What a split screen moment we were given on Tuesday! In Wisconsin, President Biden showed America that the grown-ups are back in charge, displaying candor and compassion during his CNN Town Hall, while in Florida, the Inciter-in-Chief started a food fight with Mitch McConnell over the Minority Leader’s biting denunciation of Trump’s culpability in the January 6th insurrection. A couple of things to note:
First, President Biden’s appearance is hopefully the first of many opportunities to take his message directly to the people. Wisconsin was a canny choice, given its notable ideological divide, and Biden should appear at other venues in swing states, purple states and red states. While he’s not likely to break through the national conservative echo chamber (Fox News, OAN and Newsmax), he will get local media coverage where it counts. Keep making progress on the COVID and economic recovery fronts, and voters of all stripes will hear it.
Second, let the Civil War in the Republican Party begin! Let Trump keep stupidly lashing out at McConnell. (Did he forget McConnell was chiefly responsible for securing his first and second impeachment acquittals?) Let local and county officials continue to say the quiet parts out loud, like Washington County, Pennsylvania GOP Chairman Dave Bell calling for Senator Pat Toomey’s resignation, saying “We did not send him there to vote his conscience, we did not send him there to do the right thing.”
In fact, we should double-dare Trump and his followers to oppose moderate Republicans in the 2022 primaries. It will only nudge them further to the right, making either GOP choice toxic in the general election while unified Democrats campaign on Biden’s record of success.
The contrast couldn’t be greater—and the choice will be crystal clear, come the next election cycle.
Nelson Checkoway is an award-winning copywriter and the principal of Rising Tide Direct, a fundraising agency for non-profit organizations.