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Nov 16, 201603:07 PMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Democrats’ problem: Their message IS getting through

(page 1 of 2)

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.


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Comments, page 1 of 3 1 2 3 Next »
Nov 16, 2016 06:39 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Shorter Dave part III: "Our stated policies, ideas and ideals result in Donald Trump. Fix your party."

Nov 16, 2016 09:58 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

What you see here, fellow Blaska fans, is the blogger at his worst. Gloating, ridiculing, snorting AND pontificating.

If Trump takes office (not sure he will yet), the next four years will be full of the GOP overplaying its hand. The worst part about single party rule is that there's nobody there to temper the extremism. By summer, 2018, America will have had more than enough. Expect a LOT of Dems to win.

And the best part is, Blaska will still be laughing about what will soon be the least relevant demographic in politics: old, white and still angry. These folks will not be helped by President Trump. They will not get their jobs back, their taxes will not be cut, they will have worse health care access and the international standing of the country they claim to love (not much fans of Americans who don't look like they do) will be in the golden toilet.

Obama is a great man and a great president. He will look SO much better on Memorial Day, 2018. By then, we'll have been exhausted by the hateful rhetoric accompanies by zero results.

Nov 16, 2016 09:59 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Repubs value content of your character, someone MLK said, Dems do not hold this value.

Nov 16, 2016 10:03 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Nothing about Bannon, everything about the distractions.

In your giddiness, you've stopped paying attention. That's bad for the Republic. Keep your eye on the ball, old timer.

Nov 16, 2016 10:24 pm
 Posted by  AnonyBob

Dave, no sense showing the Duck Dynasty guys as symbolic of Trump supporters and who he'll look out for. You need to show his fellow diners at the 21 Club; that's whose taxes he'll lower. (Although, the duck-heads are wealthy, too. They'll do alright under him.) All the rural working class? Ryan will screw them out of the entitlements - and yes, Obamacare - they depend on. Their lives will not improve. They voted for change, but eventually they'll see they were conned by a blustering, supposed billionaire. Meanwhile his family will enrich themselves like a 3rd world dictator.
Hey, while we're at it, could you explain why Steve Bannon having Trump's ear and an office in the White House is a good thing? Now, I certainly don't believe all Trump supporters are racist, anti-Semitic misogynists. But I do believe all racist, anti-Semitic misogynists are Trump supporters. Let's drop the alt-right misnomer and call 'em - Bannon's fans - what they are: nationalist white supremacists. How is any of this good?

Nov 17, 2016 08:21 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Marg Krome has more sense, compassion and intelligence in her toe nail clippings that blaska. He is just insanely jealous.

Make fun of folks you don't agree with all you want Dave, it doesn't make you any smarter, nor does it make you look like a serious voice on the political stage.

Nov 17, 2016 08:22 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Delusion, thy name is Blaska. Hillary won the popular vote by more than 1 million votes and counting. As of now she has the third highest number of votes of any presidential candidate in U.S. history. Tell us again how the Democrats' message isn't resonating with voters. Please. Because without gerrymandering, without the Electoral College — which the rest of the world laughs at — she'd be our president-elect. It's really funny that Blaska and his party that claim to stand up for individual rights aren't so eager for the people's voices to be heard on this one. Almost as funny as how Blaska decried Trump the nominee right up until he got elected, and now it's all boot-licking and "cautious optimism," just like we knew it'd be.

Nov 17, 2016 09:21 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

PeaNuts, thanks for answering that age-old question, "Why do the heathens rage." And the winner is ... NOV 17 08:22 AM! "Without gerrymandering!" Yes, those old racist Founders, Hamilton, Madison, Washington, Franklin, Adams, they gerrymandered the states, creating "states" like Rhode Island and Delaware. Lichtenstein and Luxembourg are laughing at us!

Nov 17, 2016 09:53 am
 Posted by  AnonyBob

You didn't respond to most of the comments - guess you couldn't. Thank goodness someone gave you a gerrymandering lifeline to ridicule (your SOP). I guess if it were my blogge I'd ignore the tough ones, too.
But still, what about Bannon? Neo Nazi, but without the Hitler stuff. I know you haven't been a fan of Breitbart's site after his death, but that's all Bannon, he of the West Wing Corner Office. He's a major part of Trump you also now own. Explanation? Splat, are you a fanboy, too?

Nov 17, 2016 10:04 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

No Dave, western Europe is laughing at us. NATO is laughing at us (and wondering is trump and putin will gang up against them).

Regarding your "creating "states" like Rhode Island and Delaware" statement, just more proof that history once again evades you. Or maybe you just avoid it when convenient.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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