Still Waiting for a Congressional/Party Strategy
As a devoted reader of Billmon on Twitter and Matthew Yglesias of Vox last week I was reminded again of an interesting political fact: the vaunted, venerable United States, with it’s split legislative function via the Presidency and Congress, is not the model Democracy for the world, our Democratic partners and allies don’t copy it. Why is that?
Apart from the obvious problem that the President and Congress can represent different political parties and quickly stall it all, there is the inherent problem of singular humanity in the Presidency, even in an alleged advanced democracy like the United States an extremely dangerous proto-fascist like Trump can emerge. These are not elements for long-term success, no.
Be that as it may we are stuck with our clunky, obstructive model, and it’s even worse upon closer inspection, for the legislative function aside from the Presidency is split again, we have that odious, heinous, reeking appendage of privilege to deal with, the Senate. Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders, you purport leadership capability over this ridiculous engine of Democracy, how are you going to handle it?
Ah, the sounds of silence. It is unfair, true, to expect a candidate to market incapability, saying bluntly very little will be accomplished in 2017 because of obdurate, immature, stupid Republican Congress is not the way to inspire voters.
Still, to leave the issue there untouched is in fact a form of dishonesty, a bad sell of who we really are and what truly can be done without a Democratic House and Senate. The obvious solution is of course to bluntly use Congress as a campaign issue, vote for me because I’ve got a real plan to turn Congress Democratic Party blue, but that never happens. Why is that?
Again, the issue primarily is born from the clunky American model, it’s a little much to ask a singular human to simultaneously campaign for the Presidency and multiple congressional districts.
As a passionate liberal political observer of 45 years it’s my opinion that blessedly the conservative surge of Ronald Reagan is finally ending in American politics, but that surge, coupled with a ridiculously dysfunctional media (Fox News, talk radio) cowed and muted the Democratic Party, we are not nearly as proudly assertive as we should be.
Example—the absolute Congressional debacle of President Obama’s first term, as Allison Hantschel1 reminded us we had solid Democratic majorities in the House and Senate yet allowed the stimulus to be viciously hen-pecked away in the Senate, and incredibly just sat there like total political idiots and did not pass another stimulus the second year.
That, coupled with a tragically naïve view of President Obama that he could rise above it all and deal with the Republicans in good faith, lead the smashing defeat of the 2010 midterms. Oh my good people we were in the American Holy Land of a Democratic President and Congress and we blew it.
That’s a Party unsure and tentative in its way, and it’s quite a lot to ask candidates Clinton and Sanders to correctly articulate it, let alone actually formulate a Congressional political strategy that works on top of everything else, but again it’s what we’re stuck with and as a faithful American liberal Democrat I and my people deserve an answer.
Where is the list of top 50 House districts we can win, and the top 10 for the Senate? If you can drop $5 to this candidate, or 10 of them or all of them. If you live in one of those districts or States please by all that’s holy help us organize for that candidate, register voters, anything to pitch in helps.
I’m still waiting for that, Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders, and I don’t care how clunky the model is or how unfair it can be, it’s your plain duty to come up with those lists and a political strategy of working principles that delivers Congress along with the Presidency. We can do it if we try, I’m quite sure of that.
If not we will get what we have now, a useless disaster of a Congress that everyone loathes and barely keeps the country running. If we can’t begin to change this in 2016 one can campaign for a 2018 Congressional victory and subsequent legislation passed, our people can easily see the issue and be patient.
Patient with trying, not patient with just sitting there mutely and dealing with the issue when it’s too late after the election. We’ve been through 8 years of that, it doesn’t work.
 The three writers noted here are just part of a list of what I consider absolutely essential political reading, one cannot be a political geek in this country and not listen to them. Billmon is on Twitter, Matthew Yglesias at Vox, and Allison Hantschel at her blog First Draft.