In a column for the Washington Post, longtime political observer Paul Waldman put the Democrats on notice that they would be passing up a huge opportunity to cripple the re-election campaign of Donald Trump if they try to make the election about policy and not about the many controversies still dogging the president.
According to Waldman, he is concerned the Democrats will "let Trump off the hook" after the GOP-controlled Senate refused to oust him despite proof of impeachable offenses.
Citing a New York Times report that the Democratic leadership wants to focus on health care as the key issue in the 2020 campaign with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) insisting “Health care, health care, health care," should be the message, Waldman stated they instead should instead go forward with a "a division of labor, in which everyone uses the resources at his or her disposal to their maximum effect."
In order to do that, he suggested four separate prongs of attack that can be used to keep the president off balance, while at the same time lamenting that Democrats might not take his advice.
"Subpoenaing John Bolton and other members of the administration who could explain in high-profile hearings just how Trump twisted American foreign policy for his own personal interests? Bo-ring," he dryly wrote. "Examinations of the ways Trump is funneling tax dollars to himself and his family? Eh, not interested. Probes into which corporations are wielding influence in the administration and what they’re getting out of the deal? Nah. Finally getting Trump’s tax returns so we can see what sort of financial misbehavior he may be working so hard to conceal? Maybe someday, but not now."
"There’s nothing wrong with talking about prescription drug prices, of course — in and of itself. And I’m sure they have polling indicating that health care is at or near the top of the list of things that people want Congress to address. The problem is that since Democrats can’t actually make any laws at the moment, their highest priority should be defeating Trump," he advised.
According to Waldman, "they have to win in 2020, and that starts with the presidential race" and talking policy and House bills they have passed -- most of which are languishing in the Senate because of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) -- in a non-winner fro Democrats.
"Yes, Democratic representatives need to be able to tell their constituents they’ve been working hard on their behalf — so when they’re back home, they can talk about those 600 bills they passed until they’re blue in the face. But this election is going to be about Trump," he wrote, before concluding, "If he doesn’t lose, Democrats don’t win."
You can read the whole piece here.