How to do it

Rep. Eric Swalwell is part of an upcoming generation of Democrats stepping into leadership at just the right time. There are giants among them–like Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who belongs on The Mount Rushmore of legislators, in a position above all the others–but leadership up until recently just came of age in a different era.

In 1970s, 1980s and 1990s Washington, pre-Bill Clinton’s impeachment for a sexual act, there were actually a decent number of good faith Republicans. They were mostly conservative and wrong. But you had names like Chafee, Hatfield, Percy, Javitz, Jeffords and others who believed in legislating.

That era of American government is as over as Glasnost. Which is one reason why Republicans are so compromised at this point, their Russian allies. But their embrace of big-money radicals like the Kochs, the creation of their fash-friendly media wing (FoxNews, Sinclair, local talk radio…everywhere) and many more factors have led to a GOP full of right wing grifters, theocrats and above all, performers. They smear, lie, share conspiracies, and do whatever it takes to win, including inciting violence against the opposition and our democracy.

You can’t just be “above it all” or “take the high road.” An unanswered smear is one many people will believe. And I don’t mean their zombie base–they’re lost to politics, not to mention humanity and reading at a 6th grade level–but many low-information voters who only hear small nuggets of info.

The media won’t just push back–most of the time–on GOP lies. But they will cover it if we do. And that’s why a new breed of Democrats from all wings of the party, from Ruben Gallego to AOC, Adam Schiff to Katie Porter, Gretchen Whitmer to Eric Swalwell, finally get you must play this game well.

Watch here as Swalwell destroys GOP hypocrisy on Rep. Ilhan Omar by turning their own framing back against them, pointing out the virulent anti-Semtism they’re quite ok with, as long as you’re white and Republican.

This is a master class that more and more Dems are emulating.

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