How the Democrats can put the squeeze on Mitch McConnell

Now with the impeachment trial in the majority-Republican Senate, you might think there’s little Democrats can do to further plead their case, but you’d be wrong. Yes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is firmly on Trump’s side and shows little sign changing his mind. Yes, GOP Senators continue to go up to bat for Trump’s illegal, impeachable, and traitorous behavior. And yes, Trump has built a corrupt legal team. But, if the Democrats play their cards right, they can do some more serious damage to Trump, and it involves taking a page out of the Republicans’ playbook: lockstep media barrage.

What exactly do I mean by this? Think about any major politically divisive thing from the past decade. Republicans all seem to get on the same page about the issue, and they subsequently make as many media appearances as possible to get their message out. They use language that appeals to the average Joe. The result? Next time you talk to your neighbor, cousin, coworker, whomever, often they’re saying the Republican byline too. So now it’s the Democrats’ turn. Democrats of all stripes, elected, unelected, party officials, and just party members — anyone who has a voice prominent enough — needs to get on the same page about impeachment and voting in 2020.

Democrats need to strengthen their message, too. Notice how the same country both helped Trump in 2016 and would have benefitted from Trump’s threat to withdraw aid to the Ukraine? You know, Russia? Isn’t that an important nexus that the Democrats should harp on a little more? C’mon guys — get to it. Drawing that connection and making it a big deal builds a stronger case against Trump, whether Trump intended to benefit Russia.

The more the American people are upset about Trump’s actions, the more pressure it puts on McConnell to hold a legitimate trial with testimonies from the likes of John Bolton and Lev Parnas. In particular, the more pressure the people of Kentucky put on McConnell, who’s up for reelection this year, the more likely we are to see a legitimate Senate impeachment trial. So that gets me to my last suggestion, and yet another page out of the Republicans’ playbook.

Whenever Republicans want to dethrone a Democrat in office, or even a Republican they don’t like, they get megadonors to give enormous sums of money to, generally, Super PACs, and voila — they massively outspend their target and replace him or her with a bought lackey. There are plenty of billionaire Democrats. How about one or more of them do the country a favor and donate an obscene amount of money—but just a fraction of their wealth—to McConnell’s rival. Make his job as difficult as possible. This isn’t a time to play games. It’s time for the Democrats to play by Republican rules.

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