The Yellow Brick Road Ahead…

The most difficult aspect of this past election could very well be the denial that has come from far too many on the far left. Look at the pro left in recent days. With ten days to go before inauguration, a great many of these folks are still hanging onto a hope that, somehow, Donny won’t be inaugurated. Not only that, but a number of them are on record bitching about Democrats who are “too conservative.”

We do not have time for fantasy, folks. Sadly, the last time we had some time to indulge in fantasy, was, oh, about 1968. That was when progressives helped elect Richard Nixon president, and we all remember how that turned out. Nixon was at least moderate enough that we could get him to sign some progressive bills, but that should have been our last experiment with Republican politics. Dwight Eisenhower should have been the last Republican president, and the last time Republicans should have ever won a Congressional majority was back in the 1950s, when they took over on Eisenhower’s coattails and immediately drove us into the first post-War recession.

See, the notion that anyone in the Democratic Party meets the definition of “conservative” as it is defined by the current incarnation of the Republican Party is pure fantasy. I know some of you hate Joe Manchin, but here’s the deal; whether you realize it or not, his home state of West Virginia has swerved way to the right in recent decades and he has no choice but to embrace what used to be a moderate Republican position just to survive in today’s environment. This notion that, somehow, every Democrat everywhere can be just like, say Maxine Waters or the cartoon version of Bernie Sanders that many on the far left seem to harbor, is ridiculous in the extreme. Maxine Waters has a solidly Democratic district drawn just for her and Bernie isn’t all that progressive on every single issue. He’s been turned into something of a caricature.  This type of thing is killing the progressive movement and giving Republicans far too much power, which they are using to remake the country into something less than the sum of its parts.

Donny will be inaugurated. There is no mechanism in our constitution to prevent it. There is no mechanism for a “do over” election, either. At some point, we have to figure out that the time to ensure an acceptable electoral outcome is achieved is before the election. There is simply nothing in our system that gives us a second chance to get an election right. There is no “oopsie” law in our system that would allow us to fix anything after the fact. Of course, there is a lot that needs fixing, too. No one should have to jump through hoops to exercise their right to vote and no one should be forced to prove their citizenship in order to vote. The way our system works is, the government has to prove that you committed a crime in order to deny you of a right, you don’t have to prove that you did not commit said crime. Think about it; it you can refuse to answer a police officer’s question because you might incriminate yourself, why should you be forced to prove that you are entitled to the vote on Election Day?

We all know this kind of thing instinctively, but what many on the far left don’t seem to grasp is that we have to win elections in order to change the “status quo” they claim they have such a problem with. Further, they don’t seem to understand that the far left makes up perhaps 10 percent of the entire electorate, which means we can’t win elections unless we can get another 40 percent to align with us. We can be absolutely right, in our own minds, but it doesn’t matter if we can’t make sure a majority of every level of government is at least willing to listen to us.

We have so much to do for the next two years. SO MUCH TO DO. And yes, I said TWO years. We can’t just sit back and wait for the next presidential election to happen and hope that something changes. We have to make changes which means, we have to be vigilant. Instead of sitting back and taking pot shots at individual Republicans, have to get on the cases of the entire GOP. A lot of us are already doing that. Look at what happened when Republicans tried to dismantle an ethics committee and people flooded the House switchboard and Republicans’ email accounts with objections. Within 24 hours, they had reversed themselves. Likewise, up until now, Republicans were keen on simply repealing Obamacare. Now, they are taking into serious consideration that they can no longer do so without a replacement. We need more of that. We have to make sure everything they do is scrutinized. We have to remember that Republicans are politicians first and that politicians want to win. The idea that they will do whatever they want and not care what anyone thinks is silly. Of course they do.

And we need the professional left to help. No more click-bait from these clowns. Every time there is a vote that draws 225 Republican votes and 5 Democratic votes and they decide to go after the 5 Democrats, we must call them on it. We need the pro left to call out Republicans to a greater degree than Democrats for the simple reason that Democrats are in charge of nothing at the federal level right now; whining about Democrats is completely ineffective. And we have to focus on the entire Republican Party and what it stands for, not just individual personalities. Paul Ryan is not a dick because he’s Paul Ryan, he’s a dick because he represents Republican orthodoxy, in which the rich get all of the benefit of government while the poor get royally screwed. Trump isn’t just a dick because he’s Donny Trump; he’s a dick because he uses things the GOP has stood for over the course of decades because he knows Republicans love that crap. Mitch McConnell isn’t a dick because he looks like a turtle and sounds like an idiot most of the time; he’s a dick because he represents what the GOP has become.

Our goal for the next TWO years is to gain enough of a consensus among the electorate to win the next election for Democrats. And it doesn’t matter who the Democrat is. Even the least progressive of Democrats is more progressive than any single Republican. We can get Donny to give in on a few things and we can certainly get at least a handful of Republican politicians to do the right thing once in a while. We can and we must. Screwing up yet another election gave us no choice.

Be vigilant and be pro-Democrat and set your eyes on the prize for 2018. Forget 2020 for now and for get the presidency for a while. We have align with ALL Democrats at every level and we have to help them maintain a long winning streak. it’s the only way to make it home and move America forward.

2 comments

  1. As if all this were not tribulation enough, today a writer (who once upon a time I respected) saw fit to stamp his feet and squeal about how WE COULD SO HAVE PASSED THE PUBLIC OPTION if only Obama had not revealed himself as a Republican lite neoliberal corporate whore sell out and thus fire up the old activist circle jerk of self pity and bile.

    Real productive use of his time, as you lay out in this essay

    Now I agree that we have limited time and a desperate need to elect dog leftist dogcatchers so as to fill up the government from the bottom. But that’s quite a bit of work, not very glamorous, and it harshes the buzz of leftie saviour fantasies, so it looks like we will have to do the job with the people we have and not the allies who really would be wise to join us.

  2. Elections have consequences and I’m afraid the next two years will be the result of disinterested voters more fascinated with what the Kardashians are doing or what Meryl Streep is saying than what has a direct impact on their lives. I only hope the wake up call doesn’t come too late for all of us.

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