Trump supporters show their resolve to stand with their leader. Reuters
Alexander Heffner, The Independent
In an age of hyper-demagoguery, President-elect Biden’s commanding popular vote and winning Electoral College standing deserve infinite respect. Beyond the immediate victory, it’s also a blueprint for governing — and for how the Democrats approach upcoming Georgia special elections, as well as the 2022 midterms.
The vital suburbs of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona, where crossover voters abandoned their experiment with Trump in 2016, welcomed Biden’s message of restoring America’s soul — and her health — amid the pandemic. That support transcended the usual policy criteria.
Biden has declared the new administration’s mission is to “marshal the forces of decency” anew in America, embarking on “the battle” to “restore decency, defend democracy, and give everybody in this country a fair shot.” He continued, “Let this grim era of demonisation in America begin to end.” His humility is extraordinary, and he does not hold grudges.
By still not acknowledging Biden’s victory, Republicans have entered perhaps the darkest stage yet in their war on democracy and reality. After asking the nation to honor the system of the Electoral College — which resulted in three far-right Supreme Court justices to a president who has lost the popular vote twice — now they want to reject the results of a duly and fairly convened election in which they are not the Electoral College winners.
If Trump refuses to concede, and Loeffler and Perdue refuse to accept the results, the issue of character remains salient for the Democratic message in Georgia: The Republican Party is no more. It should be called the Party to End Republicanism, or the Anti-Democracy Party. They will deny the people’s right to representative government, deny their liberty, and deny science. The GOP should be held accountable for Trump’s abuses of power while in office, including what are expected to be more unexplained firings of federal officials.
As has become predictable for the Democratic Party, no good deed goes unpunished. There is already infighting between the self-described progressive flank and the center-left about the indecisive Congressional campaigns. The most convincing argument from Biden and Harris was that they, unlike Trump, could rescue America from the current public health crisis. But it’s clear that Democrats need to think beyond their usual talking points — money in politics, tax hikes for the wealthy, and new social programs.
We must recognise that newcomer allies like the Lincoln Project and traditional Democratic Party organizers were both pivotal to defeating Trump. On Twitter, AOC needlessly picked a fight with the Lincoln Project in the wake of Biden’s victory, and appears to be digging in on rhetoric — like defunding the police and socialism — that we know offends many Americans rather than resonating. There is, however, a compromise that both sides can likely agree on: It’s pivotal for the new administration to practice a fresh vocabulary and empathy across geography. And, for goodness’ sake, it’s time for new blood in Congressional Democratic ranks. Because we need FDR and Honest Abe in Warm Springs.
It’s not about ideological purity; it’s about a voice that resonates. Biden’s voice resonates. Schumer’s does not. Amy Klobuchar, Sherrod Brown, Jon Tester: these are voices that resonate. And if he cared more about the good of the party than preserving his own power, Schumer would encourage the Georgia Senate candidates, Ossoff and Warnock, to pledge votes against him for Democratic Leader. Biden needs a defter, more resonant, and ideally youthful Senate partner. The Caucus must demand it.
“We may be opponents — but we are not enemies. We are Americans,” President-elect Biden has declared. He can negotiate a new bipartisan paradigm, and if Mitch McConnell is relentlessly uncooperative, Biden has nuclear options Barack Obama never considered. More expansive executive orders and recess appointments spring to mind.
People are underestimating the rambunctious decency of Joe Biden. He and Vice President-elect Harris are proof you can champion FDR’s bold ideals and win, while not pissing off folks. The Biden way — decent, pragmatic, and necessarily bold — is the roadmap for Senate Democrats in 2022. We can revive Roosevelt’s legacy in a humane and scientifically sound pandemic response.
But, please note, Justice Democrats: FDR was not a socialist. He was a liberal who wanted government to advance the cause of human dignity. Bidenism protects the moral code of the nation and the wellbeing of our neighbours in this pandemic. We cannot afford to be complacent. The Democratic Party must embrace the inspiration of a new authentic and charismatic generation — left, right, and center, but always pledging to uphold democracy first.
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