17 July 2020

Video (channel) of the day -- a change of heart, if not of mind

Most of us are familiar with The Lincoln Project, the anti-Trump Republican PAC whose go-for-the-throat ads against Trump and his enablers exemplify the kind of ruthless attack tactics we Democrats should be using.  Another approach is favored by Republican Voters against Trump (RVAT), whose videos tell the stories of individual voters, decidedly more personal than professional.  They've now posted over 200 of these, most only a couple of minutes long.

These people definitely do come across as Republicans, expressing generally right-wing views, often being infuriated at things like Trump's disrespect for the military after having apparently accepted his many other outrages with little qualm.  (There's a disproportionate number of older white guys from rural areas, but that does reflect the party's base.)  Some on our side may tend to scorn them for their earlier voting habits and dismiss their opposition to Trump as too little, too late.  There may well be some justice in this reaction, but still it should be avoided, for two reasons.

First:  They have, at least, managed a change of heart to some degree, which is never easy.  Liberals are often frustrated at how immovable the hard-core Trumpanzees' support for their man seems to be, but it doesn't surprise me at all.  Admitting that you were wrong and your opponents were right is always highly unpleasant.  All the more so when you’ve invested a lot of emotional energy in demonizing those opponents as not merely wrong, but evil.  The more extreme a position you’ve staked out, the more humiliating is the retreat implicit in abandoning it.  For Trumpanzees caught up in the current frenzy of madness, the prospect of letting the fever finally break -- of falling back into cold, mundane reality -- of needing to recognize that the ones they despised, the liberals, the educated, the experts, were right all along -- is unthinkable.  The people in these videos are not the hard-core ones.  If they were wrong before, they've at least shown a capacity to recognize reality and be swayed by it.

Second:  A vote is a vote.  These people probably represent only a small proportion of Republicans, but in almost every election, several states are decided by very thin margins, and a few percentage points could change the outcome this time.  My overriding concern is to get Trump and his enablers and toadies out of power.  So long as someone votes for Biden and for Democratic candidates for the House, the Senate, and state-level offices, in practical terms it doesn't matter why they do it, only that they do it.  And while the size of the popular-vote margin will not affect the legal outcome, its psychological importance will be enormous.  Trump and Trumpism must be repudiated by the largest possible proportion of Americans, both for the sake of our standing as a people in the eyes of other democracies, and to discourage shenanigans by sore losers.

Here's an example I liked.  He uses some rather rough language, but can you blame him?  And we can count on his vote in November -- which is more than one can say for some of the ideological-purist fringe types on our own side.


Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

I like what they've done. It allows for hard punches to be delivered to Cheeto's ego and it leaves room for the Dems to attach him in other fronts (there's many!). But at the end of the day, they're repugs. Don't trust them too much.
All in all, the enemy of my enemy is my friend and all that...
Fantastic ads, though. Meidas Touch (https://bit.ly/32vHCqC )is also fantastically mean to IMPOTUS.

17 July, 2020 07:21  
Blogger W. Hackwhacker said...

I second (and third, etc.) your point of view. We don't have the luxury to dwell on "what if these never Trumpers go back to being assholes later?" A current ally doesn't mean they have to be future allies or friends. When the election is over, if Biden can rack up the biggest numbers possible, the votes of these never Trumpers and people swayed by them will be indistinguishable in the same pile of votes as ours. Now more than ever, as you say, a vote is a vote.

17 July, 2020 07:48  
Blogger Mike said...

"A vote is a vote." So true and very important in November. Keep your fingers crossed.

I love the guy in the video.

17 July, 2020 12:00  
Blogger Mildred Ratched said...

Finally, a Republican that speaks my language! Fuck you, Donald Trump and yes, stay off Twitter and do your fucking job! People are dying and the country is suffering. We're a joke around the world and all you care about is yourself. What a sad, sad thing! To hell with impreachment. You and your whole administration should be tried for treason.

17 July, 2020 15:48  
Blogger KanaW said...

Yeah, I'll take any vote we can get this November. It doesn't matter to me what they do later, at least we'll be rid of Trump.

The thing that bothers me, though, is that those same people who want Trump out of the White House are still going to be voting Republican down-ballot, which means that when Biden wins, he'll be in the same boat that Obama was - no backing from Congress, so he can't get a damn thing done. Then they can blame Biden four years from now and vote another Republican into the Presidency. Wash, rinse, repeat, until we can get the Republicans out of Congress, too.

