November 19, 2020

"'Defund the police' is the second stupidest campaign slogan any Democrat has uttered in the twenty first century."

"It is second in stupidity only to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 comment that half of Trump’s supporters belong in a 'basket of deplorables.'" 

Said University of California-Irvine polysci prof Bernard Grofman, quoted in "'The Far Left Is the Republicans’ Finest Asset’/An intense battle between moderates and progressives has already spilled into public view" by Thomas Edsall (NYT). 

Edsall also quotes from a report by 4 progressive groups — New Deal Strategies, Justice Democrats, Sunrise Movement and Data for Progress — "What went wrong for Congressional Democrats in 2020":
The latest choice for Democrats to locate our fear and blame is the slogan from many Black and young activists who marched the streets this summer: “Defund The Police.” Conservative Democrats may change the terms and people we blame and fear year-by-year, but Democrats must take on the Republican Party’s divide-and-conquer racism head-on and not demobilize our own base.... This election, the Black youth leading the Black Lives Matter movement have turned their power in the streets into votes.... When Democratic leaders make unforced errors like showing off two subzero freezers full of ice cream on national television or cozy up with Wall Street executives and corporate lobbyists while Trump tells voters we are the party of the swamp, it is not surprising that we lose.

Edsall links to this especially good Trump ad, which magnificently exploited Pelosi's posing with her refrigerators: 


Anyway, which side does Edsall take? (Do you care?) I'll just quote his last line:
Liberal advocacy groups have become more in-your-face, more intense, partly in reaction to the intransigence of the Trump regime, a development that is in turn irrevocably linked to the intensity of the conflicts across the country and within the Democratic Party itself.

Trump only gets credit when it seems like blame. Oh, he's intransigent! But what Edsall is admitting is that Trump suckered the Democratic Party into fighting itself. How did he do that? It was quite a bit more sophisticated than just being "intransigent" and thus causing other people to become "more intense." 

61 comments:

rehajm said...

"But, like, we're still getting paid, right?"

Danno said...

Off to the guillotine, Nancy!

tim maguire said...

Did Trump sucker Democrats into fighting amongst themselves? Or is the infighting just a natural consequence of the rickety edifice they’ve built while ignoring the internal inconsistencies? I know which one I’m betting on.

Annie C. said...

Tim Maguire got it right. Identity politics eventually pits one identity against another. You have to have a genuine big tent, not just a bunch of little tents crammed together.

Bob said...

I think that BLM/Antifa and the riots played a major part, and if Trump had won outright so that it was clear to everyone, I was expecting Bill Maher on the Friday after election day to declare "Congratulations, BLM, you scared the white people."

Kai Akker said...

Peak social frenzy to go with peak financial cycle. All sorts of bad ideas can sprout in such fertile conditions.

But the freeze approaches rapidly. A lot of nonsense will be extinguished when conditions are less hospitable.

rhhardin said...

The democrats became the no civilized standards party with Bush vs Gore. No standards means they'll start fighting for spoils among themselves too.

The Crack Emcee said...

The 21st Century just got started, keep your shirt on.

The Crack Emcee said...

Actually, you're a woman - take your shirt off!

And I hearty nominate THAT as the stupidest campaign slogan any Democrat could utter in the twenty first century.

And I think the Democrats will get there.

YoungHegelian said...

The intense intra-party fight between the moderates & the lefties within the Democratic Party goes back to at least FDR, if not Wilson. Every now & then, like with George McGovern, the lefties take the party right off the cliff.

In my 21 years of reading the then moderate New Republic, I found that, while the moderates weren't fond of Republicans, who they really loathed was The Nation.

Richard Aubrey said...

Decades ago, so long ago in fact, that Teddy Kennedy's run for democrats' POTUS nom was a living memory, Edsall and his wife wrote a book on liberalism. Far as I could tell, they figured liberalism needed better marketing.
Plus, there was one half page explaining how liberalism was pretty lousy for a lot of normal folks.

Rory said...

All the far left will now find employment with the government. Problem solved.

Jess said...

Simply put, the argument is how the goal of total subjugation of citizens will be accomplished. The "moderates" want to accomplish the goal with crooked legislation, and ignoring the Constitution. The radicals want to remove the government protection from citizens, create anarchy, and use force to accomplish the goals of Marxism.

It doesn't matter how they attempt their takeover, but what does matter is when enough citizens decide they've had enough of the treason, and defend their country.

Quayle said...

If I were the Republican block in the House of Representatives I would try to recruit 10 Democrats to join with us and vote for AOC as speaker of the house. Then let the fun begin.

Quayle said...

Putt Kai Akker and Jess’ comments together and you can see the future, in my view.

MayBee said...

