I guess the CW is that he's going nowhere in this campaign, but Beto O'Rourke has a way of synthesizing the Democratic message in a way that I think is useful. This is how he put it on Meet the Press on Sunday:
CHUCK TODD:I feel like this is a conundrum that faces many of you running for president, which is, on one hand, you see the president, in some ways, as an existential threat to the American story, our culture. So does it seems silly, at times, to be debating whether or not there should be a public option, when you feel as if the president is a bigger threat on other issues? Is that what’s made this campaign sometimes seem, seem tonally off for the entire, for the entire field, at times?
O'ROURKE: No. Because I’ll tell you, if we don’t deliver on universal, guaranteed, high-quality healthcare, on a minimum wage that’s a living wage, on paid family leave, on those issues that restore dignity to the lives of our fellow Americans, then we have not only failed them, we have provided fertile ground for the kind of demagogue that Donald Trump is, who will channel that anger and frustration at our government’s dysfunction and our inability to get something done --- against immigrants, as he’s done, warning of invasions and infestations and animals and predators.
Having somebody, at one of his rallies, say, “We should shoot them.” And the crowd roars their assent. And Donald Trump smiles because he doesn’t want you to focus on the fact that you’re working two or three jobs right now just to make ends meet, or that you live in the wealthiest country on the face of the planet, but you can’t afford to take care of your diabetes.
Yes, Democrats have to address those issues and deliver on those issues. But we also have to call out the existential threat, to use the word that you just employed, that Donald Trump represents right now. Not only are we going to lose more lives, I’m confident that we will lose this country and our democracy, the longer he stays in office. So that is the urgency behind what I’m talking about.
Basically, it's not really "kitchen table issues" vs "Donald Trump is a menace." They are two sides of the same thing.
Republished with permission of Digby's Hullabaloo