Civility fails when insurgents besmirch foes as enemies and make Congress a pitched battlefield
When do Democrats bring commanding fire power to what’s already a gun fight? When do Dems realize that the Missionaries of Insurgent Authoritarianism (MIAs) aren’t just missing in action but are allergic, even resistant to constructive governance? With neither the skills, nor the incentive to govern, Rethuglicans twist government into a phantom enemy (the iron fist of the deep state). Except forowning judges, corporate subsidies, warfare and forcing its cultural/religious commandments down everyone’s throat, governance sucks.
Though well along, the war against good government accelerated with Trump’s lying, manipulated politics of stunts. Today’s fascist fixations simply solidify how the right views elections and power. Face a killing pandemic disaster? Deny it, distort it, then push inept policies that make it worse and wildly upping the mortality numbers, as experts predicted for gross negligence. Ditto, climate change or arms reduction or complex overseas trading. Or elections. Do LESS, then divide and conquer any prospects for consensus.
Chaos is all, by design, because disruption undermines the operations that produce strong resource regulations, decent working conditions, restraint on greedy bankers, or seed technology to resolve huge challenges. Disorder defaults to the status quo of big power and big money and big media, thus letting predatory corruption rule the day. Government is flawed, but what other power checks corruption? That the rampaging top thug named Trump still leads a party of thugs should trigger massive retaliation by top Democrats, dramatizing that majority government is the only answer to a party’s vile terrorism. How else to punish rightwingers who make heroes of criminals and mobs that commit sedition,destruction, even homicide?
Join in or be irrelevant
Progressive support for Democratic candidates is less of a choice than a mandate for rational realists. I was not surprised Bernie Sanders endorsed Joe Biden, for many leftists a reluctant default to confront extreme toxicity. When the siege is on, with Trumpist barbarians crushing the walls, the urgent task is to defend the fort – not seek miracle activists who can eventually lead a new Progressive Era. Behold there’s only one functional, governing party, rather limiting our choices. The terrorist violence of Jan. 6 defines the absolute line between Dems and Rethugs, more than ever aligned with the lawless Trump Coup, Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.
Hats off to rightwing transparency. Full of cynical, ruthless, congenital liars, the right shows off, even brags about its destructive manias. The MAGA crowd revels in its belligerence. No one can say Trump and the House GOP, or McConnell the Senate snake, hide what the cult demands: total control to ruin immigration, batter women and minorities, reduce taxes, regulations, and functional government, all driven by regressive wedge politics favored by its billionaire/libertarian, gun-toting, and evangelical constituency. Here’s a proto-fascist party that boasts about opposing compromise, elections, or peaceful power transitions, let alone any law or opponents in their way. Is not one-party dominance the ultimate fascist dream?
Thus, to their credit, I suppose, few on the right obscure either the means or the ends by which they wage war against what’s left of American democracy. This party no longer sugarcoats its demagoguery, now endorsing a nominee whose sole qualification is the defiance of checks and balances (even savvier power brokers) or uniform justice. The autocratic Trump again rejects the core Executive Branch mandate – to enforce laws – because he rejects law. What potential president ever scoffed at the idea of law? That makes Trump the “perfect” front man for what one MSNBC analyst calls a “Dimestore front for a terrorist organization.”
Dems, Up Your Game:
Ask simple questions: Do certified election results matter or not? When do state Democrats push a law that demands that all “qualified” candidates must accept certified outcomes or face severe penalties? Does open bribery of Supreme Court judges matter? Why not talk up impeachment prospects, however long they take? Does consistency of rights matter across all 50 states? For how long do we allow each state to rewrite the Bill of Rights? Or permit buying political offices by hidden funders? Where is accountability for destroying what was a fractious but functional form of self-government? Repeat, “Trump, the election usurper who started a coup.”
Simply ask whether the majority still wants self-government, then inform the populace what that means? Even mass hypnotism, incited by lying FOX channels, can be exposed and broken. More than ever, Biden Democrats must go viral about threats to self-government and how power and money hold the majority in thrall. Start calling the Republican Party a terrorist organization, with unholy alliances to autocratic, racist extremism that seeks to replace democratic government with violent, fascist rule. Is this rocket science?
Ask who gains when Trumpists lionize an aggressive scofflaw with a history of pillaging suppliers, committing tax fraud, and likely guilty of sexual predation? Some (including me) projected that multiple indictments (and convictions) would demolish the Trump brand but in fact, malicious, rogue aggression is exactly what buoys Trump’s base. That makes chaos politics for Trumpers a narcissistic wet-dream – only their grievances and entitlement count, thus only their votes should count. The rest is noise they simply refuse to hear. All elections must be “rigged” because too many of the wrong people get to vote. Dems need a national anti-terrorist manifesto that emphasizes that extremists don’t sweat the small stuff (like law, order, elections and precedent), wholly convinced they are entitled (by their angry, twisted God), to gain dominion.
The GOP’s take-no-prisoners menace explains why rational adults end up supporting Democrats. That’s also why we must criticize Democrats for their myopia, the cowardice of “playing it safe,” the refusal to fight fire with fire. The party that wins the media battle gains a huge foothold in leverage. Despite an “all hands on deck,” red lights flashing warning, Dems are resisting emergency mode. Pulling off a fascist takeover is no easy task, and there are means of counter-attack — if leaders show the will. So far, Joe Biden is rightly holding firm against the debt ceiling blackmail. What about the Supreme Court, the filibuster, or the Electoral College? Why not enlarge the House and the Supreme Court?
No mercy, more hard pragmatism
Expose the full significance of the calculated FOX lies – investigating whether other laws were broken. Pressure the ailing, mentally compromised Dianne Feinstein to resign so Dems regain control over the critical judicial committee. Treat DeSantis as a dangerous, nasty candidate – and ask the nation whether Florida is the chosen model for what Americans support.
The time for moderate language – and polite pressure – is long past, and Dems should begin to act as if they appreciate what they are – the only governance, redemptive party in town. If half of Republicans still back Trump, despite serial, epic disgraces, that fact should be trumpeted from every rooftop. If multiple indictments against Trump’s crime spree fail to lower approval numbers, Democrats should dramatize what it means to have a criminal as chief national law enforcer. Talk up disqualification for an insurgent leader who attempted the seditious overthrow of the peaceable transfer or power.
Biden may well have an easier time against the baggage-ridden Trump, but there must be minimum thresholds for candidates. Giving a rogue fascist a pathway to the White House introduces an unspeakable risk. Anything can happen and, if Trump is elected, anything undemocratic and everything full of cruelty will happen. A second Trump term will do as much damage to our two-party system as a nuclear bomb dropped on a big city – and that for most of us should be a hill to die on. Does Trump agree to leave after he can’t run again?