SYNDICATED COLUMN: Why Do the Democrats Take Trump’s Trolling Lying Down?

Image result for trump tweet schumer

This is advice for the Democrats. Democrats never take my advice. So why do I keep giving it to them?

These “what Democrats ought to do” columns aren’t really for the Democratic Party leadership. They’re for you, dear left-of-center reader. I’m explaining what the Dems should be doing and comparing it to what they’re actually doing. That gap between what makes sense and what is going on, I hope you’ll conclude, is so big that we should declare the Democratic Party dead and gone. Giving up on the Dems is important.

The Left will never roll up its sleeves and start building a genuine alternative to the current system until it stops trying, somehow, to take over or sway the Distracticats.

This week, I’d like to showcase the stunning ineptitude of the Democrats’ communications strategy.

There are many examples to choose from, but lately I have been marveling at Democratic leaders’ wimpiness in the face of the president’s Twitter-trolling.

On November 28, 2017, Trump tweeted: “Meeting with ‘Chuck and Nancy’ today about keeping government open and working. Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi canceled their scheduled meeting with Trump. “Given that the President doesn’t see a deal between Democrats and the White House, we believe the best path forward is to continue negotiating with our Republican counterparts in Congress instead,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement. “Rather than going to the White House for a show meeting that won’t result in an agreement, we’ve asked (Senate Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell and (House Speaker Paul) Ryan to meet this afternoon.”


Schumer and Pelosi were right to cancel — but not because of Trump’s stated pessimism about arriving at an agreement. They should have canceled because Trump insulted them. “Chuck and Nancy”? Really?

As Frederick Douglass said, people naturally have contempt for a person who won’t stand up for himself. Schumer and Pelosi should have fought back. They should have refused to let Trump big-dog them.

They could have taken the high road: “Until the President learns to address us politely, like an adult, using our proper titles and names — Senator Schumer, Representative Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader Pelosi — we Democrats will have no communications with him whatsoever.”

Or they could have gone the Ted Rall route: “We’re sorry, silly fat Orange Donald, that your mother didn’t raise you properly. Until you delete your Twitter account, apologize on TV and sign a contract agreeing to never darken social media again — oh, and no pussy grabbing either — you can go f— yourself.

Either way, they’d have to mean it. That would mean no more meetings, no more tolerating the president’s wanton rudeness. Total obstruction.

I know. It ain’t gonna happen. Democratic leaders obviously believe that they risk debasing themselves if they lower themselves to Trump’s rhetorical level. What they don’t get is that Trump is a bully. The only way to deal with a bully is with shock-and-awe brutality.

The debasement follows the insult. Your decision not to climb into the gutter with the bullying idiot may seem admirable — “when they go low, we go high,” Michelle Obama said — but it allows your tormentor to cast you as a coward. When you allow the bully to insult you over and over and over, as Trump does to his enemies, you tacitly endorse their insults. Why, otherwise, do you tolerate disrespect?

Or, to look at it another way, consider why Trump’s fans love him. They love him because he “says it like it is,” doesn’t take prisoners, doesn’t mince words. One person’s lack of impulse control is another’s courage. Imagine, if a progressive were as rude and aggressive as Trump, how exciting that would be?

On January 26, 2018, Trump was back at it — not that he ever took a break. “DACA has been made increasingly difficult by the fact that Cryin’ Chuck Schumer took such a beating over the shutdown that he is unable to act on immigration!” Trump tweeted.

Imagine you were Chuck Schumer. You’re a U.S. senator. He’s been in Congress since 1974, when Trump was still making his name refusing to rent apartments to black people. Why, you might ask yourself, should I put up with this patak who dares to give me a ridiculous nickname?

Four days later, here was Schumer, calling him “President Trump” and “the President.” WTF?

Schumer and the Democrats won’t even defend themselves. Do you seriously think they’ll lift a finger for you and me?

(Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall) is co-author, with Harmon Leon, of “Meet the Deplorables: Infiltrating Trump America,” an inside look at the American far right, out now. You can support Ted’s hard-hitting political cartoons and columns and see his work first by sponsoring his work on Patreon.)


  • > The only way to deal with a bully is with shock-and-awe brutality.

    Ay-yup. Hence, “Crazy H”‘s argumentation style. I gave up trying to avoid the gutter early in the Clinton admin. Poly-ticks in America has always been contentious – but it seemed to me that Salamander Green Grinch and Rich Limpbone drug it right into the cesspit.

    Okay, if that’s how you want it, I can do it too. My brutality is so well-honed at this point that some people keep whining about it months after the fact. I may not have changed their minds, but at least I amused myself along the way.

    • btw, ‘patak’ is properly spelled ‘petaQ’; and pronounced ‘pet-ACH’ with a guttural ‘ch’ as in “Achmed.”


      • I would think Schumer would use “schmuck,” “meshuga” or “schnorrer” instead of a Klingon word.

        I also thought that a loud, abrasive, rich asshole New Yorker like Schumer could have been a decent foil to Trump, but I’ve been very disappointed so far.

  • The only way to deal with a bully is with shock-and-awe brutality.

    Or – here is a radical idea – Democrats could be actually authentic on (some) core issues. Can you imagine how this treatment would get applied to Bernie Sanders? It won’t – or if they tried, Bernie would shrug it off and let rip on them as being in the camp of Wall Street.

    Bernie would go to the White House – when invited – no matter under what name, and then come out and turn the tables and declare publicly that there is no deal because they’re with the billionaire class. Should they smear him with the “raising taxes” card, he would simply own it: “Damn right, the super-rich need to pay their fair share again”.

    The Left will never roll up its sleeves and start building a genuine alternative to the current system until it stops trying, somehow, to take over or sway the Distracticats.

    I would have intuitively agreed with this even a year ago. Interestingly, the democratic presidential primary turned out to be a perfect vehicle for popularizing the (mild) Left – Bernie would have never gotten into a TV debate running as an independent, ask Ralph Nader. Conversely, building a third party would actually make it easier to successfullytake over the twiddledum party: it would give the Berniecrats the option to defect, making the party apparatchiks think twice before undermining them so openly.

    Fighting the system from outside or from within? I would contend that deferring this decision is going to make the movement stronger. People will swing to whichever works when the time comes, signalled by a decent showing of a third party or an actual take-over as with the British Labour Party.

    Hard to see how to achieve a consensus on one of the other without splitting the movement otherwise, but perhaps I’m lacking in imagination.

    • I agree, Andreas ; the problem with «negotiations» between Mr Trump on the one hand and Mr Schumer and Ms Pelosi on the other is hardly that the former refers to the latter as «Chuck» and «Nancy», respectively, but rather to what ends and for whose benefit the latter are negotiating….

      But Ted is certainly correct in stating that «[g]iving up on the Dems [i e, the party of «Chuck» and «Nancy» is important». More than important, it is probably essential if humanity is to make it through the coming decade of the present century. As things stand now, it hasn’t a chance….


      • A response to Senator Bleary’s contribution below – which as is not unusual on Ted’s forum, ended up in the wrong place….


      • Yet another failure to put a reply where it should be on this forum, my most abject apologies….


  • Bullies are only embarrassing themselves when the resort to foul or impolite language. I wouldn’t respond to the bullying because it only serves to let the bully set the topic of conversation.

    However, I would respond on policy. When the Republicans were pushing a tax cut for the rich, why weren’t the Democrats pushing for an equally large refundable tax cut for the poor? Why let the Republicans capture all the people who think that all politicians are bad and are looking merely to maximize a buck?

  • A schmuck from Brooklyn as a foil to a schmuck from Queens ? Who gives a fat fuck for either of the two ?…