February 6, 2020

Before turning his full attention to promoting Bloody Bill Kristol's super-awesome podcast, MSNBC's Brian Williams huddled up with retired, Blue Dog Conserva-Dem Joe Donnelly (because who better!) to complain that Democrats need to learn to Speak American.

JOE DONNELLY: When we're in Michigan we need to talk about jobs and we need to talk about the future. When we're in places like Florida, we need to talk about climate change, about the environment. These are the things that Donald Trump can't touch us on, is the opportunity to make sure that tariffs go away, so we don't have our farmers in a place where bankruptcies are going up 20%, that we don't have the debt exploding. We talk about these meat and potato things, about the fact that if you have cancer, we were the party that brought you the opportunity to have health care. And Donald Trump is trying to take it away.

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Hillary Clinton goes into coal country, says we're going to close your mine but don't worry, we're going to get you green jobs, which of course never materialized. Donald Trump, make of this what you will, runs on a pro-coal platform, carries Joe Manchin's state of West Virginia by 42 points. Are you teaching democrats how to speak American?

DONNELLY: I hope that's what we're trying to do, is to tell them look, you cannot talk about changing your lives without providing hope and a plan and aspiration and a chance for success. That coal miner at the end of the day has children at the table who are counting on him or her to come through for them. And so as you say, and it's a great way to put it, Brian, we need to talk American to all the Americans, not just those on either coast.

WILLIAMS: Former Indiana Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly, thank you, Senator, for joining us tonight and taking our questions.

You know what, Brian? We Democrats speak American just fine. In fact, if you'd like to drop around Springfield sometime, I'd be more than happy to deconstruct your failings as a journalist in some genuine, Midwest, heartland idiomatic American right to your face. Sure, I'm definitely gonna use some words you've never heard from the sycophants on your cable news panels (unless you eavesdrop on them in the Green Room) but I promise you the gist of them will be perfectly clear.

And speaking of speaking American, when Hillary Clinton went to coal country she absolutely spoke to the people there as Americans. As Adult American, with families and deep roots in their communities who are facing the implacable reality of being at the bitter end of a dying industry. And in genuine, Midwest heartland American she offered them a vision of a different future. A better future.

When Trump went to coal country he brayed at them like idiot children, promising everyone a pony, and a cookie, and great health care that would cover everyone for a fraction of what it costs now, and to turn back the clock to 1950 when Coal and Jim Crow were King. So maybe the problem is that, in the specific example you're using, the voters in question have let Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity take a daily dump in their skulls for so long that they are no longer competent to make adult decisions.

Oh and by the way, if you trouble yourself to listen to any Democratic candidate's stump speeches, or any of their town halls, all of them are talking pretty plainly and clearly and American-ly about jobs and college and health care and clean water and air and a better future for our kids. But of course, acknowledging that would blow all the fuses on the "Snooty coastal elites don't know how to talk to Real Murricans!" line of ersatz homespun horseshit you pass off as journalism, so as we say here in the middle of Middle America, how about just taking a flying fk at the moon instead?

Republished with permission from Driftglass

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