Wednesday, December 21, 2016
You Gotta Fight!
Leave it to Lyin' Ted to lash out at Democrats for what he foresees as an "unpresidented" level of obstruction in the years ahead. It is going to be pretty hard to trump the "Green Eggs and Hams" filibuster but maybe Al Franken can regal the Senate floor with an ongoing "Daily Affirmation with Stuart Smalley."
If there is anything we have learned this past year it is that obstruction works, so too does obfuscation and a complete disregard for any facts that might stand in your way. It's not like Democrats have to totally give up on truth, but they do need to do a better job of bending it and completely distorting it if necessary to drive a point home. As we saw on the Campaign Trail 2016, you can pretty much throw out any facts and figures and dare opponents to refute them. If you are going to drop truth bombs you better make sure they are going to go off!
On a more practical level, the Democrats need to reclaim their Blue States, starting with Wisconsin and Michigan, like they have in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Then they can move onto other failed states like Kansas and Florida, which have seen the worst of the Republican shock treatment. Democrats have to go on the offensive. They sat back this election thinking the Republicans would undo themselves. It sure looked that way early on, but one can never underestimate the ability of the electorate to look past these many indiscretions.
They also need to reclaim Jesus. This will probably be more difficult, but they have to make the effort. It was ironic seeing Bernie Sanders trying to do this at Liberty University late last year. Hillary essentially treated the Evangelical vote as a no woman's land, and made little effort to reach out to the disgruntled religious masses, who have been led to believe Democrats are godless socialists. There is no reason why the Republican Party should be able to claim it is God's party when so many of its actions fly in the face of Christianity, and put up a President who probably only set foot in a church for his weddings and that at the insistence of his wives. This will go a long way toward reclaiming some of the rural vote that has tilted so heavily in the Republicans' favor ever since Reagan.
Hard as it is, Dems also have to learn not to talk down to voters. They have to get in there and mix it up at the county fairs, tent revivals and fish fries and show that they are one with the people. For too long they have relied on urban centers to carry battleground states for them. They have to find a way to make their message resonate in the heartland, which Democratic leaders once were able to do.
For his part Obama has vowed to coach young leaders, but the Dems can no longer rely on Barry to carry the day. They have to recruit young dynamic leaders and rebuild their party base in the Midwest. It also needs to continue to make in-roads into the South. There is a lot of dissatisfaction in Dixie that has been falsely directed at Democratic leaders. They were able to retake North Carolina. There is no reason they can't tilt Georgia if they make a strong effort.
Most of all they have to shed the Clinton legacy. This was obviously what dragged the Democratic Party down this election. We saw the first signs of it in 2014 when Bill and Hillary were unable to rally voters around their chosen candidates. Particularly painful was the loss of Allison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky, considered a sure thing early on in the Midterms. Bill Clinton invested heavily in her campaign only to see her go down in defeat to the highly unpopular Mitch McConnell. Bill is an old horse that should be put to pasture.
Bernie showed the direction the party should go in. It is important that the Democratic National Committee champions a social-minded agenda, not continues to play it safe. No more Donna Brazilles or Debbie Wasserman-Schultzes. It has to be confrontational but at the same time know when to pick its fights. Most of all, it can't allow itself to ever be hacked again!
It's a sad day, that's for sure, but just because we are forced to swallow Donald Trump as President, it doesn't mean we have to accept him. Democrats have to fight him every step of the way. They have to remind the electorate of each and every one of his indiscretions each and every day making his time in the White House as miserable as possible. We also have to take this fight to Congress, letting the Republicans know just what it's like to obstruct each and every bill they try to put forward because we all know their prime objective is to gut the government and funnel the money to their cronies in the corporate world.
It will be pretty hard to top the level of obstruction we saw the last 8 years, but the Democrats should make every effort to do so, unless we all want to wake up and see our Social Security and Medicare, not to mention other social programs, carved up and divvied out to private carriers. As the Beastie Boys would sing, "you gotta fight for your right to ..."