Thursday, 26 August 2021 12:00

OPINION: Where the hell are the Democrats?

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Where the hell are the Democrats? They’ve just had one of the most successful rollouts of any presidency in modern history and instead of celebrating, they’re silent.

They are acting like they’re in damage control when they should be pressing their advantage. They’re letting Republicans drive much of the narrative and are running scared from a media looking for bad news to drive their ratings when Democrats have got a great story tell right now.  

They just saved the economy by putting money into the pockets of Americans and the coffers of businesses. The rolled out a vaccine program that has largely stopped the threat of the pandemic for anybody who is vaccinated. They ended a twenty-year war that no other president had the guts to end and, despite the media criticism, they’ve evacuated more than 40,000 people from the country in a week. That’s a hell of a record that not enough people have heard about. 

On the other side, Republicans fought against the economic stimulus and then tried to take credit for benefits that lifted families out of poverty and local economies out of recession. They refuse to encourage people to get vaccinated or to protect our kids. On the contrary, they’ve thwarted efforts to contain the virus and, in the states they control, hospitalizations and deaths are as high as they’ve been during the pandemic. To hear Republicans tell it, they would keep our soldiers in Afghanistan for another 20 years because they aren’t willing to make the tough choices that come with the presidency. And they are defending those traitors who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6. 

People need to hear that contrast and it’s up to the Democrats and their deep-pocked allies to tell the story. My social media feed should be lit up with both Democratic successes and Republican failures but it’s not. When Trump was screwing up the country, I couldn’t get away from his bullshit bravado. With Democrats, they’re wringing their hands or apologizing for not getting more done. We’ve heard more about how Joe Manchin is keeping Democrats from doing anything than focusing on what Joe Biden and Congress have already done. 

Democrats are where they’ve been too many times. The public agrees with what they’ve done and what they want to do, but polls show the electorate favoring Republicans. Americans overwhelming agree with the stimulus program, requiring mask and vaccine mandates, and ending the war. The Republicans are on the wrong side of all of those issues, but now lead the generic ballot. That’s a failure of communication. Democrats should be vigorously prosecuting their case for saving the economy, rolling out the vaccine, and ending the war in Afghanistan instead of fretting over and defending the things that might not get done. 

Do I want to see the John Lewis Voting Rights Act passed? Hell, yes, but I also know that beating up centrist Democrats who haven’t done enough is doing more damage than harm. The best way to get that bill and a number of other passed is to elect more Democrats. The way to do that is sell the party to the public for what Biden and Congress have already done, not whine about what they haven’t. Build a governing majority based on successes while bashing Republicans for their do-nothing failures. That’s the recipe for success.

Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of Before beginning PoliticsNC, Mills spent 20 years as a political and public affairs consultant.