, 75 tweets, 16 min read Read on Twitter
[THREAD] Our Understated State of Crisis

Why We Need a National Address and More Urgent Action from Elected Democrats [1]
Imagine you're watching the news as the network cuts to a press conference at the US Capitol steps, where we see all House and Senate Democrats standing behind Pelosi and Schumer, who provide the following statement... [2]
"The President and his administration are engaging in criminal activity and committing human rights violations, and there's strong evidence to suggest they are willfully aiding adversaries. Clearly, these are not normal times..." [3]
They then proceed to list the many (known) transgressions, and declare that they will resist and obstruct to the fullest extent.

There's plenty to say about what would happen next, but what I want to focus on is: why hasn't something like that happened? [4]
And, ok, let's say they skip the talk of obstruction and just delivered the symbolism of the event and a clear message -- a beacon -- to the public. A clarion call above all the noise. Why hasn't *that* happened? [5]
And what if, after this pronouncement, all Dems maintained a heightened and serious tone in their subsequent public statements and appearances. They sternly bat away shit questions from network interviewers and doggedly draw attention to the most alarming threats/scandals... [6]
And what if they followed the initial press conference with weekly press conferences and/or video addresses.

What if they did *anything* more aggressive to truly drive the narrative.

Why hasn't that happened? [7]
Would it not be warranted? National security officials maintain that we're under attack. The admin works daily to divide and dehumanize. The corruption is off the charts. We are awash in scandal. Treasonous acts abound. What's happening is unprecedented. [8]
In the face of an onslaught of outrageous actions, is an onslaught of outrage and defiance not a perfectly appropriate and proportional response? Is that what you see from elected leaders? Because that's not what I see. [9]
What I've seen in the collective Democratic response are tinges of dejection, a paralyzing bewilderment -- transfixed by the ghastly spectacle of it all, lots of jokes and sarcasm, passive-aggressive indignation, and entirely too much restraint. [10]
What I've seen is an unnerving willingness to wait...for midterms and 2020...for Mueller and/or spontaneous mass protests. And, overall, they seem prostrate against the GOP's blitzkrieg of hypocrisy and lawlessness, and mainstream media's dysfunction. [11]
I see them flailing in choppy water, begging for a line from the very ones who threw them in, and ever closer to drowning -- all the while forgetting that they do in fact know how to swim. And, of course, media are on hand to report the scene, entirely unwilling to assist. [12]
There are only scant flares of truly piercing resistance, and overall the tone and responses from leaders have not been *proportional* to the threat.

And what's so strange is that they are the ones characterizing the threat! [13]
And what really stands out: they tell us POTUS is a national security threat and will wage war for political purposes, but the manner and tone of how they communicate this often fails to match the gravity of what's being said. [14]
If elected leaders truly believe our democracy and sovereignty are under attack, the tenacity of their collective messaging and weight of their actions belie that belief.

It's quite easy to find examples of the dissonance I'm describing. Because it happens almost daily... [15]
For example, here we have a **tweet**, sent into the ether, in which a US Senator somewhat blithely paints POTUS as a national security threat. [16]
Another US Senator. Telling us that POTUS is a major national security threat. In a tweet. [17]
The Speaker coming for POTUS, plainly implying that he is compromised. But in a tweet. [18]
And this Swalwell statement telling us that nothing from the administration can be trusted outright...is a big deal. It's a statement that should be preceded by "My Fellow Americans" instead of casually passed in an "Oh by the way" manner. [19]
Rep. Lieu has tweeted about the WH clearance 'process' and roles of Kushner/Ivanka seemingly hundreds of times.

Ok, but...

Dems should've been working in unison from Day 1 to raise hell and *attempt* to mitigate the potential for breach here. [20]
A Senator, and 2020 hopeful...

A tweet that goes no further than 'it's insulting to the IC.'

