Came across a comment the other day from Economist Robert Reich, a Democrat to the soles of his little feet. Former Labor Secretary for Clinton.
Here’s what he had to say. “Bipartisanship is not a goal. Goals are raising the minimum wage, securing voting rights, ending police brutality, getting universal health care and saving the planet. If these can’t be done in a bipartisanship way, the Hell with bipartisanship.”
In other words, to Democrats, if Republicans are going to sit on their asses while continuing to deny Americans access to health care, a living wage, creating roadblocks to voting in state after state, continue trying to make the writings of Dr. Seuss a national campaign issue and passing more tax breaks for the very, very wealthy, effectively use the votes you have, Democrats. DROP THE HAMMER!
And another thing: the filibuster. Fix it. Operating from minority strength, the GOP has stopped Senate action repeatedly. Under the current rules, one or more members of the Senate can tie up/delay everything. And, it takes 60 votes to override and get back to work. Passing the huge Covid relief bill out was a squeaker. Other, lesser legislation has not been so successful. Now, some voting rights bills and one on gun control, already out of the House, are being sent to the Senate where they’ll be DOA. Filibustered.
I’m on the side of those who’d “kill” the ‘buster. But, there’s talk in both cloak rooms of reform - of making it a “talking” filibuster. In today’s 50-50 situation, Republicans would have to rise and talk. And talk and talk. Imagine Jimmy Stewart in “Mister Smith Goes To Washington.” A Republican would have to talk continually about his/her objections until they either gave up or Democrats pulled the bill. Might work. If it doesn’t, axe the damned thing and get going!
Democrats will not always control the Congress and the Presidency. Now, they do. Odds are they’ll continue that majority for at least four more years. Maybe six or even eight. It’s “now or never,” folks. All that talk of getting this-that-and-the-other done needs to be turned to using that unique situation to produce and pass legislation fulfilling those promises.
Biden’s big bill means, for most of us, a $1,400 support check, more Covid vaccine, extended jobless benefits, child tax credits, big help for schools and a lot more. Democrats did all that without a S-I-N-G-L-E Republican vote! Not one. GOOD JOB! But, there’s more to do. Lots more!
The next big task MUST BE voting rights. Republicans - with a major boost from SCOTUS - are continuing a state-by-state attack on the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of all of us to vote, including minorities. Reduced polling places, reduced voting times, unnecessary identification paperwork, cutting down dates for voting and all sorts of B.S..
Here in Arizona, where mail-in voting has been conduced successfully for many years, we must now send copies of our driver’s licenses or some other photo ID with our completed 2022 ballots. Totally unnecessary! But, a legislature, heavily dominated by Republicans, has made it so. Other states are erecting more barriers voters must conquer. It’s got to stop!
How do GOP politicians, by unanimous votes against the interests of citizens, go home and campaign for re-election? How do they do that? How do you vote a unanimous “NO” to health care and health insurance, voting rights, unemployment benefits, child care, added voting restrictions, attacks on Constitutionally guaranteed rights and face the people? Long on guts - short on smarts. But, uneducated voters buy it! Year after year.
A Louisiana Republican who voted “no” on the stimulus package had - within an hour of the vote - an email on the way to constituents telling of all the good stuff in the legislation. No smarts. Just guts.
Democrats need to go to those same voters - with proof - and educate ‘em. We know many Republican voters have had enough and many Independents are looking for a home.
Now - right now - is the time Democrats should be telling voters what’s going on, showing people what’s been done, offering evidence of Democrat Party leadership and extending a welcoming hand. Right now! Stop talking to each other about how bad conditions are and get to work. You’ve already good Democrat Party accomplishments to share. Right now!
And more. The Republican Party is in tatters. For reasons thinking people can’t understand, some 30-40-million lost souls will follow Trump into oblivion. That portion of the GOP will stand for nothing - produce nothing - accomplish nothing. And they’ll complain about everything. They’ll only be a threat on the ballot if Democrats don’t fill all open races. What’s left of the Grand Old Party will flounder and, similarly, produce nothing.
More than at any time in my knowledge, now is the time for Democrats to create a movement to educate - inform - recruit. In less than three months, Democrats have accomplished a lot. Republicans have accomplished nothing. And they’ll continue to accomplish nothing. I can’t think of a single GOP-authored proposal in the past 90 days. The past year.
There are still Republicans in Congress who know better, know Trump is a fraud and likely headed to jail. Some still talk of “party loyalty” when the truth is there’s no party. Trump wants all future donations made to his PAC rather than the RNC. How long can the RNC be financially viable if donors do what Trump wants? “Party loyalty” to what?
The 2022 campaign has already begun. Republicans are out there beating the bushes, looking for money and volunteer support. All they’ve got, in the words of Andy Griffith in the movie “No Time For Sergeants” is “a handful of gimmie and a mouthful of ‘much obliged.’” They can’t produce any Republican programs or legislative successes. They’ve got nothing! Nada!
The future is wide open for Democrats in Congress and the White House. Republicans will continue to produce opposition and obstruction. If - IF - Dems hold together, both can be overcome.
But, more than that, they’ve got to sell. Sell, sell, sell! With evidence of major successes in less than 90 days, there are already plenty of accomplishments to take to the streets for recruiting.
Go get ‘em!