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Wed Jun 13, 2018, 05:15 PM

How to Lose the Midterms and Re-elect Trump

'Dear Robert De Niro, Samantha Bee and other Trump haters:

I get that you’re angry. I’m angry, too. But anger isn’t a strategy. Sometimes it’s a trap. When you find yourself spewing four-letter words, you’ve fallen into it. You’ve chosen cheap theatrics over the long game, catharsis over cunning. You think you’re raising your fist when you’re really raising a white flag.

You’re right that Donald Trump is a dangerous and deeply offensive man, and that restraining and containing him are urgent business. You’re wrong about how to go about doing that, or at least you’re letting your emotions get the better of you.

When you answer name-calling with name-calling and tantrums with tantrums, you’re not resisting him. You’re mirroring him. You’re not diminishing him. You’re demeaning yourselves. Many voters don’t hear your arguments or the facts, which are on your side. They just wince at the din.

You permit them to see you as you see Trump: deranged. Why would they choose a different path if it goes to another ugly destination?

Of course this is broader than De Niro, bigger than Bee and about more than profanity. It’s about maturity, pragmatism and plain old smarts — and the necessity of all three when the stakes are this high.

Many Democrats get that. Maybe even most do. In the primaries last week and on Tuesday, Democratic voters by and large chose House candidates whose appeals were tempered and whose profiles make them formidable general-election contenders. They’re the best bets for wooing less fiercely partisan voters and snatching seats currently in Republican hands.

The results in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District on Tuesday were a perfect example. State Senator Jennifer Wexton, a former federal prosecutor, won, and will take on the Republican incumbent, Barbara Comstock. That was precisely what Republican strategists didn’t want, and at the beginning of the year, they chattered hopefully about Wexton’s being thwarted by more strident Democratic rivals to her left. But she beat the second-place finisher by almost 20 points.

I’m buoyed by that and by what I’ve witnessed when I’ve met with Democratic candidates in potentially red-to-blue House districts. They’re not getting bogged down in impeachment talk, which can sound to many voters like a promise of ceaseless partisan rancor and never-ending Washington paralysis. They’re not frothing at the mouth about Trump.

They understand that there’s no need for that. He’s the most exhaustively chronicled and psychologically transparent president in the lifetimes of most American voters, who already know how they feel about him. What they’re less certain about are their alternatives. If you want to make sure that at least one chamber of Congress is a check on Trump, talk to them about that.

And do so in a vocabulary that’s measured, not hysterical. Enough with “idiot” and “moron” (unless you’re directly quoting an administration official). They’re schoolyard and splenetic.'>>>

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/13/opinion/trump-midterms-robert-de-niro-samantha-bee.html?

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply How to Lose the Midterms and Re-elect Trump (Original post)
elleng Jun 2018 OP
BigmanPigman Jun 2018 #1
unblock Jun 2018 #2
KPN Jun 2018 #13
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2018 #3
elleng Jun 2018 #5
dalton99a Jun 2018 #11
Butterflylady Jun 2018 #4
KPN Jun 2018 #14
stuffmatters Jun 2018 #6
elleng Jun 2018 #7
KPN Jun 2018 #15
SCantiGOP Jun 2018 #8
elleng Jun 2018 #9
Uncle Joe Jun 2018 #10
Paka Jun 2018 #12
malthaussen Jun 2018 #16
Uncle Joe Jun 2018 #17
elleng Jun 2018 #19
mcar Jun 2018 #18

Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 05:26 PM

1. When I call him a fucking moron I AM quoting an administration

official word for word...Rex Tillerson said it. I believe Corker called him a fucking idiot but he isn't in the actual admin.

I am torn about this whole issue. We take the high road and look like a bunch of 'snowflakes' without a backbone for the GOP to walk all over. Is the point about "going high' or about using profanity? Can we kick them where it counts and not look like we have no spine without using 4 letter words? Sure we can, but we aren't even doing that!

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 05:29 PM

2. much as i'm a fan of s.a.t. words, we're not going to win by using words like "splenetic"

we're going to need to use splenetic words to win.

sorry, but we really need to rile up our base and gotv.

we can't act like this is a normal election cycle.

we have to sound the alarm.