And it stands in isolation. No follow up. No connection to any larger message and plan of action from Dems. [21]

A key House rep, Jerry Nadler, saying Trump is the "greatest threat" to U.S. democracy since "the Civil War." A damning statement uttered on local radio -- instead of being broadcast to a national audience. [22]
It's surreal that leaders *rely* on relatively low-volume methods, like tweeting, for providing such messages. A tweet is insufficient. So are press releases, floor speeches, AM radio comments, op-eds, and impotent TV appearances. A national address is warranted. [23]
Trying to raise alarm, and stir public action, via standard channels, in a media environment stacked against them, and to a near-comatose body politic, is just writing SOS in the sand in footnote-sized font. A stronger signal is needed. A national address is needed. [24]
And they can easily make a clear and compelling case to a national audience that POTUS is a criminal, has violated the oath of office, and is very likely compromised -- and that it's absurd to allow him to continue influencing our government and threatening our security. [25]
In opting for a muted signal and not demanding immediate accountability, ***they're implying that the stakes are not as high as they seem.*** We all see the same headlines, though. Yet our apoplexy and deep concern are met with an oddly dampened response from leaders. [26]
So, while I think jokey remarks like this are in fact critical in the overall discourse, it's disconcerting to see *elected leaders* trying to score internet points when there hasn't been a unified front issuing a clarion call and making demands. [27]
So what is it -- what's holding them back? They're overly restrained because they fear public opinion backlash? Stupid. They're content to wait on Mueller? Inexplicable. Afraid of setting 'bad' precedents? Well, when exactly is the right time to break the glass? [28]
The notion that leaders would demur from being more strident based on how they've gauged public opinion disregards their unique ability to affect public opinion. They have the platform to influence. Yet they whisper through the bullhorn. [29]
If they want the media and public to focus -- and retain focus -- on the most pressing issues, perhaps they have to actually do enough to grab and retain people's attention. And it isn't about engaging in histrionics -- it's about legitimate, authentic outrage. [30]
As the bad actors and our dysfunctional media 'flood the zone,' Democrats have to be thunderous, incisive, and tireless to keep the administration's many execrable acts and GOP's hypocrisy to the fore of the public's attention. [31]
What that means is this tone from Rep. Cummings should be the norm, not an aberration: [32]
It means every Democrat should emulate Jeffries' directness...

[We face a "national security imperative" and people suggesting otherwise "comes dangerously close to providing aid and comfort to the enemy."] [33]

But guess what? They have take it out of the damn hearings and into the media. And it can't be just a handful of them doing it. [34]
And beyond striking the right tone, in a unified voice, they must be willing to rebuke media to their faces -- like this: [35]
Just because Trumpism threatens the very existence of an independent media doesn't mean Democrats should reflexively cower from calling out those engaging in malpractice. [36]
If Dems were more forthright and demanding, maybe media wouldn't allot time to discuss "Amy's comb" in lieu of continued questions on Helsinki...or how the Trumps appear to be selling sensitive info...or why they grant security clearances when advised not to. [37]
And perhaps front pages and TV news shows would drop a lot of the bullshit stories and stop crowding out the *holy shit* stories, like the administration's human rights violations, or how they're so clearly planning to subvert the 2020 election. [38]
(VERY clearly trying to subvert the 2020 election!) [39]

And maybe if Dems were stentorian and unrelenting, the *predominant* framing of "collusion" wouldn't be restricted to past tense and so narrowly focused on election cheating, but widely understood to be ongoing and involving much more: [40]

If they used uncommon and escalated measures, like a national address, to convey their message, and made larger waves in the media, they might command the room for once...and guide the public's attention away from the distractions...and speed things along. [41]
Why are we all resigned to wait for Mueller?

What more do we really need to know? They shouldn't be waiting for Mueller to arrest Trump -- they should be doing everything in their power to arrest his agenda. Right. Now. [42]
Waiting on Mueller isn't necessary. So much that's been publicized is so damning and so alarming, there's more than enough grounds to throw down the gauntlet. It's really not hard to make the case and get public opinion firmly behind them. [43]
And the worst part of the wait-for-Mueller approach? By waiting, by staying restrained, they are conceding as sacrifice all the ongoing damage, and making future efforts to repair this harm more difficult (for the things that can actually be mended). [44]
Let me make it clear: by not doing everything they can to drive the narrative, challenge the media, obstruct, subpoena, investigate, and IMPEACH, Dems cannot escape culpability. Their decision to wait for Mueller is dereliction of duty. [45]
Trump is a blunt-force weapon of a GOP and far-right cabal that's (fully) abandoned democracy. They're happy for you to focus on the bull in the china shop as the termites work to collapse the entire structure. [46]
How do we really benefit from a years-long process of trading up to ultimately prosecute Trump, during which Dems essentially stand down, against all the damage done in the interim and all the long-term effects?

Because what the GOP wants more than anything is time... [47]
Time to annihilate regulations.

Time to assault institutions like our independent press using the power of the state.

Time to destroy truth and undermine science.

