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Barry Diller on Democrats in 2020: “Snatching Defeat from Jaws of Victory!”

Dear Commons Community,

Over the weekend, Barry Diller, Chairman and Senior Executive of IAC/InterActiveCorp and Expedia, Inc., during an interview of MSNBC, commented:

“For Democrats my great worry is they’re putting their foot in it right now, and I worry that they’re going to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory … This is not an election about economics. The economy is okay. This is an election about morality and decency…. It will get won on arguing the only relevant issue. We have an indecent president. And that is a moral question. And it is that question — that topic that I think everything should and I hope will revolve around.”

Zach Carter, a senior reporter for The Huffington Post, has a similar warning:

“It should not be difficult for Democrats to defeat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 by nearly 3 million votes. His overall approval rating has never ― not for one day ― eclipsed 50 percent. His main political tactic, scapegoating immigrants,  doesn’t work very well. After making the 2018 midterms a referendum on a migrant caravan, Trump ended up ceding 41 House seats to the Democratic Party ― the worst result for Republicans since 1974.

But if anybody can screw this thing up, it’s the leadership of the modern Democratic Party. They did, after all, manage to lose to this guy three years ago.

And one troubling sign is the dangerous new orthodoxy that seems to be hardening in Washington, in which Democrats are forbidden from criticizing other Democrats to avoid empowering Trump ahead of the election. It’s fine to debate policy, this thinking goes, but it’s not OK to criticize governing records, question priorities or impugn motivations. Any hint of intra-party infighting, it’s argued, would only weaken the eventual 2020 nominee.”

Max Boot, a conservative writer who endorsed Hillary Clinton and wants Trump out of the White House was recently quoted as saying:

“I feel politically homeless right now. Maybe republicans are doing a good job highlighting the far left and playing up how much they represent the Democratic Party. And maybe the people who are declaring early to run for president are tipping a little more to the left now to get a strong base.

I am worried the Democrats are going to screw up and Trump is going to get re-elected in 2020.”

I think Diller, Carter, and Boot have valid concerns.  The Democrats have to be careful especially with its huge field of possible candidates not to screw up the 2020 election as they did in 2016.  They cannot assume that Trump is such a terrible president that a victory is assured.  The Democrats need to demonstrate unity, that they can govern, and that they can organize their campaign well.   

Tony

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