The day before The Disaster, there was almost universal agreement that the Republican Party had made itself irrelevant. That it was the party itself that had prepared the ground for the abomination that was Donald Drumpf, and that such recklessness was almost criminal neglect. That the GOP had nothing but itself to blame for the impending national embarrassment that this election would provde, and there would be some deep soul-searching at the RNC to try and rectify this disaster. That even the future existence of the Republican Party was in serious doubt.
24 hours later, the entire debate had shifted 180 degrees, and it was the Democratic Party that was in shambles, utterly distraught and near collapse. It seems odd to me that no one in Punditville has remarked on this flabbergasting reversal. Admittedly, the progressives in America are still in a sort of numb shock, and the scythe of history plows on, as Drumpf sets the stage for what will undoubtedly be one of the HUGEST fiascos of an administration in American history. And of course the focus is now on the circular firing squad that is the Drumpf transition team. But the empty shell that is left in the Democrat ranks is worth noting. Because, when Trumpism inevitably plummets by virtue of its own ineptitude, something better be in place to hold the net and recover from whatever implosions and explosions the Orange Bozo generates.
At the grass roots level, there began almost immediately a focused determination to lay the groundwork to reverse the field, starting with 2018 midterm elections. Pantsuit Nation is an example of what is happening in FB world, but all around the country, groups have already started to organize and plan. The realization is that the Left must incorporate a fifty-state strategy, must target down-ballot and local races to have any hope of recovering the moral high ground and the political intiative to push an agenda that profits everyone in the country. Fear, angst and anger are powerful motivators. It is already clear that this country will suffer significant setbacks in health care, voters’ rights, and personal liberty as the Drumpf machine kicks into gear.
The main question before the Democrats, on the other hand, is whether the party will have the gumption to withstand the legislative and executive onslaught that is about to be unleashed on this country. Not only the Affordable Care Act (which may actually be repealed with nothing but a vague promise that the GOP Congress will “get around” to replacing in “the very near future”), but Medicare, Social Security and other programs that have long been considered the third, electrified rail of modern America, are under assault. Drumpf has revealed nothing coherent in the way of policy, on any front. But Paul Ryan definitely has a policy ready to put in place, and that definitely includes privatizing both Medicare and Social Security. Seniors, even those who voted for Drumpf, are in tremendous jeopardy of having their safety net either pulled out from beneath them, or else having the net slashed and torn.
Supreme court nominations will eventually come to table. We can only pray that the liberals on the court can somehow live another four years.
Then there’s the famous Wall. There’s strong talk of reinstating the Muslim Registry, a post 9/11 abomination that the courts struck down. Even Net Neutrality, a fight many had thought was already won, is again in jeopardy, the likely FCC chairman nominee an adamant opponent. And please don’t even mention the EPA and global climate change. The United States, and the world, is about to suffer a horrible reversal in intent and action. Plus the whole regulatory world that has done so much to reverse the pollution catastrophes of the late 20th century is soon to be dismantled. We can certainly trust big business to monitor themselves. And on and on.
The only legislative recourse, indeed, the only recourse left at all as any potential deterrent to this coming tidal wave of destruction, is in the Senate. Sixty is the new majority in the Senate. The Democrats must find the will to resist and defeat the worst of the laws, and to deny the most ludicrous and dangerous of the nominees. In the past, Democrats have never been able to mount any cohesive front. It is, after all, a party of true diversity, and the lockstep mindless obedience that the GOP has shown over the last few decades has eluded them. As it should. But mindful resistance is critical now. A dedicated conviction to put the nation above re-election is paramount.
Much of this starts with the DNC. The new leadership must have a laser focus on the future. It must be dedicated, and that starts with the chairman. I blame Debbie Wasserman-Schulz more than any other single individual for The Disaster. Her ridiculous priorities led her to undermine Sanders and to insure that the most flawed candidate possible was the Democratic opponent to Drumpf. What should never have been in the slightest contention (and would not have been if America had to chose between Sanders and Drumpf), was always a razor-thin contest, ultimately with the razor slicing the Democratic jugular.
Keith Ellison seems a nice enough fellow. But being a fulltime member of the House of Representatives precludes being a fulltime chair. And don’t forget: Wasserman-Schulz also suffered the handicap of dual responsibility. I like a lot of what the South Carolina contender Jaime Harrison has to say, but he comes across as too accomodating and less likely to make the tough decisions. I personally prefer Howard Dean, who, when he last held the post, emerged with the Presidency and majorities in both houses. He is brilliant, focused, articulate, and knows what need to be done and how to do it. But whoever wins the chairmanship, they must be a force of nature in resisting the Republican bulldozer and implementing a fifty state, take-no-prisoner strategy to regain sanity in America.
America needs Democrats with gonads to stand before the tank in the square, and willing to sacrifice themselves in order to say, “This far, and no further.”
© 2016 Chuck Puckett