Friday, January 01, 2021

In The Year 2021, Will a Just and Shining Future Finally Be Won

The year 2020 is officially ended, although much of the madness and dread that permeated that long long soul-sucking period of history - such as a trumpian administration sinking faster into corruption before Biden's inauguration - still awaits a future purging.

I still need to make a reckoning of that year - part of me wants to write up a Winners/Losers checklist but it's difficult to finish while the chaos is slipping to and fro - but in the meanwhile we do need to look ahead as Infidel753 does at his blog

1. When 2022 and 2024 arrive, most of the Democratic voting base will judge Biden and the Democrats in Congress mainly by results.  Has the pandemic been vanquished?  Have jobs and wages (not "the economy", which takes in all kinds of things, but jobs and wages specifically) recovered?  Has federal legislation to protect voting rights from state-level gerrymandering and vote suppression been enacted?  Has Medicare access been expanded or some other kind of public option been provided?  Have DC and Puerto Rico become states?  If the Democrats achieve results, our voters will care only that it was done, not how it was done.  Conversely, if little or nothing is accomplished, nobody will much care about whatever reasons or excuses are offered...

You need to go to Infidel's blog and read the whole article: It's not so much a checklist of a Liberal To Do List as it is a manual (and warning) of what to expect in the coming political cycle.

Much of what's coming is a pattern of destruction and obstruction we've already seen: The Republicans have already made it abundantly clear they will NOT respect the legitimacy of Biden's Presidency and will do everything to break it (and break the nation in the process). The Far Right media will obviously beat the "Impeach Biden" war drums within a day of Biden's swearing-in: for example, pinning the fault of 350,000+ Americans dead of COVID on his shoulders rather than on trump whose actual malfeasance in the affair was - and still is - the primary culprit in that tragedy.

The Republicans are going to spend 2021 - all of the 2020s decade - doing everything they can to hold onto the corrupt Minority Rule powers they wield. They've gotten to the point of Rule Or Ruin in their world-view, they no longer believe in the ebb-and-flow of power cycling between the major parties like it's done for much of the 20th Century. They're at the point that Republicans are terrified of the future... because the path forward from here follows the Democratic/Liberal ideals, not their own.

Half of what Infidel discusses on his article can only occur if the Democrats hold slim control of both halves of Congress, so with the Senate still on the edge with two Georgia Senatorial runoffs we can't be certain how far the Democratic agenda can go. All of what Infidel suggests is where it SHOULD go, such as the needed inclusions of new states to grant those regions - a broken Puerto Rico in particular - the legitimacy of statehood to stabilize their communities and promote better public service. A lot of what Infidel lists are things that should have been happening for ages, denied or blocked only because a calcifying Republican Party refused to see the merits of such efforts (has it ever occurred to Republicans that a habitually conservative Puerto Rican population could go Red and NOT Blue in future federal elections?) to even compromise or provide bipartisan effort to achieve them.

But Republicans can't and won't compromise any more: Politics is officially a Zero Sum game to them, so it's left to the Democrats to get things actually done anymore.

Which is where this coming decade offers so much potential for getting things done. While the Game of Demographics - the shift from older white conservative voting blocs to younger ethnically open liberal blocs - is still not really there yet for liberals to feel safe about achieving results - in health care reforms, civil rights, wage and employment rights, better education, a more just and loving world - the signs are aligning towards it.

What Biden, Harris, the Democratic leaders in Congress, the GOTV leadership of Democrats in battleground states -not just Stacey Abrams but thousands like her - what they can achieve this first year in a Biden Presidency is the foundation of a Liberal (not yet Progressive, sorry BernieBros) era that ought to repair not only the damage done by a vandal-plagued trump Era but also build past the roadblocks that Republicans have been throwing in our nation's path since 1994.

A lot of this still depends on those Georgia Senate races - the early voting on that (with huge numbers) wrapped up and the official election day for that is coming up next - to where none of us can feel safe about what's ahead. If Republicans can keep a slim 51-seat lead in the Senate, that means Mitch McConnell remains in power and can wield every obstructionist tool at his disposal to delay the Democrats' agenda for another two years at least.

If it comes to that, if Congress becomes a pit of McConnell's hellish desires, Biden and the Democrats can still try to rebuild as much of the federal system they can - while still wary of the conservative Judiciary trump and McConnell have built to oppose the oncoming Blue Path - with a dedicated effort to undercut the corruption the Republicans have been operating with at the state level. 

The long-term objective of breaking the Republican Minority Rule needs to focus on the insane level of Gerrymandering the Republicans commit at the state level in battleground states - Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida especially - and that the Far Right will keep deploying to suppress future Democratic voter turnout. There have been successes in weakening the Gerrymander efforts, but our nation has yet to find a way to kill those damn things outright. With the chaos trump infused into the 2020 U.S. Census efforts, it's likely the Republican-controlled states will use skewed numbers to Gerrymander even more to prevent Democratic majorities - even slim ones - in those states to elect honest proportional representation.

That's just one thing I can think of that Biden and the Democratic Party needs to be doing. Infidel's list of To Do's - again, go to that link - lists a whole lot more. Every one of them a necessary act to recover from this pandemic, from this economic malaise, to repair this collapsing edifice we know as the United States of America.

We should see an end to the trump years like the fading nightmare it's all been.

We are going to wake up to a busy decade of hard work. That shining future is just the morning sunrise. Get some coffee if you need it.

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

I found this article in Paul Krugman's Twitter feed last night, and it was just the kind of boost my mental state needed going into the new year:

Apparently the thinking is that when the vaccines restore the confidence back to the American people enough to go out and do things together again, the economy will come roaring back, as it wasn't in such bad shape to begin with (as opposed to, say, 2008) and thus won't be as dependent on the behavior of say, congressional Republicans as it was back then. They seem to believe that this will unleash movement in technology which has been constrained by the pandemic and the uncertainty of the Fergus administration.
Then there's the direction technology is taking us. They posit that software isn't really the forefront any more, and things like biotech and energy are poised to make real improvements in our daily lives.
They quote the execrable Peter Thiel, while taking note of his execrability, as having said "We were promised flying cars and instead we got 140 characters." to point out the disappointment in the tech sector that was the 2010s, and then wonder whether real advances that aren't sold at the app store will restore some of our confidence that we can still actually do big things, and thus remove some of the built-in stagnation of mind and imagination that has been sitting over us like a dark cloud for a long time.
And this morning I woke up and discovered a new round of apocalypse money in my bank account, so perhaps that is a good omen for the new year?

-Doug in Sugar Pine