‘Yes, we’re elitists’

The New Hampshire Democratic Party did Republicans, and especially Donald Trump and his cheerleaders at Fox News, a huge favor when, in a perfect act of shooting itself in the foot, it chose as its guest speaker for its first Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner. …

Alec Baldwin.

Congragulations on hanging out a big sign saying, “Yes! We’re elitists.”

Because that is how Donald Trump and his syncophants at Fox will portray this — the Democrats aren’t serious; they’d rather have a faux Donald Trump speak to them than bring in a serious, hard-working Democrat to help them develop, launch and sustain a message to the mass of voters who, thanks in part of Republicans who never met a potential chant they didn’t love, believe them to be, indeed, elitists.

Even before he spoke, his appearance was under attack by Republicans, including NHGOP Chairman Wayne MacDonald who wrote in a mass email on Saturday:

“Tomorrow night, New Hampshire Democrats will celebrate with comedian Alec Baldwin, a man well known for his homophobic and sexist remarks, as well as his bullying. Surely, with a Democrat field as talented for 2020 as the Democrats claim, a better, less controversial, speaker could have been arranged.”

The reeks of hypocrisy, of course, given that their president, Donald Trump, thrives on those very same things.

Baldwin is now best known for his very funny portrayal of Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live. Funny is good, but not now, not when the stakes for the country, and especially for women, are so high.

And, really, how does Baldwin represent the legacy of Eleanor Roosevelt?

Sure, Baldwin undoubtedly made the annual dinner an event to remember but he is not, in the sense of appearances, a serious man, despite how much he tried to appear so at the dinner, discussing climate change, for instance, and his fear for its affects upon his children.

Still,, he is a man Republicans can use to paint Democrats as a party that cares nothing for regular people. Baldwin, a fine actor and possibly a man with serious political ideas, is Hollywood. He is New York. He is West Coast, East Coast, he is city, he is the guy who mocks the guy that people who don’t live on the coasts, who don’t live in the cities, continue to believe in despite his continued dumbing down of the nation’s standing in the world.

Alec Baldwin, for all his wit and charm, is not the man who can say, for Democrats, “We understand your problems, Nebraska. We feel your pain, Missouri. We are with you, West Virginia.”

Rather, Baldwin is the man who says, for Democrats, “Hillary won the popular vote thanks to taking California by more than 3 million votes.” Great. Just what Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota wants her constituents to think about when they go to the polls next month.

Was there no better choice for guest speaker at the Democrats’ annual dinner? Was there no Democrat who could lend to the dinner a sense of purpose, rather than a sense of mockery? For despite what Baldwin said in his speech, he will still be seen by the people who listen to Donald Trump and watch Fox News as someone who thinks he is better than they. And Democrats need their votes.

Why couldn’t the Democratic Committee have chosen someone like Rep. Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts, a serious and charismatic man, a young man who doesn’t represent the dinosaur crowd of Diane Feinstein and Patrick Leahy, good people for sure, but certainly not the future.

What about Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo? She is interesting, informed, informative, intelligent and, like Kennedy, charismatic?

But instead, they brought in Baldwin, possibly — even probably — because they believed he’d draw a bigger crowd to the annual dinner. But will he convince anyone other than a true believer to vote Democratic?

Certainly one could posit that Baldwin speaking to Democrats in New Hampshire is relatively small potatoes on the political landscape, what with us having a mere four electoral votes but concepts matter. Looks matter, and this was a bad look.

Alec Baldwin is not the candidate the Democratic Party needs, nor was he the best choice for the Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner.