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Trump and Republicans have put America in crisis. 'Mob' and 'socialism' won't erase that.  4 Months ago

Source:   USA Today  

Conservatives from President Donald Trump on down are weaving a fiery, comforting fantasy about Democrats in these final weeks before the midterm elections. They are a party of ardent socialists who would inflict Medicare on everyone and bankrupt the country. Their presidential front-runner for 2020 is Stormy Daniels lawyer Michael Avenatti. The Brett Kavanaugh affair was their Pizzagate. They are a liberal mob in pink pussy hats. Oh, and giving them power would plunge the nation into a constitutional crisis.

Projecting much?

Trump’s base is no doubt revved up by the Supreme Court confirmation fight over Kavanaugh and this caricature of Democrats that the GOP has concocted to try to rescue its flagging midterm fortunes. The problem is it's all either false or astonishingly hypocritical. It'll work only if voters don't notice that Republicans are the ones who have plunged America into multiple crises. Good luck with that.

For instance, Republicans and some Democrats are convinced that Avenatti — a provocateur on a par with Trump who injected the specter of gang rape into the Kavanaugh furor — is the reason the proceedings went awry for Democrats and revived the GOP will to win. The Republican Party would love for Avenatti to be the Democratic presidential nominee. 

Polls of the 2020 Democratic field are indicative of less than nothing at this point, but they are all we have. And polls in June and August showed the front-runners are former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Not, repeat not, Avenatti. 

Democrats generally support the goal of health coverage for all. However, the most popular means of getting to universal coverage, including among most Democrats, is not ditching the current system in favor of mandatory "Medicare for All." It’s a public option — that is, letting people choose to buy a government-run plan if they prefer that to their private plan. 

Are socialists taking over the Democratic Party? A few dozen have won Democratic primaries this year, mostly for state and local office. A couple could win big jobs next month. But this is a small faction in a large party with a substantial centrist wing. Just ask Biden, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, senators from red states, even socialist/actress Cynthia Nixon, who lost badly to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a primary last month.

Many Democrats who personally favor Medicare for All are not pushing for legislative action. Instead, they are pledging to bring down prescription drug prices and preserve coverage protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Not exactly swinging for the socialist fences.

In fact, these are the same goals Republicans talk about. But there has been little or nothing done on drug prices, and almost the entire GOP is on record as trying to eliminate pre-existing conditions protections by repealing the Affordable Care Act, gutting it or killing it in court. 

Even if Democrats wanted to break the bank, on health care or anything else, they might not get a chance to try. Republicans are already well on their way to bankrupting America via tax cuts that are draining revenue and trade wars that are depressing some industries. Now they're trying to accelerate the process with more tax cuts. In a fiscal irresponsibility contest, the GOP beats the Democrats hands down.

As for liberal mobs and mob rule, please. For Republicans, “mob” is apparently a synonym for people not on their side who are exercising their constitutional rights to assemble, dissent, call for investigations, and perhaps vote them out of office, while wearing pink hats.

Comparing the Kavanaugh episode to Pizzagate is also absurd. Comet Ping Pong is the pizza restaurant that supposedly housed a Satanic child sex ring run by Democrats connected with Hillary Clinton. Fortunately, no one was injured when a gunman stormed in. But that man drove up from North Carolina, armed, to save non-existent kids from a non-existent sex ring. He believed an insane conspiracy.

Were Kavanaugh opponents conspiracists, just like Pizzagate purveyer Alex Jones? Was there "no evidence" on Kavanaugh, as Kevin Williamson claimed in National Review, and was that most likely because "the claims were not true"? Or was there indeed evidence, and there might have been more had the allegations been properly investigated?

Both. That's different than using a lurid fake-news conspiracy to inflame vulnerable people and create real danger.

Finally, and most nakedly diversionary, Republicans want voters to believe that Democrats will thrust the country into a constitutional crisis. But Americans can see with their own eyes that we are already in the midst of many crises: Constitutional, as Trump attacks U.S. law enforcement agencies and the Russia investigation and tries to harness the Justice Department for his own protection. Political and civility crises, as his ruthless nastiness toward rivals and even people like Christine Blasey Ford spreads like a contagion among some in his party and goes ignored by most others.

Ethical crises, as Trump's businesses rake in money from foreign interests, as he hides his financial dependence on Russia and other nations and, apparently, his financial fraud; and lies his way through each and every day. Fiscal crises, as the soaring debt and plunging stock market attest. Daily crises of competence — a president who won't learn his job, a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations suddenly resigning, the dawning recognition that a Washington Post columnist likely was killed by Saudis at their consulate in Turkey, and we do not have an ambassador to either nation.

On top of that, we are having a national identity crisis at age 242. Isn’t America supposed to be a shining city on a hill, leading the world in trade, diplomacy, human rights, tolerance, freedom of speech and freedom of the press? 

We have plenty of crises. We don’t need another one created by Republicans ramping up to rhetorical Defcon 1, spreading surreal fictions, because they might lose an election.


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