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The Domestic Abuse Cycle: A Framework for Our Politics and a Path Forward, Part Eight

October 11th, 2017
Republican Abuse

In Part One I introduced my premise: GOP uses tactics against Democrats that mirror the behaviors of domestic abusers, creating a warped environment. I gave examples of these tactics in Part Two and in Part Three I described the ineffective response by Democrats. In Part Four I talked about how the media amplifies rather than evaluates GOP abuses, and how Democrats need to recognize this dynamic. In Part Five I covered how Democrats can move from a defensive to an offensive position by reintroducing to the public what decent standards of political behavior should be. In Parts Six and Seven I proposed additional tactics Democrats can use to counter GOP abuse, including inevitable Republican pushback. As I noted, Republicans will vandalize any message Democrats offer, so Democrats need to focus as much, if not more, on learning how to aggressively respond to the inevitable vandalism, instead of fruitlessly trying to fashion a message that will somehow avoid or preclude the vandalism. Today: my conclusion.

The disastrous Trump presidency can accelerate the destruction of our democracy OR be the wake-up call that finally convinces Democrats to directly confront and conquer GOP abuse.

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The Domestic Abuse Cycle: A Framework for Our Politics and a Path Forward, Part Seven

October 10th, 2017
Republican Abuse

In Part One I introduced my premise: GOP uses tactics against Democrats that mirror the behaviors of domestic abusers, creating a warped environment. I gave examples of these tactics in Part Two and in Part Three I described the ineffective response by Democrats. In Part Four I talked about how the media amplifies rather than evaluates GOP abuses, and how Democrats need to recognize this dynamic. In Part Five I covered how Democrats can move from a defensive to an offensive position by reintroducing to the public what decent standards of political behavior should be. In Part Six I proposed additional tactics Democrats can use to counter GOP abuse and today will offer more.

Democrats Should Coordinate and Train

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The Domestic Abuse Cycle: A Framework for Our Politics and a Path Forward, Part Six

October 9th, 2017
Republican Abuse

In Part One I introduced my premise: GOP uses tactics against Democrats that mirror the behaviors of domestic abusers, creating a warped environment. In Part Two I gave examples of these tactics and in Part Three I described the ineffective response by Democrats. In Part Four I talked about how the media amplifies rather than evaluates GOP abuses, and how Democrats need to recognize this dynamic. In Part Five I covered how Democrats can move from a defensive to an offensive position by reintroducing to the public what decent standards of political behavior should be. Today I will propose additional tactics Democrats can use to that end.

Democrats can:

Unite around a core set of Meta-Messages

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The Domestic Abuse Cycle: A Framework for Our Politics and a Path Forward, Part Five

October 5th, 2017
Republican Abuse

In Part One I introduced my premise: GOP uses tactics against Democrats that mirror the behaviors of domestic abusers, creating a warped environment. In Part Two I gave examples of these tactics and in Part Three I described the ineffective response by Democrats. In Part Four is talked about how the media amplifies rather than evaluates GOP abuses, and how democrats need to recognize this dynamic. Today I will begin discussing how Democrats can move from a defensive to an offensive position.

Let's start with:

The Donald Trump Factor

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The Domestic Abuse Cycle: A Framework for Our Politics and a Path Forward, Part Four

October 5th, 2017
Republican Abuse

In Part One I introduced my premise: GOP uses tactics against Democrats that mirror the behaviors and outcomes of domestic abusers, creating a warped environment. In Part Two I described and gave examples of these tactics and in Part Three I described the ineffective response by Democrats, who, like domestic abuse victims, have been choosing to cope with, rather than reject, GOP abuse. Today I'll address The Media’s Role and Democratic Enlightenment.

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The Domestic Abuse Cycle: A Framework for Our Politics and a Path Forward, Part Three

October 4th, 2017
Republican Abuse

In Part One I introduced my premise: The GOP uses tactics against Democrats that mirror the behaviors and outcomes of domestic abusers and described the foundational tactic: dishonesty. In Part Two I discussed the rest of the Republican abuse toolbox:

  • Demonization
  • Disrespect/Dehumanization
  • Gaslighting
  • Investigations
  • Voter Suppression
  • Opposition Suppression
  • Intimidation and Violence

Today's topic:

Democratic Response to Republican Abuse


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The Domestic Abuse Cycle: A Framework for Our Politics and a Path Forward, Part Two

October 3rd, 2017
Republican Abuse

In Part One I set up the premise that the GOP uses tactics against Democrats that mirror the behaviors and outcomes of domestic abusers, conditioning us to accept a world in which they are held responsible for nothing while Democrats are held responsible for everything, including malicious acts performed against them. I discussed dishonesty, the foundational tactic Republicans use to overcome their primary problem which is that their preferred policies, when described honestly and accurately, are unpopular with majorities of Americans. Today I'll run through the rest of their basic toolbox. Please note: the examples I offer barely scratch the surface as the material is, sadly, so plentiful.

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The Domestic Abuse Cycle: A Framework for our Politics and a Path Forward, Part One

October 2nd, 2017
Republican Abuse

I was watching a clip of Bill Maher and Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff (whom I like very much) discussing Donald Trump’s firing of former F.B.I. Director James Comey and Schiff lamented he was ”too nice”. That's when it hit me: the dynamic between the GOP and the Democratic Party fits perfectly into the frame of domestic abuse. The GOP leadership is the battering husband. The Democratic leadership is the battered wife. And American citizens are the battered children.

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Republican Rules of Engagement

June 23rd, 2017

When following political news, it helps to understand the rules of engagement that are, at present, accepted as normal by Republicans, Democrats, most media, and the public:

Republicans are always granted the presumption of innocence, until proven otherwise.

Democrats labor under the presumption of guilt until proven otherwise.

In most cases, no amount of evidence is enough to prove a Republican guilty and no amount of evidence is enough to prove a Democrat innocent.

Republicans are allowed to accuse Democrats of anything, no matter how unjustified, far-fetched, obviously malicious or factually absurd.

Democrats are expected to defend themselves against accusations, requiring time, effort and money.

Republicans are responsible for nothing — not their actions, nor the actions of others. (Although they will take credit for successes they didn’t earn.)

Democrats are responsible for everything, including the malicious acts others perform against them.

So long as Democrats accept these terms — and allow “the media” to accept these terms without pushback — Republicans win.

Healthcare and the Myths of Choice

March 29th, 2017
Choice? Really?

As of today, March 29, 2017, the ACA is still, to quote Paul Ryan, "the law of the land". Whether that will remain the case is unclear as, after a weekend of contemplating the ruins of their Repeal-Obamacare scheme, some Republicans are saying they'll try again. Separately Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, an avowed ACA opponent, is now hinting he will purposely do what he can to damage the functioning of the ACA. So we'll see.

But in the meantime, for people who might want to actually improve delivery of affordable healthcare to Americans, there are two fallacies I'd like to address:

  1. That people view healthcare like a consumer product.
  2. That people even have choices.

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