The Democratic Party is a poorly run organization. It’s shockingly pathetic and disunited. Somebody please give these people a wake-up call. Democrats are quite obviously and measurably superior to Republicans when it comes to brain function, moral high ground, inclusion, integrity, and general policy. For the first time ever, Democrats have even whisked the mantles of national security and law & order from the opposition.
I’ve never been a Democrat in my entire life and I’m still not there yet, though I believe that will change in 2018 for the first time. My first political hero as of middle school was a party-less and radically conservative presidential candidate named Ross Perot. Until Bernie ran for President, he was a true knee-jerk independent socialist and my favorite politician for a number of recent years. As an adult, I’ve also always registered Independent to vote.
I have never identified as a Democrat or a Republican. Although I largely lean liberal on social policies, I’m fiscally more conservative and a believer in small, nimble, clean, effective government- philosophies which Republicans have decided to abdicate wholesale and Democrats rarely follow. I have worked in government my entire adult life, most of it under Republican administrations. And neither party has felt like home to me, though I vote Democrat a majority of the time. The Republicans, because they are slowly degenerating into pure distilled evil in dumb, naked, knuckle-dragging Neanderthal form; and Democrats, because they’re so damn pathetic.
The Democrats’ original sin in my adult life is a complete lack of political will. Somehow Democrats always manage to bring knives to the gun fight, as Bill Maher likes to say. They like to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. On top of that Democrats lack unity, always finding ways to split the party into factions. In the fateful 2000 campaign, Al Gore stupidly distanced himself from a popular Bill Clinton simply due to some blowjobs and cigars moistened with vaginal juice. If that hadn’t happened, Gore would have won decisively, but he lacked the most basic political instincts or will to survive an easy election against a weak candidate surrounded for a staff by his one-term dad’s fossils. Even worse, Gore won the popular vote and also the electoral college legitimately, but still bent over and handed the election illegitimately over to George W. Bush thanks to a corrupt Florida Republican government run by the candidate’s own brother, Jeb!
There was a *wink, nod* and we had hanging or pregnant chads, re-counts, lawsuits, and various instances of cheating which led to W taking office on a party line Supreme Court decision, changing the course of American and world history for the worse. Gore’s team did not engage in the fight tooth and nail the way the Republicans did. Many liberals defected to the inimitable Ralph Nader. Gore conceded too early. He gave up under both superior and more shameless firepower in the legal fights after election night. In other words, Gore did what Democrats almost always do. Forget that Dems should be winning these elections against flawed opponents running away. They even manage to lose elections that they really did win (2000 and 2016).
There are two notable exceptions, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, two once-in-a-lifetime politicians and the brightest spots in the Democratic party over the last 40 years. Without them, there is little of the same fight, scrap, political will, toughness, and brute intelligence in what we see in the Democratic Party or its pedigree today. But this is no longer acceptable. They need to be fighting tooth and nail now.
The Democratic Party, and it scares the crap out of me to say this, is the only thing that stands between #PervertOrangutan, and dictatorship. In 2018, I am going to become a Democrat for the first time in my life. Grudgingly. Kicking and screaming. Not for any good reasons at all. We are frighteningly close to losing democracy itself. Republicans have shown their true colors, figuring themselves to be more than happy to cancel democracy, commit treason, follow the #PervertOrangutan in and out of the gates of hell, and give dictatorship at least the old college try. What could possibly be better for the rich donors propping up the GOP than dictatorship and oligarchy above the reaches of laws? The Koch Brothers and Donald Trump and Jared Kushner and Paul Ryan and Sean Hannity are more easily understood not as political figures but corrupt Russian oligarchs, leading the destruction of America and the planet with Putin’s help but pretending to act within the rules of democracy they have trampled over.
Yet Democrats lose elections and Supreme Court seats and legislative battles day in and day out as if they expect those things to happen. Millions of Democrat women voters marched around AFTER Trump was inaugurated, not enough of them marching to the ballot box when they were needed. Obama, as great a president as he was, made the unforgivable mistake of not retaliating publicly and more forcefully as the Russians openly helped steal an election on his watch, taking an astounding preponderance of caution in order to project integrity in the process. Little good that caution does us now as we sink agonizingly close to dictatorship. Again, a knife to a gunfight.
Contrast that with what Republicans would have done. If Obama’s people were caught secretly talking to the Russians during the 2008 campaign, let’s say in 2006 and 2007, America would have dragged Obama off in chains to such a deep and dark hole within Guantanamo Bay, we’d never see him again. And yet through all this the Democrats are nearly helpless to respond to the GOP’s bid to dismantle democracy. It is older white male Republicans like Robert Mueller, Jim Comey, Rod Rosenstein, Christopher Wray, and John McCain we are now depending on to man the front lines in the epic war between good and evil. So thoroughly depleted are the Democrat ranks at all levels of federal and state government power, Democrats are relegated to supporting courageous Republican efforts to take on #PervertOrangutan from the back bench.
Figures such as Mark Warner, Adam Schiff, Eric Schneiderman, and Ted Lieu are admirably accomplishing what they can from the JV team. But they need some serious help. 2018 must be a blue wave, or we may as well give up on democracy. For this to happen, Democrats need to mobilize like they never have before.
There are some promising signs. As a feminist, I am looking forward to women kicking some ass this fall and knocking off their sexist opponents in politics, entertainment, and business. New Congressional candidates such as “Iron Stache” Randy Bryce in Wisconsin give me hope, despite uphill battles. Politicians like Gavin Newsom, Kamala Harris, and Corey Booker will soon be ready for the big time, and promise the party will have a bright future in 2020 and beyond.
But we need to get past the past. Hillary lost, and so did Bernie before that, and the party won’t survive if it continues to re-litigate what bad blood was spilled between the two in 2015 and 2016. The Clintons ran the party from about 1992 till 2008. They had their chances and their fun and did many things well. It’s time to move on.
So there it is, 2018. You are the year when I decided to become a full-throated Democrat for the first time. I am going to volunteer for campaigns and donate money to them. I am going to write about stuff. Foremost in my mind is the unresolved question of whether Democrats can stop being so shockingly pathetic. We will soon find out.
Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor.