Baseball teams play defense when the opposing team is at bat. Football teams play defense when their team loses the ball. Basketball players play defense when the other team grabs the ball and runs to their net. Friends play defense when they stay sober to make sure the others get home safely.
Democrats play defense all the time.
Democrats play defense when they run a conservative candidate with a record of voting against historical Democratic values.
Democrats play defense when they amplify the Republican agenda.
It’s been weeks since the blue wave, but Democrats are still playing defense. They don’t have to. Democrats have a smorgasbord of offensive moves to choose from. Donald Trump is a likely illegitimate president who grabbed power with help from a foreign dictator. Besides the several guilty pleas and a conviction in the Trump/Russia investigation, we learned something new this week. We learned that Paul Manafort, Chairman of the Trump campaign and a known operative for Eastern European dictators, shared Trump campaign data with Russian intelligence operatives. Manafort’s own lawyers disclosed this information in a filed court document. They claim the information was disclosed by accident, but we don’t know and will never know what they did. Most Americans know nothing about this new evidence because no one is talking about it.
Trump has shut down the federal government in a tantrum over funding for a border wall. The border wall won’t provide any security for the country and is inarguably a symbol of racism. This is the Democratic response in their own words from Twitter:
Democrats & an increasing number of Republicans in Congress have repeatedly urged @realDonaldTrump @SenateMajLdr to end the #TrumpShutdown and re-open the government while Congress debates the President’s expensive and ineffective wall.
During today’s meeting between @realDonaldTrump, myself & other Democratic leaders, we asked the President to open the government — giving him a path Republicans have supported previously. Why would he not do it? #TrumpShutdown
From Senate Minority Leader Schumer who appeals to Republican compassion for federal workers:
This is so sad. When you multiply these federal workers by their family members — the people they love who rely on their steady paycheck to survive — you get a better sense of the pain caused by the #TrumpShutdown. Re-open the government, @realDonaldTrump.
My Senator, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, apparently still thinks he can successfully appeal to compassion:
As of today, the President’s pursuit of a medieval wall has forced hundreds of thousands of federal workers to miss a payday. He’s holding their paychecks hostage to fulfill a shortsighted campaign promise. It is cruel.
Beto O’Rourke, who comes from TrumpWall Territory is focusing on the reality of the need for and likely effect of the wall. He’s linked to this MSNBC video: https://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/what-cbp-numbers-tell-us-1421810755664. He’s also posted a video of the very pretty Rio Grande valley, appealing to environmentalism.
Bernie Sanders, as always, appeals to American compassion and common sense:
President Trump, We don’t need to create artificial crises. We have enough real ones. Let us end this shutdown and bring the American people together around an agenda that will improve life for all of our people. #BernieResponds
I don’t disagree with any of the posts or statements above. However, I think they are ineffective to move people who care little about anything that doesn’t directly affect them at this minute. American’s are notoriously self-absorbed and short-sighted, and those who are not, already agree with Pelosi, Schumer, and O’Rourke. So, I dispute this line of defense against the Trump administration because it is defense. Democrats counter Trump but remain on Trump’s agenda. Trump wants to talk about the wall, so they talk about the wall. Trump is showing his supporter base he will fight for their racism, so Democrats give him a fight he can display at his next hate-mob rally.
Here’s a tweet from Elizabeth Warren which I think is closer to what the Democrats should shout from the highest network studio:
Food inspectors make sure our veggies aren’t crawling with deadly bacteria. The #TrumpShutdown is a real crisis for working families — & now it’s a public health crisis. @realDonaldTrump needs to end this shutdown & stop putting people in danger.
I like Warren’s tweet because it reminds me of an old quote of Upton Sinclair, who single handedly drew attention to deadly conditions in meat processing plants that led to the FDA. Sinclair described the public’s reaction to his book, The Jungle: I aimed for the public’s heart, and by accident hit it in the stomach. Sinclair noted that Americans will wake up and create positive change to fix a problem if it affects them directly on a topic they care about.
However, even Warren’s quote and all of the statements from other Democrats remain firmly on the Trump Agenda. Democrats talk about Trump as though he’s a legitimate president and still focus their comments on Trump’s favorite issue that helps him incite his racist base, showing them he’s fighting for them. They see him as a hero and if he loses, they’ll see him as a martyr.
Where is the Democrat’s offensive strategy? How do Democrats take themselves off the Trump Agenda? I think Democrats should take Americans back to the inception of the Trump Administration. Trump became President by cheating with the help of our national enemy, a scheming and murdering dictator who runs not only a country but a mafia. Trump is an illegitimate president who obtained office through serious campaign finance violations and working with a foreign enemy. Trump sold future USA policy in exchange for this foreign assistance. Michael Flynn has provided proof. Manafort’s lawyers have provided proof. Trump’s own lawyer, Michael Cohen has provided proof.
Then, Democrats can put it all together and create an offense that takes them off of Trump’s agenda and hits Americans directly in their stomachs. This is the argument: Trump is an illegitimate president who became President with and would not have become President without, the help of a foreign dictator, the leader of an enemy country and a foreign mafia. Now, Trump, this illegitimate president, has shut down the government and ended important safety measures, and you, Mr. Self-Absorbed Short-Sighted American, are eating unsafe food, drinking unsafe water, working in unsafe offices, factories or warehouses, traveling in unsafe airplanes to unsafe airports, or boating on unsafe waterways, and if you get sick or hurt, no help is on the way.