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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Dionne: From ‘Drain the Swamp’ to an Open Sewer – Or How Trump’s Corruption and Disinterest in Communities Hurts America

Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne, Jr. adds to the arsenal of Democratic talking points in a recent column. Regarding Trump’s utter failure to lift a finger to help America’s cities, Dionne writes:

As the House impeachment managers were chronicling President Trump’s self-involved corruption, a group of mayors made another convincing case against Trump — without ever mentioning his name.

Trump rose to power by promising to “drain the swamp” and take on a Washington out of touch with the concerns of Americans and the challenges facing their communities.

He has broken both promises. His blatant corruption is part of a larger politics of spectacle that has nothing to do with fixing things or making life at least a bit better in our nation’s neighborhoods.

Great points there. Not only did Trump fail to ‘drain the swamp’ — He turned it into an open sewer, arguably the most corrupt Administration in U.S. history, certainly using the number of indictments and convictions as a metric.

Dionne continues, noting “Many complain about polarization and a politics mired in ideology. In fact, Trump survives by making polarization worse. Ideology and cultural warfare allow him to survive while avoiding talk about policies and problems that don’t interest him in the least.”

Dionne goes on to note the real-world problems American mayors are compelled to address with credible solutions. And it is striking, how little their concerns have to do with the Trump’s wholly self-involved agenda. “They talked about the housing crisis, better schools, broadband access and a wish for greater federal commitment to local economic development plans,” Dionne writes. “Being mayor,” he [Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson] continued, “is about delivering water service and making sure you have parks for your families to play in. It’s very practical stuff, it’s very important stuff.” Voters “have gotten so tired of Washington not really doing a whole lot.”Dionne concludes,

“As Trump’s lawyers made their case against impeachment on Saturday with a mixture of bombast, half-truth and outright falsehood, I was struck that there was one assertion by Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) that they would never challenge. Schiff had observed that you could always trust the president to “do what’s right for Donald Trump.” Wouldn’t it be nice to have a president who cared about our problems, and not just himself?”

That’s a pretty good question for any Democratic candidate to ask audiences, and not a bad tagline for ads in the Fall campaign.

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