Let me preface this by saying I hope I'm wrong. Dead wrong. Let me also say I know what the polls suggest right now: a blue wave, if not tsunami, is barreling towards November. But I don't care nor do I believe it. Not right now anyway. And you can mark my words. What we're seeing right now on the ground, literally and figuratively, is the same work ethic we saw from these two parties in 2016: the Republicans are working for what they want, the Democrats are sitting idly by and hoping good fortune falls in their lap.
The last few days have seen the terrifying occupation of Portland, Oregon, by what are said to be border patrol agents. Without the reading of rights, without apparent just cause, sometimes without even talking, they have been kidnapping American citizens right off the streets and taking them who knows where. And what is the response from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders? Calling Trump's America a "banana republic" and claiming his "stormtroopers" must be stopped. Followed by veiled threats of legislative or legal consequences.
This is unacceptable. The House has the power of impeachment and the current White House has committed an impeachable offense. Again. We didn't give Democrats the House to decide what crimes are worth pursuing and what crimes aren't based on perceived success of removal, nor did we empower them to fret about shallow waters close to an election. If a president violates an oath to the Constitution, the police (Congress) must act. Period. That's appropriate. But Pelosi won't act appropriately.
I recently spoke with a friend who shares my politics and he admitted that, even though he despises Trump, he has secret admiration for how he always seems to get what he wants. This isn't a mistake. It's working for what you want and the laws of attraction turning in your direction as a response. I wrote about this earlier this year.* Even though Trump lies and cheats, the act of lying or cheating itself is a proactive engagement that attracts results. It's what the Republicans are marvelous at.
In addition to Trump collusion, and the near-certainty he continued even while under investigation and trial for impeachment, we've seen the rejection of mail-in ballot exceptions for a pandemic; we've seen increased reporting of past and present efforts by state Republicans like Georgia governor Brian Kemp who has been purging voter rolls without justification; and we've seen the U.S. Supreme Court sign off on Florida's effort to require ex-felons to pay fees to regain their voting rights, effectively resurrecting the poll tax in 2020. 24th amendment be damned.
Trump and Trump Republicans had roughly 35% of the country's support before the pandemic, shattered economy and George Floyd's murder. They know they cannot expand their base because... Trump. So as their numbers get worse and they become more desperate in the months ahead, they will cheat even more to make up the difference. In so doing, they will attract the results they want (and statistically improve their chances, of course, because they're cheating). And attraction doesn't discriminate. These actions will be rewarded if there is no opposing force competing in the same space.
Indeed right now there is no competition. Democrats have surrendered their competitive stake, just as they did when Mitch McConnell violated the Constitution on Merrick Garland in the final stretch of the Obama presidency (and - guess what - during an election year). Dems moaned and whined, but did nothing. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton barely mentioned Garland's name on the campaign trail, if they did at all. And who do we have on the Supreme Court today who just ruled for a poll tax? Neil Gorsuch, in the stolen seat, and Brett Kavanaugh. The Obama years are chock full of major and minor examples with this same result, as Republicans clawed their way back from the political graveyard to total power by 2016, and the Trump years today are a near flawless continuation of this trend.
And why? Because Democrats won't fight. They won't put their energy into this space to attract what they want. Three days ago the American Prospect published an excellent, transcribed exchange between a Pelosi ally and their own David Dayen (who has researched Pelosi's recent career closely). It's a well-articulated read I highly recommend, and it highlights the ambiguity I've long suspected results from the conflicted interests of the Democratic establishment. When torn between such big choices as serving the donor class or serving the voters, they get stalled. Or they make choices that self-sabotage because they're trying to get things for both sides or they're trying not to hurt one side (always the donors).
Democrats must take action only for us. They must be the police we elected them to be. They must impeach. They must also anticipate what the Republicans are going to do, and act accordingly. Taking these kinds of steps are not futile nor are they risky. They're essential. They communicate seriousness and sobriety, and that will attract voter support as well as the results we want. Laws of attraction have a very real, if intangible, effect on outcomes, and they're open for the taking. It's very much like a game of tug of war: two sides competing for more leverage. Republicans are fighting because they know this is war and they're acting like it. They're winning, even if at any given moment they're technically losing. Democrats are losing even when they're technically winning because they hardly ever pick up the rope. Strong action, such as impeachment, can have a huge benefit if done right. The PR aspect of it alone could be incredible. But it takes foresight, guts and a desire to control the conversation. Without it, Trump will amplify and continue his march towards proving he can do whatever he wants as he crashes out... and, of course, he might not crash out. What would happen then? Without oversight, the country will be lost. That's why there's oversight.
I STRONGLY encourage everyone reading this to bombard congressional Democrats with demands for impeachment again. It's the Democrats who must do things differently. They're our only hope, and we must demand they do the job we elected them to do. We, the citizens. Not the donor class.
They must use the one tool they have right now, while they still have it. They must impeach again. While they still have some power left, and while we still have some freedom left.
*About four hours after I posted this on February 3rd, the infamous Iowa caucus app debacle happened, proving my point almost in real time. It was an eerie moment for myself and for this website.