It isn't just that the left is fighting among themselves. It's that they are so very overbearing about it.
They engage in huge protests when he rest of us are out of work or limited in hours because of a pandemic. A pandemic *they* insisted we stay home for!!
Then they riot and loot, and insist we understand.
Then they say "defund the police!" this will stop their rioting.
Then they tell us we don't understand their message.
Then we're all racists for not just listening..

It would be one thing if they just had opinions and expressed them. But they want their opinions to be the only allowable opinions.

wendybar said...

Hope and Change got Obama elected (besides his color) so they figured it works well....They figured wrong.

The Vault Dweller said...

The Trump administration hasn't struck me as particularly intransigent. In fact they have been quite flexible on issues that the base probably didn't like, most notably DACA. Trump offered to extend protection to lots of current DACA recipients but the Democrats held out for more and so the deal collapsed. Trump was also willing spend far more than Republicans in the Senate would have liked with COVID stimulus bills.

Mr Wibble said...

The Trump administration hasn't struck me as particularly intransigent. In fact they have been quite flexible on issues that the base probably didn't like, most notably DACA. Trump offered to extend protection to lots of current DACA recipients but the Democrats held out for more and so the deal collapsed. Trump was also willing spend far more than Republicans in the Senate would have liked with COVID stimulus bills.

A lot of us expected Trump to be a liberal Republican, and think he likely would have governed as one, had the Dems played it smart and made some concessions. Instead they lost their minds, attacked him and his family, and basically drove him further to the right. Never underestimate the political value of spite.

Chuck said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
J. Farmer said...

Did Trump sucker Democrats into fighting amongst themselves? Or is the infighting just a natural consequence of the rickety edifice they’ve built while ignoring the internal inconsistencies? I know which one I’m betting on.

I certainly think it's the latter, and it's a problem both parties are facing, typified by the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump campaigns in 2016.

Leland said...

Most of the people demanding "defund the police" were people released from jail for minor offensives due to Covid and Democrat DAs. In the many videos I saw, the mix was at least 50/50 white activist and black with a trend towards more whites than blacks. Yet the result is less policing of poor and minority enclaves and thus higher crime rates. Violent crime and murder rates are up. This is blamed on Trump as the national leader, but most people can figure out how it happened.

GingerBeer said...

Of course, you won't read it in the NYT. That's why you read the New York Post.

Xmas said...

There is a lot to look at w/r/t what drove voters in 2020. Trump lost while picking up more minority votes than any modern Republican. The Republicans won every "toss-up" House race and Pelosi's hold on the House looks like it will be down to 4 (it was 5 but Biden just grabbed the winner of LA 2nd for a position in the WH). At the state level Republicans appeared to have picked up lots of seats during a Census and redisticting legislative session.

Quayle said...

The parable of a house built on sand. The parable doesn’t say you *can’t* build a house on sand. It just says that when the rains come and the wind blows, the fact that it’s built on sand will be made manifest.

Lucien said...

In all fairness “basket of deplorables” was never a slogan, nor was “Trumped up trickle down economics”, but “Stronger Together” possibly accompanied by the image of bundled fasces, was.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Beth said...

This is blamed on Trump as the national leader, but most people can figure out how it happened.

Apparently not. Otherwise, there wouldn't be any question about the election outcome.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"What went wrong for Congressional Democrats in 2020":

Statistically, and Historically, the idea that people who vote for the top guy on the ticket...Democrat or Republican for President then will NOT vote for the down ticket candidates of the same party.

This is how we know that there was fraud. The statistical anomaly is HUGE!

AKA Vote for Biden but then vote for the Republican Senator/Representative. Vote D for President and then switch to R down ticket. Not very likely.

Vote for Trump and then vote for Democrats....hardly!!!

The majority of the voters vote in line with their party or don't vote at all for down tickets.

I don't vote for School Board, Hospital District, etc unless I know something about the person.

The ONLY time I voted for someone on the top and then a different party down ticket was Ross Peroit. I voted for him twice and not for a Democrat down ticket....except for a School Board candidate who I knew personally and have great respect for her as an astute educator who was apolitical in her job.

Fernandinande said...

"'Defund the police' is the second stupidest campaign slogan any Democrat has uttered in the twenty first century."

Since 'basket of deplorables' wasn't a campaign slogan, what was the stupidest campaign slogan - "Build back better" or "Restore The Soul of The Nation"?

Democrats must take on the Republican Party’s divide-and-conquer racism head-on

He got the parties reversed.

Lawrence Person said...

#BlackLivesMatter did turn "action in the streets" into votes this year.

Republican votes.

