“Vote blue no matter who” isn’t enough.
by Lauren Elizabeth
As I have discussed before, perhaps what bothers me most about Democratic lawmakers is the fact that they do not challenge the Republican party enough. Virtually the entirety of the Biden presidency thus far has been spent asking permission from Republicans or corrupt conservative lawmakers like Sinema and Manchin within their own party. The gridlock has lasted since the covid-19 relief bill was passed, and infuriatingly shows no sign of letting up despite the fact that the party currently has control of the White House, the House, and the Senate. At this point, part of me can’t help wondering if Manchin and Sinema are being as obstructionist as they are because they don’t want the pressure for them to abolish the filibuster to intensify. Why let that happen, when they can spend their time reminding the American people that even if Democrats were to abolish the filibuster, Democrats would still have lawmakers within their own party to deal with.
All that said, as they continue to play games and come up with excuses, the right wing is spending their time getting ready. Among leaders on the right who is fired up and rearing to go is none other than Steve Bannon, the infamous operative and white supremacist who played a large role in getting Donald Trump to power. Recently, Bannon made some incredibly disturbing comments that should remind Democratic lawmakers of what’s actually at stake.
During a recent episode of his podcast, he said he would have 20,000 “shock troops” at the ready to help “reconfigure the government” once a Republican is in the White House again.
As Mary Papenfuss with Yahoo writes:
“…“Shock troops” is a military term for an advance team of trained soldiers who carry out lightning-fast assaults. Many found Bannon’s use of the term extremely disturbing, particularly in the wake of the violence of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Critics said Bannon’s reference to shock troops “deconstructing” the “state” appeared to be a call for an anti-democracy coup.”
Bannon can deny it or attempt to sugarcoat what he said all he wants, but we know exactly what he meant.
I grow incredibly tired of Democrats fear-mongering and telling their voters that democracy is on the ballot, and that they better vote for them purely for the sake of keeping Republicans out of office. For one, we become incredibly desensitized to the message. There are no words to describe how irritating it is to see some corporate Democrat use that message to get in to office, only to do absolutely nothing with the position they’ve been given other than to raise some money for future campaign runs and network for a lobbyist position down the line.
The thing is, I believe 2022 and 2024 are actually going to be the consequential elections with so much at stake that Democrats have been talking about for years. Sure, 2020 was pretty important. But here we are, facing an upcoming election where operatives like Steve Bannon and other Republican lawmakers at the state and local level have now learned their lessons. They know what to do to effectively steal the election. They know this is likely one of if not their absolute last shot at securing power, and Bannon has made it clear they don’t seem to have any intention of giving it back.
Democrats can treat it like a cute little campaign message all they want while continuing to treat Republicans like honest actors the second the election season is over, but the fact is the GOP has reached the point where democracy is becoming more of an inconvenience. Not only that, but they’re preparing their base for that message as well. Why else was Tucker Carlson going to Budapest, Hungary to talk with their right wing, authoritarian leader about his own slow dismantling of his nation’s democracy?
Democracy really is at stake,
and Democratic lawmakers need to start acting like it.
It’s not enough to just say “vote blue no matter who” and expect the grassroots to do the work for you. It’s not enough to simply expect them to knock on doors for you when you deliver absolutely nothing for them or the voters they’re expected to win over. We simply do not have time for their lazy politics as usual, and it’s difficult not to feel discouraged at times wondering what exactly it’s going to take for them to realize it before it’s too late.
If right wing authoritarianism and fascism take hold in the next few years, and there is an excellent chance that it will, then historians will have no choice but to acknowledge the fact that Democrats handed it right over.