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March Mania

McFeely: It sure feels like Democrats are blowing this

Forum New Service columnist Mike McFeely

FARGO — Democrats held a two-car parade in Iowa and a 73-car pileup ensued.

What awaits in the New Hampshire primary is anybody's guess. For sure, it'll be ugly and cannibalistic because that's what Bernie Sanders and his backers bring to the table.

There are issues in Wisconsin with the party's national convention. Trump's poll numbers are inching up. The press has been largely negative.

Sigh. It kind of feels like the Democrats are blowing this election before it even starts.

It kind of feels like we're watching the re-election of President Donald Trump in slow, painful motion.

How you receive this opinion surely depends on whether you view Trump as the savior rescuing America from the clutches of a twice-elected black president or what he really is, an authoritarian thug hellbent on destroying democratic institutions and the rule of law for personal and political (but mostly personal) gain.

Either way, at this rate he's headed for four more years, which will only cement the long-held political theory that Democrats have an unbridled propensity to FUBAR the simplest things.

The 2020 election should be about one thing and one thing only for Democrats: Donald Trump.

The Democrats, instead, have made it into drama about themselves.

This election should be a referendum on Trump. His vulgarity, crudity, misogyny, racism and grift. It should be about his embrace of authoritarianism, his love affair with Vladimir Putin, his threats, his mental state, his policies that hurt everyday Americans.

All of it. The whole divisive ball of orange wax.

This is the tact Democrats used in the midterm elections in 2018, putting Trump before the people. It worked. Democrats won the U.S. House of Representatives and a handful of governorships.

This referendum should be taking place only where it matters — in swing states Trump won in 2016 (or came close to winning, in the case of Minnesota) that Democrats can win in November. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin. Maybe even North Carolina, Arizona and Georgia.

It's all about Trump and the Electoral College, folks. It ain't that hard. Doesn't mean the Democrats will win in November, but it's their best shot.

Yet here are the Democrats, flopping like carp out of water in Iowa, unable to count votes and then pointing fingers at each other. This, in turn, has led to infighting among the Democratic National Committee, the Iowa Democrats and the candidates themselves.

Sanders is turning his blowtorches to whomever he views as a threat, whether it's Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg or the DNC. Feels like 2016 all over again. At a time when the message should be "Trump stinks," Democrats are instead telling America they are in disarray, with solid doses of discord and incompetence tossed in.

A piece of advice from the Heartland: Get your stuff together, Democrats, and quick. The longer the infighting and ineptitude continue, the greater the chance Trump gets four more years.

Keep your eye on the orange prize, as it were.

Trump can be defeated, but it'll take some doing. Turning two-car parades into 73-car pileups isn't the way.

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