Hold on to your hats, because here’s an ad made by progressive research organization the Bridge Project that might actually work.
And by work, I mean cut through the Fox News fog of distortions and distractions fed to conservative voters and then disseminated through water cooler talk across the USA, even to former Obama voters.
The ad could work because it clearly lays out the Big Lie revealed in Trumpcare; Donald Trump isn’t a populist who’s going to take care of people. He’s just another greedy, selfish Republican who lied to the people in order to get what he wanted — tax cuts for the rich.
Oh, and House Republicans were right there pushing him to be even crueler.
Greg Sargent, whose Washington Post column brought this video and the related memo to my attention, points out that Democratic strategist James Carville and Bridge Project founder David Brock focused on the tax cut for the rich on purpose, because they see it as a way to break through to voters swayed by Trump’s apparently compelling populist message. To get through to the Obama voters who voted for Trump.
Sargent, who noted that Democrats must “unmask” Trump’s supposed populism, wrote that Trumpcare busts both Donald Trump’s and the Republican Party’s ruse, “Throughout the campaign, Trump repeatedly suggested that he supported a robust government role in expanding health care to the poor and sick, and — combined with his vows not to touch Medicare and Medicaid — used this to achieve a patina of ideological heterodoxy that distanced him from Paul Ryan’s GOP, likely helping him win working class voters.”
“Trump’s embrace of the House GOP bill blows up that scam. But the GOP bill also should blow up the Republican Party’s ongoing scam on this issue,” Sargent furthers.
This is the kind of message that could actually penetrate. I say that as someone who has lived in the South and currently lives in Trump country Pennsylvania. I know how tough it is to get a fact through to people mired in conservative talking points.
But tax cuts for the rich while taking their healthcare away? Yeah, that’s gonna sting.
I have even had Pennsylvania Trump voters make the argument to me that Trumpcare is great because under Obamacare, when they were unemployed, they couldn’t get subsidies or afford insurance on the exchange, and that sucked because they were “entitled” to healthcare. (Something on which we agree, by the way!)
Yes, this happened to them under the Republican Governor, before a Democrat was elected, which is to say, before Pennsylvania participated in the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. They didn’t care about that information, however, because they assured me that they don’t trust “that Obama.” Obama ruined their lives, they are quite sure of it.
The Great American Dream Trump promised his supporters is heart-breaking in its naked callousness. Trump didn’t care about the promises he made; he just wanted a political win and a way to spit in Obama’s face.
Many exceptionally vulnerable Trump voters don’t realize that they aren’t getting affordable healthcare with Trumpcare.
They believe Trump’s words, not his deeds. But an ad like this could be the seed that causes a few to actually wander beyond the safe waters of conservative bumper stickers into the uncharted territory of actual facts, purely out of concern for their own family.
Could it be possible that Democrats are going to get the hang of simple slogans that penetrate? If so, 2018 just got a lot harder for Republicans, because Trumpcare is a Republican sledgehammer that only requires someone willing to use it.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.