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Old 03-27-2020, 02:01 PM
Leaper is online now
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Politics in the time of corona... Is it better to be too aggressive or too passive?


It was a tossup where to put this; please move if needed.

But this was inspired by various remarks I’ve seen around the internet:

“Where’s Joe Biden? He should be doing more!” (Yes, he’s a private citizen, but I assume this means stuff like addressing supporters on the internet, advancing charities that need help, etc.)

“Where are the Democratic attack ads against Trump?”

“Why aren’t Democratic congresspeople pointing out how incompetent Trump is 24/7?”

There’s enough of this that I wanted a thread specifically on this topic. As the situation is RIGHT NOW, do you think it’s a politically wise decision for Democrats to go on the offensive against the President? If not, what and how much should they do instead? Is there harm in letting Trump “dominate the current narrative,” in a sense, or is that unavoidable since he’s the sitting president?
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:10 PM
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The D's really can't go wrong either way.

Go passive and let Trump hog the spotlight = Trump shows his incompetence each passing day with each statement.

Go aggressive and attack Trump = make Trump look bad.


They hold all the aces either way.
  #3  
Old 03-27-2020, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaper View Post
As the situation is RIGHT NOW, do you think it’s a politically wise decision for Democrats to go on the offensive against the President?
Yes. Politically necessary, even.

Sure, as President, Trump's going to have an outsized voice in the political sphere. But the Dems have to do their best to be a counterweight to that. Nobody else is going to do it for them, and if nobody at all does it, then his version of the truth (i.e. lies) will dominate. The Dems can't let that happen.

As a party, they have to take messaging way more seriously than they do. Too often, they just assume people will hear the truth from the newspapers and TV news, and no, that's not going to happen.

And at this moment, they don't need to give him hell; they just need to tell the truth, and it'll feel like hell. They can point out that:
  • Trump has said he was invoking the Defense Production Act, but he hasn't done so - nobody's been ordered to make anything.
  • Trump has said he was supplying the states with tons of gear, but he hasn't.
  • Rather than the Federal government buying medical equipment and supplying the states, he's had them bid against each other, and occasionally against ICE and other agencies.
  • Trump has played head games with governors over aid, demanding that they be obsequious to him to get it.
  • Trump could institute a national 3-week shelter-in-place which would slow the virus down enormously, but he hasn't and won't.
  • Trump wants to open America up for business by Easter, when the COVID-19 death toll will be in the tens of thousands.
  • Trump has put Jared Kushner, who knows nothing about anything, in charge of much of his 'response' to the coronavirus.
And that's just off the top of my head.

People need to know this stuff. Democrats need to make sure they do. Nobody else is going to do it for them.
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Old 03-27-2020, 05:18 PM
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The Democrats and Biden are right to not do much right now. It’s rally around the president time as shown by the increase in approval ratings.

Wait for the economic effects to kick in.
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Old 03-27-2020, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
The Democrats and Biden are right to not do much right now. It’s rally around the president time as shown by the increase in approval ratings.

Wait for the economic effects to kick in.
When the bodies start piling up (a) everyone should already know that the Dems had been pushing for Trump to do things that would reduce the carnage, but he wouldn't do them and was actually getting in the way; and (b) as long as Trump's in charge, the economic effects are going to be secondary.
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Old 03-27-2020, 06:09 PM
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The Democrats are busy trying to keep their states from becoming disaster areas with or without the help of Trump. Maybe it's not the right time to pick a fight with someone as juvenile Trump - the governors know lives are on the line but does the Pres?

In the future, there will be mountains of data showing the US' slow and inept response to the growing threat caused avoidable deaths. This should be drawn out and explained to everyone.

For example, S Korea had their 1st coronavirus case on the same day as the US, but the two countries' experience since then has been dramatically different:

Tot Cases
USA: 100K+
S Korea: 9K+

Tot Deaths
USA: 1,550
S Korea: 139

Cases/1M pop
USA: 307
S Korea: 182

Deaths/1M pop
USA: 5
S Korea: 3

Source.

What was different in how these two countries approached things since then? Our central government bears responsibility for this, not the States. Trump can pat himself on the back as much as he wants, but a body count is going to be hard to blame on someone else this fall.
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Old 03-27-2020, 07:02 PM
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It's perfectly reasonable for Democrats to run ads. In just a few months, American voters will be asked 'do you want to keep the current Administration in place, or do you want a different Administration?'----and a crucial part of that decision is the answer to the question "what kind of job is Trump and his Administration doing?"

