Democrats Are Walking Into a Trumpian Trap – by Brett Stephens – NYT

“Take a walk with me, dear reader, into the yard, down the street — anywhere, really, just so that we can step outside of our house of outrage. It’s a roomy house, with space for everyone from woke progressives to disillusioned conservatives. It’s a good house, filled with people united in a just and defiant cause. It’s a harmonious house, thrumming with the sound of people agreeing vigorously.

And lately, we’ve started to believe we’re … winning.

We breathed relief Tuesday night when Roy Moore went down to his well-earned political death, like Jack Nicholson’s Joker at the end of Batman. We roared when Robert Mueller extracted a guilty plea from a cooperative Michael Flynn, and the investigative noose seemed to tighten around Donald Trump’s neck. We cheered when Democrat Ralph Northam trounced Ed Gillespie after the Republican took the low road with anti-immigrant demagogy.

It’s all lining up. Democrats have an 11-point edge over Republicans in the generic congressional ballot. The president’s approval rating is barely scraping 37 percent. Nearly six in 10 Americans say the United States is on the “wrong track.” Isn’t revenge in 2018 starting to taste sweet — and 2020 even sweeter?

Don’t bet on it. Democrats are making the same mistakes Republicans made when they inhabited their own house of outrage, back in 1998.”

David Lindsay Jr.

Hamden, CT 

Mr Stephens, you have the mouth of Saruman. The top commentors are all better at historical recollection than you. They can dispell your ugly spells. Reading your dreadful, false comparisons, put a profound chill in me. But Charles Blow followed, with his hurricane wind Patronus, and the chill evaporated.

Mike Lancaster, PA 4 hours ago
Before we go back to 1998, let’s clear up a few things about the present.

The Russian government meddled in our elections. The deputy attorney general ordered the special counsel, not the “president’s opponents.” The counsel’s investigation is not a “political bet” — it was ordered to look into the election interference and the complex ties to the Trump campaign. The investigation is a worthwhile effort, regardless of whether democrats or republicans feel “vindicated” at the end.

Sixteen women have accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct. Being outraged and calling on Trump to resign are reasonable, regardless of the challenges in removing him from office.

Nearly every day, our president attacks the free press, lies and appears to have little understanding of our branches of government, their importance or the policies he supports. Any effort to hold him accountable is worthwhile. regardless of how strong the economy is.

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sdavidc9 is a trusted commenter Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut 6 hours ago
The outrage at Clinton was largely invented. Aside from some bad sexual habits, he was a competent politician who managed to get things done in spite of a determined, resourceful, and unscrupulous opposition. Getting his political enemies to work with him, he got the deficit under control and established constraints to keep it that way, accomplishments that were immediately shredded by dubya.

The outrage at Trump does not need to be invented. He risks the planet’s future, shreds our alliances, rubs salt in our national divisions of gender and race, knows very little about issues or how government works and does not care to learn, establishes and feeds an alternate fact-free universe, shuts the government down in many areas by not staffing it with leaders, and pours the stimulus of deficit spending on an economy already running at full speed. He is a plutocrat and does not believe in most of our fundamental values.

Trump is not afraid of bankruptcy. He made it work for him, and he probably thinks he can make it work for the country if the economy falters.

The robust economy means that more people will have jobs, but large chunks of their income will go to health care, cable bills, and other costs that are not controlled by government or by real competition. The fruits of the robust economy are going to those at the top.

Trump supporters are not rationale economic men for whom growth and inflation rates are important.

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Kevin Rothstein is a trusted commenter Somewhere East of the GWB 6 hours ago
Well, Brett, you are correct, at least in theory.

But Trump is no Clinton.

And 1998 is not 2018.

And we all know what happened in the years following 1998.

So, maybe you are right, and maybe, if history does not repeat itself, it often rhymes.

But Clinton was very popular among the masses; Trump is not.

Clinton did not assault our senses on a daily basis; Trump belongs in an asylum.

The electorate is also different than in 1998, and subject to the inevitable attrition of my generation, who actually care what an arcane index is on a daily basis, and giving way to our children’s and grandchildren’s generation, who are just trying to get by.

So, we will soon see if greed “trumps” basic common decency once again; if irrational exuberance and short-term economic growth overrules common sense.

If we choose to forget the past, then we are doomed, and deserve our fate.

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