At the very least, they can’t abandon them. Greg Sargent makes a good point about making Republicans own their inanities (boldface mine):
But is there some way to make Republicans pay a price for any of this instead?
Crooked Media’s Beutler suggests Democrats should make this their mission. Possible ideas might include doing more to honor officials who want to vaccinate our population or attacking anti-critical race theory Republicans for snooping into your children’s education.
if i were a democrat i would simply point out that republicans want to look at your childrens genitals before they play sports and put cameras in their classrooms so they can stare at your kids all day
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) July 7, 2021
Here’s another overriding principle that might work: Frame everything around the basic goal of ensuring that Republicans are the ones on the defensive.
This might include asking anti-critical race theory Republicans why they think our cadets are such snowflakes that they must be shielded from hard truths about their country’s past. Or asking why Republicans are doing far too little to encourage GOP voters to endure a little pinprick to protect their friends, relatives and neighbors from dying of a deadly disease. Or why they’re trying to bury the truth about their own party’s complicity in an effort to sack the U.S. government with mob violence.
Ask yourself this: Why is it that Democrats spend far more time denying lies — that they want to indoctrinate your children with white shame and send jackbooted government thugs to kick down your doors and force vaccines on you — than Republicans spend denying any of those charges against them, which are true?
Brian Beutler has some other good ideas (boldface mine):
It would take a little creative thinking, and a modest tolerance for getting down in the mud; but the goal should be to make Republicans pay a price for venturing down the road to cultishness and political violence directly, rather than through a parallel referendum on health care or the minimum wage.
- President Biden could award the cop who was left no choice but to shoot Ashlii Babbitt the medal of freedom. He could even invite Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell to the ceremony. (The right will out this officer sooner or later, but Biden could nevertheless bestow the award in absentia and anonymously. “This hero unfortunately can’t be here, as a deranged, un-American element has credibly threatened violence, but we can’t let the brave conduct we witnessed go uncelebrated blah blah blah.”)
- Democrats could find similar ways to honor the nurses and other care providers going door to door to get people vaccinated, giving faces to the public servants whom Marjorie Taylor Greene compared to Nazis and Chip Roy threatened to kill.
…I’ll be the first to admit this isn’t the most elevated stuff in the world; there are a lot of smart people in Democratic politics and most of them don’t want to spend their days contemplating how to outmaneuver Republicans in the realm of brutish messaging. But there’s no less honor in that than in clinging to the belief that politics is an elevated calling, only to lose elections when Republicans decide to make them about outlandish, in many cases fictional things.
Because conservatives will continue to create ‘non-troversies’, Democrats have to attack them–if you’re not attacking, you’re defending, and if you’re defending, you’re losing. And once you describe the awfulness, you can juxtapose it with the good things you have done–and would like to do, were it not for those horrible Republicans.