After eight years of the Obamists in power, the nation had a chance to decide they were quite tired of what Democrats offered, and kicked them out of office. They had been kicking them out at various levels for several years -- let's face it, Obamacare led to most of that -- but the USA was absolutely ready for something else.
So we wonder today about the Democrats' strategy. Having had eight years of embarrassing leadership and lots of lost elections, it would appear that their best strategy is simply not to govern for a while; in fact, to be rather invisible as far as governing is concerned, until the Republicans can be in power long enough for the nation to grow tired of them.
I suspect that, to the extent that Democratic leadership sits around figuring out how to grab power again at all, this might explain the incredible legs that the Trump-Russia thing appears to have had, despite the amazing lack of any content. They appear to have decided that not trying to govern, by keeping scandals in the press (substantive or not), the voting public will somehow forget how vile and incompetent they actually are when they have power.
At least after enough time has gone by, I guess.
The Democrats have to be looking at 2018 curiously, after all. If their strategy consists of blocking, not legislating, and leveraging their control of the press to keep pointless non-scandals in the news for long enough to for the nation to have forgotten how bad their policies are, I get it. They've been successful, at least, in drowning out the positives of the current administration.
But 2018 is an odd target, which is why I think it is not a target for the Democrats at all. That particular election cycle for the Senate is skewed against them, with hardly any vulnerable Republican seats and several Democrats up in states where Donald Trump carried the vote in 2016. They can't win back the Senate and might lose seats there, so they have to manage the possibility that the Republicans could increase their Senate margin and have to spin that.
The point here, I believe, is that the real motivation for keeping the "zero" (scrupulously avoiding "nothingburger") that is the Russia issue in front of the public, is to keep Democrats from having to do anything.
Even this column has used the term "RussiaRussiaRussia", and I am starting to see that the "smoke" is not all the little incidents that amount to nothing, but the screen of smoke the Democrats are using to obscure what they actually want to obscure. They are using every non-governing incident, every whiff of scandal they can come up with -- even the use of intentionally far-over-the-top words like "impeachment" and "treason" -- to drag out the time from the end of the Obama era to the next target election.
Oppose and obstruct. Use over-the-top language. Inflate any hint of scandal far beyond its basis in fact. And keep all of that in the papers and the media daily, full time, non-stop. It's so, so much easier than helping try to govern.
Do that for a really long time, long enough to where perhaps the public will forget how awful Democrats are when they are in charge.
I suppose if I were a Democrat with nothing to offer, I'd do the same.
Copyright 2017 by Robert Sutton
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