That said, the best tone to adopt is a strictly factual one. Some recent ads, for example, have juxtaposed Trump's actual words and actions against the COVID-19 statistics. That's fair and will be perceived as fair by most.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
...And at this moment, they don't need to give him hell; they just need to tell the truth, and it'll feel like hell. They can point out that:
  • Trump has said he was invoking the Defense Production Act, but he hasn't done so - nobody's been ordered to make anything.
  • Trump has said he was supplying the states with tons of gear, but he hasn't.
  • Rather than the Federal government buying medical equipment and supplying the states, he's had them bid against each other, and occasionally against ICE and other agencies.
  • Trump has played head games with governors over aid, demanding that they be obsequious to him to get it.
  • Trump could institute a national 3-week shelter-in-place which would slow the virus down enormously, but he hasn't and won't.
  • Trump wants to open America up for business by Easter, when the COVID-19 death toll will be in the tens of thousands.
  • Trump has put Jared Kushner, who knows nothing about anything, in charge of much of his 'response' to the coronavirus.
...
Add to this some factual comparisons between the results countries like Singapore and South Korea are seeing, and the results seen in the USA, as discussed here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowthx View Post
...In the future, there will be mountains of data showing the US' slow and inept response to the growing threat caused avoidable deaths. This should be drawn out and explained to everyone.
For example, S Korea had their 1st coronavirus case on the same day as the US, but the two countries' experience since then has been dramatically different:

... What was different in how these two countries approached things since then?...
This approach emphasizes the actual job that Trump has done. It can serve to counter the probable Trump campaign message that 'the entire world has been under assault and Trump did the best anyone could have done in the circumstances.' He did not, and it's up to Democrats to point that out---using actual numbers and factual comparisons. How many sets of PPE and how many ventilators, per capita, did Singapore and S. Korea have on hand? How quickly did they put more into production? How about testing? What was available when the virus began spreading, and what did more-successful nations do to increase the supply? Etc. etc.

Only Trump's most ardent fans could find anything objectionable in raw facts. They will find ads offering facts to be objectionable, of course. But their opinions are of no value. The opinions of swing voters are the important ones.

Last edited by Sherrerd; 03-27-2020 at 07:04 PM.
  #8  
Old 03-27-2020, 07:17 PM
D'Anconia is online now
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The Democrats should continue to panic:

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/vi...be_afraid.html
  #9  
Old 03-27-2020, 09:26 PM
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This is an incredibly tough question. I can't remember when I have had such a hard time deciding what was the right political strategy, especially when it seems so important to get it right. And this is reflected among the wizened grandees of the party: Obama's two top political campaign advisors, David Plouffe and David Axelrod, have staked out dramatically different positions on this question (Plouffe is running anti-Trump ads and Axelrod is warning that it could backfire at this frought moment).

But if I were to get off the fence to the Plouffe side, it's hard to imagine a better takedown than the video Biden just released: https://twitter.com/chrislongview/st...69490721210368

BOOM goes the dynamite!
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:57 AM
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Too complicated. That one with the rising graph behind his graphic and recorded words works better.
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Old 03-28-2020, 12:07 PM
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People hate politicians making disasters political. Now is not the right time for Biden to attack. What he can do is look like a leader, project the compassion and empathy that Trump lacks, side with the governors taking a beating, and just make sure he gets as much face time as possible.

When the country reopens and people see how bad shape they've been left in, that's the time to swoop in and hit hard.
  #12  
Old 03-28-2020, 07:16 PM
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Dunno, maybe just start running ads like these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxG2...ature=youtu.be And that was when there was only 6,000 cases in the US, now it's 121,000 cases

2% death rate means everyone knows someone who has died, so it becomes personal and can't be blamed successfully on the librul media.

Since trump didn't pull out all the stops to test, the economy is shutting down. Everyone will know someone who lost their job, their house, their business, their savings, their retirement, their marriage, and that someone might just be themselves and their peers.

Last edited by China Guy; 03-28-2020 at 07:17 PM.
  #13  
Old 03-28-2020, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
The Democrats should continue to panic:

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/vi...be_afraid.html
Jesus H. Christ Crucified. "Michigan Democratic Rep. Haley Stevens seemed to lose her cool." Seemed? Ya think?

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