No More Knives, Democrats – it’s a Gun Fight.

“You’re a dotard.”

“Yeah, well you’re short and fat.”

“At least I’m not a warmonger enriching the monopolies of the US defense industry.”

“At least I’m not on a dark path facing peril.”

True destroyer of world peace.”

“Nuclear menace.”

“Pusher of all buttons.”

“You’re lucky there’s fog today or I’d symbolically stare you down.”

You’re lucky there’s fog today or I’d take out Guam.”

“Yeah, then we’d destroy you with a three-carrier strike force.”

“You’re provoking me.”

“No, you’re provoking me.”

In case you missed it, that’s basically how our fearless leader is handling the North Korean situation. (Link to Article)  Two grown world leaders sounding like third-graders arguing over the seesaw.  At some point, one of them will push too hard and the other will take a swing.  Only instead of a black eye or a broken arm, this schoolyard fight ends with thousands or even millions dead.

Yet some Americans are happy with this.

Carlos, the father of one of my daughter’s friends, told me he’s glad Trump is standing up to Kim Jong-un and all the others.

“All Obama ever did was apologize to the world.  Time for us to step up, show ‘em who’s boss.”

As a fan of Obama’s diplomacy and political tact, I wanted to refute Carlos’ comment immediately.  Tell him why the high road is the only road for the enlightened man to take.  But instead I held my tongue and tried to consider his side.

Was Obama too soft?

In FP, Steven M. Walt says as president, Obama believed, “that people with differing views can come together, discuss, debate, share information, and gradually come to a mutual understanding that satisfies both sides and that will advance the public interest. This quality…hamstrung him as president in today’s highly polarized political environment.” (Link to Article)  Politics has always been down and dirty, the argument goes, so if you’re not willing to get mean and muddy, you’re going to lose.

Bill Maher agrees.

He complains that in the last election, Democratic “party members were just too “nice” in comparison with their GOP rivals.”  His recommendation?  In 2020, Democrats should “stop bringing a knife to a gun fight.”  (Link to Article)  Maybe that’s what Carlos meant by ‘show ‘em who’s boss.”

Trump does that.

Trump is the loudest, low-blowing Republican third-grader out there.  He uses his tweets like spitballs and his money and power like a full nelson on whoever disagrees with him.  So in 2020, the Democrats have to find someone capable of fighting back.  Maher had a surprise suggestion on the 2020 candidate – disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.)

“He had balls, and he was an a$$#ole, remember how much we loved Anthony Weiner before the scandal, because he stood up to them and said ‘you’re full of $#it.’” (Link to Video)

Okay, granted, Weiner is not a real solution, but the point Maher makes is a valid one.  Democrats won’t win in 2018 or 2020 by being nice or playing fair.  It’s easy to forget how low and dirty Trump fought against his rivals last year until you watch this collection of Trump 2016 debate clips.  (Link to Video)  His ability to go grade-school took everybody by surprise.

But it can’t anymore.

We’ve got to understand that the Republican election playbook calls for low blows and cheap shots instead of the intelligent debate of vital American issues.  We’ve got to run Democratic candidates who are willing to nanny nanny the other side’s boo boo’s.  We’ve got to be the rubber to their glue.  Democratic candidates must have the guts to look their opponent in the eyes and say, “I know you are, but what am I?”

If only Jon Stewart had political ambitions.

Stewart would be the perfect candidate to take down their immature attacks and inconsistent points of view, as he did so artfully right after Trump got elected.  (Link to Video)  That’s fighting fire with something way more clever than fire – intelligent counter-slams using their own words against them.  Stewart brings an armed Blackhawk to the gun fight and his opponents are left looking as foolish as their lies and empty promises.  Democrats have to be willing to do the same – tell their opponents they’re full of $#it and show ‘em who’s the real boss of the political playground.

Otherwise, the battle over the seesaw is forever lost.

  • Mike Lukas

 

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