2014 Midterm Elections: Where Do We Go From Here? It Doesn’t Look Good

Like many other Democrats, I was angered by the GOP’s near-sweep of national and state races. There were pockets of Democratic victories but by and large the United States will be much redder starting January 2015.

I said I was angered, but I wasn’t surprised. In fact, none of us should have been surprised. All the signs were there and this GOP victory had been predicted months in advance. Besides, this has been years in the making. Young Republican college students like Grover Norquist hooked up with the Koch Brothers back in the 70s and formulated the basics of this plan, revising and expanding it over the years. The Kochs had enough money and enough time to take the long view for achieving their goal of total dominance over the American political system. And, based on last Tuesday’s elections, it looks like the plan is working. Karl Rove has been quoted as saying his plan to lead and to keep the GOP in political dominance extends to 2020, which happens to be the year in which it is predicted that Hispanics will make up the majority of the populace in Texas and perhaps in other areas.

Look at what Koch and other wealthy right wing powerhouses have wrought: they virtually control the corporate media, they control the US Supreme Court, many state governments, most of the US District and Courts of Appeal, and now Congress. Under normal conditions, I would agree with some liberal columnists who claim that with the GOP in control of Congress, they will fail dismally as they always do, angering voters to the point where the pendulum will again swing leftward in 2016.

I’m not so sure that prediction will be borne out this time. As I said, for the first time people like the Kochs now control almost all political, legislative, judicial processes and the media in this country. So, they not only control what their minions see, hear, and read, I believe they just about control the election process as well which has given them control of everything else that I’ve mentioned.

This didn’t happen in a vacuum. Check the voting records of many Democrats over the years. How do you think the five Koch employees on the US Supreme Court were appointed? And all of the right wing judges in the US District Court and Court of Appeals systems? I don’t remember any Democratic filibusters against any of these nominations. The Democrats also supported all the takeovers and mergers which allowed just a few media companies to monopolize control of all communications in this country.

The Democrats have proven to be wimps, unorganized without the capability of creating and instituting a Liberal plan along the lines of the GOP plan which would wrest control of the political, legislative and judicial processes from the hands of the Kochs, et al. A successful, 50-state plan was created and managed by ex-Gov. Howard Dean after he became the Democratic National Committee chair in 2005. In return for this great plan and his successful fundraising work has been totally snubbed and discarded by the Obama administration and by the DNC. Under Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC has mismanaged Democratic campaigns and getting the Democratic message out to voters to such an extent that we now have a Republican-controlled Congress in fact. Since 2010, the GOP has had de facto control of Congress.

President Obama deserves his fair share of blame for the right wing takeover of corporate media. He has been no different from his Republican (and some Democratic) predecessors in appointing industry hacks to run and sit on the board of the FCC. The most egregious example of this is current FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Consequently, control of printed, broadcast, and telecast media along with cable systems are concentrated in very few but extremely powerful corporate hands, all of them run by CEOs and boards who lean very far to the Right. As I write this, the FCC is poised to introduce a proposal that ignores the will of 3.7 million protestors as it will virtually eliminate net neutrality, placing the internet under the control of those same very few but extremely powerful corporate hands. And there’s not one thing any of us can do about it. If the President ignores our protests, and the new Congress will certainly ignore them, what peaceful options are left to us?

So, in 2016 we will be entering a media and political environment totally hostile to Liberal and Democratic politics. The one and only goal of people like the Kochs will be to embed in cement GOP and right wing control of virtually all aspects of life in this country for their own personal political and financial enrichment. Expect more voter ID laws to pass in states controlled by the GOP since SCOTUS has placed its imprimatur on it; more GOP gerrymandering of state and congressional voting districts, and more control of the voting and vote counting processes. And, of course, SCOTUS effectively gave control of political campaign contributions to the GOP via Citizens United.

This is why I believe that approval of Congress could sink to 0% by 2016 and almost all Republican incumbents along with Republican challengers will still be elected. Maybe I’m being overly pessimistic and paranoid here, but the creeping grasp of the GOP hand over most of everything that happens in this country. What’s the answer? That’s for Liberals and Democrats to organize and figure out. The answer might be a totally new coalition of voters disgusted with both Democratic and Republican parties. That could result in candidates and voters in large enough numbers to offset the GOP control of our elective process. Or maybe not.

The Democrats Need A New Team, Not A Hero

So here we are in the middle of our postmortem after yesterday’s disaster yet some people are still not getting the reasons for what happened. I’ve already seen at least one person leap onto a soapbox promoting his chosen Democratic savior for 2016. This is the last thing we should be doing now.

The problem with this thinking is analogous to baseball. One losing team believes all it needs is a top slugger to turn it around. The successful team knows that a team of strong players in every position and a strong bench is what’s needed to win championships. To float one candidate’s name at this team shows the problem with the Democratic Party. If it refuses to learn the lessons of yesterday’s midterm elections, it will cease to even be relevant going forward from this point onward. Obama is the current big slugger and look at how well that’s worked out for us. Once your big slugger goes into a hitting slump he sinks the whole team if he’s the best and only big player they’ve got.

We don’t need ONE candidate to rally behind; we need a fundamental makeover of the Democratic Party in the way it chooses and runs candidates, and especially in how it communicates its message to the voters. We need to get liberal politicians with balls and vaginas of steel to stand up to the GOP, to refuse to approve right wing appointees to SCOTUS and to US District Courts, who will filibuster and otherwise refuse to vote for asinine legislation like budget compromises which create a “super congress” as well as the sequester which has proven to be a disaster for the poor and the middle class, politicians who will stand up to the NRA, ALEC, and people like the Kochs, who will stand up for women’s and for gay rights, and for immigration reform. We need a president who will not naively believe they can negotiate and compromise with Republicans while they are united in bringing down the presidency just because of the color and/or gender of the president. We need a president who will stare down the opposition with every Congressional Democrat standing behind him.

We need leadership at the top who will employ GOP and Fox-like tactics which hold up their politicians and policies to public ridicule, who can come up with simple one-line slogans and imagery to cement in even stupid voters’ heads that the GOP will surely lead them to ruin and the end of life as we know it, just like the GOP has successfully marketed the same thing about us to the voters.

So, right now the last thing we need is a Hillary or a Elizabeth or a Bernie in 2016. We need a real, actual, vital political party rebuilt from the bottom up which can engage and attract the millions of voters it lost after it decided to become Republican Light.

A home run slugger can’t win the ballgame if the team is losing and there’s no one on base.