Andrew Dickens: What on earth were the Democrats thinking?

Author
Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Fri, 7 Feb 2020, 9:42AM
Photo / AP

Andrew Dickens: What on earth were the Democrats thinking?

Author
Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Fri, 7 Feb 2020, 9:42AM

What on earth were the Democrats thinking. The attempt to impeach President Donald J Trump was one of the most misguided tactics you could imagine.

Because any fool could see it would not happen. Simply because the system was stacked against them. The decision all rested on a Republican dominated Senate and the extremely high bar of a 2 thirds majority. It was never going to happen.

But on they soldiered like Don Quixote charging at a windmill.

And look where it got them. Today like a Cheshire cat who got the cream a triumphant Donald Trump spent a long hour gleefully telling the world how much of a victim he has been. He dragged up the Russian inquest and how much this whole schemozzle has cost the nation. He sighed and smiled

In essence he has weaponised the Democrat failure and pointed the gun straight back at them.  He’ll claim he came to Washington to drain the swamp. He’s made a good start. Re-elect me and let’s finish the job. Add this to the Democrats total inability to find a sole strong contender and their total failure to run the Iowa caucus this past week and you understand why Mr Trump is so gleeful.

A second term seems nearly inevitable

The Democrats moral outrage at the very existence of a man like Trump has proved to be their greatest weakness. Calm heads were needed.

So to New Zealand and our opposition politician Simon Bridges.

I’m trying to understand the thinking behind his performance at Waitangi. At a time when he needs friends in Maoridom, or more specifically the Maori party, I wondered why he couldn’t be a little more circumspect.

His blunt politicking in the days before Waitangi Day was not received well by some. Simon Wilson wrote that Simon wouldn’t care. He was talking past Maori to his base around the country.

And that’s true. But the thing we’ve learnt about the National Party base is just how loyal and large it is.  Even with a less than popular leader it has barely shifted over the past 2 years. National has no need to shore up it’s base. It needs to reach out

What it needs to do is attract a swinging voter.  To attract a voter who voted for Labour or New Zealand First last time. More than ever especially after Che Wilson the president of the Maori Party, and anonymous until today, told Mike Hosking that they’ll work with any party but tend left. The Maori party are not National’s white knight no matter what Mark Mitchell said on Wednesday.

Mr Bridges has to pull a Jacinda loving voter or 2 into his orbit. So I was confused about why he beetled off from the Waitangi Day itself.  Now we all know he can’t out Jacinda Jacinda but at the same time he can’t give her a free ride either. 

A morning at Waitangi, attending the dawn service, giving a hand with a breakfast barbecue and getting his smiling part Maori face on TV on our national day, would have done Simon Bridges and the National Party more good than harm.

An arrogant belief that they are born to rule is what tripped up National last time and I’m not sure they’ve learnt the lesson. Just as the Democrats arrogant belief that they are the rightful owner of the White House has tripped them up.

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