It is 2023. A time when the Republicans have taken back the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Thanks to gerrymandering and voter repression they have picked up even more governorships and state houses.
Since the 2022 election, the GOP controls pretty much everything but the presidency, and with Joe Biden’s approval ratings in the tank, Republicans seem poised to win that next year, as well as making even more gains in the U.S. Senate.
Meanwhile, the second impeachment trial of President Joe Biden is in its second week in the U.S. Senate, while the destruction of American democracy and the planet goes forth unimpeded.
Democrats, of course, are kicking themselves so hard and so often that they won’t be able to sit down for weeks.
Just a year ago the Dems held both houses of congress and the presidency. They had what will likely turn out to be their last chance in a generation—maybe longer—to halt the GOP’s takeover of state and federal government. And while they managed to pass an infrastructure bill, a greatly watered-down social spending bill, and a huge military spending bill, it wasn’t enough to stop the dreaded mid-term landslide.
Nor was it enough to stop the Republicans from gerrymandering and voter suppressing their way to near-permanent control of all branches of government.
It’s not like Democrats weren’t warned. Everybody and his brother was writing op-eds with headlines like: “Democrats are sleepwalking towards electoral disaster in 2022.” And “Democrats Deny Political Reality at Their Own Peril.” You may recall how Ezra Klein warned back in 2021, “Democrats are on the precipice of an era without any hope of a governing majority.” Even Bill Maher was pleading with Democrats to be less woke and more working class.
But a lot of Democrats, especially progressives, didn’t believe it. Or didn’t want to believe it. They truly believed the GOP was on its way out. They had been assured that demographics were against the Republicans. Trump’s election and Charlottesville had woken up Americans to the threat of the extreme right. Hell, the Republican Party wasn’t even a real party any more. It was a cult. A joke.
The GOP may be a cult, but here in 2023, that cult, and its anti-democracy billionaire backers, is firmly, solidly in control of our government. And the Democrats did almost nothing to stop it from happening.
Did they do anything to address the massive inequality plaguing America, such as pass a wealth tax? Did they pass voting rights legislation that would prevent the GOP from rigging future elections? Did they stop making elitist, anti-working class statements like, “Parents shouldn’t be allowed to tell schools what to teach their children?” Did they do anything to reverse Citizens United, such as passing a constitutional amendment? Did they seriously try to offer statehood to Washington, DC or Puerto Rico? Did they dump the filibuster? Did they raise the federal minimum wage to at least $15? Did they spend 2022 listening to working class voters (black, white and Hispanic) in Rust Belt states and find out what it would take to earn back their votes?
Maybe next time.
Meanwhile Donald Trump has just announced that he will run for president in 2024. He promises to stop vaccination mandates, finish building his wall, reverse course on climate change action, crack down on the media, repeal ObamaCare, and ban Muslims. He is talking about declaring Black Lives Matter a terrorist group, declaring Martial Law in our cities, and making sure that Democrats “never steal another election.”
Instead of figuring out how to defeat Trump and the Republicans, Democratic pundits like Robert Reich suggested Dems pass a resolution invoking Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bars anyone from holding office who has “engaged in the insurrection” against the United States” so Trump cannot become president again. This is apparently easier than, you know, trying to win working class voters.
It gets worse. According to Democratic data guru David Shor, “Senate Democrats could win 51 percent of the two-party vote in the 2024 election and still end up with only 43 seats in the Senate.”
This may be data analytics but it isn’t rocket science. The Democratic Party is headed for the rocks. There is only one way to turn this ship around. The Democrats need to once again become the party not of Wall Street and the professional elite, but of working class Americans. The white, black and brown working class. Otherwise the GOP will. And they will be unstoppable.