Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Democrats Looking to 'Annihilate' the 'Movement' Behind the Rise of Donald Trump

Well, I'll post it later, but Sarah Kendzior has a great piece up today at Foreign Policy arguing that even if Trump loses, the changes we're seeing in American politics aren't going away. (She's worried about "far-right" militias, populist "white supremacy," and a broken media that fails to stop the other two.)

More on that later.

Meanwhile, get a load of this.

The Democrats are looking to crush the Trump movement before it breaks out of its cage. They're hoping to run up the electoral margin in November, effecting such a large landslide as to "annihilate" the enemy.

Boy, as if the stakes weren't already high enough.

Here's Amy Chozick, at the New York Times, "Democrats, Looking Past Mere Victory, Hope to End the Trump Movement":
Democrats had hoped the party’s convention last week in Philadelphia would win over skeptical voters and ease concerns about Hillary Clinton’s trustworthiness, giving her a slight advantage in an unpredictable election year.

But after Donald J. Trump criticized the parents of a slain Muslim-American soldier, that cautious optimism morphed into a widespread belief that the race had fundamentally shifted in Mrs. Clinton’s favor.

“It’s a more permanent turning point,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

Allies remain skittish and say that by many measures Mrs. Clinton is a weak candidate with a muddled message who faces an electorate in which a majority of voters do not trust or like her.

But Mr. Trump’s inability to seize on his own party’s convention and emerge a more disciplined candidate has eased early concerns that he could appeal to a broader electorate in the fall.

“People are waking up to how unsound Donald Trump is,” said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut. He specifically pointed to Mr. Trump’s criticism of Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of a Muslim-American soldier killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq.

“He couldn’t have done a better job of reminding people who were on the fence why they can’t vote for him,” Mr. Malloy said.

Democrats, prompted by Mr. Trump’s latest antics and the string of Republicans who have spoken out against him, have, perhaps prematurely, started discussing a loftier goal than just winning in November: a wide margin of victory, driven by a record turnout among black, Latino and young voters, that could help squash Mr. Trump’s movement.

David Plouffe, President Obama’s former campaign manager, proposed the idea in June. “It is not enough to simply beat Trump,” he wrote on Twitter. “He must be destroyed thoroughly. His kind must not rise again.”

The proposition seemed far-fetched at the time, given the realities of the electoral map and Mrs. Clinton’s weaknesses. But in recent days Democrats and advisers have, delicately, embraced the idea.

“The first order of business is winning,” said Geoff Garin, a strategist for Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 campaign who now advises Priorities USA Action, a pro-Clinton “super PAC.” “But the larger stakes of the election are putting the country on a path where Trump’s views of the world are far in our rearview mirror.”

Senator Barbara Boxer of California said that a Democratic win in November was far from guaranteed, but that she hoped for “a complete revulsion of the Trump wing” that would lead to a “realignment” of the Republican Party.

Mr. Obama, who is famously competitive, has also prioritized making sure the voters who backed him in 2008 and 2012 turn out in equal numbers for Mrs. Clinton. “He wants them to not just vote for him but to vote for the issues he cares about,” said Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to Mr. Obama.

Mr. Plouffe, elaborating on his earlier Twitter post, said in an email, “This could still be a relatively close race, but it’s more likely to be a blowout than a Trump win.”
Well, as I always say, we'll see.

To be honest, though, I wouldn't count Donald Trump out just yet, to say nothing of the movement that's behind him. It's a little premature to suggest a political realignment away from the Republican Party. The anger and frustration in the electorate remains extremely raw, and voter volatility usually follows from that. As I noted yesterday in looking at some of the battleground polls, it's still a very close race. I expect Trump to get past this latest brouhaha just like he's gotten past the earlier ones. The challenge, as always, will be to get his message out to the people, over the heads of the media hacks who aren't even trying to hide their disdain for Trump and his supporters.

That said, I don't think the Dems are going to need to crush the opposition in November. The demographic changes sweeping the country, specifically the continued high rates of immigration and the rise of crypto-Marxist Millennial voters, will be enough to position a far-left Democrat Party as the country's majority party for a generation. That's the frightening possibility, and the rank-and-file folks behind Trump's rise are well aware of it.

Still more at the link.