J. Farmer said...

Since 'basket of deplorables' wasn't a campaign slogan, what was the stupidest campaign slogan

Some potential nominees:

"He has kept us out of war." Wilson campaign, 2016
"Not just peanuts." Carter campaign, 1976
"Where's the beef?" Mondale campagn, 1984
"Thousand points of light." Bush campaign, 1988

gilbar said...

this thread got me thinking; How rich is ilhan omar now?
she's been in congress a few years; so i figured she must be a millionaire

here's what i (quickly) found
According to a financial disclosure report filed by Omar in May 2019, she has no assets. She owes between $15,001 and $50,000 in student loans, and has a car loan from Toyota for $10,000 to $15,000, leaving her with a negative net worth ranging from -$25,001 to -$65,000.

however, i also found
Оmаr’ѕ аnnuаl ѕаlаrу іѕ $125,000; Неr nеt wоrth іѕ аn еѕtіmаtеd $3 mіllіоn аѕ оf Nоvеmbеr 2020

and i found
According to various sources, Ilhan Omar net worth is 3million. Her sources of earnings include her illustrious political career and through her work as a community nutrition educator

Clearly, i was in THE WRONG BUSINESS

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Elected office is democratic party offical get-rich quick scam.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

**

Defund oil and gas so we can rely on China's rare earth mining to destroy the planet.

Your hybrid vehicle is actually quite bad for the environment.

...But good for Al Gore and Biden family grifting. Go CCP!

When can we expect the next perfectly timed virus?

MayBee said...

Biden's "Battle for the Soul of America" was the stupidest campaign slogan. I can't believe he did that and got away with it.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

“The democrats became the no civilized standards party with Bush vs Gore. No standards means they'll start fighting for spoils among themselves too.”

In fairness to the Donks, they’ve always been that way. It’s inseparable from a platform that encourages skimming off the public purse. It doesn’t end until ordinary urban Black folks tire of being used as Democrat toilet paper every four years. That’s going to take awhile, but I think we’re slowly headed in the right direction.

Mikey NTH said...

So Trump exploited the natural divisions in the Democrats' coalition? Sounds like a pretty good strategy to me.

Lurker21 said...


"Build Back Better" isn't exactly a winner either. It was a transparent rip-off of MAGA that left you wondering what Joe Biden had done to build the way things already are in his 47 years of politics and why he didn't build better in the first place. It did have the advantage that it was easier for Joe to remember.

"You Never Had It So Good" was a Democrat slogan from the 1952 Stevenson campaign. Not good to tell people what to feel. And not exactly a winner with people who had sons in Korea. Reagan at least had the good sense to put his message in the form of a question. In Britain, Harold Macmillan, a duke's son-in-law, used the more grammatical "You've Never Had It So Good" and made it worse by saying in a speech "Most of our people have never had it so good." The "you little people" tone didn't help Macmillan. It didn't hurt him much, though, as he was reelected.

Lurker21 said...

Trump wasn't intransigent. He did what politicians do. He talked a hard line in his public appearances, while his administration was more flexible behind the scenes. Not really that different from his predecessors. But there were so many public appearances, that it did have the effect of getting everyone in politics juiced-up and hyperactive. I would have tried to find a better word than "intransigent."

Joe Smith said...

So you're saying the first time he runs for political office he wins.

Against the most qualified person in history with the most formidable political machine in history.

And that the office it POTUS.

And he's not a complete moron?

Go figure.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

Shorter Jess:
The moderates want to government's boot on our necks.
The radicals want their own boots on our necks.
No, thank you.

Matt said...

Slogans like "Defund the Police" or (yes) "Black Lives Matter" are shibboleths. Their point isn't to persuade, it's to distinguish insiders from outsiders. When someone not in the know gives the obvious response to these slogans ("who will keep us safe?" or "of course black lives matter, all lives matter"), they are immediately branded as an outsider who can be berated for "ignorance", humiliated and sometimes assaulted. On the other hand, agreeing with the slogans means the person is, at least temporarily, an insider.

Sure, these slogans may look stupid to an outsider, but they are a very powerful way to create and foster group cohesion.

Iman said...

Please advise when it gets to the Donner Party stage. Popcorn will be on me.

hombre said...

None of this matters if the Repubs don’t hold the Senate. Is the road to socialism through Georgia?

Skeptical Voter said...

Trump did not roll over and say, "Please Sir, may I have another?" when Chuck You or some other idiot Dem attacked him. He punched back "tiwce as hard" as Obama advised. Intransigence? No. A healthy self respect and refusal to put up with progressive codswallop is a better way to look at it. Or you could say that the Trumpster took joy in provoking the progressive partisan palookas.

Retail Lawyer said...

I was hoping the Defund the Police movement would have real staying power. Not my police, but, you know, their police. I would keep the Left busy shooting each other for a few years. Besides, its unconscionable to ask police to do their job with the level of institutional support they are getting from the Democratic cities.

Big Mike said...

Well, “defund the police” was great for gun manufacturers and gun stores. Democrats don’t want people to own firearms and don’t want fully-funded police departments. And then they’re just stunned that crime rates rise.

