Monday, November 07, 2022

Reality Denialism

CNN's Alisyn Camerota asks Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg

In terms of messaging, I think President Biden by our county mentioned the inflation and economy once last night but mentioned democracy and democracy being in peril and possibly using it many, many times. So just in terms of messaging, should he be saying more of what you just said?

No. Democrats lack a theme, a unifying message. That can't be "I feel your pain about inflation but it's lower here than in most other countries" because voters don't care what inflation is elsewhere  Simlarly, "gas prices are high, yet are coming down" would sound to a voter as if the President were downplaying the pain those prices are causing.. If Democrats cared to, they could have responded to the anxiety and cynicism of voters by blaming high gas prices on greedy oil companies. They chose not to do so, which should tell us a lot about the influence of money in politics. 

Buttigieg himself could have told Camerota that none of those problems would be solved if democracy is replaced by dictatorship. However, Democrats are loathe to be the least bid impolite to reporters and broadcasters. Instead, the transportation secretary, proving he got the memo, stated

Well, again, we're doing both. The President decided to give a speech about democracy, which is a very important topic and most of the time when you see him speak, he'll be talking a lot about the economy because that's an important topic. I mean, the idea that you have to pick one when we're in a period when the American people strongly believe in the things that we're doing . I don't think it makes any sense to say we have to do one at the exclusion of the others. 

We are passionate about an economic policy that is focused on cutting costs for everyday families. We're also passionate about democracy, which shouldn't be a partisan issue. It shouldn't require being a Democrat or a Republican to say if you're running in an election, that you oughta be prepared to abide by the results of an election.

I don't know what a non-everyday family would be- perhaps a someday, or weekday, family; off-point, though.  Buttigieg argues that being "passionate about democracy... shouldn't be a partisan issue" and "if you're running in an election that you oughta be prepared to abide by the results of an election." 

They've told you, Pete. It is a partisan issue. Donald Trump is planning to challenge the 2022 results in Philadelphia- and probably in other heavily Democratic cities.  They won't accept the results in 2024 if a Democrat wins the presidential election, just as they still don't accept the 2020 results. CBS News has reported

The majority of GOP candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives are categorized as election deniers, as are the majority of Republicans running for U.S. Senate and for governor in states across America. Nearly half of those running to be secretaries of state — officials who would help administer future elections — are also considered election deniers.

Buttigieg told Camerota also

Just like there should be nothing partisan about universal, swift condemnation and nothing else when it comes to an assassination attempt on a member of the family of a political figure in this country no matter what party they come from.

There shouldn't be, but there is, and public officials and campaign surrogates should live in the real world.  Kari Lake, a Trump favorite very likely soon to be a governor-elect of Arizona, recently quipped in fashionably bad taste "It is not impossible to protect our kids at school. They act like it's Nancy Pelosi. Well, she's got protection when she's in DC. Apparently, her house doesn't have a lot of protection."

Buttigieg did not utter the name "Kari Lake" because, presumably, it would be rude. Nor did he note even that it is Republicans who won't acknowledge an election defeat or Republicans who are reluctant to denounce an attempted assassination. 

This is not solely the failing of one man- it is how Democrats roll. And you can barely blame Buttigieg who, understandably, would like to be President one day.  Joe Biden, until as President he found out (after decades in politics) that the loyal opposition- and not only Donald Trump- is cutthroat, was the most polite Democratic candidate for President, and was nominated. Barack Obama, he of the "one America" fantasy, was nominated and elected, and still is cheered and revered by Democrats and the media. In one speech in Wisconsin, he remarked "remember that that was the craziest thing he was saying?” Now, it doesn’t even make the Top 10 list of crazy" without invoking the name "Trump."

Of course, he didn't. It would have been rude, incongruent with his brand and that of his Party. Pete Buttigieg has learned from the personal success of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. If his message hinders development of a clear and effective Democratic message, so be it. The house may be on fire, but we wouldn't want to alarm anyone.


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