The ways Democrats should be slamming the GOP
If you want to win you've got to show, over and over, the dangerousness of this moment.
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I was delighted to see that the Democratic National Committee is running digital ads that link to the website GOPTaxHike.com and pop up when late tax filers do searches online seeking help. The DNC site brings attention to Florida Senator Rick Scott’s insane 11-point plan that he says is the Republican agenda if the GOP takes the Senate.
It includes raising taxes on low and moderate income Americans — 100 million people — because they should have “skin the game,” and calls for sunsetting Social Security and Medicare within five years. And there’s so much more that is radical. This is a gift from heaven for Democrats — even Mitch McConnell is freaking out! — and digital ads should be just the beginning.
“The party of raising taxes on the middle class.” Every Democrat should be shouting about it on TV appearances, where ads should airing in addition to radio and online. And that should happen every single day from now until the mid-terms.
The thing the GOP does so well is repetition, pushing lies until they are accepted as truth by their base and even parts of the media. In fact, the GOP has for years called the Democratic Party the party that raises taxes on the middle class when that’s completely false. Democrats have, for decades now, consistently raised taxes or proposed raising taxes on only the wealthiest Americans, and never the middle class. But the GOP lie sticks.
But now it’s the GOP actually openly proposing raising taxes on the middle class and low-income people. Democrats have the truth on their side — not lies —but the same repetition is needed to pound the message. And no, the media can’t be relied upon to carry the message on its own.
Sure, voters need to hear about the all the good things President Biden and Democrats have accomplished. But they need to be woken up, jarred, instilled with rightful fear over what the GOP is doing and will continue to do. Here are just a few areas Democrats should both be going on the offensive about and pushing back hard against. And the themes to tar the GOP just write themselves.
“The party of terrorists.” As the January 6th committee ramps up its work and the Justice Department investigates, it’s not enough to rely on either to deliver justice. No matter what the DOJ and the committee plan to do — and there has been anger at the slow process and fear nothing will happen — Democrats should be firing at the GOP every day, on television hits, in ads everywhere, and online, for coddling, promoting and allowing domestic terrorism.
Every poll taken since January 6th has shown the majority of Americans blame Donald Trump for January 6th. The investigations are popular even among Republicans. In polls, women in particular, who’ve delivered for Democrats in the last several elections, are horrified by the events of January 6th and fearful of a repeat. The possibility of a repeat needs to be hammered over and over.
“The party of Putin’s authoritarianism.” Events of the past several weeks show that Americans trust President Biden on handling the Russian invasion of Ukraine and foreign affairs in general — and this too cuts across party lines — as we’ve seen Trump call Putin’s moves “genius.” Republicans have tried to suddenly become hawkish on Putin’s actions. But they’ve not spoken out against Trump, and the extremists in their base like Reps. Madison Cawthorn and Marjorie Taylor Greene, have been attacking Ukraine while continuing to back Putin.
This should be something hit on by Democrats mercilessly. Americans see democracy under attack around the world — and a party in the U.S. that coddles those who support it. And that’s not to mention how Trump enabled Putin during Trump’s entire presidency — and bears responsibility for the war crimes and atrocities we’re seeing now.
“The party of The Handmaid’s Tale.” The GOP isn’t just coddling those who support authoritarianism abroad. It is radically pushing an authoritarian agenda in the United States. With rapid speed, state after state led by Republicans has banned virtually all abortions after the Supreme Court gave the green light with Texas’s extreme law. And they know the Supreme Court is set to throw out Roe v. Wade, emboldened to take over women’s bodies.
It’s as if it’s almost become expected, but we’re just not seeing the moral outrage from it in the media. Nor is the press focusing on what a disastrous strategy this is for Republicans in the mid-terms, as Democrats will be energized if Roe is overturned. The media is helping to set a narrative in place that almost calls for acceptance of this — something that cannot be allowed to happen. Democrats should be rallying the base right this moment, organizing, strategizing — and yes, using ads — and getting people ready to pulverize the GOP at the polls.
“The party of sex criminals and pedophiles.” Again, just as with the taxation issue, we have the GOP engaging in projection as it pushes the heinous “Dont say gay” laws to feed its evangelical fundamentalist base.
In order to sell this to a larger swath of voters, the GOP is couching it as a “parental rights” issue, while they also exploit QAnon conspiracies about a vast liberal pedophile ring, by even outright calling the “don’t say gay” laws “anti-groomer” laws. Again, using repetition the GOP and Fox News pundits now call anyone opposed to these bills “groomers” who want to sexualize kids. And they make it stick with some voters.
It’s a grotesque smear and it’s all the more outrageous because it is the GOP that has consistently been at the center of sex crimes, including terrible sexual abuse of children. It is the GOP that had as its Speaker, Dennis Hastert, a man who was a pedophile paying hush money to victims even while he was leading Congress. Then there’s Congressman Matt Gaetz, now being investigated for allegedly raping an underage girl, and Representative Jim Jordan, who’s been accused of knowing boys were being molested by the team doctor when he was the wrestling coach at Ohio State University.
And of course there’s Trump, who is accused of rape and sexual assault by dozens of women. The list of GOP politicians who’ve been accused of sex crimes goes on and on. Jordan Weissmann at Slate fleshed out much of it here. This isn’t one Democrats need to dwell on. But the strategy of just trying to ignore it isn’t going to work either — as we saw with “critical race theory” in Virginia. And so far, Democrats are not mounting any defense or pushback, as Cameron Joseph of Vice reports, which is a big mistake.
I think Democrats need to take it on, hit back hard, and then quickly pivot to the issues they want to talk about. Point out that this is a vicious smear meant to whip up hate — and point to that hate and attacks we’ve seen on LGBT people — and then say it’s the GOP that has been soft on sex crimes, especially within its own party.
And then perhaps direct to a web site that lists them all — maybe which the DNC can create — or go right back to Trump being accused of rape and sexual assault and the GOP not giving a damn. Then say it’s all a distraction, and move on to the issues you want to discuss, like the booming economy and unemployment plunging, thanks to President Biden and Democratic actions.
“The party of voter fraud.” Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows is now being investigated for for engaging in voter fraud, while, in Florida, only white Trump supporters have voted twice and beencharged with fraud. All while pushing the Big Lie. Come, this one is easy!
These are just a few issues (among many) that Democrats could be punching hard on now: The GOP as the party that supports authoritarianism abroad and at home, wants to raise taxes on the middle class, nurtures domestic terrorism and is soft on sex crimes while outlandishly trying to paint the Democrats as that. Go on the offensive, and counteroffensive. Hit hard. Every day. Nonstop. Say it, and then repeat it and say it again. It’s what we’ve got to do if we want to win.
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