At one point this morning, I Tweeted this:
For awhile, I’ve been glancing occasionally across the room to a screen showing the Mueller hearing with the sound off. I see his face and think, “Maybe we should all just leave this good man alone…”
— Brad Warthen (@BradWarthen) July 24, 2019
But I wasn’t done with the Mueller hearing, or perhaps I should say it wasn’t done with me. There it was, wherever I turned — on social media, on the radio in my truck, even when I tried listening to NPR.org while I was getting some steps in in the middle of the day. (Fortunately, there were podcasts on other subjects.)
All of it was awful — the bits I heard, anyway:
- I found it tiresome to listen to the Democratic questioners, because they were so eager to establish… what? OK, so they want to make sure that the public, which isn’t going to read a 400-page report, knows all the ways that it shows Donald Trump to be an ethical nightmare. But then what? Are you really convinced that this is going to change things so that impeachment proceedings are a good idea, one that leads to electoral success in 2020? I’m not sure how you could be.
- It was far, far worse to listen to the Republican questioners. At my age, I’m more than tired of waking up each day and discovering that human beings can sink to depths I previously did not suspect. But hearing these guys adamantly, furiously, relentlessly trying to twist things so that Trump doesn’t come across as a slimeball is just so disheartening, so depressing….
- Finally, it was pretty awful hearing Mueller himself, who sounded just as weary of it all as he looked when I saw him on that screen with the sound off this morning. The man’s done enough for his country. Let him go to his rest…
I just want to fast-forward through this time in our history. I want to skim ahead to a time when Joe Biden has secured the Democratic nomination (and if the future holds something else, let me skim past the next four years of politics as well). No more enduring absurd “debates” with Joe on stage with a score of people, each of whom knows his or her way to victory lies through tearing Joe down, and not one of whom holds out much hope of doing what I think Joe can do — beat Trump.
Let’s just get on with it. Because the country’s one real chance of putting Trump behind us awaits us in November 2020.
Oh, and if you doubt that Joe is the guy to beat Trump, let me tell you about this one podcast I listened to while walking.
It was brought to my attention by this Tweet from Third Way, which seems to be published by Democrats who have not lost their freaking minds:
🔑”When you flip a voter, it’s twice as important as when you turn a new voter out.” –@Nate_Cohn to @mikiebarb.
This morning’s Daily episode is a must-listen for anyone who wants to beat Trump.https://t.co/gBVt3HTg0F
— Third Way (@ThirdWayTweet) July 24, 2019
So I went and listened to The Daily, and I heard some home truths laid out, including the mathematically obvious one mentioned in the Tweet. None of it was mysterious or anything. It was stuff like this:
- The persuadable people Democrats have to reach, and flip, to beat Trump are white working-class (and to a lesser extent middle-class) voters in the Midwest, people who voted for Obama in 2008 but for Trump in 2016.
- Right now Trump is positioned to possibly do slightly better in those areas — places such as the environs of Milwaukee — than he did in 2016.
- Of course, he remains unpopular as ever, and may lose the national popular vote by even more than he lost to Hillary, but…
- There’s this thing called the Electoral College (and rail about it all you want, Dems, but the rules of the game are not changing between now and Election Day next year), so all Trump needs to do is squeak by in those places that are neither entirely red nor blue.
- Democrats are doing better in the Sun Belt than in the past, but not so much better that the Democrat will win there, and most states are Winner Take All in the Electoral College. So… back to the swing states…
- So… what are you gonna do to reach those persuadable white voters in Flyover Land?
And the whole time I’m listening, I’m thinking the only thing you can possibly do if you have a lick of sense is nominate plain ol’ Joe from Scranton, PA.
Cohn, if I recall correctly, was kind of noncommittal in his answer, but there really is no honest answer but this one: Right….