Hypothetical Question

Let’s assume–just for the sake of this exercise–that Trump wins again on Nov. 3.

What have the Democrats done that we might look back on with the benefit of hindsight and identify as mistakes?

Of course, I am especially interested in hearing from Paul Murphy.

31 thoughts on “Hypothetical Question

  1. I will give it a try.

    The Democrats moved to the center by nominating Biden. They did that not out of any great love of Biden but because they decided that was the way to win – don’t make too many waves. The cost of that decision was the danger of greatly diminished interest and enthusiasm of very large parts of the Democratic coalition. People who would have greatly preferred Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren or Cory Booker, for example. That, I think, is what happened to Clinton in 2016 – not much enthusiasm behind her.

    If, following your hypothetical in which Trump wins, that strategy of not making waves will have been shown to be a huge mistake. And with hindsight we will say we should have gone for Sanders-Warren. Or Warren-Booker.

    Fortunately, Trump’s ugly personality, divisive rhetoric, and massive failures as a candidate and as a President have provided all the motivation and commitment that might have otherwise gone missing. So, IMHO, Biden and Democrats down the ballot are going to win – Bigly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for a thoughtful reply.

      I’ve gone from thinking Biden would win in a landslide (back in April and May) to thinking Trump may surprise us again. If he does, it will be impossible to deny the similarities between 2016 and 2020.

      I just don’t see many states going from red to blue.


      1. My thinking has gone the other way. I thought Biden would win back then but now I am far more confident. I believe in the polls. Many people thought the polls were wrong in 2016. Actually, nationwide they were pretty accurate. At this point in the polls Clinton was ahead by 3%. She won the popular vote by 2%. The pollsters obviously did not pay enough attention to the Electoral College. Right now, Trump is behind in the national polls by almost 11% and behind by 5% to 8% in the swing states he won closely in 2016. And we have several new “swing states” that Trump won comfortably in 2016. Time is running out for him and I see NOTHING he is doing that will persuade undecided voters or take voters away from Biden.

        Why have things turned against Trump so strongly? Here are a few thoughts.

        1. Trump had the largest audience of his Presidency at the debate. He blew it completely. Not because I say so but because the polling shows that he did. He was rude, stupid and out-of-control. Not a good look. He had to win over some people. He seemed to not even try.
        2. Trump and so many around him getting sick makes it far more difficult for him to brush aside the biggest failure of his Presidency – the way we have been clobbered by the virus compared to other countries. That plus the fact the virus is coming back in the fall – as predicted – keep it front and center.

        3. His insane and self-centered behavior following his hospitalization. That tough guy act defiantly removing his mask and posing like Mussolini on the balcony was like something out of WWE. Those who liked it were already in his camp. Others thought he was acting like a jerk and endangering the ordinary people who serve him. Not a good look. His maskless rallies are not helping him either. Also, not a good look.


        Liked by 2 people

    2. P.S. I think the Democrats are making plenty of waves. Just look at the Barrett hearing, the celebration of Trump’s COVID diagnosis, Pelosi’s attempt to take him out with the 25th Amendment etc., etc. They can’t help embarrassing themselves. They don’t see that it emboldens the opposition more than it does their base.


      1. Well, I don’t quite see what you are seeing.

        IMHO, the Democrats are raising important issues in the Barrett hearing. First and foremost she is clearly on record attacking the original ACA ruling by SCOTUS. The President is trying to kill ACA in Court – the hearing is the week AFTER the election – and if successful will do lasting harm to many, many millions of people. The Democrats are right to make it clear to the voters that this is happening. Second, the judge’s very clear record on Roe v Wade. She calls it “barbaric.” Again, it behooves the Democrats to let women know that something they take for granted – their right to choose – is under attack by the President.

        I have not seen any “celebration of Trump’s diagnosis.” At least not by Joe Biden or ANY leading Democrats. I will personally admit to a feeling of vindication because his science-denying behavior invited the illness to strike. Evidence that science is right is always welcome.

        Finally, Pelosi made it very, very clear that her proposal for changes in the 25th amendment process would not affect Trump. Hell, he would have to sign the legislation if he were still President. No, it is a reform for the future. And is something to, at least, consider. The people dependent on the President with something to lose if he is removed (his Cabinet) are maybe not the best people to initiate that removal process.

        Finally, it is clear that Trump’s base is highly motivated already. It is one of the GOP’s disadvantages. They are always hovering around their level of maximum support. Democrats can try to persuade AND they can work on turnout.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Waves?

        Are you in the same nation we are?

        Barrett hearing has been quite civil and no attacks that I could notice.

        Who celebrated Trump’s illness? I mean significant folks, not some celebrity or sports king or a long lost uncle.

        Pelosi’s bill was not about Trump. It would have to be passed and signed by the president.

        I think it is the right that is embarrassing itself. But more importantly and very distressing is the ramp up of right wing gang violence in preparation for election day. #LIBERATE and “standby…” are a call to arms for violence and insurrection by our own, sitting president.

        I don’t think we have ever had a president who wants his followers to attack, kidnap, shoot or beat fellow Americans.


        Liked by 2 people

  2. RE: “What have the Democrats done that we might look back on with the benefit of hindsight and identify as mistakes?”

    Interesting hypothetical. The difficulty lies in the assumption that a Trump win implies Democratic Party mistakes. Assumptions aside, Trump could win on the merits, as far as voters are concerned, meaning without any mistakes by Democrats.

    But if I had to name Democratic mistakes predictively, I’d say adding Kamala Harris to the Biden ticket is a big one. I imagine a lot of voters don’t like her much, or don’t like the prospect of her taking over as president should Biden falter while in office.


