will only work against us in November.
I don't see how. I see how there would be (metaphorical) lynch mobs waiting for GOP Senators.
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AND it would fail again.
Yes, it would. And people all over the country would be looking at their GOP Senators and saying, "my granny died because of YOU." And having to restrain themselves from punching the Senators in the face.
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