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The GOP is blasting the quiet part out loud
They want to end democracy. All you have to do is listen. Democrats must expose it even more loudly.
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The good news is this: Last night Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan mopped the floor with venture capitalist, “ass-kissing” Trumpist and election denier J.D. Vance in a debate between the two, who are vying for the open Ohio U.S. Senate.
Vance, like other GOP extremists, has lied about many things. But just like the others, he’s been blatantly honest about what he wants to do: End abortion, with no exceptions for rape and incest. Absolve the January 6th insurrectionists, whose he legal defenses he helped pay for. And kiss Donald Trump’s ass.
He’s said all of this loudly and clearly, or implicitly admitted to it very publicly. Now he’s trying to move away from it all four weeks before the election, but Tim Ryan wouldn’t let him. With blow after blow in the debate it was devastating to Vance. Just watch the clips.
Sure, many people, pathetically, are voting for Vance precisely because he is kissing Trump’s ass. So even what we see as a knockout doesn’t actually put down the zombie Trumpists. A large portion of Americans, and an even larger portion in Trumpy Ohio, are deep in a twisted cult that gets more dangerous, with Trump now actually playing the QAnon theme music at his rallies.
But this race is neck and neck, with the latest polls showing a point between Vance and Ryan. Vance should have taken this away months ago in a state Trump won by over 8 points in 2020 and by nearly the same amount in 2016.
I’ve said it before and will say it again: Trump, more often than not, doesn’t help candidates when he’s not on the ballot himself. He actually helps the Democratic candidate in the race by showing up and scaring the daylights out of people, getting more Democrats and independents to turn out and vote against the candidate he’s backing. (See Roy Moore, Matt Bevin, Eddie Rispone, Rick Saccone and many others.) And Vance is such a craven, weak candidate, not good “quality,” to quote Mitch McConnell himself.
So for Democrats, shaving off even a few votes will matter — as it will matter in Georgia, Wisconsin, Nevada and other close Senate races — and Ryan is doing that by hitting back louder. Using a bullhorn to point to the extremism. Yelling from the rooftops about the threat to democracy. Exposing his opponent as “running around with Marjorie Taylor Greene, the absolute looniest politician in America.”
Ohio, like all states, has its own political currents, but this is one way Ryan is keeping the race competitive in a state in which all indicators say he shouldn’t have a chance. And last night may have moved the needle further. Certainly the clips getting attention in the media are the kind that would make many an undecided voter move to make a decision not to vote for the slimy, cowardly, dangerous Vance.
This is how Democrats have to do it everywhere. Ryan’s pounding of Vance in the debate, as I said, is the good news. The not-so-good news was on display over the weekend, as we saw Trump holding rallies in Nevada and Arizona, bringing out various local extremist politicians he’s trying to elect and other extremist politicians who came in to help.
We saw them saying the quiet part out loud — Trump of course does this himself at every rally — but this time they were so explicit, so over the top, so blaring, that you could not deny what they were saying.
Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama actually said at the Nevada Trump rally that descendants of slavery — Black people — are criminals. Yep, couldn’t be more crystal clear. Said Democrats want to give “reparations” to the people that “do the crime.” Just listen.
Republican Jim Marchant, who is leading in the polls, running for Secretary of State in Nevada, said that if he and other Big Lie-supporting Republicans win in secretary of state races they will “fix” the elections and make sure they win and Donald Trump becomes president in 2024. Again, just listen for yourself.
And in New Hampshire over the weekend, GOP Senate candidate Don Bolduc said women can’t make the best decisions for themselves and their bodies, and those decisions “belong” to the men in the state legislature. Again, all you have to do is listen.
Republicans lie, lie, and lie again. But sometimes they actually tell the truth when they’re trying to court their base, being crystal clear — and saying it loudly — announcing their intentions (only to sometimes later lie about it while trying to court the middle).
We’ve got to believe them when they say it. And Democrats have also got to point it out, shout it, clap back, even more loudly. In an environment like this, you can’t be too vocal, too redundant, too alarmist. You have to say it until your voice is screechy, until it hurts. And then you’ve got to say it again, on a megaphone. When what’s at stake is democracy itself, everyone will understand why you’re not being careful and polite.