Trump war against Mueller will make Dem midterm turnout soar

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment MORE, it has been said, is his own best communications director. It should also be said, he may be the best communications director for Democrats. 

Trump, even more than Richard Nixon, plays the politics of the enemy list. Virtually every day, Trump chooses an enemy to attack. His attacks dominate the news. This politics of enemy lists creates a growing anger and fear among voters who are disturbed by what damage this brand of politics will do to America if it continues unchecked.

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For every voter in the Trump base who is motivated to vote by these attacks, even more voters who disapprove of Trump are motivated to vote.

 

Trump has always sought to undermine the investigation of Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE and his special counsel team. For many months, he used surrogates to spearhead the attack against Mueller, especially Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, while his former lawyers claimed he was cooperating with the investigation. Those days are over. Those lawyers are gone.

Now, Trump has put Mueller atop his enemies list. He is waging a war of political destruction against Mueller. He has deployed Rudy Giuliani, who was cheered by New Yorkers after the terror attack in September 2001 and was recently loudly booed at a New York Yankees game, to execute a crude strategy in his name.

Giuliani is an advertisement for obstruction of justice. He speaks relentlessly and aggressively to discredit and politically destroy the Mueller investigation.  

One must wonder what Emmet Flood, a highly regarded attorney at a highly prestigious law firm who has joined the Trump legal team, thinks about this legal strategy of Trump and Giuliani. Will Flood be the next Trump attorney to resign?

Trump is waging a war against Mueller. When he charges that he is being victimized by a “Criminal Deep State” conspiracy, he is waging war against the Justice Department and the FBI. When he virtually stalks and hounds Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSarah Sanders to leave White House Sarah Sanders to leave White House Barr compares his return to DOJ to D-Day invasion MORE, he is waging war against Sessions. When he berates and insults Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump: I didn't fire Mueller since firings 'didn't work out too well' for Nixon Trump: I didn't fire Mueller since firings 'didn't work out too well' for Nixon GOP group urges Republicans to speak out on obstruction claims against Trump in new ad MORE, he is waging war against him.

Among the vast number of voters who have made Trump extraordinarily unpopular, these vicious attacks against bastions of American justice that Trump treats as enemies create anger, alarm and outrage.

They believe, in large numbers, that something has gone terribly wrong with America under Trump. They fear, very deeply, that something very dangerous is happening in America under Trump and Republicans who back him.

They will vote in November in huge numbers to create the check and balance against Trump that they crave and believe is not being offered by Republicans in Congress.

There is a second group whose votes are moved by Trump’s war against Mueller, the Justice Department and the FBI and his transparent abuse of presidential pardons. These voters are not in the liberal or Democratic base. They are political independents and moderate Republicans, many of whom live in suburbs and small towns. Some of whom voted for Trump to “drain the swamp."

These voters ask themselves: Is Trump acting like an innocent man or a guilty man? On Election Day, a large number of them will conclude that Trump is acting like a guilty man. These voters, in large numbers, will be motivated to vote for Democrats to drain the swamp they now believe is caused by Trump and his GOP backers in Congress.

Similarly, when Trump wages trade wars against America’s neighbors in Canada and Mexico, and America’s democratic allies in Europe, he frightens and alarms voters in states and sectors that export.

They fear for their livelihood. They are the collateral damage caused by the trade wars Trump wages. Many of them will be motivated to vote against Republicans in November. 

Additionally, when Trump insults immigrants with sometimes racial overtones, he alarms and offends many Hispanic voters. When he treats Planned Parenthood as a political enemy and acts against rights of women that so many hold dear, he alarms and offends these women who will be super-motivated to vote for Democrats in November.

Trump’s war against Mueller offends and alarms a huge of voters. It reminds huge numbers of voters that they and their interests are also under attack by Trump. They will vote in much larger numbers than their average historical turnout, which poses an grave danger for Republicans in the midterm elections. 

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.