    1. You may be right about the selection of Harris and should Trump win the election then every decision – including the decision to put her on the ticket – will be subject to a lot of second guessing. That is what happens when you lose.

      I think that Kamala Harris is more popular than you might imagine. According to recent polls her favorables outweigh her unfavorables by a substantial margin – 47 to 42 overall. Interesting is that the Fox News poll is more favorable than average for her 54-40.

      I think Harris helped herself in the debate with Pence. She held her inner prosecutor in check but still came across as strong, knowledgeable and decisive. You don’t rise from nothing to become a United States Senator of our largest and most dynamic state if you do not have quite a lot on the ball. Many in that state have tried to block her rise. She steam-rolled all of them.


      Liked by 1 person

  3. The big mistake made by the Democrat Party was to reveal what they really are. Proud Socialists and Communists intent on taking over the country.


    1. Big stretch from the ideas of Social Democracy, as practiced in Europe, to the fear mongering statement by you that Venezuelan style socialism is on the horizon.

      Socialism is a big scary word until you dig into the ideas of SOCIAL DEMOCRACY, European style, that have led to some outstanding outcomes to the people of those countries.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I guess I missed it. When was the big reveal you refer to?

      You still have not answered my earlier question. Why has Trump failed to keep his promise and lock Hillary Clinton up for running that child sex ring out of a pizza parlor?

      Liked by 2 people

  4. This kind of brings to mind the GOP “autopsy” conducted following Romney’s 2012 loss. A lot of little things were identified. And then completely ignored when the GOP decided to nominate Trump.

    Speculation is fun. But 4 years down the road it means absolutely nothing. Just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t have a good feel for the nation’s state right now, but if Virginia goes red, it will be because the Democrats overstepped on gun control as soon as they had the numbers to ram it through. That galvanized the opposition,


    1. Virginia is not going red. That is the problem for the GOP with it being in a doctrinaire and decisively minority party that is already very highly motivated. They just don’t have much ceiling above their base. They may be as mad as hell about gun policy but they were already as mad as hell about something.

      Here is some relevant data to support my statement that Virginia is not going red.


      Biden +12.8% now UP from +4.7% in February.

      Nationwide it is Biden +106% now UP from 3.8% in February.

      Nationwide we are heading for historically high turnout. here in Virginia as well. High turnout has never been good for Republicans. That is why they do there best to make it hard to vote. This cynical tactic may be backfiring bigly.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. RE: “if Virginia goes red, it will be because the Democrats overstepped on gun control as soon as they had the numbers to ram it through. That galvanized the opposition,”

      Makes sense to me.I wonder what the “yard sign polling”in the rural counties around the state is showing right now.


      1. Rural counties are, you know, rural. They do not have very many people in them. That is why multiple polls of all the people are probably a better indicator of where the state is heading than a count of Trump signs next to soybean fields. But, if you are doing your best to “keep hope alive” for the outcome you want, I guess this is one way to try. But, really, prepare yourself for disappointment. Polling is not an exact science, but the degree of error that would end in a legitimate Trump victory is highly improbable.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t pin a lot of hope on those statistics from Trump’s rallies. They could not be particularly scientific or reliable. I would be more concerned about the damage done when people around the country see these maskless (almost) events and are reminded of Trump’s recklessness, selfishness and failures. Trump is good at these kind of rallies and they obviously buck him up, but it is not obvious they are helping convert people to his cause. And THAT is what he needs.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Dan Bongino is one of the folks saying that the Democrats are planning a coup d’ etat on election day.

      Honestly, why are so many on the right, FOX included, hoping for violence on election day. Is it because Trump has endorsed that?

      Of course it is.

      We have a political messiah preaching from a balcony to a crowd chanting slogans and white gangs on the ready.

      Our nation is being torn asunder and Trump is ecstatic.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I am talking about violence on election day. After Trump’s ignorant comments since 2015 regarding violence and insurrection, I would hold him totally responsible for every injury or death. Period.

          Remember the origin of #LIBERATE? It included Virginia. And now we learn that Northam was also on the list of targeted governors.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Naturally, you are trying to change the subject from an armed coup to civil unrest. The subject is an armed coup. Trump refuses to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. That is why this is a subject. I think you know that. Of course you do.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I know what the subject is, but I am convinced that the left is far more likely to react violently if they lose, though probably in an unorganized fashion.


          2. If by “the Left” you mean the poor without jobs, without food, without shelter and without hope other than the hope that Biden can organize the help they need, you may be right. There are many millions of such people and their numbers have been growing every day of Trump’s Presidency.

            The point from anyone who cares about where this country goes is that Biden does his best to steer his followers away from violence. He condemns it in no uncertain terms when it occurs. He promises a peaceful acceptance of the choice of the voters. Trump does the opposite in every regard.

            “The Left” peacefully accepted two Presidents who were not the choice of the people. Trump has primed his supporters to not do that if the election is even remotely close. He has done his best to delegitimize the election even as he and his party have refused to take action to address the needs of struggling election officials in a time of pandemic and Russian hacking.

            It is long past time for you and people like you to look at Trump as he really is – a dangerous and incompetent buffoon who cares nothing for this country, the rule of law, the Constitution nor the safety of the American people. This is not hyperbole. This is how it is.

            Liked by 3 people

  6. The Justice Department reportedly concluded its investigation into unmasking requests made by Obama-era officials without charging anyone involved or releasing a public report on the issue.

    Liked by 3 people

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