Nov 16, 201603:07 PMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
Democrats’ problem: Their message IS getting through
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Blaska’s Bring It! is now a sanctuary blogge. Here’s your free hug, my little cupcake. Now grow a spine!
The Blaska Policy Werkes and Tanning Salon is developing its own online, for-profit educational course for crestfallen Democrats. It’s called “How to talk to white, working-class men.”
Because that is the mantra being chanted by our liberal-progressive-and-downright-socialist acquaintances, now wandering in the electoral wilderness, searching for relevance.
We must learn how to translate our great and wonderful ideas to the working class, they say. The people Democratic state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout calls “typical Trump voters — white men with work boots and fuzzy beards in their early 30s to mid-40s.” (via UpFront with Mike Gousha.) Well, it’s a look.
If only those racist knuckle draggers … uh, I mean, those stalwart members of the oppressed working class, truly understood our plans for redistributing their hard-earned pay to those more deserving, say our acquaintances. We must do a better job of convincing them that our experts know best, they pledge.
“We need to learn to speak the language of the people that in years past have voted for us, but in years recent have not, for whatever reason,” offered Rep. Steve Doyle, D-Onalaska.
Those stupid voters keep voting against their better interests, say our acquaintances. Perhaps our language is too multisyllabic. More Anglo-Saxon. (More cowbell!) Maybe flash cards and finger puppets? Democrats are faced with segueing from Obamacare’s pajama boy (is that MSNBC’s Chris Hayes?) to Duck Dynasty.
The Policy Werkes’ online course might include videos of Jeff Foxworthy and that Cable Guy. (You might be a redneck if you vote Trump.) Our course instructors could wear mullets and cut-off T-shirts. Wallets chained to a belt loop. Wall map of Wisconsin has Madison scissored out.
Every class begins with the Pledge. (All stand!) Field trips to the tractor pull and demo derby. Like any institution of higher learning these days, we issue trigger warnings. Ours say, “Aim at the body mass.”
Democrats are desperate enough to fall for The Squire’s scam. (We take PayPal.) The political party of my youth is racking up more losses than McCarthy’s Packers. Starting in 2010 when Republicans swept into control of both houses of the legislature (even before redistricting), took the governorship, and replaced Russ Feingold with Ron Johnson. Wisconsin has now endured five elections (counting two recalls) since Jim Doyle sleepwalked through the Capitol six years ago. Plus an ill-tempered takeover of the Capitol when Democrats fled across the border. Except for a brief interregnum in 2011 when two Republican senators were recalled, Republicans (and conservatives on the state’s high court) have run the table.
The people were speaking. Was Peter Barca listening?
Can you hear us now?
“I think it’s very clear that the policies that Democrats are supporting are the ones that are going to make the lives of Wisconsinites better, but Democrats have to do a better job in articulating those policies,” says One Scot Ross, whose job it is to articulate those policies.
Would more volume help their message get through?
“Our message isn’t getting through.”
Huzzah! Our sophisticated jamming devices are working! Or maybe their message IS getting through. Could it be that the message is the problem? What a concept!
- Who fought concealed carry? Democrats.
- Who fought Voter I.D.? Democrats.
- Who fought Act 10? [Blaska cups hand to ear.]
- Who fought drug testing for welfare benefits? Who opposed lower property and income taxes? Who voted for the high-speed train to nowhere? Who demanded taxpayers pay for their Viagra? Who blames the police for murderous Milwaukee?
The high-tech sensors here at the Werkes are tracking liberal angst. Working through the five stages of grief, they’ve gone from damning the voters to bargaining.
As for actually re-examining the content of their message? Not so much. William A. Galston is an exception. The man is no Tea Partier. He worked domestic policy for Bill Clinton and Al Gore back in the day.
“It’s time for Democrats to start thinking,” Galston recommends. (Baby steps!)
Meaningful reform will not be possible unless Democrats re-examine their assumptions about governance. The administrative state is not omni-competent. Regulation is not the solution for every economic and social ill. Not only does the regulatory process fuel an army of lobbyists; it pours sludge into the entire governance system, slowing to a crawl the translation of publicly supported goals into real change on the ground and intensifying the public’s doubts about government’s capacity to act effectively.
Start thinking? We’d settle for a better job of listening.