Preparing for Donald
Thursday, April 28, 2016 by Dave Winer

As a lowly tech blogger, if I express a political thought, even if it's urgent, even if the political reporters are missing it, I seem to have no ability to insert the idea into the discussion. But someone needs to ask this question -- now -- with urgency -- what are the Democrats doing to prevent Trump from winning the election?

I suspect the Dems are doing the same thing the Repubs did, talking, coming up with policy answers, logic, hoping to catch the bullets in their teeth, as they did nicely with the Woman Card thing. But that was a slow fat pitch. I don't expect them all to be that easy. And even that one, repeated often enough, will stick. People will start thinking, even though it's not true, that HRC would only get 5 percent of the vote if she weren't a woman. He says it because he knows some people already believe it, and some of them are Democrats. And because HRC herself used that argument, briefly and catastrophically, earlier in the campaign.

If the Democrats don't do anything special or different, they'll be stuck with one of two approaches, both losers. Do what Jeb Bush did, and stay cool and talk like the adult that he is. Or decide to play ball as Marco Rubio did. They're both gone, and so will Hillary and our hope if she goes either of those ways.

It doesn't work because you're accepting his setup. You have to change it, think differently about this campaign, and all future campaigns. The battle here isn't over who has the best ideas that appeal to the most voters. It's over who can command more of the airtime on Fox, MSNBC and CNN. 

And for that you have to invent a new flow of political ideas, new catnip for the network programmers. Not campaign rallies, or phone calls to Morning Joe. And not using the candidate. I think you need comedians. 

I think that's what Trump is, at his best and most appealing. His schtick is mostly Joan Rivers, the timing even the stories he tells and certainly the way he tells them. I can picture him inserting both fingers down his own throat and gagging in response to something HRC wore or the way she talks or looks. He gets away with it for the same reason Rivers did. He's an actor and everyone knows it, but he's entertaining, and that gets people to vote for him for some crazy reason.

What I'd like to see the Democrats do is have a daily comedy chat, online, with video, with a rotating group of the best American comedians. Talking about politics in very personal ways. Some of it serious, but they're totally allowed to be abusive and demeaning of Trump, in the same ways he's going after HRC. Iterate until its really smooth and you know who's great at it, and then get into a daily routine. 7 days a week,  just like the campaign. 

And make it all freely licensable to the TV networks.

What they want is programming, so give it to them! Only keep HRC out of the fray. She stays above it. Runs a normal campaign, with lots of rallies and speeches and talk show appearances. She can kiss babies, and go to the debates. She can visit the White House and sit in on Cabinet meetings. 

Let the comedians take care of Trump.

Please the Repubs waited until it's too late. But the Dems got to see Trump's schtick. There's no excuse for not being prepared. He's not going to change, his act works. You just have to create an act that pulls him off to the side, while you run the real campaign.