No way to predict that would happen! [Rolls eyes]

PM said...

In 10 years the Democrat Party will be fondly remembered.

Big Mike said...

"He has kept us out of war." Wilson campaign, 2016

That’s one of the all time great slogans! It got Wilson re-elected while behind the scenes he was frantically preparing to get the US into World War I. Even so when war was declared the army didn’t have enough rifles to equip its draftees and men drilled with broomsticks and wooden slats.

It reminds me of the campaign of 1964, where Johnson was able to cast Goldwater as a rabid warmonger who might do just about anything in Vietnam. Of course Johnson was ready to put 500,000 soldiers into Vietnam, but that was carefully concealed. Which led to 1966’s favorite joke: “They told me if I voted for Goldwater inside of a year we’d be in a shooting war in Vietnam. Well I did, and sure enough we were.“

Col. Milquetoast said...

The deplorable part wasn’t that bad: calling people who think something you disagree with to be irredeemable was telling of a type of mentality.

Jupiter said...

Thomas Edsall is a white male, born in 1941. He is married to a woman, and has a child. I expect the mob is outside his door right now.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Lucien,

"Basket of Deplorables" wasn't a campaign slogan, no, but HRC did use it more than once; evidently she was pleased with it. As for "Stronger Together," good of you to remember the fasces. I swear most people have no idea that what we now call "public/private partnerships" (meaning: Big Government co-opts and assimilates Big Business) were a big part of fascism; that's what the fasces stood for. With, in Mussolini's case, an obvious subsidiary nod to "the grandeur that was Rome."

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Col. Milquetoast,

Too right. "Irredeemable" is a theological comment on the state of one's immortal soul, one that seems to give, shall we say, too little space to God.

Jupiter said...

I will point out, that most professional Democrats were at pains to distance themselves from "Defund the Police". The slogan was promulgated by BLM, and embraced by useful idiots like the Minneapolis City Council, including the political genius Lisa Bender, who opined that the desire not to be murdered in your home "comes from a place of white privilege". Even Joe Biden has enough residual brain-power to know that "We're Going To Let Black Criminals Come And Kill You In Your Kitchen!" is not a winning political slogan.

Bilwick said...

"Defund the police" may in fact be stupid (so stupid, in fact, that as Jupiter points out above, even Dementia Joe had to distance himself from it*); but it's the kind of radical-Left moonshine that's kept "all in the family," so to speak. Among themselves they talk like the Second Coming of Che; but when they're called on it, te reaction is a hurt, indignant, "Who--ME???" For these mountebanks, Denial ain't just a river in Africa.

*after all, if you defund the police, who are you going to send to confiscate our guns?

Jupiter said...

"*after all, if you defund the police, who are you going to send to confiscate our guns?"

As they have demonstrated in Portland, the idea is not to Defund The Police. The idea is to coopt the police, by a combination of driving out the dedicated officers, restraining and intimidating those who remain, and arranging the election of DAs who will not prosecute rioters but will prosecute those who defend themselves against rioters. This strategy is well along in many large cities, but appears to be inherently self-limiting, as the voters in those cities are beginning to get sick of it. Given the cunning with which the Soros Organization put this plan together, I expect they have a plan for dealing with voter discontent as well. The attempt to steal this election may well be the unveiling of that plan.

Jupiter said...

Note that when the Soros Organization (I doubt that 90-year-old George Soros is really in charge any more) set their plan in motion several years ago, they targeted two specific kinds of local elections; District Attorneys, and Secretaries of State. The former are able to protect their rioters and prosecute property-owners who resist them, and the latter are in position to certify stolen elections. That is how they decided to spend Soros' money, knowing that vast as his fortune is, it is insufficient to make a real impact in national races (Look what happened to Bloomberg). They are evil, but they are not stupid, nor careless, so I am figuring those are the two prongs of their strategy for the destruction of American society. If there is a long-term goal, it evades me, but there may well be none. The weakening of America is the goal.

JaimeRoberto said...

The report Edsall cites calls the Republicans racists suggesting that they still haven't learned their lesson.

The Vault Dweller said...

In all fairness “basket of deplorables” was never a slogan,

It was a vetted and reused joke of Hillary's though. So while not a slogan, it was something they workshopped and apparently agreed was fine for general public consumption. She used it multiple time at many different fundraisers. Maybe she thought it would never get out?

Mark said...

The idea that the Dems are divided into the blue-collar traditionalists, the third way types, and the radical progressives is BS. The fact is that they are lock-step with each other, with the progressive left in control -- both the politicians and Dem voters are all totalitarian conformists. They talk about differences and do in fact hate each other, but at the end of the day, they are all either driving the train over the abyss or they are collaborators or otherwise complicit by their failure to actually ever break ranks.