By Bob Dorn
I got one of those faux political surveys from the Democratic National Committee in the mail recently, the one my now-deceased mother-in-law used to receive because we listed her address as our own after she fell into Alzheimers years ago. The surveys continued to arrive at our address, perhaps four times a year, until this time my name showed up on the envelope.
The introductory letter from the chair of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, addressed me as a party leader — odd because I’m registered as “no party preference” — but I suppose that means Wasserman Schultz sees me as a California leftie and dropped the survey on me in hopes I can be attracted to Hillary.
This is the same Wasserman Schultz who opposes enlightened mariuana laws. She’s just announced she’s sponsoring a House bill that would handcuff the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which Elizabeth Warren fought hard and long to establish this new federal agency, as it attempts to protect the working poor against confiscatory interest rates on payday loans.
The same Wasserman Schultz who tried to deny Bernie Sanders access to the mailing list and candidate accounts of the DNC, but a national outcry and a Sanders lawsuit forced her to reopen the door to Bernie.
Now, she and the DNC are pretending to be interested in what I think. Rather than mail her survey back with the bubbles filled out I thought it best to mail her this:
Stop pretending Hillary Clinton is invincible and inevitable.
On March 2, the Washington Post and other major news outlets reported that the Department of Justice granted immunity from criminal prosecution to the guy who designed Clinton’s private server, presumably in exchange for his cooperation with the FBI’s investigation into national security breaches. This is a wild card that must be sending shivers through DNC campaigners.
The Super Tuesday that Clinton won overwhelmingly was based on a very low turnout of Democratic party voters. It looked good on the monitors of MSNBC and FOX News, but on CNN, where they post the raw numbers of Democratic Party voters, the Republicans could be seen to have drawn as much as 70% of the total votes cast.
In fact, 8.5 million Republicans turned out to vote Super Tuesday, up from 4.7 million in 2012 when John McCain and Palin were on the ballots. The reverse was true of the Democrats this year as 5.9 million voted this year compared to 8.5 million in 2008.
This leads to a second concern the Democratic Party ought to have.
The death of the GOP is not in any way a good thing for the Democratic Party.
Today’s GOP is a broken alliance of Wall Street, established party professionals, Tea Partiers, gun radicals and Whites who feel they’re disenfranchised and/or that their religion is under attack. All it would take is for a strong man to step in and unite them all behind some nativist, nationalist, mythicizing movement with the general idea of Take Back America. Sound familiar?
And… if Trump bolts from the Republican Party, he could still win the Presidency.
He’s repeatedly threatened to run as an Independent from the days after his announcement if, as he puts it, the GOP doesn’t treat him fairly. It hardly seems likely that he could drag all the Republicans into a Trump Towers Party. Cruz people might go there, a few Rubio cubes might, Carsons people might be less likely to and, if Romney or Ryan are artificially inseminated at the Republican convention, the GOP establishment might make a comeback.
On the other hand, where do the Koch Bros and Sheldon Adelson put their money? Trump could orbit the planet if people like these put their money there.
So… what to tell the DNC, the New Democrats of which Hillary Clinton is a principal, and the surviving Blue Dog Democrats, all of whom would rather be elected than do the right thing?
Get behind the New Deal.
When was the last time you heard Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman praised? Establishment Democrats don’t mention those names; the party today seems embarrassed by them. Yet we are living with the programs they and many, many other Democrats put together after The Great Depression.
Social Security (continue to keep it out of Wall Street’s hands). Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which keeps a bank failure from becoming your own; you get your deposits back when the bank gets busted.
With roads and bridges falling apart nationally and locally we could use another Works Progress Administration, which put together one of San Diego’s most beautiful and grand buildings, the County Administration Building. To get a grasp on what a new federal works program could do for unemployment and underemployment, see Erik Loomis’ article that appeared in the San Diego Free Press in 2014.
And, finally, why not revive Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society?
Have we won The War on Poverty yet? How ’bout using the Civil Rights Acts from 1964 and 1965 to investigate how we can prevent the deaths of hundreds of Black Americans at the hands of police? Is Medicare and Medicaid funding adequate, or have these programs suffered severe austerity cuts?
More and more Americans are living longer. Can the Older Americans Act still serve that population? Shouldn’t we be making colleges more accessible to the children of the middle class?
So, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, that’s what your empty, pointless survey makes me think. And that’s why I won’t be sending the DNC a check as your survey, by the way, begs me to do. I’ll send the $18, $25, $35, $50 or “my best gift” to Bernie, Russ Feingold or Elizabeth Warren and MoveOn instead. They already know what I’d like to see happen in the Democratic Party.