As Republicans Fight to Put a Pedophile in the Senate Democrats Blast Pelosi for Calling Conyers a Icon. You can’t see a more glaring example of how Republicans and Democrats play politics than the moment we are in right now.
Republicans message lies, misdirection and deflection with a straight face. Democrats struggle to message basic truth. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) should have been annoyed when she had to spend 99% of her time on Meet the Press talking about Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) only to have no time to talk on taxes, an issues impacting all Americans.
But there is also this plain fact of reality: The Democratic Party, and particularly the leadership, plays on defense even when it should be on offense. They also continue to bring knives to gun fights. Talking taxes is clearly more important for more people but confronting the hardball gutter-style messaging of the right is also a skill that must be dealt with full on.
When Pelosi was criticized for calling Rep. Conyers an “icon” (after a 52 year career of fighting for full employment, health care and hiring Rosa Parks into his office… and fighting against apartheid and mandatory minimums and being endorsed by Dr. Martin Luther King but whatever…) she backed off. Pelosi’s then backtracked to a defensive position and put out a second statement calling for “zero tolerance” on sexual harassment. That move was classic Democratic Party just-give-in-and-retreat “messaging.” Did it work? Hell no. Pelosi was still roasted for her original statement.
Meanwhile, what are Republicans doing regarding the question of an alleged pedophile being elected to the U.S. Senate? They have instituted Dick Cheney’s “never apologize” rule. There is no backwards movement — even after eight women have emerged on the record to confirm that the underlying allegation is true. Though some Republicans have come out against Moore, many have just stayed silent while others have said they will still vote for him. Moore himself has denied everything despite the evidence, an accusers coming out on television and all the documentation and thorough journalism by the Washington Post.
Gaslighting has become standard Republican messaging. You say that today is Tuesday? I say today is Friday — over and over again with a straight face. That is what Donald Trump practiced all 2016-long and it worked. This no-shame lie-to-your-face Trump style messaging works. Why? Because half of the people listening will simply repeat like parrots whatever they’re told and believe whatever they’re told. Right-wing messaging is also backed up by right-wing media. When lies are relayed repetitively the impact is even deeper.
Although the two cases of Moore and Conyers really have nothing to do with each other specifically, they have everything to do with each other when it comes to the way Democrats do communications and politics — whether formally or informally.