If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, or at least, copy ‘em. That seems to be Democrats latest strategy to stopping Republicans’ winning policy winning streak. President Trump has thrived in Washington by using the “shiny object” strategy, i.e. distracting the Left and their media friends by saying and doing provocative things while the real action happens elsewhere.
The strategy, even when its clear that President Trump is deploying it, has worked spectacularly well. Democrats simply can’t help themselves. And while they self-immolate trying to dissect the latest tweet or parse the meaning from the latest speech, Republicans are busy racking up political wins. Take, as an example, Democrats seeming failure to even realize that the most significant tax reform package in decades was being passed right under their noses:
So where has the Democrats’ outrage over this been? Oh, I’m not talking about the smattering of sound bites and editorials out there. I mean “take to the streets” outrage.
Here’s the first part of the answer: The Democrats and the left in general have blown their wad. …
But is it too little too late? Would the widespread protests like they organized earlier this year over other issues have done the trick sooner? What about more editorials and a sole focus on defeating this bill for a few weeks? We may never know. Tax reform barely got a word in edgewise recently. Even the push against the repeal of Net Neutrality got equal or better billing the last few days.
Wily Democrats now know they’ve been beaten and are doing everything they can to turn the tables. Rather than allow Republicans to bask in the glow of tax reform, an ever-improving economy, and the political bounce that comes from promoting the 2018 agenda, Democrats are creating a stir with wild speculation about President Trump’s mental fitness, a topic they attempted to get to stick all year long.
The gossip, encapsulated in a new book by Mark Wolff, who’s career has been marked with questions about his willingness to play fast and loose with facts, has dogged the Trump Administration for the last several days. Such chatter about Trump’s mental state is nothing new. It is the only bit of nourishment that the starving Left has to gnaw on during their extended stay in the political wilderness.
But it is nothing more than a distraction, both from what Republicans achieved in 2017 and what they’re currently strategizing for 2018. Let’s not forget, for all the questions about his fitness for office, President Trump has delivered an incredible year, one filled with policy victories that his predecessor tried and failed to produce. As Jonathan Tobin writes for National Review:
The lack of what most serious people would consider a presidential temperament didn’t prevent Trump from making the right call on loosening the rules of engagement in the war on ISIS, which ended the stalemate Trump inherited from Barack Obama.
Nor has any tendency to “flip out” prevented him from pursuing smart policies on regulatory reform and tax cuts, which, even the New York Times conceded this week in a front-page article, was creating a wave of business optimism that may lead to the complete economic recovery that eluded Barack Obama despite his cool demeanor. The same can be said for his decisions to recognize Jerusalem and to support the protests spreading across Iran, moral tests that his calm predecessor failed.
His tendencies also didn’t prevent a strategic gathering of Republican leaders to chart a policy course for 2018. This week Trump met with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at Camp David to prioritize an agenda, including an infrastructure investment package, a strategy to address the nation’s opioid crisis and immigration reform.
But Democrats have nothing to talk about. Neither the failure of their #resistance in 2017, which featured an economic agenda that was widely mocked on both sides of the aisle, nor their silence about their goals for 2018 offers much of a winning message for 2018. So what do they do? They engage in heinous acts of political gossip in order to shift the narrative attention away from Trump’s successes and undermine his ability to get things done in 2018.
It’s a sick and cynical strategy. President Trump was mentally fit enough to completely outwit and outmaneuver Democrats in 2017. And given the hamfisted attempts to derail the message, Republicans can expect the same level of winning in 2018.