I knew a particular sect would destroy me at Daily KOS for suggesting we not concern ourselves with impeachment. But even some that generally concur with much that I write strongly objected. Maybe I am entirely wrong, or perhaps I was not at all clear in making my point. I am very good at accepting constructive criticism and in fact like I try to do with others, many have persuaded me with better arguments than mine.
While I understand the context of every pushback to the article and agree with the sentiment behind most, on this one, from a strategic standpoint, I would prefer to meet the country where they are on this one. But I do respect those who disagree wholeheartedly.
The Daily KOS article is titled "Do you want to win or do you want to impeach? You won't have both." I stated in the prose that deep inside I want Trump impeached. But I care more about winning 2020 to stop the bleeding. While most of the comments disagreed with my tenets, I want to thank the tone of the discussion which I found quite civil. When one is flaming one comes across as irrational even though they may be making excellent points. There were two comments I address at the end under the sub-heading "Personal Attacks" that I usually would not, but every so often one must correct a narrative based on either ignorance or mal-intent.
I selected a few comments that I believe were representative of the tenor of the discussion to address.
armok: People want leadership. Leadership isn’t about checking poll numbers every five minutes, partly because polls change depending on the day and the questions asked.
Leadership includes holding people accountable for crimes against the United States. If Democrats fail this most basic function of democracy, why should voters hand them the keys in 2020?
And really, we need to stop viewing every single move based on what happened to Bill Clinton, or to Richard Nixon, or anyone else. The future is what we make of it.
I agree that Americans want leadership. IMHO that requires holding back if one loses the narrative. Activists and the very engaged know the truth. But most of America thinks of politicians as all evil, and as bad as Trump is, their rationale for sticking with him is that he simply got caught.
Austin Abbey: I’ve liked quite a bit of your work, Egberto, pretty much all of it. So I’m surprised how far off you are on this subject. Impeachment absolutely needs to happen, ASAP.
Talking about M4A is great. I would love for that to come to pass. And we should definitely be talking about it. I was one of the first to do so. But I’ve come to realize that it is sort of pie-in-the-sky. It really is. The insurance industry, and related health care profiteers, are never going to give up their massive slice of the healthcare pie. Not without cloture-proof majorities and those are difficult to achieve when deep pockets are opposed. Perhaps we should be talking about things that are achievable, like a public option. First, we need to get the message out that public insurance is better than private. The only people who think private insurance is great have never had Medicare. I’ve had private insurance for most of my life, so it was only after I began assisting my parents with healthcare decisions did I come to realize that Medicare was better.
But I agree, let’s talk about M4A first, maybe settle for public option. And while we are talking about better healthcare, let’s also impeached the shit out of Trump.
I talk to Republicans, Trumpists, Closet white supremacists, and many on the Right. They need an excuse to vote for the man, and they will go through hoops to get there. What we must create for them is an existential problem to drop him. If we can get many of our Democrats out of the way, many who are wards to the pharmaceuticals, health insurance companies, etc., we can make this existential to many of them. I sat in a Starbucks with a white Trumpist woman talking healthcare (it happened several times,) and without naming Medicare for All, just describing how it would work, she bought into the narrative. Granted I am sure many will vacillate, I am sure because it gets so much worse every year, we can make it one of our fighting points.
hummingbird4015: YES—Democrats allowed the Republicans and Trump to FRAME the issue. EVERY TIME we allow that we end up losing the narrative and losing the public and media momentum. And we still have too many Dems and Progressives who just don’t understand the importance of framing and who whine about not wanting to be like the GOP in terms of messaging skills. We will keep losing winnable battles every time we allow the GOP to frame the issue.
As you indicate, once the framing is set in the public consciousness, it becomes VERY difficult to reframe. It’s not impossible, but it’s difficult. The GOP reframed the issue from “PRO-CHOICE” (Our winning framing) to PRO-LIFE (Their winning framing) and we started losing ground on reproductive rights.
We won on “Marriage equality” by REFRAMING “Gay rights” as “EQUAL RIGHTS” OR “Marriage Equality” and ended up making huge progress in years what had languished for decades.
Don’t believe me, believe. . . . . DENNY CRANE of Boston Legal. Episode 15 of Season 1 or 2 when Denny Crane comes up against his son Donnie Crane and beats him in court although the son has the more sympathetic plaintiff and the better case. A dejected Donnie sits outside after losing, and Denny Crane approaches him and explains that he lost because he allowed Shatner to frame the issue and that once he won the framing he knew he would win.
hummingbird4015 gets it and I love the Denny Crane reference.
lurknomore: A mistake that gets made a lot in the activist bubble is thinking that an even greater level of moral outrage will somehow translate to votes. An extremely angry vote only counts as one vote. The idea that Democratic Party voters will be “demoralized” if we don’t stand on principle has no precedence in the electoral history of this country.
Impeachment at this time will come off as the high moral road to our activists, sour grapes that Hillary lost and an attempted coup to their activists and all those voters are carved in stone already. They’re voting, we’re voting.
What’s hard for blog warriors to internalize is that there are voters out there, a lot of them actually, who don’t qualify as activists. They read the papers for sports. They have no interest whatsoever in MSNBC or Fox (I’m personally with them there). They may be sick of always hearing about “politics” from their coworker or family member who rants constantly from either side of the trenches. To them, the continuing political drama is just a drone. Yes Trump’s a rich asshole but there are a lot of rich assholes.
