Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar spoke with Scott Simon on NPR’s Weekend Edition this AM. He was asking her about President Gag’s firing of FBI director James Comey this week.
It’s the perfect time for the Democrats to make hay. P. Gag’s house of cards may be toppling before our eyes. As Muhammad Ali preached, you have to have the killer instinct in the ring. If you sense your opponent going down, you don’t simply trust faith or gravity, you pound him until he’s kissing the canvas.
Now’s the time to pound L’il Duce into the canvas. Amy Klobuchar is one of the Democratic Party’s possible presidential candidates in 2020. She should have laced up the gloves and hammered the dissembling, impulsive, compulsive, vacuous Leader of the Free World.
For the life of me, I can’t recall a thing she said about the firing and the ugly optics the incident presents. I sensed, I guess, that she was tut-tutting the whole thing but this isn’t a time for tut-tutting. It’s a time to save our holy land from the clutches of…, well, a confirmed asshole.
Here’s my unsolicited advice for the Dems:
Stop talking to us like seventh-grade history teachers.
Start using memorable, strong, emotionally-charged words.
Call P. Gag a liar.
Call him a tyrant.
Call him greedy.
Call him ignorant.
Call him a clown.
To borrow a phrase from an earlier generation, tell it like it is, for goodness sakes!
Drop the phony-baloney mask of civility. When you’re in an alley fight, civility will get you nowhere.
It’ll work, believe me.
Want an example? Sure. About an hour after the Klobuchar interview, there was a piece on a Georgia statehouse race where abortion is the hot topic. A clip of one voter was played. She said (I paraphrase because NPR hasn’t posted the audio yet on its website) “Planned Parenthood is an abortion mill.”
Got it? In reality, some three percent of PP’s medical services are abortion-related. It’s like calling Kroger a haberdashery because it sells Indiana University sweatshirts. To the quoted woman, Planned Parenthood does nothing more than rip fat, healthy babies out of unsuspecting mothers’ wombs — or, worse, sluts’ uteri. That’s it. Case closed. You wanna fund Planned Parenthood? That means you’re a baby killer.
She thinks this because the anti-abortionists for decades have shrieked, using strong, emotionally-charged rhetoric. Facts be damned. Nuance is for namby-pambies. Subtlety is a vice. When confronted with the truth about what Planned Parenthood does, the anti-abortionists simply screamed louder.
So, Dems, drop nuance. Eschew subtlety. It won’t be easy and there’ll be blowback, sure. But you’ve got to stay the course and double down when confronted. Come on, you can do it. Say these things with me:
Donald Trump is a liar.
Donald Trump hates women.
The rich want to make you poorer.
War is good for business.
There aren’t any jobs in coal mining anymore.
The Republican Party has been hijacked by bullies and Hitlers.
The old white men of Congress think they’re superior to black and brown-skinned people.
And the beauty is, all these things are true!
Start pounding these guys.
While sympathetic to your prescriptions above and their established political brain underpinnings, unfortunately another finding of cognitive psychology is in play here—negative messages about an attitude object (say Trump) from a negative source (say Democrats) becomes a positive for the attitude object. Thus as importantly I think we Ds need to use emotive language positively for party. Regain the New Deal and post-WWII narrative about who is an agent for a better life for all–we did it before and we’ll do it again.