How Do You Beat Trump?

A friend just sent me a link to an old article floating around about Kamala Harris and said that he thought that Trump would use it to torpedo her in a 2020 election. I told him that I couldn’t imagine that a little affair and a patronage job would make a dent in the public that has been hardened by recent stories of strippers, a stripper bomber, and a teenage gang rapist. An affair is small potatoes indeed.

Trump is certainly going to go back to his playbook in 2020 and will come up with effective nicknames for each of his opponents. Little Hands Marco. Crooked Hillary. Low Energy Jeb. Those negative brands were extremely successful. He’ll come up with something for each one of his opponents – Booker, Harris, Biden. Warren is already Pocohontas.  Those nicknames don’t need to based on fact or even be all that important. Even if Marco Rubio does indeed have little hands, why the hell should that matter in a politician?

How do you fight someone like Trump, who plays dirty and mean?

Michelle Obama’s “when they go low, we go high” is one way to go. That’s my method. And that’s why I sometimes get uncomfortable when rhetoric gets too uncivil on my end. I cringe when I see an 8-year kid with a “Fuck the Patriarchy” sign. But maybe I’m too old.

Also, going after Trump on his middle school taunts has serious drawbacks. Elizabeth Warren looked like an ass, when she tried to rid herself of her nickname.

Does the “going high” method work anymore? When you’re fighting a low life, maybe it’s better to meet him on his turf.

Okay, I’ve nominated you all campaign managers for a Democratic candidate in 2020. What do you advise?

10 thoughts on “How Do You Beat Trump?

  1. Run somebody other than Clinton or Warren. Big state governors are generally the best bet, the Dems are short on big state governors who arent too old or otherwise problematic (Cuomo) but Colorado is bigger than it useta be and Hickenlooper is available.


  2. Find somebody with the right kind of charisma, like Obama had, and the nicknames won’t stick. I don’t know who that is, but I hope we find them soon.


  3. I’m not an Eliot Cohen fan, if such a thing exists, but his piece today comparing Douthat and Saruman is good. Nobody is going to beat it for Never Trump-nerdery.


  4. TBH, it was a kind of a big deal in northern CA politics when she first started running. It was right after Willie stepped down as mayor and lots of folks whispered about it. Not sure how germane it is now though.


  5. I can’t believe I spent a whole three days in Lincoln without it occurring to me how easy it would be to make a “Fartenberry” sign.

    Good to see the old department still kicking.


      1. Obviously, I went to Facebook and liked the Fartenberry thing. I must have at least a couple dozen voters from his district in my friends.


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