To All Democrats Who Want To Be President:

This won’t take long.

If you are a Democrat who hopes to one day fumigate the Oval Office, Air Force One, and other places in the Executive Branch that the Tr-mponic plague has infected, hear this: stop the nice-nice, Spock-like criticisms of the ongoing disaster we are all witnessing and start raising Truman-like hell.

I have heard all kinds of talk the past few months about how Democratic hopefuls should run their respective campaigns in the context of the overt, in-your-face corruption we see, in the context of the utter malfeasance and fraud and grift we behold on an hourly basis, in the context of a dishonesty so bold it doesn’t bother to hide its face. Some people think Democrats should avoid Tr-mp and talk rationally about the issues. Some think Democrats should try to appeal to those “real Americans” who still have the Tr-mp stink on them and want to wash themselves clean (right now I’m thinking of those union workers at a Harley-Davidson factory in Kansas City who voted for Tr-mp and are now out of a job). Other people think Democrats should hang around “the center” and try to win the votes of “suburban white women.” And on and on.

Well, hooey. I’m tired of hearing talk of moderation, talk of reconciliation, talk of appeasement. I’m tired of seeing Democrats in Washington, with fire after fire raging like Image result for kilauea volcanothose around the Kilauea volcano, go on television and take a rational piss on the inferno. Reason is a wonderful and necessary tool. Unfortunately it doesn’t work in politics. People don’t tend to make decisions that way. Thus, merely pissing on the multiple fires with streams of reason won’t do a damn thing to put them out. Maybe nothing will. But, dammit, get out your firehoses and try. Start making a real effort to match this moment we’re all in. The most dangerous place in America should be between you and a television camera, as you can’t wait to rage against the outrage.

Keep in mind I am giving advice to you candidates who want to win nationally in 2020, not those individuals who are running in congressional campaigns or Senate races this year. Campaigns for House and Senate seats have their own dynamics that may or may not include a heavy emphasis on what is going on in the country at large. But you Democrats who aspire to win the Whites’ House in a couple of years should now, right now, start a pound-the-table campaign of “it’s the corruption, stupid” on one hand, and a speak-loudly-and-carry-a-skull-cracking-stick campaign of “it’s the economy, stupid” on the other. The two are linked, of course, which makes it easy to follow the program. “The system is corrupt and the corruption is why average people get screwed.” It’s that simple.

If we want to make progress, we have to have fearless national leaders who don’t just meekly ask, but righteously demand, an expansion of the pie of opportunity and who can attract new voters who want the same thing, even as these lionhearted leaders hold on to Democratic Party voters who have been faithful to that vision all along. It ain’t that hard to do.

Now, go do it, dammit.





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  1. Ben Field

     /  May 23, 2018


    Just like Joe Wilson, during Obama’s last state of the union address on healthcare, yelling “you lie” for having the audacity to seek national healthcare for the people as other civilized countries provide. Those tables now need turning and every appearance by the Liar-in-chief should be riddled with such outbursts. There is certainly no shortage of prevarications to call him out on.

    Most all of the GOP has abandoned our intelligence and law enforcement institutions to provide cover or intel for Kim Jong Trump. These supporters are not rational believing “the deep state” is out to get Donald Un. I ridicule the lack of reason behind such assertions, whenever heard, but it is disturbing that so many in this state have bought into such lunacy.

    The toddler-in-chief fears Oprah running against him as it is obvious from his fear of minorities, but it would be nice to have a qualified candidate that understands government to represent us and attempt to drain the swamp that EPA hiding critical reports and encouraging the raping of our environment. I would like to see someone like Sally Yates be motivated to stand by the rule of law, as she did when she was fired for not implementing the Muslim ban, and was upheld by the courts.


    • Ben,

      I don’t know if pulling a Joe Wilson would do more harm than good, but I do know that there is way too much normalizing going on when it comes to Tr-mp. It is hard for me to understand how Democrats in Congress can make the case that Tr-mp is unfit to be president while honoring him by attending meetings, events, etc., in which he is the star attraction. I know they say that they are paying respect to “the office of the presidency,” when they sit next to him or “work” with him on this or that issue. But it seems to me that paying respect to the office would involve doing everything one can to make sure no one like Tr-mp ever holds, however illegitimately, that office again. 

