The Women, the Speaker, and the Majority Leader

Are we to understand, Mr. Speaker and Mr. Majority Leader, that you can’t figure out any way to investigate the women’s renewed charges against Trump, given that he continues to call the women liars? You two and your party are so far below the bar of political decency and regard for the Republic at this point that you really ought to consider resigning your positions. Where is it written that Trump, who holds our highest office and should be held to our highest standard, instead gets a pass for behavior that we’ve come to regard as offensive enough to justify immediate and serious consequences?

All I Want for Christmas, or ASAP

Look. I know this is a pipe dream, but so what. Majorities of both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party should choose a person of true stature and bipartisan support, name that person Speaker of the House, and then impeach and remove Trump and Pence, bringing an end to this poisonous business.

The Big Picture

A willfully ignorant, dangerously incompetent schoolyard bully whose mistreatment of women is taken for granted and whose chief motivation seems to be revenge for personal slights currently occupies the White House.

The leaders of the legislative branch of government, far from taking steps to remedy this, are allowing the debasement to continue for partisan political advantage. In the case of the Republicans, the goal is to secure Trump’s signature on legislation that ignores the values and interests of the majority of Americans, catering instead to the wealthy who fund GOP campaigns and the white identity voters who regard the GOP as their bulwark against having to participate in a genuinely just and diverse community.

In the case of the Democrats, the goal is to hang Trump around the necks of Republicans running in 2018, relieving the Democrats of the responsibility to fashion and offer a genuine platform of clear, fresh ideas to build a strong middle class. Just as the Republicans chose to run against Obama rather than for the majority of Americans, the Democrats hope to run against Trump.

The media also benefit immensely from Trump’s continuation in office. Viewership is up. Online is up. Journalists are in the midst of a golden age of political reporting.

The big losers in all this are the rest of us, and the rest of the world.

#FailingTrump

We’re almost a year into the Trump regime’s rule. What has he accomplished other than taking revenge on Barack Obama, who mocked him at a White House Correspondents Dinner?

  1. There’s no coherent trade policy. There was never going to be a coherent trade policy. What passes for a trade policy will allow others to eat our lunch.
  2. There’s no particular immigration policy. There was never going to be a coherent immigration policy. It was all bluster to maximize the anti-immigrant vote.
  3. There’s no wall. There was never going to be a wall. There’s no need for a wall. The whole idea for a wall was cooked up by Trump’s campaign staff to keep him focused on immigration.
  4. There’s no resurgence of American jobs in the areas hit by globalization and automation. Any resurgence now will have precious little to do with Trump.
  5. There’s no resurgence of coal. There was never going to be a resurgence of coal. The whole coal thing was a cynical lie to lure votes in coal country.
  6. There’s no coherent drug policy on opioids or anything else. What passes for a drug policy is Jeff Sessions’ fixation on locking people up for smoking weed.
  7. There’s no super duper healthcare bill to replace Obamacare, which was failing in the first place only because Trump and the GOP wanted it to fail and refused to fix it.
  8. There’s no decent foreign policy. We’re doing Putin’s bidding in Syria, and we’re turning our backs on the Kurds as we cozy up to Turkey’s Erdogan. We’re letting China have its way in Asia. Tillerson has taken a wrecking ball to the State Department, doing damage it will take a decade or more to fix.

An American Strong Man?

Trump, it turns out, is not very good at the whole Dear Leader thing. At least not so far. But this turn in our history should persuade us that the Republic is vulnerable.

If one of the major parties nominates a monster, and the other party cannot navigate our antiquated electoral system to victory, we’ll have a strong man in power.

If Congress is controlled by the strong man’s party, we’ll have the prospect of a bootlick legislature, virtually guaranteeing four years of authoritarian rule followed by who knows what.

Sunshine in a Storm

How can the rest of us express the depth of our appreciation for the folks of all hues and genders who turned out in great numbers yesterday to take a stand against the madness into which the Republic has been dragged? These electoral victories, built from the bottom up and across political divides, set the stage for more to come, if we stay the course.

Feuding While the Republic Totters

So the Democratic Party continues the Hatfields-and-McCoys internal feuding in the crucial runup to the November 2018 election. Liberals and progressives are behaving as if one or the other of the philosophies will win in 2018, and the only question is which one. Wrong!

The GOP strategy of using millions donated by high rollers to finance low-road campaigns stoking the fear and resentment of the white working class is likely to be just as potent as it has been for the past few decades, the Trump wildcard notwithstanding. The Democrats, at least, would be fools not to presume this and to prepare for it.

The stakes, of course, are far higher now than at any time in the past few decades. The GOP shows no inclination whatsoever to remove the boil on the Presidency, despite ever more dangerous words and actions by the Dear Leader. To rid the country of Trump, the Republic needs a slew of Democratic wins across the board in 2018.

The party must do three things pronto: 1. Develop a fundraising strategy not beholden to billionaires. 2. Craft a platform with solid proposals to improve the lives and prospects of America’s diverse working class. 3. Recruit and support candidates with real public presence and genuine enthusiasm for the platform.