Saturday, June 23, 2018

Digby on the value of incompetence - for the rightwing Republican cause

Digby Parton has it right in Donald Trump’s staggering incompetence: Is this terrifying bumbler the GOP’s secret weapon? Salon 06/22/2016:
One might be tempted to think this incompetence is a blessing in disguise, considering Trump's authoritarian impulses. But as we've seen with the travel ban and the manufactured border crisis, his incompetence is no protection against cruelty and inhumanity. An unfit president is no less powerful.

The good news for Republicans is that when all is said and done, this train-wreck of a presidency will be repurposed as yet another example of how government can't do anything right. They'll tell us that the only solution for that problem is another round of tax cuts, the cure for whatever ails you. It's quite a racket.
That's an updated-for-the-Trump-Age version of the old Democratic saying, now more accurate than ever: Republicans run on the idea that government can't do anything right, then they get elected and prove it.

In a separate post, she warns about the Democratic leadership unbelievable tendency to duck-and-cover in these situations (Don't make trouble. Pretend Trump doesn't exist and everything will be ok. Hullabaloo 06/22/2018):
The story [from Susan Glasser] goes on to handwring about how this [kidnapping immigrant children] is the one wedge issue that really works for Trump and how dangerous it is for Democrats to stray from their positive message of health care and the minimum wage. The implication is that talking about Trump's incompetence and malevolence will just make his voters love him so we need to complain about the Republicans trying to repeal Obamacare and pretend it's 2008 and say "yes we can!" (Don't say si se puede, though. That might rile up the Trumpies and we need to keep them as happy as possible at all times.)

Trying to appease these people and motivate the Democratic base by re-running their old campaigns and presenting a sunny vision of America is delusional. Republicans can't be appeased by Democrats because they are completely delirious that their Dear Leader is holding a national hatefest. That's what makes them happy. Meanwhile, Democratic voters will think these Democratic politicians are as depraved as Trump if they don't describe this grotesque insanity for what it is.

Pretending that what is happening isn't happening will simply not work. Trump is going to spend the next few months doing what he always does: spew racist to thrill his racist base. The only thing Democrats can do is get their own base out and acting like a bunch of cynical cowards isn't going to get the job done. [my emphasis]
Amen to that!

Steny Hoyer, the second highest Democratic leader in the House, sees it differently: Ashley Killough, Top House Democrat: Congressional Hispanic Caucus protest of Trump was 'not appropriate' CNN 06/21/2018. That's exactly the kind of clueless instinct about which Digby is warning.

This is the problem that Democratic leader Steny Hoyer thinks we should all be strictly polite in protesting, Advocates say government gave no thought to reuniting children separated at the border PBS Newshour 06/22/2018.

My response to Steny Hoyer:

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