      As far as who the next candidate will be, I am sure as we get into next year those aspiring for the job will begin to assert themselves. My preference is for someone, as you said, who knows what the hell is going on and, more important, isn’t afraid to use the kind of language necessary to express outrage at the corruption, as well as hope that the corruption can be pushed back. Our next candidate will have to have policy smarts, for sure. But the most important quality, whether Tr-mp is still around or not, will be to have thick skin and the guts to tell people, again and again and again, that there is a Swamp, as corrupt as money can make it, and Tr-mp is (was) its Head Alligator and number one graft collector.



  2. Yessir, dammit! The Democratic-save-the-republic-and-the-world “high road” should be littered with the political bone fragments of the crushed skull of Trumpism and festering carcasses of GOP cowardice. Now is the time for some steel-toed boot ass kicking of the NRA and the public humiliation of the Koch, DeVos, Mercer, and Adelson empires. No Republican is worth saving. Not one. Demand accountability from the press and piss on them with gusto when they play the false equivalency card. Register people to vote and if they refuse to register call them out for the parasites they actually are. It’s berserker time.
    Just do it. Swoosh!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “No Republican is worth saving. Not one.” Bravo! Not even the dog catcher, if he is one.

      As far as the press, I am all for a more aggressive stand. There shouldn’t be the slightest assumption that any Democrat is going to get a fair shake in the next presidential election. The spotlight will again be on Tr-mp, whether he is in office or whether he extends his lease in Putin’s Sigmoid Colon and goes there full-time to live, and our candidate should, as you say, call out the lopsided coverage and the always-a-problem reflex on the part of journalists to practice their craft by making sure “both sides” are painted with the same brush, even if one side is starting fires and the other side is trying to put them out.



    • No Republican is worth saving. Not one.

      I understand the passion but I can’t agree with the rhetoric. This is what I was concerned about. Adrenaline will destroy any discourse that follows.


  3. I feel the same sense of urgency, I really do, but before we lose our minds let’s not forget the reality here. The economy is doing well and the average citizen, assuming they have not been financially ruined by an unexpected health problem or accident, simply does not understand what is happening. I just saw a statistic that 53% of people actually think the Muller investigation is politically motivated! We abandon the substance of our reasoning at great peril.


    • Jim,

      As usual, I appreciate what you’re trying to say. But I am not suggesting “we lose our minds” and “abandon the substance of our reasoning.”

      It is precisely because of what you say—“the average citizen…simply does not understand what is happening”—that my call is not for an abandonment of reason, but a call for emotional reinforcements of an otherwise rational message. I like to think of myself (and you, of course) as part of a tribe of informed realists and rationalists. But as I have been thinking about our national situation for a couple of years now, I have come to the conclusion that our tribe is very small and that we are often unfaithful members of it ourselves. Most voters don’t vote because of a thoroughgoing rational survey of the political landscape, but do so as a visceral reaction to what they see—and what they hear. As Tr-mp has proven to us, it is all about the framing.

      For instance, when working people are the topic, our side ought to champion the idea that employers ought to be grateful to hard-working employees, not the other way around. And I don’t mind it if our candidate, while framing the issue that way, pounds the podium in support of such a concept. That’s the sort of thing I’m talking about. Reframe the issues with passion.

      And speaking of framing, I will say this: we need a candidate whose sense of outrage at what is going on is commensurate with the moment. We’ve never seen anything like what we are seeing now. None of us have. It is unprecedented. I want someone who speaks to it and speaks to it the way I would if I had the platform (much like people who support Tr-mp believe he is speaking for them). Call it out. Loudly at times. Forcefully at times. And, yes, rationally when the moment is right (something Tr-mp cannot do and why our candidate would have the edge).

      I’m not talking about trading insults with Crooked Donald. I’m talking about demonstrating, skillfully and genuinely using passion as a tool, that big things are at stake. BIG things. Our candidate should make Americans who are appalled at what they have witnessed feel like they finally have someone who gets us, who gets the way we feel. And our candidate should try to shake out of their slumber millions of Americans who have given up or don’t think there is any reason to get in the game of voting. You don’t do that primarily through a rational presentation of policy goals.

      I guess what I am saying is that a carpenter building a house has many useful tools at his disposal. But he doesn’t use a square to pound in a nail. He needs a good hammer and the skill to use it efficiently. For me, it’s hammer time.



      • As usual, you say it very well, Duane. And I agree, but when getting emotional on the stump there is a danger of being perceived as an attacking enemy rather than someone merely passionate, which is what I was concerned about. As you note, “our candidate” will have to be very unusual, someone with the analytical mind of, say, Adam Schiff and the passion of Elmer Gantry. I haven’t seen that person yet. (Sometimes I wonder if Schiff is actually alive?)

        Liked by 1 person

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