September 7, 2019

Joy Reid welcomed her very own "Political Nostradamus" to the show to discuss the latest developments in the 2020 election. First they discussed the fact that the GOP has cancelled the primaries in four states in order to smooth the way for Diaper Don to be the nominee. A great many pundits/politicians/history folks have noted that this is certainly not the first time a party has cancelled their primaries. Each time, I'd scream back at the TV, "NO BUT THIS IS THE FIRST TIME A SENTIENT, AUTOCRATIC, CRIMINAL, MURDEROUS, HITLERIAN ZIPLOC BAG OF CELLULITE AND HAIR HAS BEEN THE PRESIDENT!"

Surprisingly, I haven't been called to be on any TV shows to expound on this theory. Rachel Bitecofer was on TV instead, and had an even better point to make about why this time is different.

BITECOFER: This is now coming to light in a big way with these big, you know, announcements but, yeah, they know for sure it's a bad optic for them to run a primary and have him even lose 10 or 15% even though obviously those percentages are not enough to sway the nomination. The media would go crazy with those kinds of narratives. It would affect the fundraising. So what they're trying to do here is control the narrative. And I've heard some analysts say, well, it's not uncommon for incumbent parties to cancel their primaries to save money. That is true, but they don't tend to do that when there are named challengers. That is extremely an uncommon move and it certainly is something that's going to get a lot of controversy.

Okay, fine, THAT'S an important reason, too. There are named challengers this time. This move is so clearly meant to "install" Trump in this position, and continue to dismantle democracy with the seeming ease to which they've become accustomed in the last two-plus hellish years.

Reid pointed out that GOP primary challenger Bill Weld, who's doing the best in terms of numbers against Trump, tweeted that Donald "has made no secret of the fact that he wishes to be crowned as president rather than elected. That might be fine in a monarchy, but we overthrew ours two centuries ago." She asked Bitecofer if fear of deepening autocracy is enough to bring out the big numbers of Democratics to the hopefully compensate for what we assume will not be a fair election. Her answer was, "Maybe, but..."

Then Bitecofer lay down a roadmap that I hope every single Democrat — running for any office, actually, but especially president or Congress — needs to see, hear, and follow.

BITECOFER: We have him trampling these institutional norms, really coming down on Congress and saying, look, you have no subpoena power. I'm not going to produce any witnesses. So there's so many institutional norms that Democrats -- where they make a mistake, I think, is that assuming everybody is aware of it. Again, most people, most Americans, including the ones that are going to cast ballots in that November election, are NOT following the day-to-day of Donald Trump. And so this assumption that everybody knows is a TOTALLY WRONG assumption for Democrats to make. They will need to remind the electorate of these institutional norms that Trump has questioned and violated, or it will be a MASSIVE strategic mistake.

Are you listening, Democrats? A hallmark of both debates so far has been that the candidates don't seem to be going after Donald Trump. His name is barely coming up. Earlier in Joy's show, Elie Mystal said that Obama showed America who we wanted to be, and Donald Trump showed us who we really ARE. And what we need right now is someone who will show us how to go from being who we are to who we should be.

We can't do that without a candidate who hammers home for the general public just how bad things have gotten.

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