Despite the absurdly premature speculating from liberal mouthpieces about how the Republican Party is destined for political ruin in 2020 for enabling Trump’s misrule and corruption, in reality, it’s the Democrats who should be worried.
The handwringing among Democratic leaders over whether to impeach the Orange Menace, from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and others who claim to have the interests of the party at heart, has been stuck in Hamlet mode for far too long: “To Impeach, Or Not To Impeach.”
Meanwhile, the Democratic base grows angrier each day over their leaders’ lack of urgency and their halfhearted attempts at saving our republic from a corrupt tyrant who each day rolls out a new atrocious policy and flaunts his belief that he’s above the law.
We hear Democratic “strategists” (whatever that means) and liberal opinion makers citing meaningless opinion polls that they claim show “the American people” don’t want impeachment. Or they repeat what has become an old canard about the Republican-controlled Senate’s unwillingness to remove the president from office. Or they hem and haw and stupidly throw a wet blanket over their energized base, the same base that gave them control of the House in 2018 in a “wave” election (in large part because they wanted a check on a lawless president).
We hear a lot of wishful thinking about “suburban white moderate” voters magically coming to the rescue in 2020 to save the country from creeping fascism even though most of these same people in 2016 voted for Mr. Grab ‘Em By The Pussy.
Allow me to let you in on a little secret: The Democratic Party leadership is tied at the hip to the same corporate and Wall Street banking interests as are the Republicans.
This fact goes a long way in explaining why the Republican base always gets everything it fucking wants, while the Democratic base never gets what it wants. This state of affairs cannot go on indefinitely and must end soon or we’re going to be in big trouble.
The abuses of power coming daily from this White House are bringing this central contradiction to a head. Establishment Democrats want something that doesn’t exist: A clean break from Trump without radically altering the trajectory of the nation away from Republican economic orthodoxy.
The national Democratic leaders apparently would rather have four more years of incremental dictatorship than risk severing their ties to corporate America by backing a real progressive standard-bearer, such as Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.
Pundits at MSNBC, the Daily Kos, and other liberal media outlets say they fear that if the Democrats nominate a true progressive in 2020 they will lose.
But what really concerns them is that a true progressive might win.
The two Democratic presidential candidates whose ideas have clearly caught fire nationally are the two most progressive candidates, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
This is not a coincidence.
Forty Years of “Reaganomics”
Political scientists used to like to talk about the “pendulum” in American politics swinging right for a period followed by a more or less equivalent swing to the left for a period.
That’s total bullshit.
Since 1980 and the beginning of “Reaganomics” all we’ve had is “Reaganomics.”
Millions of working-class Americans have lived through a pair of two-term “moderate” Democratic presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, hoping throughout that sixteen-year-period that the federal government would use some of their hard-earned tax dollars to improve their lives a little bit.
Instead, they’ve become less economically secure, and that condition was despite the Democrats controlling the whole federal government from 1993-1995 and from 2009 to 2011.
No social programs remotely bold or substantial enough to ameliorate their economic condition have gotten through in decades. No paid leave. No subsidized daycare. No raising the minimum wage. No reduction in prescription drug costs. Hardly any relief to those victimized by predatory lenders or thrown out of their homes by unscrupulous banks. No help educating their children or paying for college. We can’t even get our basic infrastructure built.
During the first two years of the Obama administration, if the Democrats had the courage simply to lower the Medicare age to 55 (or even 45) and throw in jail a few corrupt bankers, like Angelo Mozilo or Lloyd Blankfein, the Democrats would be a lot better off today politically.
In other words, had the Democrats used their time in power to pass bold progressive policies they’d be right now reaping the political benefits and the country might’ve been spared the catastrophe we now find ourselves in.
This chasing of the illusive “moderate” voter on the part of Democrats is chimerical. “Moderates” don’t vote to blow up Washington as the angry electorate did in 2016. No one scolds the Republicans to “move to the center” or fuck their own base. Yet that’s the advice the chattering classes have given Democrats for forty years.
In 2016, pissed off people sent a clear message that they’re fed up with the status quo in Washington that gives away everything to the rich and the corporate and banking elites but precious little back to working people.
They might’ve expressed their anger by sitting out the election (as 4 million people who voted in 2012 decided to do), or casting their vote for a reality TV star who claimed not to be beholden to either party, or throwing away their vote on the historical footnote, Jill Stein.
But it was anger that drove them to reject the status quo.
