BY FROMA HARROP
President Trump’s path to reelection goes through the Democratic Party. Goal No. 1 is to get Democrats to eliminate his greatest threat: Joe Biden.
It’s not the Iowa and New Hampshire polls that freak out Trump. These contests are dominated by the white liberal gentry, not Biden’s huge base of moderates and African Americans. The general election polls are what keep him up at night. They show the former vice president beating Trump like a drum.
The most recent national Fox News poll puts Biden ahead of Trump by 14 points. The ABC News/Washington Post poll gives him a 15-point lead. More ominously for Trump, polls in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania – the industrial swing states that delivered him an Electoral College victory in 2016 – show Biden consistently in front. [A new Fox poll has Biden leading in Wisconsin by nine points.]
None of the other Democratic candidates currently poll with those kinds of margins among these kinds of voters.
Thus, Trump has infiltrated Democratic politics so he can pick his opponent. His campaign is spending over $1 million on TV ads in the four early voting states – Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. The spots will undoubtedly spread poisonous lies about Biden and his son.
Whether Democratic voters believe them or not does not entirely matter. These ads are designed to sow fears that Biden is carrying too much baggage to win a national election. As one Biden volunteer calling voters in Las Vegas told The Washington Post, “I know it’s getting in the way.”
What should Democrats do? They should organize a giant rally to defend Biden. The candidates running against him should join in. That would get everyone’s attention.
Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders have admirably held back from exploiting Trump’s attempts to weaken Biden. A united front against Trumpian gaslighting would frustrate efforts to divide the party. And the others could expect similar solidarity if Trump were to unleash a barrage of lies against one of them.
The Democratic National Committee’s response has been hopeless. It waited days to tweet about Trump’s arm-twisting of foreign leaders to support conspiracy theories against Biden. Former DNC Chair Don Fowler said the national party should have immediately shot out a statement saying Biden “has done nothing improper, illegal or unethical and that his record … is essentially spotless and that Donald Trump is just a lying no-good son of a b—-.”
The head of the International Association of Firefighters, Harold Schaitberger, an ardent Biden supporter, expressed his frustration: “All I know is our side better learn to fight better.”
The DNC is reportedly scared of reviving charges from 2016 that it favored Hillary Clinton over Sanders. Well, get over it. Coming to Biden’s defense would be promoting the former vice president’s innocence, not his campaign.
Democrats also have a far smaller presence on Twitter and Facebook than does the Republican National Committee, according to Politico. Can’t the DNC find some millennials to liven up its social media feeds to fight nasty with mockery? Meanwhile Republicans are buying $1 million in Facebook ads to back Trump’s phony charges of corruption by Biden in Ukraine.
The Democratic House will probably impeach Trump for asking foreign countries to interfere in a U.S. election, but Senate Republicans are unlikely to remove him from office. So, at the end the day, Trump will probably still be standing, and – if things go according to plan – he’ll be rid of Biden. For Trump, impeachment may be a price worth paying if his foul behavior advances his prospects for re-election.
Democrats, Trump has invaded your party. He is in your heads, and you need to evict him.