Impeachment without a realistic path to conviction takes up all the oxygen for the next 500 days. And we need the undecideds to fall our way. If the economy stays this good Trump is odds on for reelection. Nowhere near the sure thing, any other politician would be gifted with a stable boom economy but it will be his election to lose. I personally don’t think it has that much to do with who we nominate. I do think there is a candidate (or two or three) who would on margin be better for us but I don’t want to interrupt anybody’s magical thinking or have the same pro-con debate with local blog warriors that have found their hero and have internalized campaign talking points.
However, if the next year and a half are devoted to Trump 24/7 that’s not good. The policy is an advantage this election more so than in the past. The Democratic Party, fractious as it is, can actually get some things done. We’re not a cult of personality (primary comments redacted here).
Don’t treat Trump as an evil supervillain, he’s just a rich asshole with a looming serious tax problem. Chip away at him with hearings, that won’t bother the uninvolved as they dimly remember endless Obama / Clinton and Clinton hearings.
So investigative committees. That would keep Trump off balance and Republican’s having to defend him while our candidates and the eventual nominee can make the case to the country that “here’s how we move forward,” Here’s what we propose actually doing. Grey details. Yeah, Trump arguably (different thread) beat that in 2016 but he had a huge advantage with being an unknown quantity. Now he’s a world-famous historically significant total idiot to everyone not in his cult. Not that everyone who thinks he’s an idiot will make sure to vote against him, some will vote for him for culture war reasons, some just don’t care and will skip traffic instead of standing in line.
But if the next 500 days are an epic struggle of Trump vs the Democrats it makes him look better. If it’s him whining that he’s not getting good press because the Supreme Court has to rule on the separation of powers regarding his taxes, and even the least interested voter knows about rich assholes and their tax problems, it makes him look small. If he looks small enough, we have a shot.* A nuts, bolts and policy would help us up and down the ticket. WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON ?!?!?!! regarding obstruction of justice won’t. On that minds are made up or tuning out already.
*Note if the economy really goes south he’s finished but let’s not discuss that every time the Dow goes down 500 points.
lurknomore's comment stands on its own. We win by making them believe voting for us is existential. It reminds me of the comment of a racist Obama supporter. The canvasser approached the home of a couple. They asked the wife who they were voting for in 2008. The wife asked the husband. His response was that they were voting for the nigg$r. First of all, I don't know why she had to ask the husband. But when things are bad enough that they supersede one's bigotry, then winning is possible. That is what is required to beat Trump IMHO and impeachment after losing the narrative is not the answer as good as it will feel to stick one into Trump.
Now the following two comments seemed like a personal attack, unlike all the other comments that were engaging and passionate. I have accused Democrats many times of allowing fallacies to reign for too long and thus metastasizing fallacies. We did that with Obamacare and many other policies and we continue to do it for fear of being called socialists. While this is minor comparatively, I want to say my piece on it.
ozsea1: “Egberto”, if you weren’t so crassly commercial and obvious in your monetization of your blog musings, I think you’d get more eyeballs here and your rec/comment percentage would be something better than 23%…and falling….
I am a genuine activist. I do not write to get some appropriate rec/comment percentage. I have written like that before for a couple of huge purportedly progressive sites who were no more than sites following the capitalist mantra, by all means necessary, pricing power, and quasi-monopoly. I decided to stick with Daily KOS which supports real substantive constructive discourse from its writers. When it comes to monetization, every full-time activist must monetize lest they are unable to continue doing it. I make no apologies. In our model, you voluntarily choose to help us do a job or not while if you want to read or listen to our stuff you can whether you help us or not. I have a daily radio show, Politics Done Right, on air at Pacifica Network's KPFT 90.1 FM Houston and on Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Twitch, & Periscope. I promote Daily KOS as the largest Progressive site in the country and my websites link to it something all of us with websites would do well doing. To be clear, after I put my daughter through her undergrad, I left my successful company to atrophy for full-time blogging/activism and for the last few years drained most of my retirement because I thought we needed many involved in the cause and I had the wherewithal to do it. I lost 90% of my income and am happy with my downsize and doing something with meaning and an outcome we are fighting for vigorously. My wife went back to work after 25 years for us to have somewhat affordable health insurance given our $15 to $20,000+ yearly insurance bill for quite some time. BTW, I know many activists who've made this sacrifice as well. Many comments like these that are constant from a few, are discouraging to many. I remind them it comes with the territory and to develop a thick skin. Shame on your comment but I doubt this would phase you. But this answer is not for you but to neutralize your poison in the community.
Delib: ozsea1: The other day he was pimping his new YouTube channel, asking everyone to support it
No freaking way I am going to rec or support anything from EW. The guy is needlessly divisive, over the top sanctimonious, and just a poor political analyst.
Your choice of words, "pimping his new YouTube channel" is unfortunate. Giving the work I am doing for Progressive candidates and using the channel as one more avenue is probative. I am only divisive to those who believe disagreeing is divisive. How different is that from the Right? And BTW, I do not think I am too bad a political analyst. And it is not too hard to go through the record. I guess I better pimp the YouTube Channel again because I do really need the community's support. I do most of my work as a volunteer and surviving on paltry website ads and subscriptions/contributions from those who like my work.
HELP: Please join my YouTube channel so I can get the numbers up to open up some more features and reach more folks. Gracias!