Has Anyone Seen the Democratic Party?
Remember that I dislike both major American political parties and firmly believe governmental dysfunction and ineptitude will continue until they are replaced or other options are made available. However, since the Democratic and Republican parties have a stranglehold on American politics I'm not optimistic about new viable parties emerging any time soon.
What I want to know is whether anyone has seen the Democratic Party lately? Historically the President's party has lost seats in midterm elections for a variety of reasons that I won't explore here, so we would expect the Democratic Party to gain significant support in Congress on November 6. In fact, I would argue that the Republican circus of the last two years should offer Democrats a unique opportunity to win a large number of Congressional seats. Will they?
Like it or not the midterm election is largely a referendum on the sitting president. Back when I had time to add to this blog with some regularity I offered several lengthy criticisms of President Trump. You may recall that I consider him a disdainful human being and a terribly uninformed leader. My opinion of our president has only diminished as he promotes violence, increasingly has trouble with truth or facts, attacks the character of those who in any way challenge him, refuses to release his tax returns (as I've said previously, he IS hiding something), attacks allies and supports bloody dictators, and much more. I don't want this post to be about President Trump, but I would argue that his behavior and policies alone should result in huge Democratic gains.
But there are lots of other reasons the Republicans should be in trouble in November.
During the last two years the budget deficit has increased to $779 billion, and that is $113 billion more than last year. We were promised a deficit reduction but the deficit under the "party of fiscal responsibility" jumped 9% in one year. This is adding to our children's indebtedness.
The party claiming ownership of "family values" allowed the separation of innocent children from their parents at our Southern border. More than 200 of those children remain separated from their parents several months later. Even conservative religious leaders, historically Republican stalwarts, objected to these policies.
The Republican Party reached a point where John McCain, a principled American hero, had the support of less than half of Republican voters. That blows my mind.
The party that promised to repeal and replace Obamacare has done neither.
Where is the wall paid for by Mexico?
Although the economy has grown steadily during the last two years, it has done so largely because the Republican Party has increased the amount our government borrows. My wife and I could significantly improve our already very good lifestyle by borrowing on multiple credit cards and maxing out bank loans, but our children would inherit that debt AND banks would start increasing the interest rates on our loans. Have you noticed the recent increase in interest rates?
The Republican Party sanctioned new coal policies that the Trump administration's own EPA stated would result in an additional 1,400 deaths each year because of increased heart and lung disease.
The Republican Party passed a tax reduction that even Republican Senator Marco Rubio knew would benefit corporations more than workers. Currently only about 40% of the public think that tax reduction was a good idea.
After reducing taxes while increasing government spending Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel blamed increasing budgetary deficits on entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare, programs you and I pay for in what are supposed to be funds separate from the general federal budget.
The Republican Cabinet has been mired in scandal after scandal, spending taxpayer money on luxury travel, accepting illegal gifts, and more. A few days ago one Cabinet member under investigation for about dozen conduct issues actually fired the inspector general conducting the investigation.
I could go on because the Republican Party has apparently abandoned every single one of its core principles and is instead more worried about supporting President Trump and winning elections than standing on principle.
In this environment the Democratic Party should easily gain control of the House of Representatives and make a good run at winning the Senate, but it is possible they will do neither. Just as with the Republicans, the Democratic Party seemingly has no idea what it stands for, or at least it is incapable of telling us if it does. Individual Democratic candidates are being forced to campaign on their own in their states or districts without help from the weak Democratic leadership.
While President Trump stirs up the Republican base, Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer do nothing but whine. They have yet to offer clear policy alternatives, have yet to give us a reason to vote Democratic over Republican, and have yet to effectively call out the President for his hollow rhetoric. While President Trump continues to offer outright lies about the Democratic Party paying for an immigrant caravan, supporting criminal illegal immigrants, supporting "Medicare for all", defending "MS-13 thugs", and more, Schumer and Pelosi remain silent. Yesterday President Trump said Congress will address a new tax cut next week, BUT CONGRESS IS IN RECESS!! Will Pelosi and Schumer inform the public of that fact and refute that falsehood? Probably not.
What does the Democratic Party propose to do if it wins control of Congress in two weeks other than impeach President Trump? Can anyone tell me?
We really need another option. We need a party that 1) has reasonable policy options, 2) does not tell its supporters outright lies, 3) has candidates who have at least minimal ethical and moral standards.
We also need voters who actually care whether their leaders lie or are incompetent and who demand that the parties offer clear stands on policies rather than playing childish political games.
Is that too much to ask?