As the presidential election draws closer, the Biden campaign’s strategy has increasingly focused on blaming Trump for disease, depression, and racial unrest. Presidents, like coaches of sports teams, get too much credit during good times and too much blame when troubles occur. The last six months have brought a motherlode of bad luck on Trump's campaign; the worst pandemic in a century; a massive lockdown of the economy; public health measures resulting in 40 million people out of work and living in extreme social isolation; weeks of rioting with widespread looting, unopposed attacks on police and the burning down of many businesses. While Trump is responsible for none of it, the Biden campaign strategy has become the party of disease, depression, and racial violence in order to aggravate all three crises.
On the pandemic they have transformed the Chinese Communist Party's role in the origin and internationalizing of the disease into the claim that Trump is a racist. They have transformed the FDA and CDC's initial testing screwup into a Trump failure that caused the disease to take hold in the U.S. They attacked one possible treatment, hydroxychloroquine, as a dangerous drug simply because Trump suggested it might be helpful. They claimed that the few hundred people demonstrating against the lockdown were going to kill thousands while ignoring the fifteen million people violating social distancing norms to attack police. And worst of all, they offered little support for the administrations’ guidelines on slowing the spread.
On the economy, they have encouraged overly restrictive lockdown policies that deepen and prolong the economic deterioration. They insisted on putting financial incentives into the supplemental appropriations to incentivize people to remain on unemployment rather than return to work.
Worst of all, in response to the death of George Floyd, they have played down the demonstrators demands to abolish the police, refused to condemn rampant vandalism, opposed attempts to control rioting, and above all celebrated the massive turnouts at Black Lives Matter rallies even though they clearly created a serious contagion risk.
With disease, depression, and chaos in the streets on Trump's watch, it simply makes no sense for the Democrats to have Biden out at press conferences forced to take positions on lockdown measures, reopening the economy, and violence in the streets.
What does the Biden campaign have to gain by having to answer questions about what he thinks about tearing down statues of Washington and Jefferson?
While I agree that Biden was never too smart to begin with and does show signs of reduced mental capacity, his debate with Sanders showed that he is still capable of managing a debate. Given the current predicaments that the Trump administration is facing, if Biden makes it out of the debates without drooling, it may be enough to push him over the finish line.
The real danger for the Democrats is that this could backfire. If the violence continues abetted by the Democratic officials demonizing police, imposing selective shutdowns of businesses, churches, and gatherings of more than ten people while enthusiastically promoting anti-police rioting that violates social distancing guidelines, prosecuting people for defending their homes and businesses against rioters while letting tens of thousands of violent criminals out of jail, then the public may grow weary of the chaos and shift the blame from Trump to the Democrats.
Law and order is not a Trump electoral strategy. Basic safety is something that people desperately want and the radical Democratic mayors, governors, and city councilors are actively promoting crime and violence by their anti-police policies. CNN and MSNBC do their best to hide the deterioration of social order in our cities but people know what is happening and as they realize that it is their local official’s fecklessness that is making them unsafe, they may turn against the Democrats.
The election is still three months away and the Democrats playbook comes with a lot of risk. While the current polling shows that promoting disease depression and racial discord may in the short run help Biden, in the long run it may well backfire as the public wises up to the Democrat’s destructive policies.