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Response to unblock (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 14, 2018, 01:27 AM

13. Lol. Right!? Splenetic? Clueless commentator(s).

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 05:33 PM

3. The quote below is the HEART of the message, and we need to heed it:

They understand that there’s no need for that.* He’s the most exhaustively chronicled and psychologically transparent president in the lifetimes of most American voters, who already know how they feel about him. What they’re less certain about are their alternatives. If you want to make sure that at least one chamber of Congress is a check on Trump, talk to them about that.

*There's no need for impeachment talk.

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 05:50 PM

5. Thanks, Peg;

using this for some other friends, who tend to think it's hopeless.

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 10:20 PM

11. +1

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 05:38 PM

4. Been there done that,

Sorry, can't take a knife to a gun fight. This is a whole new animal. You don't have to get down in the mud, just need to fight smarter.

One thing he did do that most politicians do is they talk down to people where they need to learn to talk on their level.

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Response to Butterflylady (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 14, 2018, 01:30 AM

14. Yep. Bingo - talk on their level.

Do we have that capability? Better yet, who do we have with that capability?

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 07:29 PM

6. Dems spkg obsceneties distract from Real Obsceneties(actions,lies, policies) of Trump & Repubs

And please don't waste the MSM podium or megaphone when we do get it for a minute .DeNiro could have far more effectively used his broadcast time to decry & detail the savage immigration policies of Trump/GOP. for example.

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Response to stuffmatters (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 07:35 PM

7. Thanks

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Response to stuffmatters (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 14, 2018, 01:33 AM

15. Are you sure? I'm certainly not.

DeNiro has a lot of cred. His words have impact just because they come from him.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 07:39 PM

8. This will not be a popular post here

But it is, in my opinion, absolutely correct. This is not about appealing to independents or moderates; it is about not turning off a lot of potential voters who we can win over in the mid-terms and in 2020.

Thanks for the post, elleng.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 07:43 PM

9. Thanks for responding, SCantiGOP,

and recognizing the value of this opinion piece.

'This is not about appealing to independents or moderates; it is about not turning off a lot of potential voters who we can win over.'

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 09:28 PM

10. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread elleng.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 11:53 PM

12. K&R

Well stated and wise advice. Give people a positive motivation to GOTV.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Thu Jun 14, 2018, 10:21 AM

16. No fucking kidding.

I tend to keep out of this dance. On the one hand, you have frustrated, angry people who cannot endure the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune without opposing them with their own slings and arrows. And they will scream until their faces are blue that since more civilized tactics "don't work," it is necessary to oppose barbarism by being more barbaric. Which is kind of like saying it's okay to torture terrorists because they don't play by the rules, but I digress.

On the other hand, you have those who want to raise the level of discourse (in contrast to, say, the Rude Pundit, who is proud to lower it). Or at least, keep it from sliding fully into the muck and mire. Funny, the former group is as likely to turn on the latter with invective and disdain as they are on their Republican opponents, which must give those opponents a hearty laugh. It appears that unless one agrees that the only way to win a name-calling war is to call nastier names, they are as much the Enemy as the Enemy. It's interesting, too, that the "hard line" crowd appear to think and react to the more "polite" crowd in ways that distinctly resemble the GOPpers who complain about "elites." But then, that's the point, yes?

Me, my attitude has always been that I don't let other people control how I act. Well, I may be a bit "splenetic" with friends, but in normal discourse I use people with pretty much the same courtesy regardless of how they use me. We're not talking about a clear and present physical danger here -- however much some like to draw analogies from lethal combat. We're talking about the use and manipulation of words, and how to use them effectively, and most importantly, dispassionately. Ye gods, people, when has anyone ever "won" a playground screaming match? All it leaves you is a sore throat and a feeling of vast dissatisfaction.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #16)

Thu Jun 14, 2018, 10:38 AM

17. Well said malthaussen

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #16)

Thu Jun 14, 2018, 03:57 PM

19. Thanks, -- Mal.

Many here refusing to recognize this; there's another thread, but I won't broadcast it.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Thu Jun 14, 2018, 03:51 PM

18. Sometimes there are not enough walls

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