As we grind on toward the midterms it’s beginning to feel as if there’s a new “Democratic strategy” announcement every other day. It’s almost as if they can’t make up their minds, despite the fact that history tells us they should be heading for some significant victories in congressional races. Be that as it may, McClatchy reports that there’s yet another battle plan in the works and this one caught me by surprise. Despite an endless parade of bad news stories about the President coming out on a daily basis, some Democrats would like their party to execute a bold move and… stop talking about Donald Trump.
Democrats are making a bet that with the help of a wave of TV and digital ads they can finally make the upcoming election about health care and taxes.
They just need to hope voters will tune out Donald Trump long enough to listen.
Since the president’s election, Democratic Party leaders have vowed to emphasize pocketbook issues, convinced that an economic focus was necessary to win over the most voters in November. But Trump has made it difficult, using his bully pulpit — and the all-consuming attention he commands in the media — to compel Democrats to discuss anything but the economy, from kneeling NFL players to special counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation.
Now, however, Democrats say the election gives their candidates and allied groups a chance to force the conversation back to economic issues by paying for messages delivered directly to voters.
Stop talking about Trump? Good luck with that. If you’re a Democrat looking for some earned media you can take a call from the New York Times or sit down on the set at CNN or MSNBC fully prepared to talk about these pocketbook issues. And what will the reporter or news anchor ask you about? Trump’s latest tweet, rally, allegedly offensive comment or scandal story. And if you don’t give them the incendiary answer they’re looking for they’ll keep on asking. The latest story of the doorman is probably just the beginning of a series of Tales from the National Enquirer Crypt.
But should the Democrats be trying to focus on “taxes and health care” rather than the President? The health care option is, I’ll grant you, a bit more promising than it was a year ago according to recent polling. Perhaps it’s just a bit of nostalgia among those opposed to the Trump administration. But… taxes? You seriously want to go out and tell people you’re going to roll back the tax cuts they received? Have a party, pal. I’ll help you hand out flyers.
But how could talking about all of the President’s various legal woes be a bad thing? Wouldn’t you want the President’s party to take on water from such scandalous reports when you’re preparing to duke it out with them in November? Actually, the Democrats might be on to something here. Too much time spent debating Trump scandal stories is probably numbing the public to outrage. In fact, there are signs that some voters are just tuning it out at this point.
The Free Beacon highlights some CNN coverage of (believe it or not) Democrats who say the Cohen and Manafort news is a “sideshow” and they’re just happy that their retirement accounts are growing. Check out this brief video.
Perhaps there’s something to this idea. The more time the Democrats spend excoriating President Trump, the less time they have to attempt to put forth a message about their agenda and how they could supposedly run things better. But as I said… good luck with that. It’s the Trump show all day, every day on cable news and the front pages of the nation’s major newspapers. Breaking through that barricade to talk about stale policy issues is probably impossible.