Roll Up your Sleeves!
Well, it is week #2 in Trump Land and there are still thousands of people in the streets all over the country, and thousands more around the world protesting the actions of an American President who doesn't even have the support of the majority of people in his own country. And today, he has nominated a strict constructionist conservative judge to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. If the judge is confirmed, there will again be five justices who are conservative, one justice who is a centrist and three justices who are liberal. Further, there is every likelihood that two of the Supreme Court justices - the centrist who is 80 and one of the liberals, who is turning 83 - will retire over the course of the next three years. Conceivably, by the time the current President is entering his fourth year in office, the Supreme Court may have as many as seven conservative justices and two liberal justices. A steady stream of cases coming to a conservative court could see the end of several major liberal social triumphs: Roe v Wade could be struck down, as could the last vestiges of the Voting Rights Act, Affirmative Action, Marriage Equality and the Affordable Care Act.
And there is nothing the Democrats can do about it because they do not have the votes in Congress to stop any of this. Across the last twenty years, the Democrats have gradually lost control of both houses of Congress. And with it, the ability to determine the direction of the Supreme Court. In addition, almost two thirds of all the states in our country currently have Republican governors or Republican state legislatures, or both. This is true in spite of having a majority of Americans, in poll after poll, favor Democratic Party policies on Health Care, Women's Health, Equal Rights, Equal Pay, Voting Rights and Income Inequality. Even demographics favor the Democrats. The largest growing populations in the country tend to vote Democratic. but, these populations are also predominantly young -- and the young don't always vote.
So, this is a hard time, with more difficult days to follow. Despair and gloom! Oh, cruel Fate. Whatever are we liberals and progressives to do? Well, we can stop feeling sorry for ourselves, for one thing. And we can stop getting all hot and bothered and cursing at our TV screens for another.
I have no interest in watching the Democrats wage a hopeless battle in the Senate that they cannot win. That conservative is going to be seated in the Supreme Court. Case closed. Game over. Suck it up, Democrats and face it. Oh, boo hoo. The mean old Republicans blocked President Obama's Supreme Court choice for a whole year, never even giving him a hearing. Now, we're stuck with this conservative guy. Oh, woe is us. Oh, give me a break.
What are going to do, now? Play tit for ta? Thy blocked our guy, now we block theirs? Really? How? With what votes? You got bubkus, Democrats and you know it! Frack gallantry. Frack making a point. No one remembers making a point. They remember victories. Fight a battle you can really win. Plan. Scheme. Get back the cojones Democrats had when the Kennedys ran things. They knew how to win and make the other guy live with it. And did not apologize for the bare knuckle brawls. Why should they? They won.
Time to switch gears, Democrats. I say, learn from the conservatives who have so roundly kicked your butts over these past two decades. Seize back the States. Fight the battles there. Pass the legislation there. Laws that are constitutionally sound, voted on by local politicians who have been elected as the result of sustained grassroots efforts (Remember, Bernie raised millions without having to resort to bankers, Wall Street, or billionaires). Conservatives may go running to the courts for remedy, but laws that tightly written and passed by validly elected legislatures are not likely to be turned over by courts, particularly constructionist courts that can find no violation of the constitution. Well-written laws that are passed by politicians reflecting the will of the majority will always withstand scrutiny. And liberals, progressives and centrists are the majority in this country -- not Conservatives. They only act that way.
So, let's stop the sulking and chasing at Congressional windmills. Let's roll up our sleeves and rebuild that Obama coalition, latch onto all of that youthful fire that has filled the streets over the past two weeks and begin the long march back to political power, one state legislature, one mid term election at a time.
The struggle continues.