Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Draining The Swamp

There is little doubt that Trump is a populist, and much of his appeal to his WWC base was his stated desire to "take on" elites in DC.

Recent revelations about the people surrounding Trump show that Trump may have run as a populist, but he's governing as exactly the person Democrats said he was: a plutocrat who has nothing in common with the people who voted for him but the shared contempt for certain groups of people.

The GOP as a whole has demonstrated - once again - that their primary function in DC is to funnel money and power upwards to the 1%.  The decision to allow telecoms to sell consumer data is just bizarre politics.  Who supports this?  The American Shit Sandwich Act that the Zombie Eyed Granny Starver from Wisconsin puked up was a terrible, terrible bill.  Who supports this?  The coming deficit-financed tax cuts for the 1%...Who supports this?

Charlie Pierce famously contrasted the Occupy movement with the Tea Party by saying that at least Occupy was screaming at the right buildings.  There is a fair amount of evidence that those rural WWC voters supported Trump in a bizarre "only Nixon can go to China" gambit that only a guy like Trump - already rich and used to buying influence - could "drain the swamp" and remove those who are rich and buy influence.

Trump's continued collapse in the polls is at least in part - if not in whole - some of his supporters coming to grips with the fact that they have been conned.  The health care debate stripped the scales from at least some of their eyes.  The question everyone, but especially Democrats, should be asking is how low can Trump go?  It's not even three months into his presidency.  So far he has treated us to the Russia scandal, a failed travel ban, a failed health care plan and a massive deregulation plan.

Democrats and the press have focused mostly on the first three elements of that agenda: Trump's scandals and incompetence.  At some point, they need to pivot and focus on what he's actually accomplished, as typified by rolling back the regulations on coal ash and worker protections and financial regulations and internet privacy.  This is going to be at least two years of unparalleled corporate giveaways.  Trump exists to be a conduit of government largesse to the 1%, including, of course, his own family.

Democrats need to start constructing this case and repeating it over and over again.  The Russia Scandal should probably be re-sold as Trump selling out America to benefit wealthy Russian and American investors (which it probably is) rather than a treasonous conspiracy (which it probably isn't).

The key to creating wave elections in 2018 and 2020 is to reshape the debate over Trump's faux populism.  He and the GOP are not on your side, Bubba.  That HAS to be the message.  Right now, there is so much noise surrounding Trump it's tough to pick out just one chord.

Time to create a chorus.

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