The GOP Is Trying a Bold New Tactic That Has the Democrats Terrified

Image via kellepics/Pixabay

Image via kellepics/Pixabay


While President Trump’s State of the Union address may never be studied in speech and rhetoric classes, there were parts of it that managed to send shivers of dread down what passes for a spine among Democrat politicians. When he said:


We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom — and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair.

Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.

You had:

When he said:

There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our Nation saw in recent days. Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he basically stated he would execute a baby after birth.


There was this:

They are also dumbstruck by what to do about the clutch of hardcore, unvarnished anti-Semites they now have in their caucus…though it seems a safe bet that anti-Semitism is quickly becoming a Democrat core value.

This was more than mere pique — according to the New York Times, this is part of a GOP strategy of making the Democrats own their policies: Republicans Hope to Sway Voters With Labels That Demonize Democrats.

In the 116th Congress, if you’re a Democrat, you’re either a socialist, a baby killer or an anti-Semite.

That, at least, is what Republicans want voters to think, as they seek to demonize Democrats well in advance of the 2020 elections by painting them as left-wing crazies who will destroy the American economy, murder newborn babies and turn a blind eye to bigotry against Jews.

The unusually aggressive assault, which Republican officials and strategists outlined in interviews last week, is meant to strangle the new Democratic majority in its infancy. It was set in motion this month by President Trump, who used his State of the Union address to rail against “new calls to adopt socialism in our country” and mischaracterize legislation backed by Democrats in New York and Virginia as allowing “a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.”

Then last week, Republicans amped it up, seizing on a Twitter post by a freshman representative, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, which even some Democrats condemned as anti-Semitic, and ridiculing the “Green New Deal,” an ambitious economic stimulus plan unveiled by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described democratic socialist. Suddenly even Jewish Democrats were abetting anti-Semitism and moderate Democrats in Republican districts were Trotskyites and Stalinists.


What is hilarious in the rather lengthy article, is that at no point do the Democrats deny they are pushing for socialism to replace economic freedom, that they are fine with killing babies in the birth canal, and that they more than willing to accept anti-Semites into their caucus…and place them on the Foreign Affairs Committee…without reservation. Their concern is simply that the GOP will hammer these issues:

But Democrats must be careful not to let those exaggerations take hold. They are well aware that their path to keeping the majority runs through districts like Ms. Bustos’s, which the president carried in 2016.

“Of course I can see them trying to drive a wedge between the people in our districts, the people who are in more moderate districts,” said Representative Josh Gottheimer, a centrist Democrat from New Jersey and a chairman of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. “That’s why it’s really important that we make sure that we govern from the middle.”

According to the article, the GOP has targeted 55 Democrat representatives from purple districts or from red districts that flipped due to stereotypical GOP incompetence and internal vindictiveness (how did SC-1, Trump +13 in 2016, flip?) for very aggressive tactics:

The National Republican Congressional Committee, meanwhile, began filling reporters’ inboxes with attacks targeted at centrist freshmen, with subject lines like “So we’re murdering newborns now?” and “Abortion extremists come to New Mexico,” referring to Representative Xochitl Torres Small.


The Democrats, it seems, are finally being forced to confront the logical and foreseeable outcome of large numbers of Americans finally understanding what they stand for. I’m sure True Conservatives, like those at The Bulwark and those who think the Covington kids had it coming because of the MAGA hats, will recoil from the idea of winning if we have to be mean to anyone. After all, what does winning matter if you actually have to fight to do it? But, if the GOP doesn’t lose its nerve, there is a good chance we can label these people for once and for all as what they are and use their own words and actions to do it.

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