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There is NO Knight in Shining Armor for the Democrats
Shel Horowitz, Marketing Consultant - Going Beyond Sustainability Shel Horowitz, Marketing Consultant - Going Beyond Sustainability
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Springfield, MA
Thursday, July 4, 2024


Yes, it’s true. Thursday’s “debate” was a debacle, an atrocity. And yes, Democrats have a right to indulge in some panic. But a more helpful response is to demand that the mainstream media start covering the real issue in this campaign: That American democracy is under threat by Donald Trump, who was the worst president in history according to experts and who has devolved into a raving lunatic who has openly talked about the totalitarian regime he would impose this time.

For months, much of the mainstream media has consistently painted Biden in a poor light while for the most part refusing to set the same standard in evaluating Trump. A particularly horrific example was the time one of the Washington Post’s newsletters made a chart that compared how old Biden would be at the END of a second term with how old Trump would be at the BEGINNING of a second term. They are only 3-1/2 years apart.

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Yet, while the New York Times and Washington Post were going on about the need for Biden to step aside, the Philadelphia Inquirer was one of the few voices in the mainstream press saying that Trump, not Biden, is the one who should leave the race. Their reasons are not just the 30+ lies he confidently uttered during the event (you can’t really call it a debate). It’s everything he’s done in the last several years. The man is a felon, a self-admitted sexual predator, an inciter of a treasonous riot, an open bigot, a thuggish bully, and a narcissistic example of Id running amok with no Superego to rein it in. Trump is known for confidently putting out total bullshit—kind of like some AI tools that tell us to eat a rock every day. Trump wanted us to drink chlorine bleach during the pandemic, after all.

While under both the insurrection and incompetence clauses of the Constitution Trump shouldn’t have even been allowed on the ballot, he’s there. And if he leaves, we may not like the results. If, say, Nikki Haley were to replace him as the Republican candidate, she could actually win on the basis that she wouldn’t be as bad as Trump. And she wouldn’t–but she might very likely be as bad as or worse than the second-worst president, George W. Bush.

Meanwhile, as Lawrence O’Donnell points out, the Dems have no viable candidate in reserve. When LBJ left the race much earlier in the cycle, in March, 1968, Humphrey didn’t have enough time to gather accolades or dollars. He also notes that there was pressure on Bill Clinton to withdraw in 1992 and on Trump to do so in 2016, yet both men won. AND he faults the debate moderators for failing to ask important questions like what the heck Trump was doing during those three hours of silence on January 6, 2021, or to probe deeper on Trump’s nonsensical answers and outright lies, including his obvious lack of understanding of what a tariff is.

Seth Abramson says that getting Biden to exit would grant Trump’s deepest wish and wonders why nobody’s asking if this is a good idea, considering how much Trump and his henchmen are talking it up—and he doesn’t see any path to a victory by any other Democrat.

The Dems would start by attacking each other in a “circular firing squad” that only helps the Republicans. Any convention result will leave a wide swath of disaffected voters.  It just doesn’t make sense.

Mind, I’m no fan of Biden. There’s a long list of betrayals of progressives that I’m not at all happy with. But I believe that this race is much less about who we want to be president than whether we want democracy or fascism, and what the Supreme Court will look like. It’s also about who progressives would rather be pressuring, and there’s no question that we’d secure more wins under Biden than Trump.

And Heather Cox Richardson says Trump steamrolled Biden with a technique called the “Gish Gallop”:

It’s a rhetorical technique in which someone throws out a fast string of lies, non-sequiturs, and specious arguments, so many that it is impossible to fact-check or rebut them in the amount of time it took to say them. Trying to figure out how to respond makes the opponent look confused, because they don’t know where to start grappling with the flood that has just hit them.

It is a form of gaslighting, and it is especially effective on someone with a stutter, as Biden has. It is similar to what Trump did to Biden during a debate in 2020. In that case, though, the lack of muting on the mics left Biden simply saying: “Will you shut up, man?” a comment that resonated with the audience. Giving Biden the enforced space to answer by killing the mic of the person not speaking tonight actually made the technique more effective.

So instead of trying to dump Biden, let’s demand that the media:

  1. Point out every lie either candidate utters

  2. Give some space to Trump’s crazy “word salad” campaign speeches that make absolutely no sense

  3. Examine the consequences of each of his fascist-inspired policy proposals

  4. Fact-check the next debate in REAL TIME.

And let’s remind everyone we know that this election is not about choosing a saint but choosing the better opponent who will enable the most positive change.

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