Michelle Obama gave her fellow Democrats a piece of famous advice during her speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention: "When they go low, we go high." The mantra, delivered during a particularly nasty campaign, is now back in the news for an unusual reason: Some high-profile Democrats say it's time to do precisely the opposite. Details and developments:
- Eric Holder: At a speech in Georgia on Sunday, the former attorney general said Democrats have to get tougher, reports CNN. "Michelle always says, 'When they go low, we go high.' No. No. When they go low, we kick them." He later clarified: "When I say we kick them, I don't mean we do anything inappropriate, we don't do anything illegal, but we have to be tough and we have to fight." Watch the clip here.
- Hillary Clinton: She didn't go quite as far as Holder, but in a CNN interview Tuesday she said: "You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about." She said Republicans understand only "strength," not civility, adding that the latter will return only if Democrats take back the House and Senate. White House adviser Kellyanne Conway called out Clinton's comments as "graceless" and "a little bit dangerous," per the Hill.
- New strategy? "I find it hard to believe this remarkably consistent messaging is a coincidence," writes John Sexton at Hot Air. "It seems like the sort of thing some Democrats discussed privately as a midterm messaging strategy." He draws a parallel to Democrat Maxine Water's advice to confront members of the Trump administration in public.
- President Trump: Asked about Holder's comment on Fox Wednesday night, the president responded, "I think it's a disgrace," reports Mediaite. "Hillary, I really understand," he added. "She just doesn’t get it. She never did. She never will. And that’s why she lost the election." The Washington Post can't help but point out that Trump once told his supporters to "knock the crap out of" anti-Trump protesters.
- Biggest advocate: In an analytical take on the developments, the Post notes that other Democratic activists and lawmakers—including Rep. Ted Lieu back in March 2017—have said Obama's advice doesn't cut it these days. Isaac Stanley-Becker writes that the person who seems to embody the philosophy the most is Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti, who is making noise about a 2020 run. Democrats "have a tendency to bring nail clippers to a gunfight," he complains.
- The 'mob': Republicans are pushing back by characterizing Democrats as an "angry mob," notes NPR, and one GOP strategist expects use of that description to increase as the midterms near. A New York Times analysis sees Trump as leading this particular charge in the wake of the Brett Kavanaugh protests. The piece notes that at a recent rally, the president criticized an "angry left-wing mob" after his own supporters chanted, "Lock her up!"
- Not buying in: Not all Democrats are on board with the new aggressiveness. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota called Clinton's comment "ridiculous,” adding, "I can't imagine how you get anything done if you don’t bring civility back into politics, and that goes for both sides."
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