I’m a life long Democrat and I desperately want Biden to win.
Right now — based on current polls, public denunciations of Trump by Mattis and Romney and even Kelly, peaceful public demonstrations like nothing we’ve seen before, the revelations by Bolton, and the latest Supreme Court rulings on DACA – popular sentiment seems to be that the Party is doing fine, just fine, and Joe Biden seems poised to win. Therefore, a lot of people believe it follows that any criticism of what the Party does or doesn’t do, any suggestion of new things that can be done, is negative thinking and detracts from the effort to oust Trump.
Yet I still remember when Hillary was running, the party was not just doing fine, it was doing great, really great, really really great, and Trump could never be elected. Hillary had it cinched. Well … after it was all over, I spoke with a well-known Superior Court Judge, who knew many of the actors in Hillary’s campaign, and he told me that, at one point, the Obama Team wanted to assist Hillary at the state level but was rebuffed because Hillary and the DNC had everything in hand. Bottom line: The Judge said Obama always considered the Electoral College over the popular vote, Hillary didn’t.
So that’s why I’m extremely wary of this attitude that right now everything is fine, just fine. I’ve thought about it and here are a few suggestions that could make our Party even stronger:
- Think about this: … The House has passed more than 275 bills that are stuck in the Senate, where Mitch McConnell refuses to bring them up for a vote. Many of them are really good bills that would benefit a lot of people. Yet, despite all this good hard work, I don’t know anybody who can name even one or two of these 275 good bills, or describe what’s in it, or explain how it can benefit our country. This good work gets lost in the on-slaught of new news every day (Trump loves this type of distraction). What’s missing here from Democrats is a continual, massive, unrelenting, powerful, sustained follow-up campaign to publicize these wonderful bills, using TV ads and social media … so that people — Republicans, Trump supporters, Democrats, Independents, whoever — have it drilled into them again and again how McConnell is blocking something that would benefit them. This type of TV ads and social media to convince people and put pressure on Mitch that could make a huge difference, I submit. The public at large would begin to understand how the Democrats are really working for them, to protect their interests, to make their lives better, and more of them would begin to think about their self-interest. (What I’m proposing here is not only getting people elected. It’s about changing peoples’ minds beforehand so they vote Democratic.) Some of the people who worked on Bloomberg’s campaign, and some of the people who do the Lincoln Project ads and outside groups like AJ+ would be a great place to start such campaigns.
- While Biden, Pelosi, Schumer and Perez and all the individual candidates all are busy, working hard to get more Democrats elected to oust Trump and flip the Senate and retain the House, separate groups like The Lincoln Project, Stacey Abrams and Eric Holder, even Mike Bloomberg, are doing a vital job in a different way. This however leads to confusion, unequal results, different styles … as opposed to a one single massive coordinated effort. It’s obvious that no one in the Democratic Party has formulated an overall strategy for the total effort, because each of the players I’ve named have their hands full. For example, Nancy Pelosi must be a full-time Speaker to make sure the House functions well and the right bills get passed, as well as upholding her reputation as an incredible fund raiser. So what is needed is a person I’ll call Chief Strategist, who would form a group to develop a comprehensive strategy that goes beyond just electing candidates: An on-going entity within the Party to create and fund comprehensive social media campaigns / TV ads to address such problems as voter disenfranchisement, gerrymandering, and counter the huge disinformation efforts of the Republicans and Right Wingers. Biden, as our main candidate, would be a candidate for this but, obviously, he’s much too busy to develop anything as comprehensive. A qualified individual needs to be found to develop and fund this comprehensive strategy and, once in place, could co-partner with Biden and coordinate with Pelosi and Schumer and Perez.
- As a rule, Democrats seem loath to use powers that they have that may turn out to be controversial. They “request” information rather than send subpoenas and only, when pushed, send out such subpoenas and, if rebuffed, never attempt to have them fulfilled. Currently Republicans have blocked any subpoenas with stunning regularity. The House could consider the bold step of, for example, having a Sergeant-at-Arms attempt to jail someone for refusing a lawful subpoena. Yes, this would result in a confrontation and might possibly fail. But it would highlight the illegality of refusing to testify under oath when a lawful subpoena is served. It is a sign of this unwillingness to use such powers that Jerry Nadler is only now currently pushing legislation to defund Barr’s Justice Department to the tune of $50 million. What I’m saying here is Democrats need to be unafraid of such confrontations if they want to appear to be strong.
- Trump has probably employed more outside lawyers than any other President to block the Democrat’s ability to function as an oversight branch of Congress. Trump relishes doing this and it often succeeds even if the law doesn’t agree with him. Although the Democrats used Barry Berke, the white-collar criminal defense attorney who was legal counsel to House Judiciary Committee during impeachment, he has returned to his New York law firm. To the best of my knowledge, the Democrats currently have no outside standing counsel or equivalent legal group to counter any moves Trump makes, or to initiate a pro-active fight about other important issues. Wouldn’t it be great if, whenever Trump used a law firm to block a lawful action by the House, a well-know expert in-house Democratic legal counsel reacted immediately? Adam Schiff could head up such an effort, but he’s busy with his work in the House; ditto for Kamala Harris, who is tied to the Senate. Perhaps Schiff and Kamala could decide which outside legal group would be best to hire. Then, once they were hired, they could report to the Chief Strategist mentioned in #2.
We’re all concerned about the prospect of God knows how many more years of Trump. The ghost of the debacle of Hillary’s failure haunts us based on a fear that the Democratic Party may have blind spots similar to those in the Hillary campaign. My hope here is that the proposed ideas, especially utilizing social media and TV ads as an integral part of the Democracy Party’s strategy, can strengthen our chances of winning the Presidency, flipping the Senate, and retaining the House. The ideas I’ve described here are not an ultimate cure-all, but consider it a call to action. I’d encourage anyone who reads this to think of additional ideas that could result in an even stronger Party.
What I have proposed in this article obviously involves a shift in thinking and a massive effort. It would end up strengthening the Democratic Party, I believe. So if you who are reading this also believe that it can make a huge difference, I urge you: Share it with everyone possible and make it go viral. Who knows? It could even give birth to a new PAC “Strengthen the Democratic Party”, which would raise the necessary funds to translate internal projects like these from an idea into a reality.
Lawrence Michael Light’s Facebook page has 4800+ friends and discusses the Daily Outrage created by Donald Trump and the Republican Party. He also created eJobCoach.com to help people find, and get jobs. Previously, he worked for Xerox, IBM, CSC and AGS Software as V.P. of Sales, Marketing and Consulting Services. His email is [email protected].