Dems still playing gotcha—a losing strategy

Trump's national security advisor, Mike Flynn, resigned after lying to his boss about his Russia contacts. Democrats see that as a chance to play politics.

Former NSC head Michael Flynn at a Trump rally in Phoenix, AZ in 2016. (Image via Wikipedia entry on Michael J. Flynn, CC 2.0 license)

WASHINGTON, February 14, 2017 — National Security Advisor Michael Flynn submitted his resignation letter to President Trump, who had lost trust in him. Flynn was less than truthful when informing the Trump administration about the number and nature of phone calls he made to Russia’s U.S. ambassador.

Democrats were quick to say “gotcha.”

While speaking to security advisors of foreign leaders is not a crime, conducting foreign policy as a private citizen (Trump had not yet been inaugurated) is, and Flynn said there was only a single call. There were numerous calls. Trump accepted Flynn’s resignation. Democrats wanted more.

Many Republican Senators have said that their Democratic colleagues are still in disbelief that they lost the presidential election. Senate Democrats are angry and frustrated. With every battle lost on the president’s cabinet picks, the anger and frustration grow. Democrats believe they need a “gotcha; I told you so” moment. They think they have that with Michael Flynn.

Whether Congress investigates this or not, the evidence will show that no laws were broken and President Trump did nothing wrong. If the Democrats push this, it will turn out to be another setback for the crumbling Democratic Party. The gotcha strategy is simply a losing strategy for the future.

The Democrats will not agree. They looked for a gotcha moment after Trump started enforcing existing immigration laws, something he promised to do if elected. He instructed federal agents to find illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a felony. According to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 680 were detained this past weekend. They said that 75 percent of those people were felons who committed violent crimes.

Democrats publicized the case of a non-violent, illegal immigrant felon who was torn from her family and sent back to Mexico. They claimed another “gotcha” saying this is the type of people Trump is harming. Americans didn’t buy it because they knew there are now more than 500 very dangerous illegal immigrants who were deported and are now no longer a threat to US citizens.

Besides, for the most part, Trump wants to be compassionate where possible. His supporters know this and won’t fall for these gotcha moments.

A couple of weeks ago, Democrats thought they had another gotcha moment. Controversial conservative Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulis was scheduled to give a speech at The University of California Berkeley. Large numbers of protestors showed up to stop him from speaking.

Democrats claimed their supporters were so passionate that they would overwhelm the voice of conservatives and other Trump supporters. But then the protests turned violent and ugly. Gotcha again said the Dems as they tried to convince the public that Yiannopoulis and his right-wing violent cronies, brought the instigators who turned the protest violent.

The Democrats must change their strategy for two reasons. First, their views are counter to the views of most Americans and counter to the welfare of the country. Secondly, this strategy will result in even larger losses in the next election in 2018. This gotcha strategy may have worked in the past, but if there is one thing they should learn from the past presidential election is that the voters want to look positively forward not negatively backward.

The millions of dollars Democrats spent on ruthlessly negative ad campaigns during the last election did not bring them victory. Instead, they suffered losses at both the federal and the state levels. Their party today has no clear direction, no clear vision and, so far, no clear person to lead. What is known is that the public generally rejected the establishment and the established ways of government. If Democrats push the old ways, they will continue to lose support.

It is time for Democrats to grow up, accept reality and come up with a positive strategy that will lead to policies more in line with the views of American voters. If they don’t change things soon, the future of their party will be in doubt.

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