New Op-Ed Shows Democrats Still Don’t Get the American Public

AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib

For the life of me, I cannot figure out how the Democratic Party has managed to become so out of touch with the American public. Yes, I know it’s become commonplace to point out that the left has failed to read the room when it comes to understanding what Americans want. But their lack of comprehension in this regard has become so pronounced that they can’t even develop a viable messaging strategy, which is abnormal because this is typically one of their strongest points.

Former special counsel to President Bill Clinton Lanny Davis penned an op-ed for The Hill demonstrating precisely how far the left has fallen. In his piece, Davis suggests that if Democrats in Congress wish to avoid a bloody beatdown during the upcoming congressional elections, they need only to ask Republicans two questions. These queries, in his estimation, will stump the GOP so hard that voters will be compelled to allow Democrats to remain in power. He writes:

Here are two questions that Senate and House Democratic campaign committees should demand — through well-financed national and state ad campaigns, on broadcast network, cable news channels and social media — that Republicans answer, yes or no:

1.  Will you repudiate publicly Donald Trump’s praise of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine?

2.  Do you agree with the Supreme Court’s decision allowing states to make it a crime for a woman to have an abortion if they become pregnant as a result of rape or incest?

Just “yes” or “no” to both.

Davis then explains that “[t]he exact wording of these questions is key” and that Democrats should “simply state the indisputably truthful facts” that Trump did praise Russia’s invasion as “savvy,” and that Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion would enable states to impose bans on abortions even in cases of rape and incest.

The former special counsel then insists that the activist media must be more aggressive in pressing Republican politicians to answer these two, supposedly fatal questions. He writes:

I have seen most interviews on mainstream media — including CNN, MSNBC and Fox — in which a politician will not give a “yes” or “no” answer and the reporter does not follow up to ensure that the viewer understands that the politician is refusing to answer.

One example of this was what happened when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) held a press conference after the Alito draft decision was leaked. He was asked about his reaction to the substance of the decision, and he immediately changed the subject to wanting to talk about the “leak” of that decision. I did not hear a single reporter interrupt him to insist that he please answer the question and stop changing the subject.

Nor did a single reporter ask McConnell, flat out, “Do you support allowing states to prohibit women from having abortions after they became pregnant due to rape or incest, which is what the Alito opinion specifically would allow states to do — yes or no?”

The author then suggests that Democrats start ad campaigns on these questions, believing it will either force GOP politicians to give answers that would be unpalatable to the electorate or to be exposed for dodging the questions. He points out that “[m]ost U.S. polling, whether by conservative or liberal pollsters, has shown that more than 70 percent of all voters across the parties are opposed to Trump’s support for Putin, and opposed to Alito’s and the national GOP’s willingness to allow state prohibition of abortions after rape and incest.”

Yeah, this ain’t it, chief.

If folks like Davis might think this is a clever way to fend off a GOP takeover of the House and Senate, they are in for a rude awakening in November.

For starters, Republicans don’t have to be stumped by the Russia question. They can simply wave off the question about Trump appearing to praise Russian President Vladimir Putin and pivot to Trump’s interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity in which he called the invasion a “crime against humanity” that “has to end soon.”

The question would even give Republican politicians a chance to bring up the fact that Trump was far harder on Russia than his recent predecessors, one of whom offered more “flexibility” after an election. Despite Trump’s complimentary rhetoric towards Putin in the past, he was clearly not a fan of how the Kremlin operates. To put it simply, it would not be difficult to use a bit of verbal judo to turn this one around on Democrats.

Easy peasy.

The abortion question isn’t going to do much damage either. If a Republican believes abortion should be acceptable in cases of rape and incest, they can say so. If they don’t, they can say that as well. In both cases, the GOP’s stance is that the states should decide, not the federal government. Polling also suggests that the majority of American voters approve of strict restrictions on abortion. There may be differences on rape and incest, but it is not an issue that will cost a single Republican an election.

Since Davis brought up polling – he might want to look at surveys like the one conducted by Pew Research analyzing the issues Americans are prioritizing most for the election. The top five issues are the economy, health care costs, COVID-19, education, and social security. In fact, abortion doesn’t even appear on the list at all. People might have differing opinions on the matter, but it is pretty clear that Americans are far more concerned about their pocketbooks than they are about abortion.

Davis, like most of his compatriots, has missed the mark here. But it was a valiant effort, for sure.


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