Julian Zelizer says Avenatti is right: Democrats need to fight fire with fire

Historians in the News
tags: GOP, Democrats, Trump

Julian Zelizer is a history and public affairs professor at Princeton University, editor of "The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment" and co-host of the "Politics & Polls" podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @julianzelizer

In a speech at a Democratic fundraiser in Iowa, attorney Michael Avenatti, who is toying with a potential presidential run in 2020, made a provocative statement. He rejected the famous advice of former first lady Michelle Obama who said, "When they go low, we go high." 

Avenatti, who entered into the political spotlight through his defense of Stephanie Clifford, the adult film actress known as Stormy Daniels, told an excited crowd in northern Iowa that "we must be a party that fights fire with fire. When they go low, I say hit back harder." 

Avenatti is right. With two critical elections on the horizon -- 2018 and 2020 -- Democrats need to wake up from their civil slumber and understand that turning back the modern Republican Party, with President Donald Trump as its Batman and the Freedom Caucus as its Robin, will necessitate engaging directly in the hard-hitting, media-centered, political combat zone within which elections are now determined.

Despite the weaknesses that were exposed about the GOP in Tuesday's special elections, the Democratic Party should certainly not make the same mistake it did in 2016, believing that the nation would inevitably reject the kind of politics that Trump represents. 

While Barack Obama did find a way to make civil electoral politics work in 2008, this is not a recipe that is going to work today against a Republican Party consistently willing to go to any length to win. ...

Read entire article at CNN

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