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Member since: 2001
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Bullying the dog. Are the media attacks on Biden a form of displacement?

Is the media being balanced when it hounds and criticizes Biden or is it just placating its abusers, the Republicans and Trump?

Throughout four years of Trump, the legitimate media were bullied. They were called "enemies of the people." They were called "fake news." They were subjected to vicious threats from the Republican "jackal peanut gallery."

There's a psychological concept called "displacement." A guy's boss yells at him at work. Since he's afraid of his boss, he goes home and bullies the dog. Is that why the media are so "tough" on Biden? Objectively, Biden has accomplished a lot of good, so it makes little sense to me that he has been the subject of such relentlessly negative coverage. It makes little sense, unless it's really a way for the media to be fearful and cowardly while appearing (to themselves even) balanced and tough.

The media know that Biden and the rest on our side will treat them with respect. They know Trump and the Republicans will give them more threats and grief. So maybe they pick on the side they feel (in their fear) they can get away with picking on?

Just a theory.

One edit: Changed the classic metaphor a bit to make it more sensitive

Is Josh Hawley guilty of cultural appropriation when he speaks "on behalf of men?"

I'm a man and I frankly resent Josh Hawley considering himself one, much less taking it upon his wormy little self to be a spokesman for us.

The media and Republicans should be called on the "Afghanistan exit" whining

Which historical exit from an "endless war" was painless and orderly? Frankly, I can't think of an exit that went better than the Afghanistan exit. Syria? Vietnam? Tens of thousands of Afghani friends of the United States were safely evacuated. America is out of a war we were stuck in for twenty years. There's nothing good in that?

Seems to me that if we ask how we get stuck in twenty-year wars in the first place, we now have at least a partial answer. The media and Republicans can't seem to emotionally and intellectually process a successful exit from a war as such exits happen in earthly reality.

Fight Republican ideas from a Republican framing

Otherwise, you're just preaching to the choir. Think of it, in a way, as making the sale to both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde if it helps.

For example, climate change isn't just bad because it hurts polar bears, melts pretty glaciers, and causes poor people to suffer disproportionately. That's a liberal framing, and liberals are already on board. That sale is made. It doesn't mean those things shouldn't stay front and center, of course. Just don't forget the other half of the argument.

With Republican types, you need a Republican framing. Climate change will cause job losses; not fighting climate change will make Americans miss out on the jobs and wealth bonanza in clean energy conversion; expensive real estate on beachfronts will lose all its value and the poorer nearby neighborhoods will gain that value; your landscaping and HVAC will suffer, making you have to do more work and pay for more maintenance...that sort of thing.

Raging about gerrymandering sells it, despite its downsides

When Dems get bent out of shape about Republican racial and partisan gerrymandering, it only makes Republicans want to do it more. They think they're onto something if it makes us unhappy. We should focus more on the downsides to gerrymandering. Here are a couple.

First, a red light doesn't stop cars; brakes stop cars. If everyone thought that a traffic signal in their neighborhood was cheatingly designed to make the commute faster for one of the two intersecting roads, everyone would ignore the traffic signal. You couldn't count on people stopping for red lights anymore. And it wouldn't be safe to drive through green lights. Gerrymandering gives seats to people who don't deserve them, and the laws they make won't be respected.

Second, gerrymandering distorts geographic location, destabilizing its role in defining communities, townships, neighborhoods, and real estate values. It's like rezoning on steroids. You put down roots, but, because both the left and right can legally gerrymander, you can't count on stability. Your district can move away from you, then move back, then be dissolved. Your home, business, and voice in government fluctuates on the whim of politicians.

We need Republicans to realize that winning seats by gerrymandering isn't winning. To do that, they need to be focused on something other than liberal tears, which they like. They need to see reasons for both sides to eliminate gerrymandering.

Saying some group X is "disproportionately affected" by bad thing B is a two-edged sword

While it may be true that bad thing B disproportionately affects group X, it might not necessarily be a good idea to wield that fact in arguments intended to benefit group X and/or oppose bad thing B. Justice and fairness aside, other groups, like less proportionally affected group Z, might decide that bad thing B isn't so bad after all, if it doesn't affect group Z as much. And group Z might also disproportionately consist of jerks who either don't care or actively root for bad things like B to happen to group X.

To defeat bad thing B and benefit any group X, Y, or Z, therefore, the best bet may sometimes be to focus on B's badness to all three groups.

Trump was a disaster, and we're succeeding like no one's ever seen before.

We shouldn't forget to say that. Always be closing. Our product is great; theirs is garbage.

Keep the "dignified mode" criticism with its facts and decorum. Sure. Refer to Fred Trump's brat as "the former president" or his harem of political concubines as "the former administration or Republican Party leaders." But don't forget on occasion to sum up what a worthless schlub he is, what a bunch of sneaky, lying dogs his salespeople are, and how great we're doing.

What's the left doing for the right lately?

Love the American Rescue Plan...love the infrastructure bill...love vaccinations being mandated...love us getting out of Afghanistan. But to read the news, those things all sound like things that were done "for the left" and done badly. We need to surprise the media and change their dumb script. We need to do a Tootsie on them.

The left could be using our successes (and they are great successes!) to crow about how we've been doing things for the right just as much as for the left. If we don't, the right will just keep thinking the left is doing power grabs and the valiant Republicans are holding back the hordes.

On the left, we often "reach out" (horrible phrase), by saying things like "the bills passed with bipartisan support," or treacly pablum like "all Americans want good paying jobs to provide for their families while they're sitting at the kitchen table talking about a future for their children." The idea, I guess, is that people who think of themselves as being on the right will subtly pick up on our hint that their leaders went along with us on certain things (bipartisan!) and that, hey, we've got a lot in common like liking doggies and kids playing on merry-go-rounds.

Too subtle imo. Just say, "Republicans, we got out of Afghanistan because you wanted it. We wanted it and you wanted it. We did it for you just as much as us. Now about your leaders...um, what have they done for you besides stir you up and neglect Social Security?"

Street protests are like a skinny-dipping party in a pond full of leeches

You can do it, but...leeches.

The Internet has ruined street protests, imo. Your AR-15ers and anger-holics and got-no-lifers and criminals now see them as someplace they want to be. The Internet spreads the scent, and those types just home in. Pretty soon it's just another cluster, an own goal, lossage for whatever good it might have had.

"Owning" Trump and his imitators

Defeating Trump and his dummy copycats involves "owning them." It's subtle, but there's a big difference between, say, getting your way in court against Trump and owning him. We need to do both.
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