Sunday, July 31, 2016

Democrats Look to Reclaim Patriotism

Good luck with that.

The Dems are, and will always be, the hate-America party of the hate-America left.

From Cathleen Decker, at LAT, "Here's how Democrats are trying to reclaim patriotism from Republicans — and how Trump helps":

A sea of waving flags, standing ovations for generals and admirals and praise for police officers and President Reagan made last week’s nominating convention here unlike any Democratic conclave in recent memory.

In tone and content, whole stretches resembled a typical Republican convention — for good reason. The convention represented an effort by Hillary Clinton and fellow Democrats to reclaim ground lost as far back as the 1960s by taking advantage of Donald Trump’s idiosyncratic candidacy.

Their pitch was less issue-oriented than cultural — an attempt by Democrats to portray themselves as a haven for voters shaken by terrorism at home and abroad.

The attempt to transcend traditional differences between Republicans and Democrats has been made easier by Trump, who has scorned longtime GOP imagery and policy stances. Democrats have accused him of harboring an authoritarianism that runs counter to American values.

“The country is trying to find a balance and equilibrium,” said Democratic pollster Peter Hart. Rather than dividing along the “hawk and dove” divisions of earlier decades, he said, Democrats are hoping to cast the election as “stability versus flailing around.”

“The show that they put on said, ‘This isn’t your old Democratic Party; this is a Democratic Party you can be comfortable in in 2016,’” he said.

The message was aimed at a wide range of voters who have leaned toward or voted wholly with Republicans in recent elections: married women, white women in particular, worried about national security; and both blue-collar and college-educated men.

Some of them turned away from Democrats as far back as the protesting days of the Vietnam era; others moved right in the 1980s either due to Reagan’s mix of sunny toughness or the Democratic party’s lean to the left; still more shifted to the GOP, at least for a time, after Sept. 11, 2001.

The Philadelphia emphasis on patriotic, sometimes martial, imagery came at a cost: Some convention speakers drew vocal objections from antiwar delegates on the party’s left.

Perhaps more important, Democrats spent relatively little time talking about the economy, which is likely to be a deciding issue in the fall. Clinton began emphasizing that issue this weekend on a bus tour of Pennsylvania and Ohio.

But the absence of a full-throated economic pitch from Clinton wasn’t as harmful as it might have been, because Republicans, too, spent little time at their convention talking dollars and cents.

The GOP convention in Cleveland, one week before the Democratic gathering, focused largely on the nominee himself. To the extent there were policy messages, some were at odds with Trump’s own positions. And nearly everything was overshadowed by harshly anti-Clinton rhetoric that focused more on the past, such as the extent of her responsibility for the attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012, than on the feasibility of her plans for the economy.

The turf being played on by Democrats melds patriotism and appreciation for those in public service with regalia that wraps all of it together for television viewers...