Politics Democrats play a dangerous game branding all Republicans 'extremists'
At the Races: Trillion-dollar talks
Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call campaign team. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here. By Stephanie Akin, Bridget Bowman and Kate Ackley Democrats found little common ground this week as they faced an end-of-the-month deadline to winnow […] The post At the Races: Trillion-dollar talks appeared first on Roll Call.
When your go-to electoral strategy is to accuse all Republicans of being extremists, including even Mitt Romney and now the fleece-sporting centrist Glenn Youngkin, voters eventually tune out the warnings. That’s how actual extremists come to power, totally untouched by all the legitimate warnings regarding their actual extremism.
One of the biggest lies Democrats keep telling voters is that they just wish the Republican Party would nominate sensible, moderate candidates.
Athletics outright veteran IF Pete Kozma
Kozma, 33, was added to the Athletics’ 40-man roster for the season’s final weekend after Elvis Andrus suffered a season-ending leg fracture. He went 1-for-11 during that Oakland cameo.Kozma, 33, was added to the Athletics’ 40-man roster for the season’s final weekend after Elvis Andrus suffered a season-ending leg fracture. He went 1-for-11 during that Oakland cameo — his first big-league action since the 2018 season in Detroit. The rest of Kozma’s season was spent with Triple-A Las Vegas, where he batted .244/.307/.337 in 500 plate appearances and collected the 1,000th hit of his minor-league career.
Oh, Democrats say, we yearn for the good old days of running against gentlemanly, respectable opponents.
In reality, they love it when Republicans nominate kooks, just as Republicans love it when Democrats nominate left-wing loonies. Extremists make for fantastic political attacks. Democrats, however, keep taking the "extremist" line too far. Rather than assail extremist candidates as extremists, they attach that label to all Republican opponents, even the most milquetoast Republicans.
We saw this in the 2012 presidential election when Democrats portrayed Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah as a retrograde racist. We’re seeing it now in the Virginia gubernatorial race, in which Democrats have labeled Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin, a centrist, old-school Republican, an insurrectionist election-truther.
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Persuasively rebutting David Shor requires scrutinizing his arguments, not stigmatizing them.People like me — city-dwelling college graduates who know what a “Senate parliamentarian” is — comprise an extremely small share of the American population. But we are damn near the only people who earn a living by writing about politics, or helping the Democratic Party win elections.
“You’ve had the courage and wisdom to reject the very extremism that has taken over the Republican Party all across America,” President Joe Biden said this week at a rally in support of Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. “Virginia, for the sake of your families and the country, we can’t let this happen here in Virginia.”
Biden continued, spending a great deal of his address focusing on former President Donald Trump and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, even more so than on McAuliffe’s record or his own. He then tried to tie it all back to Youngkin, who has described the attack on the Capitol as “sickening and wrong.” Never mind what Youngkin actually says or believes — the point is to portray him as a dangerous, treasonous threat to the health of the commonwealth.
Biden added an all-too-familiar note: “Extremism can come in many forms. It can come in the rage of a mob driven in an assault — driven to assault the Capitol. It can come in a smile and a fleece vest.”
Why can't congressional Democrats deliver more on their promises? It's complicated.
Political scientists explain why congressional Democrats aren't making more progress on their priorities and President Joe Biden's big agenda. They had promised action on voting, elections and policing reform, on immigration and infrastructure. They touted sweeping programs now in Democrats' social spending bills, addressing issues they said Americans care about most, from child care to climate change.
Biden’s final remark, the bit about a “fleece vest,” is a clear shot at Youngkin. The president is saying, Don’t vote for the Republican centrist, Virginia. He’s an extremist.
OK, but Democrats say that about all Republicans. Why start believing it now?
Remember: Virginia is the same state where Biden rather infamously told a racially mixed audience in 2012 that then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney, one of the most reasonable and decent GOP nominees in recent memory, would literally enslave black voters.
"[Romney] said in the first hundred days,” the then-vice president declared, “he's going to let the big banks write their own rules — unchain Wall Street. They're going to put y'all back in chains.”
It’s a dangerous game, labeling all Republican candidates as “extremists.” It dulls reactions to genuine warnings about extremism while also giving cover to actual, honest-to-goodness extremists.wrote an entire story about this.
In fact, playing fast and loose with accusations of extremism is how you get a fire-spewing demagogue such as Donald Trump (“this is how you get Trump” is a cliche, but it’s also true).
Democrats Are Turning Their Big Spending Bill Into Absolute Trash
They could permanently improve the safety net. They're blowing it.As the party began trying to piece together its big social-spending and climate package, a split emerged between lawmakers who wanted to pass fewer programs (but do them well) and those who wanted to pass more programs (even if it means doing them poorly). A big part of this argument boiled down to how long policies should be funded for. The less-is-more crowd, dominated by party moderates, wanted to set policies in place permanently.
Republicans in 2012 nominated a perfectly boring and honorable candidate. They nominated a gentleman who played far, far nicer than his Democratic opponent. They nominated Romney, who lost the election after being savaged as an "extremist," dog-abusing, cancer-causing, homophobic racist. Indeed, many Republicans recalled in 2016 how Romney had been mistreated and took it as a sign that they might as well nominate someone more controversial. Quite a few argued, in public and on social media, that if Romney could be shredded as some kind of Klansman, then accusations of racism simply don't matter anymore and should always be ignored no matter what.
So, they nominated Trump, the anti-Romney. It’s no mystery why the pendulum swung so hard in the opposite direction.
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Can Joe Biden Save His Presidency? .
With his domestic agenda at risk of failure and the prospect rising of a Democratic drubbing in the midterms, Biden needs to act swiftly to rescue his term.Even as Biden announced the terms last week of a $1.75 trillion framework to salvage his signature "Build Back Better" legislation—cut in half from the bill's original $3.5 trillion price tag—his approval rating was taking a beating. The latest Real Clear Politics average has just 42 percent of Americans approving of the job Biden has done so far, while 52 percent disapprove; that represents a sharp downturn over the past two months and a nearly 14-point drop overall from his post-inauguration peak of close to 56 percent.