I live in Atlanta and am a lifelong football fan. So I will never forget how the Atlanta Falcons blew the biggest lead in Super Bowl Hostory about a year ago. And I’ve voted Democrat in every general election since I started voting in 1992 so the Clinton collapse will always be a searing memory for me. Combining those independent experiences has me very leery heading into the 2018 midterms and the 2020 general. The Dems are holding ALL the cards- but they are still the Dems.
The only thing worse than having the ball and looking at 4th down and 26 yards to go is THINKING that you are looking at 1st and goal. That is a set up for disaster and that os what Democrats do too often. That may very well be the circumstance in place right now as we are rapidly approaching the critical 2018 midterm elections. But if you have the right kind of player with the ball in their hands, you can pull through either way. It would be pretty sweet to have a Tom Brady or two on the Democratic roster right now. The stakes are too high for the average Joe to come through.
Make no mistake about it: The Democrats HAVE to retake the House and flip the Senate nine months from now. If they don’t, Donald Trump will be emboldened to act with even greater malice toward Americans that he sees as his political enemies rather than citizens he is duty bound to serve. And if there is anything Donald Trump doesn’t need, it is to be emboldened. This is a guy who won the presidency with the largest popular vote LOSS in American history and the favored talking point from his meat-head Press Secretary is “The American people have spoken on that when they voted the president into the White House.” Imagine what she’ll say if Trump is seen as being affirmed by the mid-terms.
But besides the politics, the practical reasons why Trump has to be forcefully checked in November is because he continues to undermine America with his cozy relationship with Russia and Vladimir Putin. This relationship is the political equivalent of having a house being eaten by termites: with the naked eye you cannot see where they are but by the time you can see them it is too late because the structure is collapsing. America’s interests in both foreign AND domestic affairs are being defined and protected by a president who is actively afraid to confront Putin in any meaningful way. This means that no affirmative action will be taken to back Putin off of his continuing efforts to infiltrate our political system and penetrate our policy-making circles.
It’s as if Trump is the “roofie” that Putin dropped into America’s cocktail while we weren’t looking. Now we are off-balance, staggering around and trying not to pass out.
The date-rape has already gone down but if we don’t get our bearings soon, Putin will have us sold into a straight up sex-trafficking ring. Trump will keep us intoxicated with distraction and controversy while oligarchs beholden to Putin from all over the world will have their way with us- politically and financially. We won’t even know what is going on because we’ll be arguing over issues like national anthem protests and inflammatory comments like “shithole countries.”
That is an experience that it might take generations to recover from and we don’t have time for that. So Democrats had better be on high alert: the embarrassment and disaster that Trump is may not have enough influence on the mid-term vote to deliver the House, flip the Senate send the world a message. Despite all of the scandals, resignations, investigations and guilty pleas Trump still has an 86% approval rating amongst Republicans. That is a huge number when you recall that mid-term elections are especially driven by turn-out. Furthermore, many of the Republican candidates are still running in heavily gerrymandered districts that have been drawn to produce a “win” even when they lose the majority vote.
The Pennsylvania case throwing out the Republican gerrymandered districts was encouraging but that is only one instance of order and justice being restored to the electoral process. We need that in every so-called “swing state” in America.
The Democrats need to be busting their asses battling and banging the drums drawing attention to the purging of voter rolls, the elimination of early voting, the shortening of polling hours, the targeted closing of polling places, and the treacherous application of voter-ID laws. And THEN they need to go on a full-court-press attack on the NRA and illegal coordination between “super-PACs” and campaigns. Note that we haven’t even gotten into the overt voter suppression efforts by social media Russian “bots.” Any or all of these factors can swing a close local election and you can believe there will be some very close local elections this cycle.
The greatest threat of all is that we are now living in an environment of rampant corruption and it starts at the very top of our government. Democrats have absolutely no cause to trust that these elections will be managed with professional objectivity without the brightest lights in the world shining on them. Republican operatives have proven that they will cheat to win and Republican voters have proven that they don’t give a damn. How will we know if our antiquated, unreliable and unverifiable voting machines have been compromised unless we are all over the place monitoring and reporting on their every move?
The take-away lesson is that Democrats look like they’ve got 1st down from the 3 yard line and only have to run a simple hand off to secure the win in November. But even if that were the case we’ve seen that scenario go terribly wrong before- in the Super Bowl no less. The reality is that the Democrats are driving for the big win but the momentum has stalled and now its 4th down. Now its convert or die. Tom gets the glory of course (Michigan grad, five rings, wife who models underwear, etc.) but my main man Donovan McNabb is the one that showed the world that if you call the right play and execute it the right way you CAN convert that 4th and 26 and emerge with a victory under the most adverse playoff conditions. It was one of the most clutch plays in football history.
But I’m looking at the Democrats right now and I don’t know who is calling the plays or who has the ball- I don’t see a player like McNabb- or certainly not like Tom Brady- on their squad who can make the play in the clutch and bring this victory home. One thing I know for sure: whoever they have throwing the ball won’t matter if they don’t really know what down it is and how far they have to go.