Democratic leadership needs to learn how to grandstand in the Trump era

The Democratic Party’s leadership is bewildering to many, but Americans are not stupid. While there is a sect of Trump voters that would be activated and energized by impeachment, there are more sane people in the country, including those behind the old blue wall that will vote appropriately (or not at all) when Democrats and a few Republicans make the case demonstrating the corrupt scourge that is the president.

A few weeks ago the stock market took a marked dip when it was clear that a deal with China on tariffs was not forthcoming. I wrote the following then about Democratic leadership:

After a steady focus on the Mueller report and many other Trump antics, tweets, and idiocy that should have been ignored, the stock market’s fall in tandem with failed trade talks had the full attention of our derelict media. It was time for grandstanding.

While Donald Trump was ready for the grandstand, our Democratic leaders were not. It would have been a safe bet to assume that our leaders would be chasing every microphone at MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News. I knew they would be agile enough and grandly call an official press conference so they could get to speak to the American farmer, the American consumer, and the members of the middle class who are getting hit the hardest by tariffs.

On Trump and the liberal pundits:

Trump is showing the potential to clobber Democrats using tariffs to counter the status quo, the mythical center.

Donald Trump gave a short but effective interview earlier this week after the stock market had a sharp drop when it realized that there would be no deal on Chinese tariffs. I was astounded by the response from pundits on MSNBC. It wasn’t that they were not speaking the truth. It was that they could not understand that it does not matter what they think, but what the people who are going to vote think.

In normal times, grandstanding is anathema to those who are serious about developing good policies. But these are not normal times. A large percentage of Americans now have short attention spans, and have learned to receive news in soundbites. Many are used to the braggadocio of reality TV. While it may not be the majority (yet), it is a significant number that can swing elections as it did in 2016.

And Trump did it to Democrats again last week.

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