PUTNEY — How many of us on the Left or among the sane have been watching the Democrats with an overwhelming sense of doom?
As we observe Republicans daily threatening to behead, hang, dismember, shoot, impeach, and/or jail every opponent who stands in the way of their drive to absolute power, the Democrats continue to act and preach business as usual.
As repellent as it is to watch the news unfold daily, if you are interested in a livable future, it is difficult to avert one's eyes from the train wreck that is the current Democratic administration.
It is a real head-scratcher that the Democrats are squandering what might be their last opportunity for years to flex any muscle in the federal government. We are staring down the nullification of the voters' will by right-wing state legislatures, many of which were elected due to unfair and legally dubious gerrymanders.
We have seen no real attempt at the most important policy of all: reinstituting voting rights. What are the Democrats thinking, when they see that states all throughout the Bible Belt are disenfranchising Black voters at a rapid rate?
Whether it be by executive order and a court fight, by calling Sen. Joe Manchin out for his insistence that he could get 10 Republicans to support voting rights, or by introducing pieces of voting rights legislation and letting Republicans and the two “Democrats” who have been paid disruptors, Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, go on record as opposing Black folks' opportunities for full citizenship.
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President Joe Biden received a large chunk of the youth vote by promising action on climate. In the very first month or two, it almost looked like he would follow through on campaign pledges to begin to seriously address the disaster that is our energy policy.
However, as with Democrats always, the corporate lobbyists had their way, and any realistic discussion of bending the curve on climate has disappeared in a puff of coal-fired smoke.
As a person who has recently spoken to groups of students from older elementary through high-school age and who works on climate organizing with amazing teens, I can tell you that the Democrats have not won friends among the youth in the past year.
Students are facing climate disaster as their certain future - and they see the generation ruling the country as completely irresponsible and selfish.
Rather than exhibit any vision or strength in talking about the importance of leaving carbon in the ground and then following through with policy choices that reflect an interest in his (and my) grandchildren having a life worth living, Biden and his administration have decided to yield to the demands of the energy industry.
At a time when we could stick it to Russia, a country that has been called “a gas station,” we could be spending billions of dollars on sustainable-energy policy - improving the already-impressive battery storage technology, installing solar panels for a fraction of the cost, putting billions into creating warm and cozy homes from the old and leaky windowed houses of millions of poor and working Americans, and showing Americans what 21st century rail technology is.
The Biden administration is doing none of that.
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Some of us, stupidly, had actually dreamed that the next administration would hold Donald Trump and his band of criminals responsible for at least some of their theft, lies, cruelty, and illegality. The Trump family in fashionable orange jump suits?
In a typical Democratic move, Joe Biden must have felt that poor Merrick Garland needed a prestige job, so he gave away the most important job he had to give: attorney general.
This should be the person in charge of prosecution: for ignoring the Hatch Act (pushing electoral politics when you are a paid federal employee), the emoluments clause (taking millions from foreign governments for self-enrichment while you are president), masterminding an attempted coup, illegally taking money to build the wall, refusing to turn over documents demanded by the court ... the list goes on.
Thus, the question of 2022: Where is Merrick Garland? And if he is unable or unwilling to do his job, where is Joe Biden with a living replacement?
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And finally, the Democratic Party endorsements.
Whenever a progressive candidate with vision and energy emerges from the pack, the party endorses the centrist.
Even in the current races, for example, the Democratic establishment is campaigning for Henry Cuellar of Texas for a U.S. House seat. He is anti-choice and he is being challenged by a wonderful young woman, Jessica Cisneros.
The Democratic party establishment is extremely established! Most have been in office for longer than the lifetime of younger voters (some for double the lifetime of the youngest voters), and their lack of vision and understanding of the modern world really shows.
If they have any hope of creating a Democratic majority ever again, it is time for the Nancy Pelosis of the party to move out of the way of the next generation.
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Personally, I will be working hard for a young, gay, progressive candidate, Isaac Evans-Franz, to win a long-shot race in the Vermont Democratic primary for the Senate seat left open by Sen. Patrick Leahy's retirement.
The establishment candidate, Peter Welch, is an old, white, straight man who has spent his many years in the House with a very short list of accomplishments.
It is time for people with fire, with energy, with vision to represent us as we face the potential of a fascist takeover. When we have a Republican party willing and able to cheat, lie, and steal elections, we need strong, outspoken, fearless leaders who will be speaking up and stepping into new roles as threats to our democratic system of government increase.
We need people who actually care about the future well-being of the majority of Americans - not only those with the resources to make large political contributions.