Despite its paltry record of achievement thus far, the GOP can breathe a sigh of relief for now. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee just emailed supporters with its latest bumper sticker designs and slogans, and they’re about as edgy as a butter knife.
“I mean, have you seen the other guys?” reads one that, for half of yesterday, I assumed was a joke. But then I saw “Make Congress Blue Again,” and after that, “She Persisted We Resisted.” Between the stale graphics and messaging, the DCCC clearly still does not understand that being anti-Trump is not an agenda.
Democratic Congressional leadership seems equally ignorant of this reality. Politico’s Elana Schor and Heather Caygle report that Democrats are testing a “Better Deal” in battleground districts. The measure would see Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer propose raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, a move which would echo and amplify the devastating effects as recently seen in Seattle for low-income workers.
Beyond this, however, the Better Deal does not seem to mean much. In the Senate, Schumer is hingeing the party’s success on collaboration with Trump on a $1 trillion infrastructure plan and on targeting China as a currency manipulator. At the same time, however, Nancy Pelosi has indulged the most unhinged rhetoric from the likes of Maxine Waters, and only put her foot down on the left-wing hysteria by suggesting that Trump will “self-impeach” without Democratic insistence. Alarmingly for Schumer, the DCCC’s resist-to-the-election-loss message tends toward Pelosi’s shtick, thereby rendering the Better Deal nothing more than a lazy label for “we’re still just going to run against Trump.”
Such division is common. Yesterday, Vox’s Matthew Yglesias argued that to win an electoral victory, Democrats would need to coalesce behind a leader and that Sanders can unite the party because of his consistent (if economically incoherent) message for the working class. Instantly, MSNBC’s Joy Reid slammed him for trying to appeal to white male voters because they have not voted “close to the Democratic preponderance of just black women.” Reid offered no alternative figure or more coherent message.
This intersectional infighting has left Democrats with little more than pithy slogans and blasts from the past — with bumper stickers instead of bills and actual agendas. Still, it could work. Have you seen the other guys?