How to Lose the Midterms and Re-elect Trump

by Frank Bruni, Opinion Columnist, New York Times, June 13, 2018

Dear Robert De Niro, Samantha Bee and other Trump haters:

I get that you’re angry. I’m angry, too. But anger isn’t a strategy… You’ve chosen cheap theatrics over the long game, catharsis over cunning….You’re right that Donald Trump is a dangerous and deeply offensive man, and that restraining and containing him are urgent business. You’re wrong about how to go about doing that, or at least you’re letting your emotions get the better of you. It’s about maturity, pragmatism and plain old smarts — and the necessity of all three when the stakes are this high.

Many Democrats get that. Maybe even most do. In the primaries last week and on Tuesday, Democratic voters by and large chose House candidates whose appeals were tempered and whose profiles make them formidable general-election contenders. They’re the best bets for wooing less fiercely partisan voters and snatching seats currently in Republican hands.

The results in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District on Tuesday were a perfect example. State Senator Jennifer Wexton, a former federal prosecutor, won, and will take on the Republican incumbent, Barbara Comstock. That was precisely what Republican strategists didn’t want, and at the beginning of the year, they chattered hopefully about Wexton’s being thwarted by more strident Democratic rivals to her left. But she beat the second-place finisher by almost 20 points.

I’m buoyed by that and by what I’ve witnessed when I’ve met with Democratic candidates in potentially red-to-blue House districts. They’re not getting bogged down in impeachment talk, which can sound to many voters like a promise of ceaseless partisan rancor and never-ending Washington paralysis. They’re not frothing at the mouth about Trump.

They understand that there’s no need for that. …most American voters, who already know how they feel about him…[are] less certain about are their alternatives. If you want to make sure that at least one chamber of Congress is a check on Trump, talk to them about that.