On fivethirtyeight, they’re asking what kind of message the Democrats need to win in 2018. The consensus is that in the midterms, the Dems don’t need to be particularly positive, but only need to attack Trump.
I agree and I don’t. Dems should absolutely focus on Trump’s shortcomings. But I think it’s smartest to package that in pseudo-positive language.
I’ll go further and present, for the first time anywhere, the Official First Draft of the Dems’ Midterm Ads. As I’ve been saying on this blog, for the next two years, the opposition party shouldn’t emphasize the big George Soros issues. The key word is emphasize; the issues remain in the platform while they aren’t being emphasized in ads for swing voters. (Just like Trump failed to emphasize a lot of his more extreme, anti-working-class positions while on the campaign trail.)
As an example, my first draft of this First Draft included Restore American Fairness and Restore American Tolerance, but I’m avoiding Dem code-words. A few Dem priorities like health care and climate change get name-checked just enough so that the Dems don’t lose their agenda entirely, but mostly this stuff is written for the 60% who disapprove or don’t approve of Trump. Furthermore, every time this Draft mentions something that needs a source, it would be better to use a right-wing one: Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, Breitbart, National Review, The Weekly Standard. They’ve all covered these stories. (USA Today is also good, not because they’re partisan, they’re not, but because they’re still in every Denny’s in America.)
Basically, almost everything here is something that wouldn’t have happened under President Cruz or Rubio or Pence or Koch brother. This is the stuff that’s disappointing all voters, it’s just that some of them are too hypnotized/shame-spiralled to admit it.
But why, you might ask, is this Draft in such rough form? Because I’m not paid to do this. Give me some of that sweet, sweet lobbying cash, and I’ll be happy to do this in video form.
As I say, for the midterms, this leans heavily on being anti-Trump. But it wouldn’t be a bad idea to support this with a website that uses the same bullet points supported by more positive (if boilerplate Democrat) ideas.
The Draft starts by hitting swing voters right where they live. Start with an audio that says “We Have a 20-Point Plan to Fight Trump…”
1 Restore American Promises
Note that border wall and Hillary-indicting promises were forgotten
#DraintheSwamp, but Goldman Sachs/bankers running policy
2 Restore American Jobs
Show Trump signing mine-workers deal, but where are the jobs??
Taking credit for Obama-era saved jobs, like at Charter, or China importing US beef
3 Restore American Infrastructure
Where are the infrastructure jobs?
Show the campaign promises, including an election night bait-and-switch, and show the tumbleweeds since Jan 20
4 Restore American Potential
Show Trump policies that give only to 1%, like AHCA, tax reform
Note no action on trade, and indeed allowing 1% to “offshore” $ and jobs
Climate change, or “going green,” as job driver
5 Restore American Ethics
All the nepotism of Jared/Ivanka, including new China trademarks
Taxpayers paid $500m to Trump properties in 1st quarter 2017 (per WSJ)
6 Restore American Honesty
Side-by-side pictures of the mall;
Claims about “3-5 million people voted illegally”
Accusing Obama of wiretapping, get huffy when asked about it
7 Restore American Integrity
All the Russia scandal highlights: Flynn, Manafort, Page, Stone, Lewandowski, Kushner, Trump, all clearly misdirecting (at a minimum): if they have nothing to hide, why not just tell the truth?
8 Restore American Elections
Voting Rights Act violations
9 Restore American Support for Democracy
Show Trump praise for autocrats (Putin, Duterte, Kim, Erdogan) and contrast to his stiff-arming Merkel, Trudeau, our other allies
10 Restore American Values
Show “you think we’re so innocent?” remark
Show tweeting in favor of Paris terrorist attack
11 Restore the American Constitution
Show Kellyanne Conway breaking law for pitching Ivanka’s products
Show Jeff Sessions lying to Congress
12 Restore American Checks and Balances
Show Trump questioning Congressional process as too laborious
Show Trump tweet “If something happens blame [judge] and the court system. People pouring in. Bad!
Show Trump tweet calling media “enemy of American people”
13 Restore American Accountability
Show Trump blaming everyone else for Yemen raid
Show Trump blaming everyone else for White House mistakes
14 Restore American Competence
Show Spicer on Holocaust, Nazis
Show Mar-a-Lago guests posting pic of nuclear football on Facebook
Show giving away secrets to Russian spies in Oval Office
15 Restore American Health
Show CBO report that killing Obamacare will kill health care for 24 million
16 Restore American Respect for Women
Show Trump defending Bill O’Reilly (as President)
Contrasting photos of Bush with Laura and Trump leaving Melania behind
17 Restore American Transparency
No tax release, though millions protested and we need it for conflicts of interest
Show the now-hidden visitor’s log
No medical evaluation from a professional
18 Restore American Professionalism
Appointing deeply unqualified DeVos, Perry, Tillerson
Firing Yates, Bharara, Comey, all the ambassadors, no replacements lined up
19 Restore American Leadership
Gutting federal departments
Leaving hundreds of jobs open with no plans in place
20 Restore America