Democrats, Trump resisters, liberals of all stripes, enemies of fascism and others of good faith, do this for me …
Go outside, stand on your picnic table (or car, or roof) and shout “YES! ABOLUTELY! if you believe as I do that Mitch McConnell should be levied with every criminal charge conceivable—or at the very least, should be forced to endure Congressional hearings and investigations until the end of his miserable days—over his traitorous and anti-Constitutional obstruction of Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.
While you’re out there, throw in some boisterous endorsement for the as-yet unannounced policy that will hold of Trump’s cabinet appointees and White House staff accountable for any and all corruption and malfeasance that might occur during their terms in office, or any perjury or misrepresentation they might have committed to get themselves approved for the office they occupy.
Oh, and as long as you’ve gone to all the trouble, give voice to your enthusiastic support for indicting, prosecuting and convicting Trump, himself, for even the slightest hint of conflict-of-interest between the Oval Office and his greasy business concerns.
I’ll give you a minute.
* * *
Okay, are we feeling better?
Or are you thinking to yourself, cynically, Yeah, sure … like any of that’ll happen.
Well, my like-minded friends, I’m not so sure it couldn’t happen, and sooner than you might think. If Democrats get their organizational shit together anytime soon, there is every chance they will take back the Senate in 2018. And if the typical history of off-year elections is any guide, there may even be a shot at getting the House. This isn’t mere peppy Pollyanna talk. There are plenty of reasons to believe the Republicans have a thrashing coming.
Do I have to list them?
If you insist … but only on the condition I squeeze it all into one sentence.
We have just seen …
A) the man who lost the popular vote by a remarkable margin take office with the lowest approval ratings of any incoming president in polling history, and, …
B) as he has spent the first two weeks of his administration fucking up like only an obscenely ugly little tyrannical imbecile could, there is no evidence to suggest he will be anything but less popular come the 2018 campaign season—that is, if he even lasts until the 2018 campaign season … which is a mighty big “if,”—and, …
C) never, not even during the most fevered days of protest against the Viet Nam War or the struggle for Civil Rights, has there been a larger, more motivated, incentivized, enraged base of American citizens committed to turning this travesty of an administration into the historical equivalence of road-kill, and, …
D) the voters most attracted to Trump are 1) those with the sparsest background of civic involvement, thoughtful decision making and general awareness, 2) are the least likely to turn out for off-year elections, 3) are precisely the sort who can’t name their representatives or anyone else outside of Grammy contenders and NASCAR drivers, and, …
E) 2018 is only 11 months away.
So yes, I can see it happening. But I return to a previous sentence, “If Democrats have their organizational shit together anytime soon … ,” and my biggest fear is that they—we—will piddle away too much time and energy arguing about what “having their shit together” means.
I don’t pretend to have a broad and coherent vision myself of what a unified, seamless opposition would look like, and I doubt one will ever exist. There will undoubtedly be differing versions of how far we should go—from our national leaders to the legions on the streets—to resist and destroy this criminal conspiracy.
Yet there is one common ground on which we should all be basing our operations—be we old Democrats, new Democrats, incumbent Democrats, first-time candidate Democrats, rank&file Democrats, Bernie Democrats or Hillary Democrats—which is to agree that, indeed, it is nothing less a criminal conspiracy sinking its claws into the heart of our country. Whether it was originally conceived in the brutal brain of Vladimir Putin, blueprinted on the black soul of Steve Bannon, or promoted by the honorless conniving of craven traitors like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, it all stinks of the same decay—an abandonment of the founding concept of our nation, that we are bound by laws in our behavior—political or otherwise—and not the diseased, insatiable ambitions of powerful men and women.
In the coming months and years, Democrats must fight like Marines to return America to that principle. The only other institution strong enough to take on the Trump Reich is the press, but their strength comes from their capacity to turn over the rocks and expose the underlying nastiness to the light. It is not in journalism’s purview to prosecute the nastiness. It is the opposition party’s duty to purge the criminals.
If Democrats have their organizational shit together, there will be multiple candidates for every national and statewide office. Even in hayseed heavens like Idaho, there will be Democrat primaries, giving us a choice for who will take on the Republican stain. And I can almost promise you, the winners in those primary contests will be the ones who convinces us he or she will fight the hardest to restore law and order to our nation’s governance.
And when the purge begins, punishment—be it impeachment, penalties, imprisonment, whatever is appropriate—must no longer be “… off the table …” in Nancy Pelosi’s unfortunate words. For the crimes, the breaches of public trust, the treachery and the damage to democracy with which the Republican Party has staggered our nation, we must demand justice, pursue justice, and settle for nothing less than justice. Without it, our American Dream will become a meaningless delusion.
If it hasn’t already.
(Note to those with progressive political ambitions: If there was ever a year to get up and run, 2018 is it.)