The Lincoln Project – Why Can’t Democrats Be Like Republicans?

by on July 29, 2020 · 1 comment

in Election, Ocean Beach

By Colleen O’Connor

It didn’t start with Rex Harrison singing, “Why Can’t A Woman Be More Like a Man?” in My Fair Lady.

It didn’t even start with the classic PoliSci 101 debate between Hobbes and Locke. “Is man basically good or evil?” If “good,” government provides support.  If “evil,” rulers deliver punishment.

Oddly, both of these examples of choice, have come together this election cycle.

How?  Not just with the COVID-19 macho-mask debate, the President’s abusive tweets and appalling treatment of women, or his hyper masculine reliance on military solutions to all who dare challenge him.

Indeed, Trump’s use of federal troops in American cities may not just be an update of Nixon’s “law and order” slogan, but Trump’s “dress rehearsal” for a declaration of martial law.

Hobbesian Trump. Fear and forceful punishment crushing dissent.

Lockean Pelosi.  “I pray for the President… and for the country.”

Yes, but how does the Hobbes v. Locke debate connect with Rex Harrison and My Fair Lady?

Just update the lyrics.

Try the lyrics from “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?”  Women are described as “irrational,” “with heads full of cotton, hay and rags.” Frightening to behold. Weak.  Perhaps not well.  Sickly.

In brutal ads, The Lincoln Project has just flipped the script on Trump, portraying him as weak and ill.

According to Politico, “recent news footage makes him look weak and despondent—as when he descended from a helicopter after his Tulsa rally, a MAGA hat drooping from his hand like a dead trout.”

Empty seats.  Deflated president.

Still another ad, “#Trumpisnotwell,” mashes recent video of Trump gingerly walking down a West Point ramp with 2018 footage of him climbing onto Air Force One, with toilet paper apparently stuck to his shoe.”

“In a line straight out of the Trump playbook, the ad suggests that the media is hiding information about his health. “The most powerful office in the world needs more than a weak, unfit, shaky president,” the narrator intones.

The Never-Trumpers’ jabs are aimed at that “audience of one,” the President, himself, who provides the daily raw materials free.

For example, “the image of Trump holding up a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, intended as a metaphor of strength, now plays as shorthand for tone-deaf insincerity.”

Project co-founder Reed Galen described the strategy as “(speaking) to Republican voters with Republican language and Republican iconography”.

According to Joanna Weiss of Northeastern University, the Lincoln Project’s ads “pack an emotional punch, using imagery designed to provoke anxiety, anger and fear—aimed at the very voters who were driven to (Trump) by those same feelings in 2016.”

Very Hobbes.

Even Democratic strategist, James Carville, is impressed. “Let me tell you, they’re mean. They fight hard. And we (Democrats) don’t fight like that.”

Furthermore, the Lincoln Project team is experienced talented, swift of foot and brilliant in execution.

They don’t wait for polls or focus groups or the onslaught of TV ads to drown them come October.  They film, shoot, produce and air faster than Trump can tweet.  And they time it for maximum replay on social and other media platforms.

Now ask yourself, Why Can’t Democrats be more like these never-Trump Republicans?

Think about it. The Lincoln Project has branded Trump with his own image and likeness; his own words and incoherence; his own victimhood; his overreliance on stagecraft (using America’s grandest symbols) to provide him with the illusion of strength and legitimacy; and his own unflattering moments.

Back to the real question, “Why can’t the Democrats be more like the Republicans? You know, those Republicans who produced “Dukakis in a Tank,” or Gary Hart on his “Monkey Business” boat.  Or Biden slurring his speech?

No need this year. The Lincoln Project has “successfully established itself as a squatter in Trump’s mental space.” They are more Trumpian than Trump.  COVID-19, #MeToo, BLM, and a double dip recession only add to his political hurricane season.

Accordingly, Trump tweets the Lincoln Project’s founders are “losers” and “Republicans in name only.”

As always, he indicts himself.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Avatar thequeenisalizard July 30, 2020 at 9:02 am

Quick answer – They are…

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