The last time the federal government passed a truly transformative public policy that lifted the lives of working people was back in 1965 when LBJ muscled through Medicare and Medicaid.
So, it has been fifty-four years since Washington did anything big for working people; a sweeping program they could hold in their hands that made their lives a little better.
We need audacious new progressive policies and programs that compensate working Americans for the forty years they were left in the wilderness of “Reaganomics,” taking it on the chin from corporations and their puppet politicians in both parties.
Trump got one thing right: the last forty years have been “American carnage” for the working class.
Since the “Reagan Revolution” people’s lives have gotten a lot harder. They have to work multiple jobs and longer hours just to make ends meet. Their labor unions have been crushed, and their wages have been stagnant for decades. The public services upon which they depend have been either zeroed out or slashed to the bone to the point of becoming useless. Corporations rip them off every which way with “rents” and “fees” that reflect their concentration and monopoly power. They can’t afford their prescription drugs and they can’t send their kids to college.
Do you want to know why our politics have become so volatile?
It’s because both parties have allowed this social degradation and dislocation to fester for the last forty years.
Under Bill Clinton we saw the “end of welfare as we know it,” where a Democratic president eliminated Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), a fundamental New Deal welfare program. He also deregulated Wall Street banks by teaming up with Citigroup’s Robert Rubin and repealing another central New Deal reform, the Glass-Steagall Act. Cutting welfare and deregulating banks sure sounds like “Reaganomics” to me.
Under Barack Obama we had “sequestration” where public sector budgets were slashed and a Secretary of Education who was openly hostile to teachers’ unions, an important constituent of the Democratic base, (which really looks pretty dumb now that even teachers in deep red Republican states are striking for a better deal).
Obama teamed up with Tim Geithner and Larry Summers to bail out Wall Street but treated the 15 million people who lost their homes as “foam on the runway” for a “safe landing” for the big banks. And after the largest-scale fraud ever perpetrated on American financial consumers — a fraud so big it attacked the foundational idea of the “American Dream,” owning your own home — leaving millions of innocent people holding the bag who were laid off or unemployed or homeless and NOT ONE of the biggest white-collar criminal perps got prosecuted? Millions of people voted for Obama to crack down on the banks whose popularity at the time ranked somewhere between toe fungus and the clap.
Letting white-collar criminals off the hook after they destroyed the world economy and using working people as “foam on the runway” so the millionaire and billionaire class is not inconvenienced sounds a lot like “Reaganomics” to me.
In September 2011, after it became clear that Obama wasn’t going to do shit to help the millions of ripped-off homeowners, Occupy Wall Street exploded across the country, coast-to-coast and even internationally.
Since 1981, the dominant public policies affecting our nation’s economy have essentially welded the political “pendulum” to the far-right side with both parties accepting the tenets of the “Reaganomics” gospel. The supply-side, trickle-down, ‘Laffer-curve” cod-spittle has today reached comical proportions. Charlatans and hacks like Stephen Moore, who was seriously considered for a spot on the Federal Reserve, and the drunken fool Larry Kudlow pimping “Reaganomics” as the lead economist for the White House. You can’t make this shit up.
Impeach the Motherfucker!
The “pendulum” political scientists used to like to write about was never allowed to swing back away from “Reaganomics” and toward a period of investing in and expanding public services and public institutions, investing in infrastructure and education, and building a system that provided health care for everyone.
So, after all these years of the failed economic flim-flammery of “Reaganomics” we need the fucking “pendulum” to swing in the other direction, toward socialism and investments across the board in the public sector, infrastructure, public parks, public libraries, public services, hospitals and schools and daycare centers, and health care for all. It’s time for the billionaire class to pay up.
To paraphrase Representative Rashida Tlaib, the Democrats need to “impeach the motherfucker” now! Use the impeachment process to educate the public about the peril we face having a gangster as president, energize the Democratic base throughout the election year 2020, and then nominate a true progressive, either Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, or both!
Then the party can show us definitively it has quit enabling the Republicans’ brutal economic policies. They need to prove to us that they are no longer going to be the party of “Reaganomics” and only meekly once in a while just nibbling at the edges of reform. The country needs the Democrats to be courageous and bold, not only in 2020, but right now. And the best way they can prove they’re worth supporting in 2020 is to impeach this lawless, vulgar, lying, underhanded despot now!
No matter who the Democrats nominate in 2020 we all know the Republicans are going to smear that candidate as a “communist” and a “radical socialist” who runs pedophile sex rings out of pizza parlors. Let us, at long last, finally give the Republicans something real to cry about.