18 July, 2020 00:55  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Sixpence: Oh, I certainly don't trust them. I regard this as infighting among the opposition -- which is very useful. If some of them completely abandon conservatism, that will be the real change. But that will be harder.

Hackwhacker: If we get the presidency and Senate and keep the House, we can pass federal legislation to squelch all their state-level gerrymandering and vote suppression, and have genuinely fair elections. Then it will matter much less if the NeverTrumper Republicans go back to being plain old Republicans.

Mike: He speaks his mind plainly, that's for sure.

Mildred: It's incredible what Trump gets away with. If I spent half of every work day at my own job going on Twitter and bitching about how everybody's being mean and unfair to me, I'd get fired.

KanaW: I've been wondering how much ticket-splitting there will be. Our side -- and the Lincoln Project -- has been working to tie Republican senators to Trump, for being his enablers and voting to acquit when he was impeached. The polling for a lot of Senate races is looking good, but we'll see.

18 July, 2020 08:44  
Anonymous Marc McKenzie said...

@infidel: I agree about not trusting them 100%, but for now...well, that whole thing of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" stands true.

And as you put it so well: "And we can count on his vote in November -- which is more than one can say for some of the ideological-purist fringe types on our own side."

I see the LP folks saying out loud that they will vote for Biden and are more about getting rid of the GOP; they make no bones about it. Sadly, I see the purists on our side still moaning about how Biden has to appeal to them, how Bernie was robbed, how they are going third party, or worse yet, claiming that another four years of Trump won't be that bad or will finally lead to the "revolution".

So yeah, I'll prefer to stick with the LP folks for now, thanks. At least they are seeing the threat to the country, even if some of them may have contributed to it.

18 July, 2020 09:52  
Anonymous Stony Pillow said...

Tengrain said it best:

We keep saying it: there is no Trumpism (that’s the lifeboat), there is only the Republican Party. When the media starts to frame this as Trumpism (like they did the Tea Party), we have to push back. Republicans=Trump.

Remember this ad; bookmark it if you have to. This is how you push back on that claim.

The Lincoln Project and the others are performance art meant to salvage their brand. There will be no redemption for them in our lifetime. They deserve only ruin.


18 July, 2020 12:00  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Lot of folks are pissed off about this administration too. This is more than a left/ right issue. I side more with progressives than mainstream democrats, voted for Sanders and Warren. But it should be clear to most Americans, that voting for whoever the democrat nomineee, etc, is the only way to at least get rid of Trump and his crew. The republicans have also just gone too far out. I don't even know or give a shit who the VP pick is for Biden, or have been following it, because I'm sick of listening to much political stuff. But I am for sure going to vote straight democrat, I don't even give a shit what their platform is, or even if they have one. Trump is almost unbelievable. I'm a bit concerned with folks getting evictions and republicans trying anything they can to make them change address, double proof ID or whatever, to try to suppress votes.

18 July, 2020 14:11  
Blogger Annie Asks You said...

As much as I love the cleverness of The Lincoln Project ads, I suspect these cameos may be more persuasive to people who have even a tiny window of doubt. They speak their language. But bravo to anyone anywhere who’s speaking out against trump—for any reason. Now we just have to figure out a way to prevent trump’s USPS guy from shoveling mail-in ballots into the incinerator. I hate more than anything the fact that I now think of conspiracies—knowing they’ve probably thought of them first!

18 July, 2020 14:48  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Marc: yes, we need to think more in terms of what people will do than who they are. Will they vote for the Democrats or not, that's what matters.

Stony: I think of the Republicans as the Party of Trump, and so they will remain after Trump is gone. But for this election, what matters is getting the Republican party out of power. The only thing that matters is, will these never-Trump Republicans vote to do that. If they go back to voting Republican later, well, see my response to Hackwhacker above. Once we have genuinely fair elections, we should be able to keep winning without needing Republicans -- or the ideological purists on the left either.

Ranch: Let's hope there are plenty more in Texas thinking like you.

Annie: They may well indeed be more persuasive to people similar to those who appear in them. I'm glad both approaches are being used.

20 July, 2020 06:55  
Blogger Matthew Saroff said...

The primary goal of those in the Lincoln Project is not the defeat of Trump, though it is a secondary goal.

The primary goal of those in the Lincoln Project is to make the Democratic Party more like their memories of the old Republican Party.

Cheney that.

22 July, 2020 07:40  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Matthew: Well, I've seen no sign that they're particularly interested in changing the Democratic party, but I suppose everyone wishes that others' ideology were more like their own.

23 July, 2020 01:31  

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