Time to use the government's voice to beckon domestic terrorists.

Time to shred the Constitution... [48]
Time for Supreme Court justices to die or retire...[51]
Trump and current office holders are expendable saboteurs. Whether they escape accountability is less important to those who actually pull the strings than making sure the process is protracted. Do massive damage while they can, make $$$, and further entrench minority rule. [52]
Counteraction to this demagoguery-driven authoritarian surge cannot be stoicism, or dispassionately biding time until Mueller is finished, or relying on voting cycles and the painfully slow pace of Congressional oversight. Bold statements and swift action are needed. [53]
I don't know how many over-the-top symbolic cues Dems need in order to understand that things are *different* these days. [54]

washingtonpost.com/opinions/eight…?
Mr. Schiff, it's 2019, the time for these soft rhetorical questions has long passed... [55]
Dems should be vehement in asking why Trump is allowed to continue aiding and abetting adversaries, making lifetime judicial appointments, accepting bribes, fostering domestic terrorism, and working to trash the government and economy. [56]
Seriously, Dems should be flooding the airwaves with basic, powerful questions, such as: Why should a proven criminal and national security threat be filling judicial positions that could ultimately be subverting our democracy? Why should he be allowed to do that? [57]
Until their interviews and press conferences carry real weight and drown out the noise, it's not enough. Their tweets...not enough. Not enough to overcome the asymmetry of our current political and media environment. Not enough to sway public opinion more in their favor. [58]
Until House investigations are accelerated, it's not enough. Until subpoenas are flying in every direction, blotting out the sun, it's not enough. Until public hearings are almost daily, it's not enough. Not enough to drown out the noise or fully serve the public interest. [59]
Which brings us to...their reluctance to even talk about impeachment. An unfathomable decision. With *their own words* they've indirectly made the case for impeachment, yet they decouple acknowledgement of the offenses from advocacy for the Constitutional remedy. [60]
A rock-solid case for impeachment has been right in front of them for a long time. They don't need Mueller. The only way to turn public opinion against them on this is if they massively fucked up the messaging. So...they just avoid it altogether! [61]
.@YAppelbaum is right about impeachment: Trump's "actions... clearly meet, and exceed, the criteria to trigger this fail-safe."

And it's an escalation that could ***contain him and slow his agenda***. [62]

theatlantic.com/magazine/archi…
.@YAppelbaum also flags the Democrats' preference to "wait for public opinion to turn decisively against him and then use impeachment..."

And what I'm asking is: 🚨how can they take this passive approach while foregoing appropriate measures to affect public opinion⁉️🚨 [63]
..."Abuse of power" you say? Oh which one are you talking about -- I can't keep track... [64]

If leaders stopped restraining themselves, stopped waiting, and did more to drive the narrative, they'd be less in a position of defending on their heels. They'd be able to sway public opinion into a tidal wave demanding accountability. [65]
Oh wait, what's that? You mean if Dems actually tried to make the case on both fronts -- which they could very well do right now -- the public is clearly ready to stand behind them? [66]
The collective Dem 'strategy' is so nonsensical and counter-intuitive, and clearly nonviable in the current environment, I have trouble accepting that they honestly believe what they're doing is appropriate.

There simply is no justification for their passivity. [67]
We need elected officials to get on the soapbox and breath fire, and to throw themselves into the machinery to stop or slow down this administration's treachery. Nothing should be off the table. [68]
And even if they are going to keep waiting on Mueller, there is no good reason why they should not develop a clear and serious message, and amplify it to the American public. [69]
Because what they need -- what they really need to fight Trumpism and not just Trump, especially if they're just going to wait on Mueller -- is significant, peaceful social disruption. Not one-off protests. Persistent and massive protests. Massive boycotts. [70]
See, @DLeonhardt is correct: political activism has been "weaker than the country needs it to be." It's the uncomfortable truth. As it stands today, there is no entity in a position to promote massive-scale, peaceful disruption. [71]

nytimes.com/2019/01/21/opi…
No, political activism has not been *proportional to the threat*, and it doesn't help that our elected leaders do not communicate in a manner *proportional to the threat*. For if they did, they just might stimulate more action. [72]
So, Dems, stop waiting, stop cowering, and stop remaining locked in observation of Team Trump's completionist quest through the US Criminal Code.

Send a loud signal. Issue the rallying cry. Use your powers and platform to go after these treasonous criminals -- NOW.
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