Democrats are hoping Trump’s “drain the swamp” promise will come back to bite him in the 2018 midterms.
By Tara Golshan May 21, 2018, 4:55pm EDT
Congressional Democrats have unveiled their pitch to voters in 2018: They’re calling bullshit on President Donald Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp.”
House and Senate Democrats rolled out their campaign platform Monday, taking aim at corruption and pay-to-play politics in Washington under the Trump administration. They’re betting this message will help them win voters in the months leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, when the party hopes to regain control of the House — and maybe even the Senate.
The plan is called “A Better Deal for Our Democracy” — a spin on their economic platform, “A Better Deal” — with proposals to protect and improve voting rights, new ethics laws, and campaign finance reforms, including policies that would make lobbyists’ activities more transparent and tighten rules around bribery and fraud convictions.
Congressional Republicans have had to answer for — and have largely gone along with — an unprecedented number of corruption and ethics scandals under the Trump administration, from Cabinet secretary resignations to Trump’s personal lawyer taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from Russian oligarchs and major international corporations in exchange for “insight” into the Trump administration. Democrats are hoping to brand the first two years of the Trump presidency as the “most corrupt administration in modern times,” drawing on recent polling that shows voters mobilize around the “money in politics” issue.
The platform itself is reminiscent of a message Democrats campaigned on in 2006, a midterm election year that also came after historic Republican corruption scandals and resulted in Democratic control in the House, Senate, and a majority of governorships. With Trump’s record-setting unpopularity and a Democratic voter base enthusiastic to come out and vote, Democrats are banking on this message to bring them sweeping electoral wins once again.
Democrats’ “Better Deal for Democracy” platform, explained
Democrats first announced the “A Better Deal” campaign, last summer, focusing on economic and political inequality “with Better Jobs, Better Wages and a Better Future for all Americans.”
This latest agenda, however, is focused on corruption around three pillars: voting rights and access, campaign finance, and pay-to-play politics. Democrats are planning to unveil a House resolution on the floor later this week along these lines, with specific bills to address the issues.