The way forward


For the record, I first posted these thoughts on Facebook on April 7, 2017:

Here’s the new Democratic Party playbook, if things go as they seem to be going. It’s all about 2020. The key will be when the upcoming Trump recession ends. If it starts too soon, and ends in time, Trump could win a second term, like Reagan did in 1984. But if it starts later, or doesn’t recover enough by November 2020, he and the Republicans are toast, like in 1992 and 2008.

You’ll have an indication that Trump is in trouble if there is a Republican primary challenge. It’s very likely to be Rand Paul, as things stand today, but I wouldn’t count out Cruz and Rubio or even Kasich. All could mount a significant challenge. Even Ryan is a possibility. Any primary or independent challenge would likely be a death knell for Trump, as it was for Carter (Kennedy, Anderson) in 1980 and Bush (Buchanan, Perot) in 1992.

If Trump is weak, the Democrats stand a good chance to gain control of both the House and Senate, as well as the Presidency, as they did in 1992 and 2008. Remember, the high water mark for the Democrats was in 2008, just eight years ago, when they had 58 Senators (plus 2 independents) and a 257-178 advantage in the House. The Republicans peaked in 2014-2016 with 54 senators in 2014 and 247 members in the House in 2016. It’s all downhill for them from here.

The one fear I had if Clinton had won in 2016 was the Republicans taking it all in 2020, a critical census year. Now that feared result has been turned on its head into an amazing opportunity. An across-the-board Democratic win in 2020 would result in an unprecedented and momentous turning point for the country.

After 1992 and 2008, the Democrats were held back by the Republican filibuster and the 60-vote cloture rule in the Senate. Now, thanks to Mitch McConnell, those rules are no longer an impediment. Next time the Democrats are in charge, look for the complete elimination of the filibuster, followed by:

1) An immigration bill allowing a quick path to citizenship for up to 10 million undocumented US residents (soon to become Democrats). This will quickly turn Arizona, Texas and Florida into reliable Democratic states.

2) A $15/hour national minimum wage

3) Single-payer universal health care

4) An increase of seats on the Supreme Court, taking back the majority that the Republicans just stole. (This has been done in the past and will be done now again.)

5) A large raise in the debt ceiling, followed by a massive infrastructure program.

6) Laws against Republican gerrymandering of Congressional districts and voter suppression efforts.

7) Statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

Note that once done, all of these are almost impossible to reverse. Of course there would also be tax increases on the wealthy, as well as the reimposition of bank regulations and environmental protections deleted by the Trump administration. And look for national gun control and abortion rights legislation. Those could be changed back by a future Republican administration, but given the political reforms, the return of the Republicans to power will be more difficult and would require a shift in policies.

As you see, I am ever the optimist. But this can, and very likely will, happen. You read it here first.

Here’s what I wrote on Facebook on June 9, 2017:

When Democrats take back the Senate, we’re going to have to make sure that this type of thing never happens again. That will mean making some tough decisions. It means repairing the damage the Republicans are doing to our country, as well as ensuring that they cannot do it again. We’re going to have to do away with the filibuster (at least temporarily) and enact important legislation, including: (1) statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., (2) citizenship for up to 10 million immigrants, (3) laws against gerrymandering, (4) laws protecting the right to vote, (5) campaign finance reform, (6) adding two seats to the Supreme Court, and so on. We need to do this to save our democracy, so that a small minority cannot run roughshod over the rights of the rest of us.

2 thoughts on “The way forward

  1. As a Democrat Moderate I am not as passionate about 10 million more citizens, a few million yes, but not 10 million. Not keen on increasing taxes on the ultra wealthy even though I am poor. I am not keen on going back to the anti middle class white homeowner banking policies of the Obama era either, I lived through it and we were told our home was not our bank after it had been paid off, so it could not be used to pay off higher interest credit card debt and the banks ended up stealing tens of thousands of dollars in obscene interest rate charges.

    Hillary Clinton lost some of her own moderate base (not DailyPUMA however) because she was constrained as to what she could say once Barack Obama gave her his support. And we still don’t know why the FBI said Hillary Clinton was under investigation during the 2016 campaign, but not Donald Trump, when Donald Trump actually was under investigation.

    Infrastructure is a tricky thing. I would suggest that the upcoming robotics and drone revolution will do more to harm the middle class than taxing the wealthy or spending money on infrastructure.

    We are headed towards a day when robots build robots and the entire operation is powered by the sun, and that will create a bigger chasm between the wealthy and the rest of society then raising taxes and granting citizenship to 10 million people and building roads so that driverless cars and trucks can use them.

    Home Healthcare is still begrudged even though it may be the most effective way to reduce healthcare costs. Moderates believe that neither party has all the answers, Democrat Moderates believe that overall Democrats have a better, fairer platform, but they don’t condemn every Republican idea the way that Progressives condemn virtually all Republican ideas and Conservatives condemn virtually all Progressive ideas.

  2. Randy, Like you, I’m optimistic that the Democratic Party can take back Congress and the Presidency. While Republicans are doing some of the work for them with their ill-advised policies on immigration, health care and taxes, and their hypocritical support of sexual predators, Democrats need a sound plan and some good candidates to succeed. So far I have seen much of either from the party, only a lot of in-fighting and finger-pointing. And steering the party further to the left is not the way to go, as the Bernie camp would like to do, nor is using single-payer as a litmus test for candidates. Bernie isn’t even a real Democrat, so why he has so much influence over the party baffles me.

    @DailyPUMA, like you I consider myself a moderate, but I also consider myself a progressive. While I agree with Republicans that the tax code needs to be reformed, I vehemently disagree with their reasons–we do not have the highest tax burden in the world–nor do I agree with their plan, which disproportionately benefits corporations and the wealthy, and now they’re already talking about cutting Medicare and Social Security. While the Republican platform is full of nice-sounding (and jingoistic) platitudes, they honor many of them more in the breach than in reality. Can you name one or two things they’ve done that you agree with?

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